Rescapement 2019 Year in Review
Our best of the year, and looking forward to 2020
What began as a side project more than a year ago has evolved into a full-blown thing. And for that, I say thank you to everyone who has subscribed and read this newsletter over the past year. I started writing about watches because no one else was writing the stuff I wanted to read: in-depth analysis on trends and industry news, along with write ups of cool vintage (or modern) watches. Our focus has zigged and zagged over the past year-plus as Rescapement has found its voice in the saturated but homogenous niche of watch journalism. If there’s a type of coverage you’d like to see more or less of, please let me know by responding to this email.
So what’s in store for 2020? In short, more of the same. Some of our most popular articles of the past few months have been longer-form essays or analyses: Taking a look at Andrew Yang’s and Pete Buttigieg’s watch choices On watches, Presidents and politics, and digging deeper into a lawsuit between Rolex and a much younger brand in Rolex’s lawsuit against laCalifornienne for selling custom, “counterfeit” watches. Meanwhile, our in-depth reviews and articles on vintage watches continue to help collectors understand more about how and what to collect with respect to specific brands, models and references.
We also hope to give collectors a respite from the monotony of Instagram and other social media platforms in hopes of encouraging readers to discover their own tastes. That means continuing to cover watches and stories you might not see elsewhere.
But before looking forward, let’s take a look at some of our best and most popular articles from 2019.
Sure, how much John Mayer’s watches are worth is totally beside the point, but it’s fun to look at the numbers anyway. Back in March, perhaps the most important watch collector opened his vault again for ‘Talking Watches 2’, showing off perhaps the most prolific Rolex Daytona collection in the world. The video was a follow up to the first-ever Talking Watches, which John Mayer joined Hodinkee for way back in 2013. Like many others, this simple eight-minute video has had a disproportionate impact on my life (some may consider this statement depressing). I was a senior in college when this video was released, still thought John Mayer dropped musical bangers (now it’s 2020, and he still does), and had always had a passing interest in watches. But this video made me feel like it was okay to go deep. And so I did.
The quintessential dive watch is the Rolex Submariner, but with a diameter of 40mm and quite the wrist presence, it appears too big on most smaller wrists. So, we compiled a list of dive watches under 40mm. Fortunately, the rising popularity in vintage watches has meant a boom in smaller modern watches. As such, there are more dive watch options than ever for the modestly wristed. Here, we looked at some of the best.
Fuck me for using the cliche “workhorse movement” in the first sentence of this article. But hey, the ETA 2824 has done so much for watch brands: from ETA’s parent company Swatch Group all the way down to the micro-ist of micro brands, and that’s something worth celebrating, cliches and all. And with news that ETA movement deliveries to third parties will be suspended in 2020, scoop up these watches while you can.
4. For Your Reference Series
Next, a couple articles from our signature “For Your Reference” series. First, one I didn’t write (and thus, probably my favorite on this list): Rich Fordon’s deep dive on the Movado 95M. He goes deep on the legendary Movado chronograph, particularly those housed in Fraçois Brogel cases, the same manufacturer that made water-resistant cases for Patek Phillipe during this era. Next up, in-depth with the Rolex Air-King Reference 5500, the simple and unassuming vintage Rolex sports model that also happened to be one of the longest running models in the Crown’s history.
The Tudor Black Bay 58 is one of the most popular under-$4,000 watches, and the Black Bay 36 is just one of my favorite everyday watches, so I put the two head to head, going in-depth on every element of the watch. The winner? Click to find out.
Honorable Mention: The Best Everyday Watches in 2019
And a few more articles we loved:
Ticks and Tocks
🗺 This map generates a location-based haiku wherever you move it. 💰 The 10 most expensive watches of the century so far. 👀 The watches worn the most in 2019 over at Hodinkee. ⚽️ Ronaldo wore the most expensive Rolex ever produced. 🧞♂️ aBlogtoWatch makes some predictions for the watch industry in 2020. 🤔 Which brand will establish itself as a major player in the next decade? 🎨 The burglar who pulled off this generation’s biggest art heist. 💀 The old internet died and we did nothing.
In Chicago: Where to buy recreational marijuana come January 1.
Thanks for reading, and happy new year!