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时间商人:手表发烧友找到线上新家园

时间商人:手表发烧友找到线上新家园

DANIEL BENTLEY 2020年05月08日
网络现已成为新一代手表发烧友销售腕表藏品的主要途径。

Hodinkee首席执行官本·克莱默。作为一家引领风尚的企业,Hodinkee创造或者至少可以说是培育了新一代的古董手表收藏群体,他们能将20世纪40年代的浪琴手表与耐克运动鞋变成完美的时尚穿搭。图片来源:OURTESY OF HODINKEE

去年7月,在不到10分钟的时间里,本·克莱默售出了100只手表,销售额接近100万美元。

这是一款宝珀五十噚系列潜水表,颇受收藏家及部分投机者的追捧。4月15日上午10点,为了能以9900美元的价格买到这款限量版手表,所有的买家都在疯狂刷新网页。要想从克莱默掌舵的Hodinkee及其顶级钟表品牌合作伙伴,如豪雅、江诗丹顿和欧米茄等手中买到这些稀有物品,买家除了要消息灵通,还手速极快才行。

Hodinkee既不是珠宝店,也不是传统的手表零售商,而是引领人们对机械表重燃热情的先锋,且不论新旧。它的出现催生了一个活跃的小众商业生态,让古董表走入了新兴买家的视野。

Hodinkee总部位于纽约市,2009年创办时还仅是Tumblr上的一个博客而已,当时克莱默还在瑞银集团做着顾问的工作。克莱默说:“当时金融危机刚过,有人告诉我说要让自己看起来业务非常繁忙”。于是,他开始在空闲时写些关于手表的文章,外祖父曾送给他一块欧米茄超霸系列计时码表,第一篇文章的内容就跟这块表有关。(该篇文章的标题源于捷克语中表示“手表”的单词:hodinky,后来也成了他公司的名字。)这篇博文一炮而红,赢得了许多手表发烧友的关注,其中就包括音乐家约翰·梅耶,后来梅耶也为网站写了些文章,还成了Hodinkee的天使投资人,并亲自出演视频展示自己的重量级手表收藏。

顺时针方向依次为:欧米茄超霸Hodinkee限量版,灵感来自克莱默祖父的手表,售价6500美元。斯沃琪 Sistem51 x Hodinkee Generation 1986 联名款手表,售价170美元。宝珀五十噚 Hodinkee特供版潜水表,售价 9900美元。泰格豪雅卡莱拉Skipper Hodinkee特供版,售价5900美元。图片来源:COURTESY OF HODINKEE

经过了11年的发展,Hodinkee不再只是克莱默一个人的精神家园,它已然成为了全球手表及手表文化中最重要的信息平台。来自北美和日本网站的13位编辑会在网站上发布与手表相关的各类文章、评论、视频与播客。

作为一家引领风尚的企业,Hodinkee在不断提升着古董手表的价值,并且创造或者至少可以说是培养了新一代的古董手表收藏群体,他们能将20世纪40年代的浪琴手表与耐克运动鞋变成完美的时尚穿搭。受其影响,许多已被遗忘的品牌又重新走到了台前。佛罗里达古董手表经销商埃里克·文德说:“克莱默单靠一己之力便让重新点燃了人们对宇宙表(Universal Genève)的兴趣,虽然这个品牌实际上已经停产了。多亏有他,这些手表才能有如此坚挺的价格表现。”

Hodinkee还有自己的杂志,其大部头咖啡桌图书,每年出版两期。这本杂志会像介绍阿尔法·罗密欧老爷跑车那样介绍百达翡丽的悠久历史。

但真正让Hodinkee大放异彩的还是其零售方面的表现,该公司销售包括新旧手表、表带、配件、饰品在内的各种可能吸引富有藏家的商品,例如徕卡相机和售价1600美元的都彭打火机等。

