Ernie Romers, the founder and owner of arguably the most influential and popular watch enthusiast site on the Internet, has announced that he has sold the company to VerticalScope. Romers cited health reasons as the main driver behind his decision to step down after 16 years at the helm. For its part, VerticalScope says they have no plans to change the site's direction and their primary role will be technical in nature and aimed at "continuity".
Romer's full statement is below:
Dear watch friends, dear members, dear visitors,
Time has come for me to hand over my baby, Watchuseek, to a third party I believe and have trust in.
After 16 years of hard work (seemed like 24/7 all this time) building the largest watch forum in the world, it is time for me to step down, and focus on other projects. They will not necessarily be business projects, although I am planning to stay in the watch world (what else?), perhaps as a distributor for a few brands in the Benelux, I don’t know.
What I do know is that I’m definitely planning to share more time with my wife and family. They have been coping with me for all these years. Never a real holiday (I always had to have internet access to work…). But they gave me the space to work and share my hobby with so many watch friends all over the world.
Time for a bit more relaxation, less work hours and less stress. The heart rhythm problems that occurred while I was at Baselworld last March certainly was a sign for me. A big one! It made me realize that working this hard (I also have a full time job as a team leader on a school for children with special needs) was not good for my health, and I was the only one that could do something about it.
During the many years I was approached by a couple of interested parties, but VerticalScope seemed to be the right choice at the right time.
Don’t get me wrong, the decision was a very tough one, and it took me lots of time and headaches to finally make one. You don’t give up on your baby that easy, I can promise you that. And there is of course my team, the wonderful people behind those usernames, the voluntary moderators, and the team of MaL’s. It’s hard to leave the team, almost just like that. It’s tough, really tough, believe me. They have been doing an absolutely great job in the best possible harmony. Any company would wish to have such a dedicated and warm team. Thank you guys!
I would also like to thank all the sponsors and advertisers. Thank you for your business and your friendship. You made sure I could pay all the bills to keep the site up and running, and more.
Last but NOT least, I want to thank YOU, our members, every single one of you. You are an important if not THE most important part of the success of Watchuseek. Thank you SO much.
Dear friends, I hope you will understand my decision, the reasons why I wanted to step down, why this step is so important for me at this stage in my life.
The team from VerticalScope will not be doing any major changes to the site and your membership will continue like it has done all this time. I wish you and yours the VERY best, and hope this hobby and the ongoing discussions will last forever.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
Founder and former owner of world’s largest, most visited, and BEST watch forum site … WATCHUSEEK !