Hodinkee Podcasts Summary (Part 3)

Episode 7 with Scott Dadich

Scott works in the media industry. He was firstly the creative director at Texas Monthly and contributed to the Hodinkee magazine previously. He used to work for Wired magazine and is now with Godfrey Dadich Partners, a creative agency in California. During the show, he is wearing an Apple Watch. Vintage Rolexes are his soft spot. He is really in the deep end, and notices the intricacies of vintage Rolex. His first watch was the 1969, 1675 GMT. It can be really fun going to hike with a vintage Rolex Explorer. His gold Sub was one of his memorable purchases. A gold sports watch belies its original intention, but it doesn’t lose its appeal.

There is really something appealing about an Apple Watch, and it is largely because of its design, which has an interesting industrial design. Sneaker collecting can be really addictive and expensive. Scott does collect a few design books and art pieces as well. His top career moments include working with President Obama.

Episode 8 with Adam Scott

He is a professional golfer who has won the Masters previously. He finished 3rd in the 2018 PGA championship. Wingfoot is a historic golf club, with a rich history. Adam can’t afford to play badly even if it’s social golf. A pro who plays badly is very happy, no matter what occasion. Adam has much admiration for Tiger Woods and his massive achievements, although they are fierce competitors. It was an awesome experience winning the Masters. The Masters has one of the most appeal in terms of a golf tournament.

He is wearing a Rolex 2018 GMT Master II in two-tone Rolesor with a Root Beer bezel. Since 2001, Adam has been a Rolex ambassador and has been into vintage watches in recent years only. Rolex is definitely his kind of thing at the moment. He eventually managed to tour the Rolex factory and that completed changed his perception of the brand. Rolex usually only picks the winners from sports, so that they can wear the watch while they hold the trophy.

His favorite models are Subs and Sea-dwellers as they can be banged around. He has a Comex 16800 and the right provenance and history. Adam has a 6241 Paul Newman Daytona in his collection, and is planning his next Daytona purchase. Other things that he is interested in are furniture and chairs, surfboards etc. His wife wears some of his watches also, and is fine with his hobby. His family is golf crazy as well and introduced him to golf when he was young. The reception at home when he won the Masters was crazy.

When you’re playing good, you think you’ll never play bad. But when you’re playing bad, you don’t know when you will play good again. – Adam Scott

Episode 9 with Keegan Allen

He is an actor/photographer. There is a talking watches episode with him previously. He is wearing a 1675 Blueberry dial Rolex GMT Master II. Avoid using the watch in a pool etc. James is wearing the Tudor Black Bay GMT.

To Keegan, how the way a watch ages matters a lot. It’s hefty, but it wears extremely well on the wrist. An interesting thing about Keegan is that he wears a watch when he sleeps. He loves the ticking of the watch in his ear, like the tonal ping. He has written numerous photography books that reflects his history etc. The Hodinkee Talking watches episode has led to some strangers coming up to him and say hi.

Keegan uses his Leica M6 most of the time. His focus is definitely on street photography and stories. Using images to tell stories are simply awesome. You don’t know what you want until you touch and feel it. It was such an honour for Keegan to be on talking watches.

Watches isn’t an elitist hobby, but it’s a passion. One of his most important watches are the Patek 5164A Travel Time. Watches are one of the only main accessories that you can get as a man. If the watch hobby is not fun, don’t continue and do it. When you wear your favorite watch piece, it simply feels good. It used to be seen as tools in the past. Although Keegan has his grail, he still feels passionate about watches.

Watches can definitely outlive you, and take on a life of its own. A travel watch (GMT) suggests freedom, adventure etc. It is extremely hard to get a steel Rolex at the AD nowadays. Who you know at the AD matters. It is extremely hard to get a steel sports Rolex at the airports at the current moment. It can be scary to scratch up your gold Rolex, and one needs to be careful with it.

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Hodinkee Podcasts Summary (Part 2)

Episode 4 with Om Malik

He is a partner at True Ventures, a Venture Cap firm. He is wearing a beautiful Grand Seiko SBGR301. He and Ben went shopping in Paris and Wempe. True Ventures is one of Hodinkee’s biggest investors. Om does not appreciate people talking down on others’ collections. To him, to his each own, and is it important to respect someone’s collection.

Affordable watch coverage is important. Om has watches like Grand Seiko and Nomos (Nomos Zurich etc). Grand Seiko is really under-rated in the industry but it is gaining prominence. Even the Seiko Presage range is outstanding. Watches are an emotional product and means more to you rather than anyone else. His preference is for smaller brands, likes Ochs Und Junior, which are incredibly innovative. People who know watches will recognize Grand Seikos and realize that their finishing is outstanding. Some Swiss executives see the Grand Seiko as a threat.

Swatch did not see the Apple watch coming and should have innovated more. For the Apple watch, it’s more about its functionality and not so much about the time. The Apple watch has potentially health features. There are some who do not like quartz watches.

