As the end of 2016 fast approaches, it’s time for one of HODINKEE’s most time-honored traditions: The Watch I Wore Most. We’ve already told you which watches we liked best at SIHHÂ andÂ which sub-$5,000 watches you should spring for, not to mention the dozens of A Week On The WristÂ andÂ The Value PropositionÂ stories we’ve brought you over the year. So now it’s time for us to tell you what watches actually got the most HODINKEE wrist time. Some of the answers might be surprising, and most most certainly are not, but each tells you something about the wearer and why these little mechanical objects continue to be so much fun for us every day. Enjoy.
Cara Barrett â Rolex Daytona Ref. 116500LN
I know you all are sick to death of hearing about the new Rolex Daytona, but hear me out. This year was a big one for me. It was my first full year at HODINKEE, my first SIHH, my first Baselworld, and I turned 30 (sometimes, it’s ok for a lady to reveal her age). So when I saw the new Rolex Daytona with black dial and black ceramic bezel, I knew it was the watch I wanted to get to celebrate this landmark year. After shamelessly asking everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, I finally got my hands on one, and boy was it thrilling. When I first put it on my wrist, I instantly felt like a badass (petty, I know). But in all seriousness, this is just a really really great watch (it seems a lot of you agree too). It wears well with anything and is an instant classic. I look forward to wearing this watch a ton in 2017, because you can never have too much of a good thing.Â
Benjamin Clymer âÂ Zenith El Primero Classic For HODINKEE
This was a good year for chronographs for me â I bought what has to be the most amazing Doxa on earth, found a dream of an Aero-Compax, andÂ bought the new steel Daytona early on and wore it extensivelyÂ for the summer. Actually, I wore it for a week straight at one period, something I don’t think I’ve done with any other watch in years. I adore it, and I’ll keep it forever like Cara. But, to me, the watch that means the most to me and in fact the one that I have worn the most even though it came to me in Q4 of this year is the Zenith El Primero Classic for HODINKEE. Yes, I know it’s lame that I am choosing a watch that I helped conceive, but the thing is, I just love it on so many levels. It is the perfect everyday chronograph, and the fact that it happens to say “HODINKEE” on the back? Well, that’s just the gravy on top. Oh, and to give you a idea of how much I love it â I actually sold my original A386 (with box and papers!) to a friend as soon as I saw a prototype of this watch because I just knew I’d never need another Zenith in my life.Â
Jack Forster â Apple Watch Series 2
To my considerable surprise, the watch I wore the most in 2016 was a watch several of you refuse to even consider a watch: the Apple Watch Series 2. As mixed as my feelings are about this fact â for one thing, if for no reason other than vanity and the desire to keep up what street cred I have, I wish I could say it had been something mechanical and high-end and preferably representative of my highly evolved taste â the numbers don’t lie. I looked at the Fitness app on my iPhone earlier today and sure enough, I’ve worn the darned thing almost every day since getting it in September. Often its on the right wrist, and with a mechanical watch on the left, but the watch that got the most wrist time from me overall was this one. Whattaya gonna do? As Charlotte says in Charlotte’s Web, “It’s true, and I have to say what’s true, don’t I?”
Jason Heaton â Seiko SRP777 Diver
When I was 17, a watch in the window of a mall jeweler changed my life. It was a Seiko dive watch and I saved for an entire summer to be able to buy it. It set me on a lifelong course of not only loving dive watches, and later writing about them, but also pursuing the adventurous lifestyle that they represent. This year, that watch reappeared for a new generation in the form of Seiko’s SRP777. Not since 1987 has a sub-$500 watch captured my imagination like the new “Turtle” did and for most of the spring and summer months of this past year, it never left my wrist, from diving shipwrecks in the Great Lakes to hiking in Montana. If there’s ever been a watch that should inspire its owner to get outside and go do stuff, this is it. And it did, making me feel 17 and adventurous again.
Will Holloway âÂ NOMOS Zurich Weltzeit True Blue
We can all argue whether the mechanical wristwatch has real utility in this day and age, but there’s no arguing with a nicely done worldtimer when you really need one. The NOMOS GlashÃ¼tte Zurich Weltzeit True Blue is one of the easier to read and easier to use worldtimers out there (and, yes, I know it’s technically a GMT, not a true worldtimer) â you click through the 24 time zones and the red home symbol keeps track of your “home” time. It’s a great size (just under 40mm) and I really dig the dusty blue dial â this watch is different, works well in casual and dressy situations, and again, is incredibly useful when you need it.
