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The Donkey Droppings of Watch Journalism

PostPosted: November 13th 2017, 1:53pm
by MKTheVintageBloke
I have often ranted against the situation in watch journalism. Manufacturers forcing favourable reviews, unsavoury links between them and the blogs. Hoodwinkee was almost always the first example I could think of, as they have violated the basics of ethics in journalism in a verily astounding number of ways. Frankly, I must confess that I thought it won't really get worse than limited editions made for the watch blogs. There's no telling how wrong I was to think so.

That's because - just today - the Donkeys have announced this:
https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/new-hodinkee-shop-welcome

Aaaaarghhh, rant-worthy stuff again. But since it's the Crusaders' Den, let me put it this way - the game's afoot; follow your spirit, and upon this charge...

In fact, we hope that the move we are announcing today will actually increase transparency about our relationships with watch brands and other players in the industry. You know who we work with, you know who we don't – it's up to you to decide what to read, but we've found that the vast majority of our readership simply loves the content that we produce. If you're a fan of great writing, great photography, and great videos, get ready for some special things coming your way very soon.


Ummm, how the fuck does becoming an AD increase transparency? How the fuck do they expect anyone to believe, that a review is impartial? Reviews of any watches by companies whose products they retail, and, in fact, any coverage of these companies, can't be considered anything but an advertorial now. Not that they haven't always had the industry, ummm, penetrate them, but this is a step further. Now the industry went in so deep, that not even Ron Jeremy could pull off something like that.

Also, I am a "fan of great writing", which means that I just can't like the Donkeys. Not in a thousand bloody years.

We will continue to write about things we like and ignore the rest, just as we always have.


Liking something and being told to like something are two very different things, and they're a million fucking miles apart.

And those fantastic editors that you love so much will never be told to write (or not write) anything at all, just as it is today.


Of course they won't be. They'll be simply told, "you know what to do", and they will know what this means. And it will mean, that an unfavourable review will be met with no watches to review, and a farewell to factory visits and Baselworld press passes.

We were told that after reading HODINKEE, few watch salespeople could even hold a conversation with these customers about the latest releases. In most cases, people expressed frustration that they were buying a watch from someone who simply didn't care as much or know the first thing about what they were selling.


Given the level of knowledge presented by Hoodwinkee, and that'd be a level lower than the bottom of the Mariana Trench, this speaks worse of salespeople than I could possibly imagine.

In addition to category-leading photography, each watch features an in-depth description written by an actual watch expert – someone who knows how to frame a piece in the proper context of watch buying.


If they are the same "experts" that the Shop had so far, that's grim fucking news for the customers, and more laughs for me.

But this is us, so we'll tell you what it is and what it isn't, always


With how many times the Donkeys told people what a particular watch is, and actually what even by a long shot it fucking wasn't, this sounds quite delusional.

We've seen that the watch world is not invincible, so let's make sure we push each other to make the whole industry more inviting, friendly, and enjoyable. I don't think anyone can argue with that.


Oh yes, I can bloody argue, and I will. Of course it's not invincible, thanks to the Donkeys the vintage watch market's FUBAR. Also, how's turning a news outlet into a full-time advertorial site, and thus into a lapdog of the manufacturers, making the industry more friendly and enjoyable? Fuck me!

By Jove! So, just in case someone has believed in Donkey journalism being any good, that'd be the nail to the coffin of whatever limited notion of ethics in journalism they used to have.

Re: The Donkey Droppings of Watch Journalism

PostPosted: November 13th 2017, 2:34pm
by biglove
Ethics in journalism is long dead. The almighty $$$ killed it.

Re: The Donkey Droppings of Watch Journalism

PostPosted: November 13th 2017, 3:34pm
by MKTheVintageBloke
biglove wrote:Ethics in journalism is long dead. The almighty $$$ killed it.

It seriouslly wounded it, but given that it appears that it can take some more blows, it's not quite dead yet. In watch journalism, it's close to being dead, but now and then someone does publish a decent article.

Still, the usual flattery in reviews and a blog selling their souls to particular manufacturers while claiming that it'll make them more trustworthy are two very different things.

Re: The Donkey Droppings of Watch Journalism

PostPosted: November 13th 2017, 3:51pm
by 3Flushes
As with most of their content, I found myself unable to get through even half of the announcement.

I frankly don't see how Dinkee could be any gushier and less objective than they already are by whoring out watches to morons at full MSRP for brands they have long ago sold out to. On the plus side, the photography while creatively uninspired, technically speaking, is a cut above most of what's out there.

