— Updated on 30 January 2023

WATCH: 10 Years On, Hodinkee Drops New ‘Talking Watches’ Episode With The One And Only John Goldberger

— Updated on 30 January 2023
Randy Lai
Randy Lai

No matter your personal thoughts on the unlikely success story that is Hodinkee; the fact remains that without the New York-based publication (and subsequently, purveyor of modern, vintage and limited edition timepieces) watch culture around the globe would be a much duller place.

As popular as it has become controversial – who could forget that nonsense with the $8,000 travel clock? – the platform has been credited with bringing unprecedented numbers of netizens (particularly in its native North America) into the horological fold.

Early on, one of the key drivers of the Hodinkee come-up was its compelling original video content. Most obviously, ‘Talking Watches’: a segment in which the site’s writers sat down with notable collecting personalities, ranging from in-the-cut academics to seriously big-name celebs.

Yet notwithstanding one notable exception – ergo, John Mayer – my personal feeling is that ‘Talking Watches’ peaked with its introduction of a certain Mr. John Goldberger – the Italian photographer, mega-collector and author of indispensable tomes like 100 Superlative Rolex Watches.

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Now, a decade after Goldberger helped to cement the popularity of ‘Talking Watches’, he has returned to chat with the platform’s founder, Ben Clymer in a meaty 15-minute follow-up episode. As you’d expect: the watches he brought with him, for the internet’s viewing pleasure, are nothing short of a tour-de-fuckin-force.

Burnishing his bona fides as the world’s most interesting collector, Goldberger brought an entire trio of complicated pocket watches – all made on the same ébauche (i.e. stock movement kit). Moving between Audemars Piguet, Cartier and a unique Patek grand complication retailed for the American market by Gübelin, this – if you evince even the slightest amount of watch nerdery – is the stuff dreams are made of.

On the wristwatch front, there’s a lot of stuff on show that you could argue Goldberger – with some serious force amplification courtesy of Instagram – helped to legitimise among younger collectors, including a number of idiosyncratic Cartier creations like the Maxi Oval and a “possibly unique” Pebble, made for the brand’s London outpost in 1972.

Truthfully, I could continue to gush in ALL CAPS over all the other watches Goldberger chose to reveal to the #WatchFam for the purposes of this video (for reference: there are also some pretty stonking inclusions from Panerai, Rolex and Zenith) but it’s the closing minutes, in which the Maestro lays down some seemingly simple ground rules for younger collectors, that turns this into a must-watch for me.

“Always the same rules,” he says in his wizened Emilian brogue. “Buy what you like, buy the seller, have big discipline to buy watches with quality, try to be humble [and] to take a lot of information from everywhere – from books, from media, from websites. That’s it.”

Words to live by – even if your collectible poison of choice is something else entirely.

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Randy Lai
Following 6 years in the trenches covering consumer luxury across East Asia, Randy joins Boss Hunting as the team's Commercial Editor. His work has been featured in A Collected Man, M.J. Bale, Soho Home, and the BurdaLuxury portfolio of lifestyle media titles. An ardent watch enthusiast, boozehound and sometimes-menswear dork, drop Randy a line at [email protected].


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