Hodinkee的零售业务始于表带销售,当时克莱默和早期员工一起在他位于西村的公寓里进行打包工作。现在负责领导零售业务的是首席商务官拉塞尔·凯利,被克莱默挖来前,凯利是劳力士姊妹品牌帝舵的美国品牌经理。(业内人士在谈及这次招募的重要性时对《财富》说:“没有人会随便离开劳力士。”)2019年,该公司的营收增长85%,达到2000万美元以上,其销售的手表品牌也从10个增加到了18个,上架了欧米茄、宝珀、百年灵等大品牌,苹果手表很快也加入其中。

与一般手表零售商的不同,Hodinkee每年都会发布几款限量版手表。该公司的内部设计团队会与品牌商合作开发独一无二的新款手表,或者重新发售备受喜爱的老款手表。克莱默介绍说:“我们有读者和客户的藏品数据,所以很清楚他们喜欢什么样的产品”。泰格豪雅“Skipper”游艇计时码表就是一个很好的例子,这款原始售价5990美元的手表经Hodinkee重新发售后价格上涨了一倍有余。

Crown&Caliber员工在手表店中检查、翻新二手手表。图片来源:COURTESY OF JONATHAN MCWHORTER/CROWN & CALIBER

在试水了几次快闪店之后,Hodinkee还决定接手潮牌Supreme搬走后空下的店面,于今年晚些时候在纽约Soho开设了自己旗下的首家实体店。与麦迪逊大街上那些奢侈品商店不同,在这里你不会看到洁白的手套和浆洗过的衣领,取而代之的是真皮休闲沙发、Podcast Studio和钟表匠的长凳。凯利表示:“我们希望营造出一种俱乐部的感觉”。

Hodinkee无疑引领了古董手表新浪潮。受其影响,许多更具创新性的企业也如雨后春笋般出现,其中就包括总部位于曼哈顿的Analog/Shift,该公司由资深钟表发烧友詹姆斯·拉姆丁于2012年创立。与在当铺或钻石区店铺需要提防上当的购物体验相反,拉姆丁会如实告知买家产品的实际情况,让买家对产品拥有更全面的了解。该公司出售的每一块手表都配有高清大图,可以清楚看到手表的每一条刻痕、划痕以及每一块污渍,正如拉姆丁所说:“这些细节通常对我们是不利的”。每块手表还都有一篇介绍小文,讲述与这块手表相关的故事,比如这是一块什么手表,它又为何如此与众不同。拉姆丁说:“我真的很享受讲故事的过程,希望能与客户,甚至是每一位来到店里或Instagram主页的访客分享知识”。

拉姆丁表示,Instagram对手表收藏界产生了重大的影响,而晚于Hodinkee一年推出Instagram业务对他而言更是如此。“在Instagram和Hodinkee出现以前,手表收藏家在互联网上就像是书呆子。Instagram让展示手表藏品变成了一件很酷的事”。对Analog/Shift而言,Instagram既是营销工具,也是其了解更大收藏群体购买动向的途径。

但手表买卖不只是“买”而已,如果想卖表该怎么办呢?藏家以前可以通过eBay或手表论坛出售自己的藏品,但这么做也有一定风险。而且我们都很清楚,我们不太可能在本地表商或当铺那里卖出最好的价钱。

劳力士格林尼治型手表,约1968年问世,Analog/Shift藏品。图片来源:COURTESY OF ANALOG/SHIFT

生于乔治亚州的汉密尔顿·鲍威尔认为可以有更好的解决方案。于是他利用自己在私募基金方面的经验创办了线上交易平台Crown&Caliber,并通过分析手表市场数据帮助藏家以更为公平的价格完成手表交易。

如果哪块手表不想要了,或者想卖掉某块手表为购买其它手表筹措资金,藏家就可前往Crown&Caliber网站,输入手表详情即可获得市场即时报价。随后,卖家可以将手表邮寄至该公司的亚特兰大总部,由专家团队对手表进行鉴定,并视情况对其进行清洁保养。完成这些步骤之后,这只手表便会上架销售。此外,该公司还会为出售的手表提供一年质保服务。内曼·马库斯等零售商,甚至百年灵都在通过Crown&Caliber为自己的以旧换新计划提供支持。

