Business

Hodinkee just brought in another $450K (this time in just 30 minutes).

NEW YORK — 30 minutes. That was all the time it took for Hodinkee to completely sell out its latest surprise watch release, a very limited edition, 20 piece collaboration with (much adored) Belgian independent, Ressence. Total haul this time around: $450K, or $22,500 for each timepiece.

The toplines on this one…

Large haul: Stemming back to November, Hodinkee’s dropped four surprise watch collaborations with Nomos Glasshütte, Zenith, Vacheron Constantin, and now Ressence. All in, these drops have brought in a cool $2,523,500 in revenues for the publication. And, yes, they are making a profit on these projects, managing editor Stephen Pulvirent told us.

Acceleration: They’ve now done five surprise drops in total, but it’s just been within the six months that Hodinkee’s accelerated the pace of these releases: The Ressence marks their fourth such drop within that time timeframe.

The R&D timeline: The Ressence process took about ten months. And compared to the Zenith and Vacheron Constantin collaborations, this process was much less formal. “Fewer presentations, less convincing,” according to Pulvirent.

E-commerce is a huge deal for them. In a two-pronged e-commerce arm, straps are big business for the site. As Pulvirent explained: “We’re selling five digit figures of straps per year. We’re selling basically to the capacity of our manufacturers. And getting straps is harder than selling straps in a lot cases for our more popular colors.”

Demand, in other words, is outpacing supply, which theoretically is a good problem to have. Still, they’re hitting something of a ceiling in that area, given the limitations of their strap suppliers. Adding very limited edition surprise releases at high prices helps to diversify the portfolio.

The $20K+ price range is actually highly competitive. “It’s a tough pricepoint. In the $20,000 – $25,000 range, you have a lot of good choices. There’s a lot of really great watches out there for that price. So we knew we needed to do something good,” Pulvirent told us. “If you’re going to do something at a price point that’s very, very competitive, it needs to be good.” Mission accomplished.

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