With Watches and Wonders come and gone, and with most of us still watching for and wondering about something actually coming out of what in hindsight seems to be the watch show equivalent of the trophy every millennial kid in America got just for showing up to soccer practice, I thought it might be a moment to, in the words of the Poet Laureate of Dallas/Miami -
"Stop, collaborate and listen!".
Well, we all stopped, those of us in the Fourth and Fifth Estate were ready to listen. But in the end? There was precious little collaboration between the brands, their communications teams, the fair and the press corp as a whole. Or as they have been known to say in Watch Town -
"If it wasn't reported on in Hodinkee, it didn't really happen".
I kid, sort of...
So while I am not really convinced that Watch Town on the whole has learned a damn thing coming out of COVID19 and Watches and Wonder 2021, I came away with some new nuggets of personal awareness, and reaffirmation of some previously held views:
1. Magic Beans - Unless you're planning on growing a mutant plant, committing daylight robbery, and then "giantacide" during your getaway, magic beans are best left in children's stories. Or put another way, apart from Rolex, Patek, Tudor and maybe a teensie bit from the Richemont pack, for everyone else who participated in Watches and Wonders, the payoff was Jack-Shit, and Jack left town. Watches and Wonders promised a lot, delivered on not too much at all - but just as someone is always willing to sell you a nickel for a dime, there will be someone to buy your "magic beans".
2. Press releases work better when they are actually, I don't know, released. Curious to relate, registration as a member of the press for Watches and Wonders triggered almost ZERO communication from the brands themselves, and only a daily email from the Watches and Wonders "communications team" informing me about what an amazing job they were doing, and how totally awesome Watches and Wonders was. In the end I simply camped out at brands various social media outlets and got the news there.
3. Certain media outlets, not unlike prostitutes tend not to provide "service" without "payment". Unfortunately several brand pr and communication managers spent all of their allowance last year, and with the cost of Watches and Wonders didn't have sufficient monies to grease the wheels that connect "honest, unbiased reporting" with business.
4. Friendship in Watch Town, as in pretty much every other business (if we are being honest with ourselves) is about as certain as the next paycheck.
5. "My friend" still means "you f'ng asshole."