鲍威尔表示:“美国每年售出的手表价值约为50亿美元,而民众戴在手上和闲置在抽屉或储物柜中的手表价值约为1000亿美元。我们已经完成了70000多笔交易,而且这一数字还在以每年60%的速度增涨。在我们看来,这是一个拥有巨大潜力的市场”。

技术一直在颠覆我们的计时方法。日冕替代了圭表、腕表替代了怀表。但在很少有人需要佩戴机械表的时代,是互联网上的发烧友社区让这些手表活了下来。

如何网购手表

1、挑选靠谱卖家

无良卖家在出售手表时常会以次充好、虚假宣传,在网上尤其如此。所以一定要选择主动指出手表瑕疵且支持退货的卖家,这样如果你对手表不满意还能把钱退回来。

2、购买质量好的手表

质量上乘的古董表价格很高,但它们也都很保值。为了省个几千美元去买残次品并不划算。

3、购买你喜欢的手表

手表收藏关乎兴趣与个人品味。不要把投资作为购买手表的唯一目的。虽然手表市场近年来屡屡拍出创纪录高价,但这仍然是一个变幻无常的市场,所以最好购买那种即便市场下行你也想要戴在手上的手表。(财富中文网)

本文另一版本登载于《财富》杂志2020年5月刊,标题为《时间商人》

译者:梁宇

审校:夏林

去年7月,在不到10分钟的时间里,本·克莱默售出了100只手表,销售额接近100万美元。

这是一款宝珀五十噚系列潜水表,颇受收藏家及部分投机者的追捧。4月15日上午10点,为了能以9900美元的价格买到这款限量版手表,所有的买家都在疯狂刷新网页。要想从克莱默掌舵的Hodinkee及其顶级钟表品牌合作伙伴,如豪雅、江诗丹顿和欧米茄等手中买到这些稀有物品,买家除了要消息灵通,还手速极快才行。

Hodinkee既不是珠宝店,也不是传统的手表零售商,而是引领人们对机械表重燃热情的先锋,且不论新旧。它的出现催生了一个活跃的小众商业生态,让古董表走入了新兴买家的视野。

Hodinkee总部位于纽约市,2009年创办时还仅是Tumblr上的一个博客而已,当时克莱默还在瑞银集团做着顾问的工作。克莱默说:“当时金融危机刚过,有人告诉我说要让自己看起来业务非常繁忙”。于是,他开始在空闲时写些关于手表的文章,外祖父曾送给他一块欧米茄超霸系列计时码表,第一篇文章的内容就跟这块表有关。(该篇文章的标题源于捷克语中表示“手表”的单词:hodinky,后来也成了他公司的名字。)这篇博文一炮而红,赢得了许多手表发烧友的关注,其中就包括音乐家约翰·梅耶,后来梅耶也为网站写了些文章,还成了Hodinkee的天使投资人,并亲自出演视频展示自己的重量级手表收藏。

经过了11年的发展,Hodinkee不再只是克莱默一个人的精神家园,它已然成为了全球手表及手表文化中最重要的信息平台。来自北美和日本网站的13位编辑会在网站上发布与手表相关的各类文章、评论、视频与播客。

作为一家引领风尚的企业,Hodinkee在不断提升着古董手表的价值,并且创造或者至少可以说是培养了新一代的古董手表收藏群体,他们能将20世纪40年代的浪琴手表与耐克运动鞋变成完美的时尚穿搭。受其影响,许多已被遗忘的品牌又重新走到了台前。佛罗里达古董手表经销商埃里克·文德说:“克莱默单靠一己之力便让重新点燃了人们对宇宙表(Universal Genève)的兴趣,虽然这个品牌实际上已经停产了。多亏有他,这些手表才能有如此坚挺的价格表现。”

Hodinkee还有自己的杂志,其大部头咖啡桌图书,每年出版两期。这本杂志会像介绍阿尔法·罗密欧老爷跑车那样介绍百达翡丽的悠久历史。

但真正让Hodinkee大放异彩的还是其零售方面的表现,该公司销售包括新旧手表、表带、配件、饰品在内的各种可能吸引富有藏家的商品,例如徕卡相机和售价1600美元的都彭打火机等。

