A noted effect of the Coronavirus pandemic is to make more people embrace the digital world – and that includes podcasts as well.
There’s a podcast pretty much for every subject (including one about garden gnomes, for instance) but when it comes to watches and watch-collecting you’ll find a veritable plethora of them. So many, in fact, that it’s hard to know where to begin. Luckily, we’ve done a lot of the hard work for you by selecting a few of our favourites.
Well, I say “hard work”. In reality, I just sat down and listened to a load of really interesting podcasts from all over the world: most of which are now on my permanent playlist. So there’s definitely an upside to life in lockdown…
“The only podcast you can enjoy while eating syrupy pancakes and touching your Rolexes.”
That’s quite some claim, but there’s no reason to doubt it. The two broke watch snobs in question are Mike and Kaz from the United States, and they’re great fun: this is not so much a podcast as a highly uncensored conversation between friends – the language is hilarious – about watches among other things. These guys are seriously talented. As Mike pointed out recently: “I was almost selected to be an astronaut. I can land on an aircraft carrier with my hands tied to my…”
And let’s move on – because that’s probably not even true. The point is that Mike and Kaz explode the notion of watch-collecting being a pastime for the polite and monied classes. Genuinely funny, and well worth listening to.
If there were such a thing as the audio bible of watches, this would be it. The Hodinkee Radio podcast is a spin off from the authoritative Hodinkee website, featuring the familiar star names that you’ll find writing the words as well. It’s long (each broadcast lasts over an hour; some more than an hour and a half) and incredibly comprehensive, with a huge number of topics covered, from news to reviews to opinions – as well as a broad array of special guests and interviews with top players in the industry. Downsides? It’s a very American show and it’s probably not for the casual enthusiast: this is about as hard core as it gets. But if you’re really into watches – like we are – you’ll absolutely love it. The undisputed number one.
Another informative podcast presented by two Americans, Jason Heaton and James Stacey, whose main interests cover watches as well as adventure, cars, travel and diving: hence the name.
The format is normally a conversation with a guest, although there are reviews, plenty of chat and general news as well. Both presenters are part of the Hodinkee family, so they absolutely know their stuff, but it’s still a very easy listen. This is a great podcast for somebody getting into watches, particularly if they like their watches to fit into an adventurous lifestyle. A truly eclectic range of subjects makes this the favourite podcast of many watch collectors I know. Varied and informative.
After so many American podcasts, a Scottish brogue makes an interesting change. The presenters – known as ‘the two Ricks’ – have managed to find some heavy-hitting interviewees from all areas of the industry, but they still take a nicely irreverent look at the whole scene (and world) – recently selecting their ‘We Survived Rona2020 Commemorative Watch’, for instance.
It’s a funny, unpretentious, and an alternative take on the watch world from north of Hadrian’s wall. This feels like much more of a chat with mates in a pub than a podcast, so settle back and wait for the ‘Rona’ to move on. You’ll have plenty to listen to during lockdown here – and some good ideas for watch-buying once it’s over. Fun and quite different.
This well-known online watch magazine has been around since 2004 but the accompanying podcast is a relatively new development, having got underway in June 2019. Since then, the Dutch outlet has been giving their unique take on news from all over the watch world – including a really interesting recent interview with Chrono24 CEO Tim Hague, for example: overseeing the sale of 480,000 watches currently on their site!
This podcast doesn’t always come out as often as the others, but absence makes the heart grow fonder – when one is released, you know that the Fratello guys have something really important and considered to say. They’re not just interested in new watches, but the whole owning experience as well. A very European slant on the watch world, with some interesting guests.
Another very professional and comprehensive podcast, which comes out every week and faithfully reports on all the news courtesy of American duo Zach Weiss and Blake Malin, who also regularly host influential guests from the industry. This podcast comes to us courtesy of the website of the same name, which is one of the most recognised and respected titles out there. It’s a very slick production that covers the ground thoroughly: a bit reminiscent of Hodinkee in its approach. But the episodes all tend to be an hour or less (some closer to half an hour) which helps keep everything digestible without compromising on detail. A great balance.
This monthly podcast was created by Watches of Switzerland in 2018 and will resonate with UK audiences as it’s presented in tones that wouldn’t sound out of place on the BBC. It’s an excellent series, which covers pretty much everything you need to know, especially if you’re coming at it from a standing start. You’ll learn all about the history of the major watch brands, as well as the history of all the different genres, from dive watches to pilot watches. It’s probably aimed at a wider rather than a specialist public. But don’t think of it as a beginners’ production either: you’ll definitely learn something new every time. Highly recommended, it's now on my list.
I’d not heard of this one before, but very much into it now. Presented by genial American Jeremy Kirkland with a different guest every week, this isn’t exactly a watch podcast: it’s more about fashion and lifestyle and the arts. It’s definitely the coolest podcast on this list, but that doesn’t mean it’s contrived or inaccessible. And there’s a very heavy watch bias indeed: several CEOs in the watchmaking world (from companies like IWC and Moser) have been Jeremy’s guests in the past, and somehow the talk often seems to circle back to watches. Actor John Reardon was another recent guest, talking about the collectability of Patek Philippe. Listen to this regularly to become instantly on-trend and learn about watches in different contexts.