What do Robert Morris, John Witherspoon, and Wolfgang Blum have in common? They belong to the fraternity of lesser-known founding fathers. WatchTime readers surely know the names Joe Thompson, Norma Buchanan and Mark Bernardo – our Washington, Jefferson and Franklin. A few trivia nuts may even know who Howard Fine is. But as your eyes move down the masthead, toward the bottom, you’ll find the name of the man who made it all possible – Wolfgang Blum. Blum is WatchTime‘s founding father, and this week, he formally steps down to return to his native Germany, his work complete.
As Joe Thompson writes in the tribute that appears in the December issue (on newsstands soon), Blum is the person WatchTime‘s parent company Ebner Verlag tapped to launch the magazine in 1999. Blum hired the team, set the tone, and oversaw the creation of the WatchTime you know today – the magazine, website, live events, iPad and iPhone apps, special issues, Buyer’s Guide and more, are all products of Blum’s vision and dedication. As reported by Barnes & Noble, WatchTime has grown to become the #1 selling US watch magazine by some distance, and it is the only watch magazine in the top 10% in sales among the more than 5,000 titles B&N offers. Joe Thompson witnessed (and contributed immensely to) this success, and his December piece tells the full story much better than I ever could.
Blum’s successor is already at the helm in New York. His name is Dominik Grau, and he is the ideal person to lead WatchTime in the digital age. Grau, who hails from Munich, is formerly a director at IDG (International Data Group), the world’s largest technology, media, events, and research company, and he will oversee several new initiatives as WatchTime continues to develop in this exciting new era.
So please join me in a heartfelt herzlichen Dank to Wolfgang Blum, and a hearty Willkommen to Dominik Grau. They make WatchTime possible.
Below, Wolfgang Blum (left) and Dominik Grau at the San Francisco Inside Basel/Geneva event earlier this month.