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.
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.
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).
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.