Re: The Donkey Droppings of Watch Journalism

PostPosted: November 13th 2017, 4:28pm
by bedlam
News has increasingly taken the form of lightly edited corporate press releases for some time. Hodinkee is following the Murdoch model to its logical conclusion.

Re: The Donkey Droppings of Watch Journalism

PostPosted: November 13th 2017, 4:45pm
by MKTheVintageBloke
3Flushes wrote:As with most of their content, I found myself unable to get through even half of the announcement.

I frankly don't see how Dinkee could be any gushier and less objective than they already are by whoring out watches to morons at full MSRP for brands they have long ago sold out to. On the plus side, the photography while creatively uninspired, technically speaking, is a cut above most of what's out there.

Clymer's writing is largely unpalatable, so I'm not surprised you couldn't get through that announcement. With so much vomit-inducing drivel in one place, I had to fight the nausea while reading it - but I had to, I couldn't rant against a text I haven't read.

How could it be any worse? It's all about the audacity, you see... With just an occasional cooperation they could deny everything, conceal the scale of the partnership. Now they switched to overt, all-out whoring. Never before did they have the gall to pull off a lie as big as this announcement, less convincing than any of their earlier lies, never in such an audacious way, and on such a scale. Now they're truly spitting their public in the face, and trying to convince them that it's raining.

Re: The Donkey Droppings of Watch Journalism

PostPosted: November 13th 2017, 7:12pm
by TemerityB
There's only about 100 things I'd like to say on this topic, but I'll keep it succinct. We've had a handful of members here that have provided watch reviews without any sort of restraints, and they were great, easily as good as the stuff you'd read in watch magazines or on these self-styled, glorified blogs. mort, eddie, conj, foggy, and bedlam spring to mind as writers who have provided some quite memorable ones, and often.

And I'd like to see more, be they watches high-end all the way down to TV stuff. I won't write 'em anymore - once bitten, twice shy - but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy reading them. Beats rubbing the red out of my eyes after wasting a half-hour trying to slog through the self-important prattling and overly verbose mewling of these Mumford & Sons-bearded twits.

Re: The Donkey Droppings of Watch Journalism

PostPosted: November 13th 2017, 9:33pm
by artman
Ya gotta do what you gotta do to make payroll.

Re: The Donkey Droppings of Watch Journalism

PostPosted: November 13th 2017, 10:55pm
by bedlam
artman wrote:Ya gotta do what you gotta do to make payroll.

But this isn't 'what you gotta do'.

Hodinkee is also in a position to push it's quality up and make the reviewer stars harder to get. Treat 'em mean and keep 'em keen works too. If they create a clear impression of themselves untarnished by favour and demonstrate genuine expertise in their review, the consumer will go to them and industry will follow.

Instead we have (another) viral marketing site that has decided to go full retard. Lots of WIS will see that for what it is and go elsewhere. R.E.L., Clymer and their ilk sell their souls and eventually seal their own doom.

Re: The Donkey Droppings of Watch Journalism

PostPosted: November 13th 2017, 11:28pm
by conjurer
I like it when a Brit says "fuck" a lot. I like it even more when a Brit makes a Ron Jeremy reference. It's just icing on the fucking cake when a Brit breaks Hondickee's balls.

I raise a glass to you, Mr. Bloke.

Re: The Donkey Droppings of Watch Journalism

PostPosted: November 14th 2017, 5:25am
by bobbee
What a load of eyewash from the worst self-aggrandising bunch of felatists. Keep it up Mike, maybe it will get around via Facebook and other chat sites. :twisted:

Re: The Donkey Droppings of Watch Journalism

PostPosted: November 14th 2017, 5:29am
by codguy
A fix for everyones angst,..... don't read them.

You can thank me later.

Re: The Donkey Droppings of Watch Journalism

PostPosted: November 14th 2017, 5:38am
by bobbee
codguy wrote:A fix for everyones angst,..... don't read them.

You can thank me later.



That's a great tip...
...for your posts :lol:

Re: The Donkey Droppings of Watch Journalism

PostPosted: November 14th 2017, 5:56am
by Wasp
Loaf nailed it.

Re: The Donkey Droppings of Watch Journalism

PostPosted: November 14th 2017, 9:23am
by Pubbie
bobbee wrote:What a load of eyewash from the worst self-aggrandising bunch of felatists. Keep it up Mike, maybe it will get around via Facebook and other chat sites. :twisted:

Ooh, can I "like" it on "social media"? :lol:

It was an absolute fapfest of self-gratification. Who's got the time to read through all that shit? Trustafarians with daddy's money? Jesus.

Re: The Donkey Droppings of Watch Journalism

PostPosted: November 14th 2017, 3:24pm
by bobbee
"Trustafarians"', I like it!