Quartz watches don’t have the same feel, charm, fun factor as a mechanical watch. The outstanding GS 9F Quartz, Longines VHP watch is something to aim for. Dismissing quartz watches is what some watch guys do. There is a certain pseudo-intellectualism in the watch community, which is to show off something that you know, even though you don’t know much. The pursuit of watches can be incredibly rewarding.

Om bought a Moser. It can be fun to save a bit every day before buying a watch. Do your watches bring joy to you? If no, please stop. The line between collecting and hoarding is very thin.

Om is working on a book of photos actually. He aims to slow down time by going on long photography trips. Hodinkee provides the platform for people to engage in their watch fanaticism. It gives people networking opportunities etc. Many of the employees working in Hodinkee really loves it. The Hodinkee meetups are heavily oversubscribed and provide so much joy to people who attend. Om loves PSM (Speake Marin) watches. Ben places a lot of emphasis on the dial, more than the case, like his Patek 2526, his Eberhard chronograph.

When you buy watches, you need to wear them, and not simply keep them in a safe. Watches need air. If you wear it often, price-per-wear definitely reduces a lot. Most people end up acquiring things for no reason. For everything that you buy, think about its happiness quotient? What is the happiness that the object can bring? Never live your life based on what others think. Remember that happiness definitely comes first.

 

Episode 5 with Eric Ku

Eric is well respected watch dealer/collector in the industry. He is the guy to go to for vintage watches. He is wearing a Patek 3939, which is an enamel dial, minute repeater tourbillion. Since young, he had a fascination with mechanical watches.

In the 1990s, the Daytonas and Explorers grew in popularity. In the past, arbitrage for Rolex Explorers could be done. His first vintage was a Red Sub, in 1998. In his early days, he made some mistakes, but gradually he started learning from his mistakes. Watch knowledge and nomenclature was not documented on the Internet yet. Dealers will try to push the prices on something if they find something rare, but it is the market that dictates the pricing. Five digits Rolex prices are shooting up, even though they are not rare. As time passes, there are more vintage watches that are coming up, due to them ageing. This is also known as the ‘New Vintage’. People appreciate the smaller sizes of the older Rolexes.

Many retailers are not getting good allocation of steel sport Rolexes. Prices are shooting through the roof, but will they collapse one day? Pre-own watches are getting more common nowadays. Things are cyclical and prices will drop someday. What comes up, must come down, but there might be a slight upward trend. The pool of vintage keeps shrinking, as watches get lost/damaged etc. Auction records is like navel gazing and you can compare with previous auction prices. In a way, auction prices help to reflect the enthusiasm of the product. The truth is that there are so few that can afford 7 figure watches, so the auction records don’t mean much. Prices crashed in 2007/2008. In every business, there are good and bad times. The ultra-rich class has grown a lot more.

It’s very difficult for a newbie to get into vintage watches, 1675 and 5513 as they are more than $10,000 or more. Someone like that could consider other brands, like Cartier, Universe Geneve. Nomos makes a good watch for the price. The modern Rolex is now out of reach to most people. His first watch that cost over $10,000 was a Vianney Halter Antiqua. Eric really supports independent watch-makers. He appreciates brands like Gronefield and Cartier. Cartier produces timeless designs, like the Cartier Tank Cintree. Early Cartiers are really rare and desirable. Bubblebacks were popular, but fell out of favour recently. Large watches are over-rated. There is a trend nowadays, where brands are making smaller watches.

Rolex 36mm are the best fit. Good design is always timeless. Eric recommends 34mm Rolexes from the past, for about 2 to 3k. The good thing about Rolex is that they can retain their value well. Vintage gold Rolex watches are undervalued at the moment. Two important lessons are (i) condition of the watch (buy the best version based on your budget); (ii) buy what you like. Spend time to research about what you like.

Eric is really into food and trying our excellent restaurants as well.

 

Episode 6 with Todd Snyder

He is the founder of Todd Snyder brand of clothing. Cara has worked with Todd and has provided vintage watches for them to sell. Todd’s store is to be the one stop shop for a guy. Everything in the store is really edited and curated well. You can get everything in Todd’s. There are over 2,000 books for sale in the store.

Todd got inspired and worked for Ralph Lauren eventually. He brought a few Timex, Tudor Black Bay Chrono, Tudor Ranger and a Rolex as well. Since young, he has always worked in clothing stores and with tailors. He has always been interested in how garments were made etc. If you want to be the best, work for the best. Knowing the basics of clothing is the key. Working for Ralph was a dream come true for Todd. Todd even offered to work for free just to get to work for Ralph, and it worked. His advice for kids are to ‘work hard, innovate and be nice’. If you have poor attitude, you won’t go far in life. Todd has also worked in GAP and JCrew, key American brands. Ralph always reinvents iconic fashion and created their own styling to it. Todd tries to reinvent the basics and improves on them, making them very desirable.

He is also rather big on collaborations, like with RedWing etc. Todd would love to collaborate with an interior designer/architectural firm. The Timex Marlin collaboration was a huge success. Timex is one of his favorite brands, as his Dad owned one previously. He is definitely planning some more collaborations in future.

Tudor is definitely the value for money brand, as compared to Rolex. For clothes, it is really important to start off with great basics which fit well.

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