No Free Watch

On July 2017, a visitor to the Museum of Capitalism contributed a watch to the museum’s artifact drive. In his form, he noted that Folsom & Co., a supposedly San Francisco-based company, used Instagram to offer the watch “free,” but with $7 shipping. post

What time is it? Time for capitali$m.

The geographical anonymity afforded by the internet has been a boon to such sites, as has Photoshop. On the website of Alexandria NYC, a supposedly NYC-based watch store, the photo of their shop is a free stock photo offered on a design website, with the Alexandria logo photoshopped on. Meanwhile, all of the websites have paid for WHOIS protection, disallowing someone from finding out where the website is physically based.

Brands function to soften and mask the raw deal at the heart of every capitalist exchange, helping justify the otherwise-insane markup. As it turns out, whoever is running Soficoastal has a surprisingly frank and cynical view of this phenomenon, according to a conversation that Instagram user @effingasian had with them on Facebook:

_Have you ever bought a cup of coffee for 2-4 dollars? You can make a cup of coffee at home for 10 cents. Its called capitalism._


The other side of this story is that container shipping and packet switching has made the manufacture and sale of not-quite-functional watches insanely cheap.