It’s been a pretty crazy year here at HODINKEE. We’ve designed some awesome products, met some incredible people, brought on some new team members, created a magazine for the very first time, and even launched a new e-commerce experience. But, at the heart of it all, we’ve come in to HODINKEE HQ every day and worked to bring you the very best coverage of the world of watches you’ll find anywhere. And we think we’ve done a pretty good job of it.
Here we’re counting down the 25 most popular stories of 2017, as judged simply by looking at pure website and iOS app traffic. So these aren’t our suggestions for what we think you should be reading as 2018 approaches, but rather suggestions from your fellow HODINKEE readers as to which stories were too good not to read.
Enjoy, and we’ll see you in 2018!
25. Talking Watches With Jack Nicklaus
This was something of a nontraditional episode of Talking Watches, as Jack is a solid one watch guy. But it turned out to be one of the most interesting we’ve done so far, with a truly exceptional man sharing the story of how his gold Day-Date has seen him through the last 50 years.
24. Introducing: The Patek Philippe 5522A Limited Edition Pilot’s Calatrava
To mark the occasion of its Grand Exhibition in New York City, Patek Philippe added a few limited edition pieces to its lineup this past summer. One that got everybody talking was this 42mm stainless steel pilot’s watch – a true everyday sportswatch from Patek – that was only made in 600 examples and just for the US market.
23. Business News: What Is The World’s Most Valuable Watch Brand?
Each year, the marketing research consultant Kantar Millward Brown issues a report ranking the world’s leading brands by their estimated brand value. Here, Joe Thompson looks at which watch brand comes out on top as the most valuable overall. We’re pretty sure you can guess the answer…
22. Just Because: A Few Quick Pictures Of The AP Royal Oak Ceramic Perpetual Calendar In The Metal…Errr…Ceramic
This might have been the most-buzzed-about watch of all of SIHH 2017. And man is it hot in the metal/ceramic/whatever. Ben grabbed a few quick shots right after the show opened and even got one with the ceramic and gold QPs side-by-side. To be honest, the hype has barely died down at all around this one and it’s been almost a full year already.
21. Introducing: The Tudor Black Bay Bronze Blue Special Edition For Bucherer
Thinking of a more classic duo than Tudor and Bucherer would be tough, and this special collaboration watch (available exclusively through the vaunted Swiss retailer) really hits the mark. The bronze case and blue dial are perfect together, and Tudor’s outfitted the watch with a strap to match.
20. A Week On The Wrist: The A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Annual Calendar
If the Royal Oak Perpetual in ceramic was an obvious star from SIHH, the 1815 Annual Calendar was one of the sure under-the-radar winners. Cara spent a week with this watch and offered up an in-depth look at why it’s so special. Trust us, getting her to give it back after a week was harder than usual.
19. Introducing: The HODINKEE Magazine, Volume 1
This was a big one, people. In September we announced the very first issue of the very first HODINKEE magazine, a project that was – no joke – five years in the making. Volume 1 includes a cover feature about the story behind the story of the Paul Newman Daytona, a look at why the first year Porsche 911 is so special, a deep dive into astronomical complications, and much more.
18. In-Depth: The Curious Case Of The Patek Philippe Reference 3448 ‘Senza Luna’
What do you do when you hear about a strange group of possibly unique Patek Philippe perpetual calendars that are selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more)? You investigate the hell out of them and try to get to the bottom of the story, for better or for worse. This is one of the best-reported pieces of journalism to ever appear on HODINKEE and it’s one interesting story.
17. In-Depth: Chronograph Vs. Dive Watch: Which Is More Practical For Real Live Timing?
Always one to ask the tough questions, Jack really goes all-out here. It turns out the answer isn’t as simple or as obvious as you’d think and it involves the diverging and converging histories of these two types of timekeepers. And, as always, Jack isn’t short on the details.
16. Talking Watches With Morgan King
Morgan King might not be a household name, but if you’re a regular HODINKEE reader he’s every bit as legendary, exciting, and inspiring as any professional athlete or award-winning musician. In this episode, Morgan shares his incredible collection and passion for vintage watches, as well as his thoughts about “Pimp Time.”
15. In-Depth: The Seiko Credor Eichi II
This is undoubtedly one of the best time-only watches in the world – and likely also the most under-appreciated. Here Jack takes a close look at this Spring Drive masterpiece and all the little details that make it something genuinely unique in the world of modern horology.
14. In-Depth: The Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600
This watch is nothing short of insane. It is Vacheron Constantin’s most complicated wristwatch ever and packs 23 complications into the 45mm x 13.6mm platinum case. All are astronomical in nature and there’s even a little 3D tidal indicator in the top left corner.
