Popular watch site Hodinkee is merging with up-and-coming news app Watchville to form a new timepiece mega site that has already received $3.6 million in backing.
Kevin Rose, a respected Silicon Valley entrepreneur who founded Digg, will become CEO of the new entity, which will retain the name Hodinkee. He founded Watchville, a news-aggregation app, last year.
Hodinkee founder Benjamin Clymer—a former bank project manager who founded the site seven years ago “out of pure boredom”—will remain as executive chairman and editorial director. Longtime watch journalist Jack Forster recently joined the site as managing editor.
The combination has attracted $3.6 million in funding from a variety of sources, including Google Ventures and musician/watch collector John Mayer.
The new site will expand its editorial efforts, but also has commerce in mind. Rose told TechCrunch that “long-term, our play is certainly a lot deeper than content.” In a blog post, Rose said he will “build some exciting new products aimed at reimagining certain aspects of the luxury watch industry.”
“People do a lot of really shady things out there with used and vintage watch reselling,” Rose told The New York Times. “No one has really created transparency for the community.”
According to the Times, Rose developed a passion for watches after inheriting a luxury timepiece when his father died in 2011. From there, he became a devotee of watch message boards, eventually founding Watchville. The app just surpassed 1.3 million sessions, making it the largest watch news site on mobile, Watchville says.