Hodinkee的零售业务始于表带销售,当时克莱默和早期员工一起在他位于西村的公寓里进行打包工作。现在负责领导零售业务的是首席商务官拉塞尔·凯利,被克莱默挖来前,凯利是劳力士姊妹品牌帝舵的美国品牌经理。(业内人士在谈及这次招募的重要性时对《财富》说:“没有人会随便离开劳力士。”)2019年,该公司的营收增长85%,达到2000万美元以上,其销售的手表品牌也从10个增加到了18个,上架了欧米茄、宝珀、百年灵等大品牌,苹果手表很快也加入其中。

与一般手表零售商的不同,Hodinkee每年都会发布几款限量版手表。该公司的内部设计团队会与品牌商合作开发独一无二的新款手表,或者重新发售备受喜爱的老款手表。克莱默介绍说:“我们有读者和客户的藏品数据,所以很清楚他们喜欢什么样的产品”。泰格豪雅“Skipper”游艇计时码表就是一个很好的例子,这款原始售价5990美元的手表经Hodinkee重新发售后价格上涨了一倍有余。

在试水了几次快闪店之后,Hodinkee还决定接手潮牌Supreme搬走后空下的店面,于今年晚些时候在纽约Soho开设了自己旗下的首家实体店。与麦迪逊大街上那些奢侈品商店不同,在这里你不会看到洁白的手套和浆洗过的衣领,取而代之的是真皮休闲沙发、Podcast Studio和钟表匠的长凳。凯利表示:“我们希望营造出一种俱乐部的感觉”。

Hodinkee无疑引领了古董手表新浪潮。受其影响,许多更具创新性的企业也如雨后春笋般出现,其中就包括总部位于曼哈顿的Analog/Shift,该公司由资深钟表发烧友詹姆斯·拉姆丁于2012年创立。与在当铺或钻石区店铺需要提防上当的购物体验相反,拉姆丁会如实告知买家产品的实际情况,让买家对产品拥有更全面的了解。该公司出售的每一块手表都配有高清大图,可以清楚看到手表的每一条刻痕、划痕以及每一块污渍,正如拉姆丁所说:“这些细节通常对我们是不利的”。每块手表还都有一篇介绍小文,讲述与这块手表相关的故事,比如这是一块什么手表,它又为何如此与众不同。拉姆丁说:“我真的很享受讲故事的过程,希望能与客户,甚至是每一位来到店里或Instagram主页的访客分享知识”。

拉姆丁表示,Instagram对手表收藏界产生了重大的影响,而晚于Hodinkee一年推出Instagram业务对他而言更是如此。“在Instagram和Hodinkee出现以前,手表收藏家在互联网上就像是书呆子。Instagram让展示手表藏品变成了一件很酷的事”。对Analog/Shift而言,Instagram既是营销工具,也是其了解更大收藏群体购买动向的途径。

但手表买卖不只是“买”而已,如果想卖表该怎么办呢?藏家以前可以通过eBay或手表论坛出售自己的藏品,但这么做也有一定风险。而且我们都很清楚,我们不太可能在本地表商或当铺那里卖出最好的价钱。

生于乔治亚州的汉密尔顿·鲍威尔认为可以有更好的解决方案。于是他利用自己在私募基金方面的经验创办了线上交易平台Crown&Caliber,并通过分析手表市场数据帮助藏家以更为公平的价格完成手表交易。

如果哪块手表不想要了,或者想卖掉某块手表为购买其它手表筹措资金,藏家就可前往Crown&Caliber网站,输入手表详情即可获得市场即时报价。随后,卖家可以将手表邮寄至该公司的亚特兰大总部,由专家团队对手表进行鉴定,并视情况对其进行清洁保养。完成这些步骤之后,这只手表便会上架销售。此外,该公司还会为出售的手表提供一年质保服务。内曼·马库斯等零售商,甚至百年灵都在通过Crown&Caliber为自己的以旧换新计划提供支持。

