Textual Story, 10 years of fiction format in 2024

Temps de lecture : 2 minutes

Watchmaking, medias. The “textual story“, which casts a watchmaking object in didactic fiction, appeared on October 10, 2014 under the writing of specialist journalist Joël A. Grandjean. It is still going on today in the online magazine Swiss Watch Passport (by JSH).

Lee Warrien, JSH® Magazine & Swiss Watch Passport’s Columnist
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{Front picture’s caption}: “She falls head over heels for the AstroLuna”. Scenario: A woman’s wrist? He wanted to offer her the moon, because unlike so many others, she’d never asked for anything. He offers her an AstroLuna, and the whole story that goes with it. Article appeared on May 07, 2021 on Swiss-Watch-Passport

"I flew with my Bulgari Diagono Ultranero Chronograph!" Scenario: a short flight from Geneva to Nice. The watch he was wearing on his wrist allows him to get the female cabin attendant's phone number. Appeared on Watchonista.com in 2014, October 10th

Universes where the chiseling of words is in perfect harmony with the ultimate finishes of timepieces from Swiss watchmaking excellence

The textual story is to journalistic language what the video capsule is to social networks. This “watchmaking fiction” format celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2024. It was born on October 10, 2014, from the writings of journalist Joël A. Grandjean, then editor-in-chief of Watchonista magazine.

Bypass annoying copies and pastes

"Carf-F. Bucherer on the Caribbean". Scenario: A furious desire for a vacation, a spontaneous departure for a dream location. Phew, several time zones on the wrist: the office, the main customer and the place of escape... Article "In the sky with the Patravi TravelTec FourX Limited Edition" published on September 06, 2016 on Watchonista

The “Textual Story” format consists in using the “literary short story” and fiction mode to present a watch in a different way from conventional formulas such as “ I tested it for you…” or “Introducing The New….”. From then on, the timepiece becomes either a character, as in the case of this rare Vacheron Constantin timepiece, or a useful accessory in the story..

Faced with the unwillingness of some of his team’s “pure-play” journalists to engage in the mandatory exercise of “product reviews” in the watchmaking press, journalist Joël A. Grandjean came up with the idea of offering them an approach that adds creativity and excitement to the practice of journalism: wearing a watch, then inventing a fictional story in which the timepiece becomes a character in the narrative, sometimes even the main character. Then, with their agreement, introduce some useful technical data into the final story, such as the material used, the caliber it’s made in, its frequency and its power reserve, the water-resistance level and its origin..

This formula has been successfully tested, as demonstrated in 2016, again on the watch magazine Watchonista, by the “Asterix Village” story by journalist Marco Cattaneo (ex-Edipresse, former editor of the much-missed Swiss Seasons Magazine for CMC éditions).

"Safari time at Ralph Lauren." Scenario: the story of a safari in the middle of an urban jungle, far from clichés. Article published on February 15, 2018, on Watchonista

The advantage of this formula is to offer readers, including those who don’t follow watchmaking very closely, an alternative to the conventional copy-and-paste of press releases,” explains Joël A. Grandjean. “Furthermore, by offering this format to non-specialized journalists or journalism students, or even to established writers, there is an almost irremediable likelihood of introducing them to watchmaking, or even getting them to catch the watchmaking bug.

In any case, it’s the certainty of offering watch brands a variety of writing styles, atmospheres and talents, like the moods recreated by “instagrammers” or “tiktokeurs” in their “stories” or “reels“.

Since the 2020 relaunch of Swiss Watch Passport (by JSH), the bilingual online watch magazine that pursues the publishing venture of the renowned bloghorloger.ch first launched in 2003, “Textual Story” format has been on the menu of partnership packages offered to the watch brands.

It’s worth noting that this script format has been registered at the Swiss Society of Authors. A way of establishing precedence and legitimacy in a field where ideas are hard to protect.

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