Cara Barret – More Cowbell!
Over the past year, I went head-down on several special projects and the launching of HODINKEE’s limited editions. So much so that I lost my voice on the site a bit more than I would have liked (what can I say, it was a busy year!). That said, I have missed writing more in-depth stories like the Paul Newman Daytona auction and the Senza Luna story. It would be my dream of dreams to find another vintage watch caper to dig into and to find other stories that I can get really psyched about (maybe an anthology of gem-set Daytonas?). So I am here to say that I will be back this year with some fun stuff. But in the meantime, let me know what you want to read about more in 2020! Happy new year, party people!
Jack Forster – Keep It Breezy (ish)
One of my most persistent traits over the years has been, if I happen to find something interesting, to do an extremely deep dive into the history of that subject, and especially the technical history. In watches, fortunately, there is an almost infinite range of things to dig into, including the evolution of watches and clocks as precision timekeepers, the craft aspects of watchmaking (in which I’d include the hand finishing of movements, as well as more traditional forms of component manufacturing) the decorative arts as they apply to watches, and on and on. However, I often wonder if in approaching watches and watchmaking on such a granular level, I’ve lost touch a bit with the part of watches and watchmaking that actually sustains the community of watch enthusiasts.
The subject for me has become perhaps a bit too serious an enterprise for my own good (to say nothing of the good of what I write) and I think for 2020, my resolution is going to be to try and have a bit more fun with the whole thing (albeit “trying” to have fun is not necessarily a recipe for success). It’s wonderful to have a passion become a profession but I’ve been doing this for 20-plus years, and it increasingly becomes clear to me that keeping the passion for the subject alive requires keeping the profession in perspective as well.
Jon Bues – Wear More Of My Watches
Late last year, the process of writing my contribution to our annual “Watch I Wore The Most” post caused me to reflect on the fact that just two of my watches, both fairly recently acquired GMTs, received the vast majority of my wrist time in 2019. While I think that my Grand Seiko SBGM221 and my Rolex GMT-Master II are both fantastic watches, there are others in my small collection that I would like to wear more often in 2020. These include an old IWC Caliber 89 that I absolutely love and that was with me for much of the early part of the last decade, as well as a handful of the first mechanical watches that I ever bought. While I’m at it, I’d also like to apply this outlook of enjoying what I already have more broadly in my life.
Cole Pennington – Do More With Less
In 2020, I’d like to thin the herd. Ideally, I’d like to have a two watch collection: A trusty tool watch and a snazzy watch to wear to dinners, special events, etc. The tool watch will see some diving, flying, fishing, cycling, driving, and the snazzy watch will be present for important engagements. The way I look at watches has changed since I started collecting. I’ve grown to avoid the neophyte approach of overanalyzing specs and features. These days I go strictly on gut feeling.
I think I’ve settled on the Tudor Black Bay 58 as the singular tool watch in my collection. It does everything I need it to do so well, and the particular example I own means something special to me. The dress watch? Well, a “grail watch” might be a better term for it. That will come from a small town in the Free State of Saxony if all goes well. This all fits into a larger life goal: Invest more time and resources in active passions that I’ve drifted away from as I’ve grown older. It’s the classic time vs. money conundrum in which we all find ourselves. A more focused collection might free up resources to get back to that way of life. My resolution is to imbue a small cadre of watches with a larger amount of memories.
Stephen Pulvirent – Focus On Why, Not What
When you’re around incredible things all day, every day, it’s really easy to get caught up in the “I need that” and “I also need that” mode of thinking. One of my goals for 2020 is to focus more on thinking about why I might want something and what it’s going to bring to my life instead of just chasing the next “what.” The watches that I enjoy the most – that I wear the most and that put the most consistent smile on my face when I’m wearing them – are those that tell a story, not necessarily those that are the rarest or most expensive. My vintage Grand Seiko makes me think of my very first trip to Japan; my IWC Mark XVIII Limited Edition for HODINKEE brings to mind all the work I’m proud of doing here at the ‘dink; my Universal Genève Polerouter was on my wrist at my wedding. So for any new additions to my watch collection (or any of my other hoards of stuff), the main question in 2020 is going to be “Why?”
James Stacey – All That Glitters
Over the past year, I’ve been slowly dipping my toe into precious metal watches and I’ve developed a problematic need for a solid gold watch (for which I wholeheartedly blame Ben). While I have yet to land on a budget, or indeed even a format, there is some yellow gold somewhere in my future and I plan to use 2020 to help shape my taste and test out some options. While I have my doubt it’s will be something quite a nice as the image I have selected for this piece, after more than a decade of chasing and covering largely similar steel sport watches, it’s exciting to have something that feels new. Though I remain entirely bullish on steel sports watches, I have managed to squirrel away a cadre of fine options and it never hurts to expand one’s horizons. Especially when there is gold somewhere in those there hills.