鲍威尔表示:“美国每年售出的手表价值约为50亿美元,而民众戴在手上和闲置在抽屉或储物柜中的手表价值约为1000亿美元。我们已经完成了70000多笔交易,而且这一数字还在以每年60%的速度增涨。在我们看来,这是一个拥有巨大潜力的市场”。

技术一直在颠覆我们的计时方法。日冕替代了圭表、腕表替代了怀表。但在很少有人需要佩戴机械表的时代,是互联网上的发烧友社区让这些手表活了下来。

如何网购手表

1、挑选靠谱卖家

无良卖家在出售手表时常会以次充好、虚假宣传,在网上尤其如此。所以一定要选择主动指出手表瑕疵且支持退货的卖家,这样如果你对手表不满意还能把钱退回来。

2、购买质量好的手表

质量上乘的古董表价格很高,但它们也都很保值。为了省个几千美元去买残次品并不划算。

3、购买你喜欢的手表

手表收藏关乎兴趣与个人品味。不要把投资作为购买手表的唯一目的。虽然手表市场近年来屡屡拍出创纪录高价,但这仍然是一个变幻无常的市场,所以最好购买那种即便市场下行你也想要戴在手上的手表。(财富中文网)

本文另一版本登载于《财富》杂志2020年5月刊,标题为《时间商人》

译者:梁宇

审校:夏林

Last July, Ben Clymer sold 100 watches for just shy of $1 million in under 10 minutes.

The timepieces—a version of Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms diver’s watch—were scooped up by collectors, and a few speculators, all fervently refreshing a web page at 10 a.m. on a Wednesday to drop $9,900 on a limited-edition watch. Those in the know need fast fingers to score such a rarity from Clymer’s company, Hodinkee, and its collaborations with some of the world’s top watch brands, including TAG Heuer, Vacheron Constantin, and Omega, among others.

But Hodinkee isn’t a jewelry store, nor is it the type of watch retailer you’re used to. It’s the flag bearer for a revival of interest in mechanical watches—new and old—and has spawned a small but vibrant ecosystem of businesses bringing vintage watches to new buyers.

The New York City–based company began life as a Tumblr blog in 2009 while Clymer was working as a consultant at UBS. “It was after the financial crisis, and I was effectively told to look busy in my cubicle,” says Clymer. And so he began filling those idle hours by writing about watches, starting with an Omega Speedmaster chronograph gifted to him by his maternal grandfather. (The name of his blog—and later, company—comes from the Czech word for wristwatch: hodinky.) The blog soon caught on and won over watch enthusiasts including, notably, musician John Mayer, who would go on to write for the site, become an angel investor, and appear in videos showing off his collection of heavy-hitter timepieces.

Eleven years later, Hodinkee is more than one man’s musings. It’s the world’s foremost news source for all things watches and watch culture, with 13 editors between its North American and Japanese websites publishing articles, reviews, videos, and podcasts on all things horological.

It’s a tastemaker—invariably increasing the value of vintage watches it blesses and creating, or at least codifying, a new breed of vintage watch collector, one who might rock a 1940s Longines with a pair of Nikes. That influence extends to bringing forgotten brands back to the fore. “[Ben] single-handedly ignited interest in Universal Genève watches, effectively a defunct brand,” says Florida-based vintage watch dealer Eric Wind. “The strength in prices for those watches can really be credited to him.”

Hodinkee is a magazine publisher as well: Its biannual coffee-table tome is just as likely to feature a story on vintage Alfa Romeo sports cars as it is one about Patek Philippe perpetual calendars.

But it’s making its biggest splash as a retailer, selling new and vintage watches, watch straps, accessories, and the various trappings that might appeal to a well-heeled collector, such as Leica cameras and $1,600 cigarette lighters by S.T. Dupont.

That retail operation began with Clymer and early employees packing watch straps in Clymer’s West Village apartment. It is now headed up by chief commercial officer Russell Kelly, whom Clymer lured away from his position as U.S. brand manager of Rolex sister brand Tudor. (“You don’t just leave Rolex,” one industry insider tells Fortune, speaking to the significance of that hire.) In 2019, the company’s revenue increased by 85% to north of $20 million, and the number of brands it sells has grown from 10 to 18, adding huge names like Omega, Blancpain, Breitling, and soon Apple Watch.

