Something that we often get asked about are our personal watch buying and wearing habits. We spend our days around incredible watches, both old and new, and most of us have dedicated not only our careers but also our lives to understanding and appreciating these timepieces. So, for the first time ever, we are going to give you a look into our own watch wearing habits.
What we did here was ask every single member of the HODINKEE team, from Stephen, to Blake, to Eric, to Will, to Felix and Jason, to Paul, to John Reardon, to Ben, to John Mayer, which watch, out of all the watches they’ve worn in 2013, they spent the most time with. This is a question that is pretty telling about who all of us are as watch lovers, and here are your answers:
Felix Scholz – 1982 Tudor Oyster Prince
When I bought this little Tudor I was initially worried that at 35mm it would be too small for my tastes. Thankfully I was wrong and this guy has become a firm favourite. Its clean and simple good looks make it suitable for any occasion.
Jason Heaton – Bremont Supermarine 2000
If there’s ever a watch that fits my lifestyle, or the lifestyle I aspire to, it’s this one. Utterly impervious and dashing, as the British do best. (Wristshot taken under a meter of ice last February.)
Eric Wind – 1961 Vulcain Cricket Nautical
The watch I have worn most frequently in 2013 has been my 1961 Vulcain Cricket Nautical. It just feels and looks right on my wrist. I especially love the dimensionality and depth of the dial, as the outer track is angled. Most importantly for me, I have found this Cricket Nautical to be an ideal travel and home companion: the alarm has never failed me to wake me and is so loud that it gets me going for the day. This Cricket Nautical definitely doesn’t need a snooze button. As an added plus, you just rarely see vintage Cricket Nautical watches, especially in all original unpolished condition (though the re-edition review by Blake here isn’t a bad substitute).
John Reardon – 1950s IWC Caliber 89
I found this 1950s IWC stainless steel watch with a caliber 89 in the NY diamond district earlier this year. Struck by the amazingly preserved condition of the case and simplicity of dial, I bought it immediately. This is the first non-Patek that I have regularly worn in over a decade and I admit that it is the now the one watch that I can’t take off my wrist.
Will Holloway – Omega Speedmaster Triple Calendar
Being relatively new to the watch world, I started wearing a watch full-time for the first time this year. It’s an Omega Speedmaster, which was a gift from an uncle. He thought it was somewhat absurd that I was traveling the globe – chronicling some of the finest timepieces in the world – with a bare wrist. It does come in handy – I often use the chronograph to keep track of recording time when running around during multi-camera shoots.
John Mayer – Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time 5164A
This year’s “most frequently worn” watch award goes to the Patek Philippe 5164a Travel Time Aquanaut. Being water (and sweat) proof made it perfect for stage, I used the dual time function to keep track of what time zone my girlfriend was in, and to my utter surprise, the watch looks perfectly paired with a suit. This is the most well-rounded watch I’ve ever owned.
Blake Buettner – Seiko 7002-700A Diver
My most frequently worn watch this year is a humble Seiko 7002-700A diver (worn on a HODINKEE leather strap). This beat up example of the SKX predecessor works in my day to day life thanks to ruggedness both in build and looks. With a 1 year old that is prone to grabbing anything on my wrist, it’s nice to have a worry free ticker that can stand up to a few dings and spills. Excellent legibility, a slim case and high sentimental value (my very first automatic watch) make this watch an easy go-to for daily duties.
Paul Boutros – 1977 Vacheron Constantin 222
This rarely seen Vacheron Constantin 222 in stainless steel from 1977 was the watch I wore most in 2013. Purchased as part of a package deal with a good friend early in the year, I was thrilled to find this gray-dialed version with its original paper work. Extremely thin and comfortable thanks to its supple Gay Frères bracelet, it’s been my “go to” watch for work and weekend wear.
Ben Clymer – 1963 Rolex Daytona Reference 6239
At first, you’d be forgiven if you mistook the S301 to your critically-acclaimed Tudor Black Bay (picture above). Together with its gilt and faux-patina squares, thick bezel, large crown, and dial configuration, the S301 draws on a lot of the same era and many similar watches as the Black Bay for its different impacts. Most prominently, you are going to see design influences from the late 1960s Rolex Submariner 1680, also referred to as the “Red Sub” (graphic below, through FratelloWatches) for its red “Submariner” script toward the base of the dial, along with different 1950s Tudor and Rolex “Big Crown” models with their notable unguarded crowns and gilt dials. Generally, ancient Submariners shared a great deal of traits — such as the identifying hour markers, matte black dials, thick bezels, and bigger instance diameter hovering around 40 mm–all of which are attributes seen in the S301.Yet, for all of the vintage-influenced elements, Bremont’s watch is modern and its particular. With its triple-layer case construction and use of DLC coating, along with the lifted and sculpted lugs as part of the initial coating, this watch’s case is not in the dense Oyster design. Its summit, while clearly recalling a “Big Crown” style, is still not quite as notable on the S301 as on the historical bits, and differentiates itself by simply applying a gold accent and printed logo on its periphery. Furthermore, on the dial, while the hour markers are extremely similar to those formerly referecned, the S301 has shrunk the overall proportion of those marks, and altered the 12 o’clock from a very simple triangle into a “arrowhead” shape. The hands are the aviation-inspired syringe design, when compared with the famous Mercedes and Snowflake designs seen on early Subs.
I bought this watch in January of 2013, and my 1963 Rolex Daytona Reference 6239 hasn’t been far from my wrist since. This is a watch that I had been looking to buy for years, literally. It was something of an enigma to both myself and the rest of the watch collecting world, and that is why I was so fascinated by it. The Double Swiss Underline was essentially an “A-Series” Daytona and so few people paid attention to it like they do with other first series watches, so it became my mission to understand it as well as I possibly could, and relate that story to you guys (which I did here). Along the way, I fell in love with its flawless dimensions, astounding number of just plain weird little traits, incredible versatility (I wear it on a shell cordovan strap and it’s remarkably dressy, but on an Oyster bracelet, it’s a true sports watch) and story behind the first generation Daytona. It took me so long to find a clean example with all its original parts, but I sure am glad I stuck with this, because my 1963 Daytona was my personal favorite watch of the year.
Stephen Pulvirent – IWC Mark XVII
This IWC Mark XVII Pilot’s watch was my daily go-to for most of 2013. Other watches received big wrist time in spurts, but this is one I keep coming back to. It’s simple, straightforward, can take a beating, and can be worn with everything from a t shirt to a suit. Whether hanging out around New York City or traveling, I can count on the Mark XVII in any circumstance, which is exactly what I need in a watch.