Ashley Kinder â Tudor Black Bay 36
There was little contest for my most worn watch of 2016, because I haven’t really stopped wearing my Tudor Black Bay 36 since picking it up this summer. I surprised myself by falling in love with this watch at Baselworld â I’m not normally so easily swayed by (most) watches being made today. The design here is so clean and classic, and the size is great on the wrist. Not to mention, the price is incredible. It’s the perfect all-occasion watch for me, and I don’t see myself getting tired of it anytime soon.
Adam Kopec â Vintage Rolex GMT-Master Ref. 1675
I’m not a guy that dresses up very much, so I generally wear watches that lean more casual. No other watch owns that category better this year for me than my 1978 Rolex ref. 1675 GMT. In the summer, I love pairing it up with a t-shirt and jeans. In the winter, I love the warmth of the “Pepsi” bezel against my dark sweaters and jackets.
Ryan LeFevre â Seiko Ref. 6138-8020 Chronograph
The Seiko 6138-8020 Panda chronograph is one of my favorite watches and also my first vintage watch purchase. I first encountered it on Instagram, and immediately fell in love with the combination of a brushed silver dial, black sub-dials, and a pop of orange on the chronograph seconds hand. Whenever I wear this watch, it always grabs the most attention and receives the most compliments out of any of the watches in my collection, even those that are more expensive. This watch is a fantastic value proposition, and I highly recommend it to any budding (or experienced!) watch collector.
Stephen Pulvirent â NOMOS GlashÃ¼tte Tangente
I spent a lot of effort this year trying to simplify, streamline, and get rid of clutter in my life, and my trusty Nomos Tangente was a big help. At 38mm, it’s the perfect size for moving between dressy and sporty situations, it’s slim and lightweight enough to be comfortable all day, and I went on countless trips with it as my only watch (yeah, I occasionally leave my beloved Rolex GMT at home). To my eye, on one of our HODINKEE Shop taupe calfskin straps, the Tangente is the ultimate in understatement,. I find myself loving it more every time I put it on.
Arthur Touchot â Omega Speedmaster ‘First Omega In Space’
Those who follow me on Instagram will already know this, but the watch I wore the most this year was the Omega Speedmaster “First Omega In Space.” It’s a re-edition of the famous ref. CK2998 worn in space by Walter Schirra in 1962, and it’s watch I was loaned back in January for A Week On The Wrist review. Then I did something I had never done before. I bought the watch. That’s how badly I wanted to keep it, and it’s been my go-to ever since. It’s clichÃ© to say at this point, but you can never go wrong with a Speedmaster. The size of this particular model (39.5mm) and the pre-Moon case shape means it’s particularly versatile and can be worn in almost any situation, which is precisely why I’ve had it on the wrist more than any other watch.
Walker Tovin â Vintage Rolex Datejust
Despite being a reader of HODINKEE for years before joining the team this past summer, I had never actually owned a vintage watch. When Louis learned I was interested in a Datejust and generously offered to help me pick one out, I couldn’t resist. I really love this specific reference 1601 because of its non-luminous sigma dial and faceted indexes. I’ve always been drawn to products which have evolved in a harmonious way over the years and I think the Rolex Datejust is a great example of a watch that’s always stayed true to its roots while continuing to feel modern with each new iteration.Â
Louis Westphalen â Vintage LIP Chronograph With Blue ‘Paul Newman’ Dial
I must admit that I got bitten by the chronograph bug this year. Not that I would ever say no to a beautiful ultra-thin piece from the late 1950s, but I found myself wearing chronos more and more frequently, including a vintage 41mm Breitling AVI that I would not have expected to enjoy one bit. The LIP signature was definitely part of its appeal, and this might explain why I devoted so much wrist-time to an obscure LIP powered by the rather standard Valjoux caliber 7733. This watch isÂ everything I love about vintage in one package: it took a long and complicated hunt to find it, and it looks like no other, thanks to its exotic blue dial with “Paul Newman” sub-registers and an amazing silvered center. And like all great discoveries, it happened on Ebay where I quickly snapped it up.