Today, we thought it was time to give you all a peek behind the curtain, so to speak. We’ve all heard – and read – about how the watch media is filled with some not-so-desirable practices. We’ve written about it in the past, but it’s time to revisit things again. Think of this as our guiding principles, both to inform you (our readers) and give a fair shake to the brands and products we cover.
No “Pay for Play” – EVER
First and foremost, we will never take payment for an article. Yes, we’re happy to have folks advertise here, but we have a sales team that is totally separate from editorial. While I see the same ads on the the site that you do, I have no stake in what we’re advertising, nor are we beholden to giving any sort of favorable press just because a brand put some money down on the barrel. For the brands reading this article, if you want to advertise with us, you can reach out to our sales team but that is as much guidance as I can give on that process. I don’t know our rates, I don’t know who’s scheduled, or anything of that nature. The advertising keeps our site up and running, but other than that, it doesn’t impact myself, or any of our editorial team.
No Sponsored Posts – EVER
Speaking of our editorial team – we’re the ones who write the articles you read here. Following on to the point above, that means we’re not going to be accepting any sponsored articles. We’re the writers here – not some random folks out there on the web – and we’ll create our own content. This content will be unique to our site, and will carry our own thoughts and opinions, and draw on our experiences in categories we’re covering. That means that someone thinking they can buy their way into publishing something on our site is a slap in the face, and discounts the sweat equity that John has put into building this site since 2004, and what the rest of us have helped to build on top of. Sidebar – if you feel you have a viewpoint you want to contribute, we DO accept reader reviews; just reach out to us
New Product Release Articles
So, what do we of the editorial staff actually do, then, you ask? Well, first and foremost, we’re covering the things that we find interesting, and that are (hopefully) interesting to you. That generally takes one of two forms. The first is just a general article about a new release (be it a watch, menswear, or something else). You can picture these as the coverage that comes off of press releases and new announcements (which we’ll see a flood of with BaselWorld around the corner). These are not true reviews, as we’re basing them off of the photos and tech specs, but given our experience, we can form an educated guess around what we’re seeing. If you’re a brand that wants us to cover something in this form, we’ll need a few things from you:
- Photos – these should be at least 1200 px wide, as many as you’ve got; we’ll figure out what makes sense for our writeup
- Pricing and release date – with out these two pieces of info, it’s hard to know if what we’re talking about is vapor or reality.
- Tech specs and background – these should be part of any well-crafted press release, and form the foundation of our article
- Availability to answer questions – we don’t always have questions, but if there’s a point we need clarity on, we’ll want someone we can talk to about it.
Once you’ve got that together, just reach out to our editorial team and get the ball rolling.
The other main type of article that we create here are the hands-on reviews. As mentioned in the section above, this is not /always/ required for us to form an opinion, but it is the best way for us to get an accurate impression of the watch (or whatever it may be). We’ve all run into issues where we’re seen some really impressive photos online or in a magazine, and then when we see it in person, we’re underwhelmed. Or, conversely, we’ve had scenarios where we are turned off by the press photos, and when the watch comes in, we’re actually pleasantly surprised. Sometimes, you really need to see a product in-person to catch the details (or the shortcomings) of a thing. So, that’s why we like to do hands-on reviews.
If you’re a brand looking to have a hands-on review done, it’s a simple process:
- First off, reach out the editorial team and we’ll talk with you about whether or not your product is a fit for our site and coverage
- If it looks like a good fit, we’ll request that a loaner (see the next point) is sent to us.
- Once we’ve spent time with the product and done our photography, we’ll write things up
- NOTE: As a brand, you will never have the ability to see our copy before it’s published. If there are errors, we will correct them, but we will not present copy in order for it to be “Approved” or otherwise censored.
- At that point, we’ll send the product back to you – either via a return label you included in the original shipment, or via one you email to us
That last bullet is key, as it’s another differentiator for our site – we NEVER expect to keep anything we’re reviewing. Any writer that goes into an review with the expectation of keeping a watch is basically being paid, albeit in trade, for their opinion. That, of course, can influence the review. Sure, there are plenty of watches that we’d all have loved to keep, but that’s not how we work. If we like the watch, that’ll come out in our review. And then the loaner we had in will go back to the brand, and head on to it’s next stop in the review circuit. If, at the end of the review, you (the brand) decide it does not need to be returned, we’ll more often than not simply add it in to our pool of reader giveaway prizes.
Wrapping it all up
So that is – in a nutshell – how we handle articles and reviews here at WWR. For the brands out there looking for coverage or reviews, please read the above. For our readers, you can take this as our commitment to you that our articles will keep their independence from whatever our sales team may be doing. We want to keep bringing you our own unique take on the watch world, and this is the code we’ll do it by. From all of us here, thank you for supporting us and our mission of unbiased reviews.