H10: My Favorite HODINKEE Story: Joe Thompson

By Joe Thompson

Editor’s Note: The HODINKEE 10th Anniversary Weekend, or H10 as we’re calling it here at HQ, is now just a few days away. We thought it would be fun leading up to the big weekend to ask our editors and writers to each pick one of their favorite stories from the first decade of HODINKEE to share again with you all. It could be a story with personal significance, a story that changed their relationship to watches, or just one that they really want everyone to check out again. Each day until December 7 we’ll be publishing a different person’s selection. Enjoy.

As some of you may know, I have just finished my rookie year at the ‘Dink. (Mercifully, the hazing has stopped. I won’t say which of the veterans was the roughest – but she knows who it is.) So, I have a slightly different take on my favorite HODINKEE post.

I began reading HODINKEE as an ink-stained veteran of old media, looking to see what the new media was up to in the watch arena. I was reading, not as a watch collector, or even a watch lover, but as a watch reporter.

The rap on the “blogs,” as they were called then, was that they consisted essentially of lads and lasses wielding iPhones, in hot pursuit of wrist shots, for posting with short texts (the shorter the better) explaining why they loved (or far less often, didn’t love) watch x, y, and z. The goal was to deliver breaking news about new products, often with rushed shots on sometimes distractingly hairy wrists.

But not at HODINKEE. Here I discovered, in frightening detail, the power of the new media. Examples abound, but one article forever fixed in my memory is “Reference Points: Understanding the Paul Newman Daytona.” It appeared on April 3, 2014. The author was Mr. Ben Clymer.

At WatchTime, where I was editor-in-chief, we didn’t cover the vintage watch market much. (It’s impossible to cover the auction scene properly when you only publish six times a year.) But, as one who had been covering the watch industry for, well, forever, I knew a little about the PND.

What I did not realize until I read the piece was precisely how little: it was embarrassingly little. Oddly, the experience was exhilarating. The reporter in me could not but help but enjoy what was a …read more      

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