Monochrome’s Year in Watches – a Letter from the Editor

calendar | ic_dehaze_black_24px By Frank Geelen | ic_query_builder_black_24px 5 minute read |

It’s been a quite a year: hectic, extremely busy, never enough time to do everything that I planned. That’s one side the feeling of the year, but it was also an extremely good year and Monochrome has grown (again) with more than 50% for the 7th consecutive year. We’ve joined the Watchville app, and left it again, we’ve started the Collector’s Series and we did fifty-eight of our extensive, in-depth, reviews. And next year is our tenth anniversary! 

More than 50% growth

When thinking about our year in watches it’s overwhelming to see what our team did and I’m very proud of all our accomplishments. More importantly, I’m even more proud that you, our reader, have come back for more of our writings. I honestly hope that we’ve been able to inspire you with our unstoppable passion for fine watchmaking. According to Trafficestimate.com¹ Monochrome has grown to be the third biggest blog dedicated to fine watches, and today we see well over 200,000 visitors each month. Maybe we’re not the biggest, however with our ‘hard-core’ in-depth – technically and historically – and lengthy articles that are borderline-educational, I’m very surprised and honoured that we’ve come out so strong. Thanks to you, dear reader, we’ve been able to do so, and we’ll continue with this in 2016.

New website design

I already mentioned that we’ve joined the Watchville app in the very beginning, and also that we’ve left that same app this year. It ate away a part of our traffic (something we’ve worked very hard for) and that also meant part of our income. Since Monochrome has a responsive design, you don’t need an app to read our articles on your smart phone or tablet; just use your browser.

Touching upon that topic, designing and building our new platform has been quite a work. Initially launched right before Baselworld, it was not the most stable and fast solution, so we started again, with a new web designer, and he did a great job. Now Monochrome meets the targets that I planned, meaning it’s a very fast website for you to browse, it has convenient menus serving you all the information you’re looking for, and it can be read from any device. I hope you enjoy having fast acces to our articles about watches with constant force mechanisms, watches with a tourbillon, or my personal favourite, watches with a different display of time.

Reviews and the Collector’s Series

In 2015 we did 58 reviews. Fifty-eight of our long, in-depth, extensive and sometimes borderline-educational reviews. That’s more than one each week. Such a review takes approx. 3-4 days of writing, photographing and getting all details right. At the same time we keep on publishing an average almost 10 articles every week, close to five hundred long articles (we hardly do short ones) this year.

monochrome-2015-reviews

Of course we have our favourites when it comes to watches that we reviewed, however I’m also very curious to find out what your favourites are! Of course the stats will help in that perspective, however please do send us an email to let us know what watches you would like to see reviewed next year!

Over the years we’ve met with so many collectors, and heard their stories. Of course being collectors ourselves, we know how passionate people can get when talking about their most beloved timepieces, enjoying the splendour of hand-finished movements. So we choose to share these stories in our new Collector’s Series, where collectors tell us why they choose a specific watch. Was it the brand, the heritage, the complication, the design, or just love at first sight? I loved reading the interviews that our man in London, Justin Hast, penned down. And by all means, if you like to share you story (anonymous or with your name), do send us an email.

Best of 2015 Monochrome-Watches 2

Upcoming… our 10th anniversary

The first post on Monochrome was in January 2006, meaning that next year is our tenth anniversary. Although, let’s be real, the first 2 years it was very much a hobby-blog and the posts lacked any level of journalistic writing. Now Brice Goulard and I are running the show on a daily basis, although I realize that most of my time was spend on website development, traveling to far and near places to meet with people from the watch industry, and to do all kind of invisible organizational stuff that is necessary to keep things going. I have to thank Brice for doing a magnificent job! Still, I hope to be able to write more myself (simply because that’s what’s I like doing).

Ophion OPH-960

Now the part that should interest you more than me rambling on about us, is what we’re going to do for you. Since we will be celebrating our tenth anniversary, we will be giving away some gifts. Not “just” some gifts, but quite interesting gifts! Let’s suffice by saying that we’ll start with a sweepstake of ten Meistersinger desk clocks (yes 10!!) in January, and a beautiful Ophion timepiece (one that we reviewed here) in February.