The limited editions, released a handful of times a year, are what really set Hodinkee apart from the average watch retailer. The company’s in-house design team works with the brands to create unique timepieces or reissue beloved watches from their archives. “We have data on what our readers and customers have in their collections,” says Clymer. “We know the kinds of things they’re into.” One example: A re-creation of a yachting chronograph from the archives of TAG Heuer, known as the “Skipper,” currently resells for more than double its original retail price of $5,990.

After testing the waters with a number of pop-up shops, the company is set to open its first brick-and-mortar store later this year, in premises left vacant by the Supreme streetwear brand in New York’s SoHo. Don’t expect the white gloves and starched collars you’ll find in the boutiques of Madison Avenue. The space has been specced with slouchy leather couches, a podcast studio, and a watchmaker’s bench. “We wanted to give it a clubhouse feel,” says Kelly.

One of the more innovative businesses to emerge from the wave of attention Hodinkee brought to vintage watches is Manhattan-based Analog/Shift, founded by longtime watch enthusiast James Lamdin in 2012. In contrast to the buyer-beware shopping experience at a pawnshop or diamond district storefront, Lamdin’s approach is one of transparency and education. Every nick and scratch, every blemish of its pieces is photographed in high contrast—“often to our detriment,” says Lamdin. And accompanying each beautifully shot timepiece is a short story, practically an essay, explaining what the watch is, and why it’s cool. “I really enjoy storytelling,” says Lamdin. “I want to share our knowledge with our customers and anyone who comes across our site or Instagram.”

Instagram, which launched the year after Hodinkee, has had a massive impact on the world of watch collecting and his business in particular, says Lamdin: “Before Instagram and Hodinkee, watch collectors on the Internet were nerds on forums. Instagram made it cool for people to share their collections.” Analog/Shift uses Instagram as both a marketing tool and as a way to observe what the larger community of collectors is buying.

Buying watches on the Internet is one part of the equation—but what about selling them? A collector could turn to eBay or a watch forum, but they’re not without risks. And you know you’re probably not going to get the best deal at your local watch dealer or pawnbroker.

Georgia-native Hamilton Powell thought there was a better way. Using his experience in private equity, Powell created Crown & Caliber: an online marketplace that uses data analysis of the watch market so collectors can buy and sell their watches at a fair price.

Someone looking to sell a neglected watch, or looking to fund their next watch purchase, can go to Crown & Caliber’s website, enter details on the piece and receive an instant offer for the watch based on market trends. The seller then sends the watch in a prepaid shipping box to the company’s Atlanta headquarters, where it’s verified by a team of experts, serviced and cleaned if necessary, and offered up for sale with a one-year warranty backed by the company. Retailers like Neiman Marcus, and even watch brand Breitling, use Crown & Caliber to facilitate their trade-in programs.

“Every year $5 billion worth of watches are sold in the U.S., and we estimate $100 billion worth are on people’s wrists or sitting in drawers and closets,” says Powell, “We’ve done more than 70,000 transactions and have been growing 60% every year. We think there’s a huge unaddressed market.”

Technology has always disrupted the way we keep time. Sundials replaced standing stones. The wristwatch replaced the pocket watch. But in an age when few of us need to wear a mechanical watch, it’s the community of enthusiasts on the Internet that is keeping them alive.

How to buy a watch online

1、Buy the seller

It has become commonplace for unscrupulous dealers to misrepresent the watches they are selling, especially online. Buy from one who points out a watch’s flaws and will take the purchase back if you’re not satisfied.

2、Buy the best quality

You’ll pay a premium for the best vintage watches—but they’ll also hold their value. There’s a false economy ]in trying to save a few thousand dollars buying a beat-up version.

3、Buy something you like

Watch collecting is about having fun and expressing your own personal taste. Don’t buy something purely as an investment. Despite record auction prices in recent years, the watch market can be fickle. It’s better to have something you’ll enjoy on your wrist when the market takes a dip.

A version of this article appears in the May 2020 issue of Fortune with the headline "Buying time."

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