Time to Celebrate! On August 31st 2021 we launched our first blog on the website. Time to look back and see what topics got you guys going. What you've been reading, what you've been clicking, and what you've been avoiding. And as you already know, I get a thrill out of every bit of data I get my hands on... So here's our brutally honest flashback through the last year based on the Google Analytics from our main website. So take a trip down memory lane with me and see what we learned so far.
September 13, 2022
First Anniversary - One Year of Historical Watch Stats
Marcus Siems @siemswatches
Collector, Author, Data Analyst
Time to Celebrate On August 31st 2021 we launched our first blog on the website. Time to look back and see what topics got you guys going. What you've been reading, what you've been clicking, and what you've been avoiding. And as you already know, I get a thrill out of every bit of data I get my hands on... So here's our brutally honest flashback through the last year based on the Google Analytics from our main website. So take a trip down memory lane with me and see what we learned so far.
One year of the Goldammer-SiemsWatches blog... that's been quite a few numbers crunched and opinions shared. It's always been an endeavor to share insights into the world of vintage watches. And my goal was always to hand over information that both can get a newbie started in the topic - each topic I've been working on - and share some exciting and potentially new stories with the experts in the field. This blog has always been supposed to be a little highlight to everyone who loves and cherishes (vintage) watches as much as we do.
So it's about time to take a look back at our highlights of the 44 articles that came out so far. And as you may also have gotten to know me a bit this will not only be based on opinions but hard numbers too.
Time to get emotional... the first hero image from my first published article *sniff... Photo @goldammer.me
I'll be looking through the Google Analytics stats we gathered throughout the year to better understand what you guys liked and what you didn't. Where did you spent quite some time reading and digesting? What do people like that come from outside our Instagram-bubble? So let's be brutally honest here and find out our Top5 of the last year.
1) The Basics
One year - and as I already mentioned 44 articles. In total 23,953 views, that makes on average 544 views per article (with a median of 316.5). Per view you guys spend about 99.5 seconds on an article. That makes a grand total of 647 hours of viewing time, or in other words almost 27 days.
A very interesting insight is where this traffic is actually coming from. As you know we highlight the articles on Instagram whenever something new is released and through our combined reach a lot of people actually visit the page and read our thoughts. But we want to get as many people excited about what we love as we can and go beyond the die-hard vintage geeks. At that point search engines come into play.
Many watches, several stories, but so much more to come. Photos @goldammer.me
Over the last year 4886 views were generated via google search, so about 20.4%. Additionally, we generated about 35.6% of our views (8527) after the first week of the respective release, so after we actively promoted it. We are not optimizing this aspect at all but I'm actually quite happy about this and here's why. Via search engines people find our site and the articles because that's exactly what they're looking for. This type of traffic is the origin of most of our in-depth readership; these readers read and digest our work about 40% longer than our Instagram crowd (tztztz).
2) Total views per article
23953 total views is a nice number, but the grand total doesn't really tell us much. It's not evenly distributed at all, which you already see by the divergence from mean total (544 views) and median total (316.5 views) which speaks for a heavily skewed distribution. So which articles did actually resonate the most with you guys?
Figure 1. Total Views per article (ordered by publication date) over the last year. Most views received articles about the 1950s, Hand Guide Part I, Case Guide, Breitling Navitimer, IWC Caliber 89, Jaeger-LeCoultre US-Market, Rolex Prices & Historic Watch Sizes.
One of our articles cracked the 1,000 view mark ... by a lot actually, it's 3452 views. The second best is just so close to get there to this milestone as well (993 views). we got a total of 10 articles with more than 500 views. If we zoom in at which topics these articles circle around we see that first, the guides didn't fare too bad. Second, the series about 1950s watches seems to have struck a chord as well.
3) Reading time
But these numbers are only half of what we want to know as reach only for reach's purpose isn't really doing any good. I'm more interested in the articles you guys engaged with and spent time reading in depth... rather than just glancing over the nice images...
Definitely an article you guys spent quite some time reading. The reference guide for the Omega Constellation Pie-Pan Era. Photos @goldammer.me
But we need and want the eye-candy to stay awake throughout lengthy discussions, I absolutely get that. But back to the point, here's the data.
Figure 2. Distribution of average Reading Time per article (ordered by publication date) over the last year. Most time reading was spent on the first 1950s piece, Hand Guide I & II, Case Guide, AP Royal Oak, IWC Caliber 89, Watches & Wonders 2022, Bezel Guide, Historic Watch Sizes & the Omega Constellation Pie-Pan Guide.
We got 7 articles with over 2 minutes average reading time, 12 including pieces just shy of 2 minutes (1:50+). When we factor in that the average article is over 1000 words that's still not really enough time to read in-depth ... we'll work on this together in the future.
But the most capturing articles were definitely guides again - hands, cases, bezel, size and reference guides really makes the audience wanna stay and absorb all the information given to them.