Thanks to everyone who supported Monochrome. Thanks to you, our readers, and thanks to our advertisers. Without all of you, there would be no Monochrome. And special thanks to Brice and the entire team: Ilias, Justin, Koen, Max, Mario, Peter and Robin!

Let me wish you and your beloved ones a splendid, healthy and prosperous 2016!


¹ the numbers mentioned by Trafficestimate.com are reasonably accurate for Monochrome and for other watch blogs, when we discussed this together with some of them. When saying the third biggest, we’ve included blogs like aBlogtowatch, Hodinkee, Fratellowatches, Quillandpad and Escapementmagazine. We didn’t include forums or print magazines with a website.

12 responses

  1. I recently came across monochrome and it has become my favourite site for all things watches … You’re doing a wonderful job and I hope 2016 is your biggest year yet.

  2. Read you every day as you ping into my inbox. I’m interested in what Habring will do with their Felix and own movement; independent watchmakers with their own designs and movements; and collecting vintage watches. All the best for the New Year,

  3. Hello Frank (en Brice),

    Happy New Year for all of you of the Monochrome team and your families. Let’s hope 2016 will be even bigger and better than 2015.

    Yesterday, we also published the ‘year in review’ and it was fun to go through the last 12 months again to think of all that has happened in the world of watches.

    So I was also happy to read that Monochrome is doing so well and I agree with you on things like WatchVille, we also pulled out for the same reasons as you did.

    However, I would like to touch on the number of visitors and your referral to this free tool called Trafficestimate. This website gets its ‘estimates’ from tools like the Alexa ranking (based on people who have this Alexa toolbar installed, which you shouldn’t do). That website shows quite low rankings for us (and perhaps for other colleagues as well), I guess many of our readers do no have the Alexa toolbar installed. We prefer to be transparent on this topic and use Google Analytics. This data is verified as we authorized Google Analytics to monitor the traffic on our website, I assume you do the same.

    According to Google Analytics, we had 231K visitors over the last month and 346K page views. A gap of 50K visitors with the Trafficestimate tool that you are referring to.

    Having that said, another tool that does guesstimates is similarweb.com, which shows a more precise and detailed information, but it is only 100% accurate when connected to your Google Analytics or when you have a paid-for account, of course.

    I hope this explains the inaccuracy of tools like Trafficestimate and motivates you and others to be more transparent as well and start using Google Analytics that really shows verified data.

    All the best,

    Robert-Jan

  4. Dear people of Monochrome watches,

    Keep up the good work!!

    All the best in 2016

  5. I find your reviews to be very thorough and the photography top notch. Keep up the good work. My favorite reviews of the year were the AL&S Zeitwerk Striking Time and the Laurent Ferrier Galet Classic Tourbillon. The Zeitwerk is a sublime watch and the photos were outstanding! Look forward to more first rate content.

  6. I go to three watch sites on the web. I know that currently yours is the most visited by me. A Healthy and Happy New Year to you all – and please keep publishing.

  7. My compliments on the wonderful site: As a former journalist myself, the writing, perspective, and production on Monochrome is excellent. As for feedback, I must confess I am more interested in the under $5000 range of watches and even more so the under $2500 arena.
    Keep up the fine work.

  8. Thanks DanW94, Jeroen and Mark. Much appreciated!
    Happy new year, Martin.
    Thanks so much Curtis, and please know that from time to time we’ll focus on watches in the 1-5k range. And soon we’ll be giving away a beautiful Ophion watch 🙂

  9. Your site for me is a must read & frequently visited. Your reviews about JLC’s Geophysic Series (’58, Universal Time & TS) were sppecifically helpful to me. Also appreciate, that the articles also include Retail List prizes and contain really good images.
    Keep up the good work & looking forward to read more from you !
    😀

Leave a Reply