In-Depth: Three Post-Quartz Crisis Mechanical Masterpieces You Probably Forgot About

The 5100, which was also released in 2000, is for me one of the most beautiful and interesting simple watches that Patek has produced since the Mechanical Renaissance began in earnest. It is, in certain respects, diametrically opposed in complexity and intention to the Jules Audemars Equation Of Time, but it is its equal in terms of masterful presentation of horology as art and of watchmaking at the high end as the capacity to take infinite pains. It’s a watch that was written about the year it debuted, most entertainingly (in parts one and two of a two-part article), by Alan Downing, who wrote under the pseudonym Watchbore on Timezone.com. The watch was a technical tour-de-force – it was the first wristwatch ever to be made with a 10-day power reserve, a world record at the time – and was the brainchild of Patek’s long-time technical director, Jean-Pierre Musy, of whom Downing waggishly wrote, “Mr. Musy, who, as one of Switzerland’s most talented horological engineers, is unknown to the watch-buying public, is a stickler for what he calls le confort — the provision of every convenience the most exacting owner will ever think of requiring.”

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Hands-On: The Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu II

The Hublot Sang Bleu II limited edition chronograph brings together the world of haute horology and abstract art. It is the result of a relationship between Hublot and Maxime Plescia-Büchi, a self-described “tattooist” from Switzerland. His studio and creative agency, Sang Bleu, includes a magazine that explores fine art, fashion, sociology, kink culture, and tattoo culture. On top of that, the studio even dabbles in typeface. They’ve also worked on logos for fashion house Balenciaga and even the City of Stockholm, but perhaps a touchpoint familiar to American audiences is that Maxime Plescia-Büchi has tattooed Kanye West with the birthdays of his daughter and mother. 

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Hands-On: The Seiko Prospex SNJ029 Solar Diver

I have a confession to make: I’ve never seen Predator. Or Commando, for that matter. Take away my man card and call me a Communist, I just didn’t watch a lot of action films in the 1980s, even though I was a red-blooded American teenager when those movies came out, nor have I had a desire since. Back then, I was either reading about adventures in the jungle, the desert, at the Poles, or under the sea, or I was out in the woods with my friends having adventures of my own. And I always wanted a big watch. All the cool explorers in the magazines and on TV wore big watches. It was a symbol of high adventure, derring-do, and raw capability. No anonymous lozenge-shaped connected watches in those days. It was all big divers, mostly Seikos, Citizens, and the odd Rolex, bristling with buttons and sub-dials and saw-tooth bezels. In high school, I saved up for, and bought, a Pepsi-bezel Seiko diver. My best friend had an analog-digital Citizen Aqualand. We were our own action heroes.

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Editors' Picks: Our Favorite Chronographs From The 2020 New Releases

For personal favorites, though, I suppose I have to go with the Omega Speedmaster 321 “Ed White.” The Speedmaster was an early love of mine, and while my own 1861-based Speedy will always have a special place in my heart as the first so-called good Swiss watch I ever owned, there was always a part of me that wanted a new Moonwatch, but with a re-introduced caliber 321 which was, after all, the movement that went to the Moon. I never really thought it was going to happen. The 1861-based Speedmasters have served in manned space flight quite honorably as well, but the idea of a fresh-out-of-the-box, brand-spanking-new, wear-without-worry modern Speedy with a good-to-go caliber 321 never lost its appeal, and this year, against all odds and to my everlasting surprise and pleasure, it came out. It’s not completely a reboot of the original Ed White, of course – I would have preferred plain white lume and the option of a closed caseback, I suppose, but in neither case do I find those aspects of the design a deal-breaker. The new Ed White is as close as I’ve ever come in watchmaking to having a horological genie make a few passes in the air and making an impossible wish come true.

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HODINKEE Radio: Episode 99: Golfer Rory McIlroy And Collectability's John Reardon

For our main event, though, we’ve got my conversation with John Reardon, a longtime veteran of the auction world, one of the leading experts on all things Patek Philippe, and the founder of Collectability.com, an online platform for learning about and purchasing vintage Patek Philippe watches. John was my gateway into the watch world back in 2012, so in a funny way, both this podcast and my career at large are both his fault. We get into John’s earliest horological experiences overhauling clocks at the American Watch & Clock Museum in Connecticut and his start in the auction world at Sotheby’s in the late 1990s, as well as some of the milestones of his career, including the sales of the famed Henry Graves Jr. Supercomplication and the Breguet Sympathique. John’s also got plenty of insights into the modern auction world and lots of tips for collectors of all levels and interests. Our conversation is two old friends and colleagues catching up and talking about fun times. I can’t believe it took us so long to invite him on the show.

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In The Shop – In The Shop: The G-SHOCK G-LIDE GBX100 Collection

×The HODINKEE Shop is an authorized retailer of new watches from a growing but carefully curated set of brands. By partnering directly with the brands we carry, we guarantee 100% authenticity of everything we sell. We even offer free shipping and returns, and a complimentary extended year warranty on all watches, so you can be confident you’ll be happy with your purchase.

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Sunday Rewind: The Watches Of Polar Exploration

Polar exploration is among the world’s most difficult pursuits, and part of the challenge comes in finding gear that can take the endless abuse and keep on ticking. From funky Yemas and classic Speedmasters to Kobolds and mega-cool Panerais, you won’t need air conditioning while you catch up with this polarizing post. 
Click here to read: “Winterproof: Polar Explorers And the Watches They Wore (And Are Wearing). 

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Weekend Round-Up: Leaked Source Code, Roundball Rock, And A New Japan

Do the words Ocarina of Time mean anything to you? If so, like me, you were probably raised in the ’90s. Very few things are cemented in my memory more than playing video games with my older brothers, and The Verge’s article on the recent leak of Nintendo Source code from some of the company’s most beloved games transported me back to those carefree times. While the circumstances of the leak do call attention to the growing need to address digital intellectual property and data privacy issues, I just couldn’t help but smile seeing some of the characters and features that might have been in my favorite games (Luigi in Super Mario 64?!). Maybe it’s time to dust off the ‘ole N64, order up some ‘za, and crank up the nostalgia vibes. Yahoo!
– Jeff Hilliard, Retail Director

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Auction Report: Rolex Daytona John Player Special Sells For £1.2 Million At Sotheby's

The ongoing pandemic has caused many businesses to shift to an online environment, with workers convening for meetings, coffee breaks, and even company happy hours within the context of a Zoom session. Everybody’s had to adapt, so it’s not completely surprising that we’ve seen online auctions, which have been around for some time, grow in prominence and set new records of their own. 
Earlier today in London, for the third time since April, Sotheby’s broke its own record for a watch sold in an online auction when the 18-karat gold John Player Special ref. 6264 you see here sold for £1,215,000 including buyer’s premium (or $1,545,723). But that’s not all: This also marks the new record price for a Daytona John Player Special sold at auction, as well as the record for a watch auctioned in the United Kingdom.

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