13. Watch Spotting: Ryan Gosling Wearing An Awesome Vintage Rolex At The 2017 Golden Globes, Because He Is Ryan Gosling
Some celebs wear borrowed watches on the red carpet and others use awards season as a way to garner endorsement deals. Not Ryan Gosling. He was spotted at the Golden Globes – as he has been multiple times before – rocking a 1950s Rolex Air King with his white dinner jacket. Bravo, Ryan. Bravo.
12. Editors’ Picks: the Best Everyday Watches Of Baselworld 2017
It’s easy at a show like Baselworld to get caught up in the grand complications and one-off wonders. But, there are a lot of totally wearable, more reasonably priced watches to get excited about too. Here our editors choose their favorite daily-wearers of the bunch, including more than one modern classic.
11. A Week On The Wrist: The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Date With Sector Dial
From the moment he first saw it at SIHH, Stephen would not shut up about this watch. And after he got one on loan and spent a week wearing it around the office? Yeah, it only got worse. This review includes some important historical context along with a detailed look at exactly why this watch is worth getting worked up about.
10. Editorial: Five Watches Under $6,000 That Show Why Now Is A Good Time To Be A Watch Enthusiast
There has been lots of talk about doom and gloom in the watch world over the last year or two. Sure, sales have been up and down and there has been no shortage of reasons to be pessimistic – BUT, there are a lot of reasons to be optimistic too! And these five watches are all great examples of why now might be the best time ever to be a watch enthusiast.
9. Watch Spotting: Former President Barack Obama Seen Wearing A Rolex Cellini
I mean, how cool is this? Not only is President Obama wearing a Rolex – he’s wearing a Cellini of all things. He’s not the only president, past or present, to show an interest in watches, but we’d be lying if we said we weren’t excited to see that he’s got good taste in timekeepers.
8. Introducing: The Seiko Prospex Diver SLA017, And The Prospex Diver SPB051/53
No surprises here – Seiko divers are undisputed crowd pleasers, and this one in particular is flat out awesome. A faithful recreation of the very first Seiko dive watch from 1965, the SLA017 is a limited edition that had collectors clamoring to get one. We heard of people placing their orders before the press conference had even finished.
7. Introducing: The New Omega Railmaster Collection, And A Favorite Of Baselworld 2017 (Live Pics, Thoughts, Pricing)
Omega released a lot more than just the Trilogy this year, and the Railmaster collection is amongst the most exciting. These are true everyday watches that pack serious movements – certified as Master Chronometers and using the Co-Axial Escapement – into stainless steel cases paired with vintage-tinged dials.
6. Introducing: The Rolex Sky-Dweller Ref. 326934 In Stainless Steel And Ref. 326933 In Two-Tone (Live Pics & Pricing)
This might be one of the hardest watches to get in the world right now. By releasing the Sky-Dweller in stainless steel (with a white gold bezel, mind you), Rolex has brought its most complicated watch to a whole new category of collectors. That the blue and black dial options are extremely handsome only makes it more appealing.
5. A Week On The Wrist: The Tudor Black Bay Chronograph
Building off the extremely popular Black Bay, Tudor launched the Black Bay Chronograph, which uses a movement created in partnership with Breitling. It’s a hearty, sturdy dive watch that still has all those style cues you’d expect from previous Black Bay models. And it turns out Jack is a fan.
4. A Week On The Wrist: The Apple Watch Series 3 Edition
Adding cellular connectivity to the Apple Watch proved to be a total game-changer. Ben reviewed the ceramic Edition version of the Apple Watch Series 3, looking at how it might actually change what he puts in his pockets when he leaves the house. He also talks to a few people on the street to get their first impressions.
3. In-Depth: The Sale Of Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona, The Most Expensive Wristwatch Ever
It’s hard to believe this wasn’t the most popular story overall, but it did come close. We had multiple people in the auction room that night, including our video team, when Paul Newman’s watch set a new record, and we spoke to everyone from the auctioneer to the consignor to die-hard collectors to get you the real full story.
2. Introducing: The Grand Seiko SBGW251, SBGW252, SBGW253 (Exclusive Live Pics & Pricing)
In addition to announcing the trio of watches inspired by the original Grand Seiko, the Japanese watchmaker also announced on the first day of Baselworld that Grand Seiko would, going forward, be its own separate brand. Dials would no longer say both “Seiko” and “Grand Seiko,” starting with the three awesome-looking watches you see here.
1. Letters To The Editor: Why Isn’t Rolex Considered One Of ‘The Big Three’?
Well, here you have it: the most popular HODINKEE story of 2017. A reader asked us about the “Big Three” (typically thought to be Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, and Vacheron Constantin) and why Rolex doesn’t rank among them. Jack’s nuanced and thoughtful answer provoked a lot more conversation too.