Fairfax Media and The Australian Financial Review’s Watch Editor Bani McSpedden have joined forces to create Watch-Next.com, Australia’s first independent and authoritative website for watches.
The site launches in October.
Watch-Next.com will build on the AFR Magazine’s unparalleled reputation for covering the watch sector with integrity, style and substance.
Over the past nine years AFR Magazine’s watch coverage has expanded to include two watch issues a year and a monthly column written by McSpedden. The latest Watch issue, out in the August AFR Magazine this Friday, is the biggest yet at 52 pages.
McSpedden is the former creative director of award-winning ad agency McSpedden Carey, co-founded with the author Peter Carey, and is widely regarded as the pre-eminent watch commentator in the region.
“The AFR Magazine has led coverage of the watch sector in Australia,” McSpedden said. “Expanding our online presence is a natural extension of that.”
Watch-Next.com will feature a number of content firsts in Australia including watch video reviews, interviews with industry leaders and personalities, the latest news, events and commentary and dedicated brand sections. As he does for the AFR Magazine, McSpedden will take a global approach to the sector, covering the annual watch fairs in Basel and Geneva and events across the region as well as at home.
The impetus for the site has been strong growth in Australia’s luxury watch market, increasing at 13 per cent a year, and the fact that many people looking to purchase a watch research online before they buy. It is expected that $226 million worth of watches will be imported into Australia from Switzerland this year.
Fairfax Media Director of News and Business Sean Aylmer said: “For the past decade the AFR Magazine has defined mass coverage of the luxury watch market in Australia and the local luxury market is growing, with 85 per cent of our readers intending to buy a watch worth $4,000 or more. Watch-Next.com will also deliver to advertisers the opportunity to speak to a premium and informed audience via a unique and multi-layered platform.”
Advertisers will be able to be part of Watch-Next.com in a variety of ways, including sponsorship of premium branded sections in which they will enjoy a 100 per cent share of voice.
Watch-Next.com was announced on Wednesday night at an event held at Glass Brasserie in Sydney, hosted by Sean Aylmer, AFR Magazine Editor Katrina Strickland and AFR Watch Editor Bani McSpedden. Guests included Rolex Australia General Manager Patrick Boutellier, Vacheron Constantin Brand Manager Vincent Couche, Cartier Managing Director Isabelle About, Dior General Manager Mark Browne and Gucci Managing Director Helen Koo.