4) Late views
We want our readers to enjoy what we do for a long time and present stories that are relevant always and at any time. That's one point that dissociates us from classic "watch news". Our goal is to create something timeless. Thus, we are explicitly interested in making it still rewarding for people to find our work 1 week, 1 month, one year or even 10 years after we published a piece. Relevance is another key goal.
Figure 3. Distribution of Late Views -article views after the first respective week of publication - over the last year (ordered by publication date).
Quite a few article do actually catch late readers and have proven their relevance to us. Particularly the "LeCoultre - US market" and the "IWC Cal.89" articles have gathered a late crowd with over 70% of their respective readers. Also the Guides see to be of timeless relevance.
5) The Top5
As I've pointed out in the beginning our two main goals are the timeless relevance of our content and the instructive nature of our pieces to a broad audience - from beginner to watch expert. I guess by definition historic guides on watch design best embody these goals. And that is probably why these also resonated so well with You, the audience.
If you're looking for your entry into the fantastic world of vintage watches - go to our Guides... at least that's what I would recommend. Photos @goldammer.me
These topics drive our interest, our passion, and so this spark ignites the reader too. Of course we will not change everything completely and topple over how we fared so far. But it's good to realize that focusing on our core principles really is enough!
But let's loose the sentimentality ... here are your Top5 of last year's articles:
#5 -- Watches of the 1950s - Hour Marker
As this was the first series ever brought up at the website this of course has a dear place in my heart. We discussed that quantitative design aspects of the 1950s and put it into a historical perspective. But the final conclusion of the series called "Hour Marker" especially has been resonating with you. It's something that still engages many readers and is a great read into a cool time in watchmaking history.
Fun Fact: the header of that piece has also been my most popular upload on Instagram so far. Photo @goldammer.me
#4 -- When Did Watches Start to Get So Big?
...is the question I just asked recently. Looking into the evolution of watch sizes over the last 80 years to learn something about modern trends is definitely a topic of major relevance to many watch enthusiasts. A bit of interesting back-story to this article is that just when I started preparing the first articles for the website in early 2021 a similar discussion with a quantitative approach was started over @TheRake. It's inspiring to see the general importance of #watchanalytics as a more and more accepted approach of reporting.
Watches tended to be quite small in the early 20th Century... when, how and why did that change? Photo @goldammer.me
#3 -- The Ultimate Watch Hand Guide - Part I (and Part II)
The first guide in that sense that we published and imo on the coolest asset of any watch dial; The hand-set. Here, the interesting result really has been that throughout the 20th Century every epoch had its preferred set of hands. It's been such a distinctive feature that it blew my mind that trends and design really work that way!
Can you guess the age of this watch solely based on the hand-set? Photo @goldammer.me
#2 -- The Modern History of Watch Case Making
It's a great article that in a concise way conveys quite a lot of information, which appears to be still appreciated by many of you. Really had a lot of fun doing this one as it also is a feature that is rarely discussed in such a historic context. And the cherry on top? Thanks to Cole Pennington, who early saw potential in us and our projects, we got featured in Hodinkee a mere 3 months after the first article published. It's as great an article as it is a milestone.
Quite the collaborative effort you see here: Felix's hands and Marc's photo, my writing... all combined in one piece of work. Photo @goldammer.me
#1 -- Pivotal Dress Watches - IWC Cal. 89
It's my favorite article on so many levels. This analysis condenses everything I want to achieve with this ongoing project. It's a text about a watch that is kinda niche, but special in its own right. It's about specifications and history but further about all the different variations the design can take. As such it has been a rather complex statistical analysis yet it appears to have been resonating with many of you - you engaged with the text and shared it - indicating that complex statistics and a fascinating reading experience are not mutually exclusive. That's all we want and can hope for. And moreover it's about a watch that simply gets me. IWC's approach to watches (in the last Century) has simply been outstanding, a strong pursue for endurance and longevity paired with ultimate class.
Not rare but special nonetheless. These Caliber 89 are truly representing what this vintage watch journey is all about for me. Photo @goldammer.me
6) Honorable Mentions
I'm really not good in making it short... so only naming 5 articles is simply not enough :D For me personally there are many cool results that I simply name a few more and you can decide for yourself:
- The story about the historic Rolex retail prices and what it tells us about society - here
- An in-depth reference guide about one of the most changeable watch lineups out there, the Omega Constellation - Pie-Pan here
- That one time I quantified the complete 20th Century heritage of an entire brand, namely Breitling - here
- Deducing the differences between the European and US American watch market of the mid 20th Century based on just dial variations from Jaeger-LeCoultre
- Going all-out into an entire auction cycle spending numerous hours getting the data together for a few articles. By the numbers, the work on watch auctions hasn't been a full success but it's a necessary project to relate vintage trends to modern tastes - for example here or here
 ~6,000 Watches from Chrono24, extracted 2020 Nov. 29th and Jan. 6th 2022; Karlsruhe, Germany;
 Rolex Price Evolution; Minu4Plus6;
 The Cartier Codex; Franco Cologni & Cemre Paris;
All rights on text and graphics reserved to the Author.