We get a lot of really excellent watch companies who want to share with us their newest wonder. We like this. From time to time, we get some companies who feel that they should have editorial control over what we publish. To them, I say, “Let me tell you about an exciting timeshare opportunity” “Kindly go to hell.”
We keep this site alive because it’s our mission to help people become interested in beautiful things, including the wonder of mechanical wristwatches. Our review policy is very simple. You: a watch brand seeking coverage. Us: nerds who like writing about wristwatches. It should be a perfect match, right? Next, you make a watch available to me. I publish my honest opinion. I do not ask for payment from you. And this would be fine if that’s how the reviewing ritual went.
Sometimes, we aren’t a good match. Sometimes, you ask me to publish something you’ve already written. This is an easy “no.” Sometimes, you ask to review what I’ve written before I publish. “No,” I’ll whisper, “Hell no.” The world will have to burn before I’ll consider it. And if you ask, as the world burns, I will look across the seething, flaming crust of the Earth, and slowly mouth the words, “No.”
Here’s the problem with prior review. Prior review leads to censorship. It undermines critical thinking, and creates a conflict of interest, compromising our neutrality. It creates an environment of us asking for approval of our opinions, and sets us up to takes requests to modify them to appease a manufacturer or brand. If you have confidence in your product, then you don’t insult us and embarrass yourself by asking for this. If you claim you have a license agreement with the owner of intellectual property that you’re using for your brand, and this agreement requires you to seek approval of any press coverage, congratulations, you played yourself. No one should give you any coverage if you require all coverage to be reviewed.
If your licensor requires you to get their approval of any review, you’ve signed a bad agreement. Don’t do that. If the reviewer hates the watch… tough. If you’re submitting to us, it’s because you know that we review watches we might not personally buy. We’re clear on whether something is well-made independent of whether or not we like it. If I publish something, the only edits I will make to it are to correct factual errors. If you want to use prior review to prevent publication of bad reviews, no. Suck it up.
What I require from you is simply this:
- a watch
- who you think is your customer, and why they should want it
When you send me PR, announcing your brilliant thing, I need to know from you:
- what is this thing
- why is it important / how is it better than what was before
- who is it for
- pictures of it
- don’t make it longer than 400 words.
- proofread it.
Seriously, people send us email asking if we’d like to review their watch with no links, no images, and no information beyond that single sentence. Likewise, people send 1000 word releases with no images at all. If you can’t make it easy to care about your announcement, why do you expect I can help my readers care? If you can loan me a sample, and help me understand who it is for, you might be able to get a watch review. If you have a fundamental misunderstanding of how press relations works, and how to work with journalists in order to get coverage, you’re going to have a rough time. In short: give me the information I need. Don’t ask me to create a conflict of interest. Read my sweet lips: