What Luxury Watch Aficionado Benjamin Clymer Wants and NeedsThe self-described “collector by birth” wants more time to take photos and a closet full of cashmere. Published: February 14, 2019
You know that annoying aphorism “when one door closes, another opens”? Turns out that it’s actually true, at least for Benjamin Clymer. He was working in finance when the financial crisis of ‘08 hit, and suddenly found himself without much to do at the office. He began to fill his days by writing, regularly posting to Tumblr about his passion for collector’s edition watches. After publications like GQ and Esquire took notice of his work, he left the bank to pursue writing full-time. After going back to school for journalism, he realized that his passion project could become an actual business. Hodinkee, the print publication, digital site, and e-commerce platform he launched 10 years ago, is a celebration of what he calls “the world of watches.” Part historical deep-dive into the tradition of horlogerie, part lavish ode to luxury timepieces old and new, it’s the entertainment and shopping destination for watch lovers of all stripes. We talked to Clymer about what he wants and needs.
Wants: Leica M10 Edition Zagato
The Leica M10 is the current high-end rangefinder from Leica, who makes the most beautiful cameras in the world. This edition is a hand built, all aluminum camera designed by Zagato, which is the last remaining independent design house in Italy known for designing cars like Aston Martins and Ferraris. It’s a stunningly beautiful thing from two companies that really understand how to speak to collectors.
Needs: More free time to take pictures
I photograph mostly cars, scenery, and friends and family. In the early days of the site I did all the photography. It’s always been a big part of who I am. I used to have much more flexibility with my time, but now that the company is a lot bigger I’m all over the place.
Wants: Porsche GT3 Touring
I’ve got a few cars, including a vintage Porsche, but this is really special. It’s Porsche’s high performance car for purists, made without a wing and with a manual transmission.
Needs: More time to drive and get out of the city
I would head north, into the Hudson Valley and the backroads up there. To and from the office in New York, I’m in an Uber. When I’m out of the city, however, I drive myself.
Wants: Patek Philippe 2499
I think it’s one of the most perfect watches ever made. It’s beyond the realm of possibility for most folks because of the cost: it’s about half a million dollars.
Needs: To take better care of my health, which involves wearing my Apple Watch Series 4 more
I wear it on the weekends and to the gym. It’s less of a communication tool and more of a health tracker for me. It’s proven to be really helpful in making sure that I remain healthy and active, but I need to wear it more. It’s not the most beautiful thing in the world, but that’s okay.
Loro Piana works with baby cashmere, which is an incredibly young and soft cashmere. I have one or two, and whenever I wear one and somebody touches me on the elbow they are literally taken aback by how soft the material is.
Needs: Some new white undershirts
A Hanes V-neck t-shirt would get the job done. I wear them to sleep in and work out.
Wants: A bottle of Hibiki 35, a 35-year-old Japanese whiskey
It’s much smoother and more palatable than most whiskeys, and very hard to come by. I’ve only tasted it a few times.
Needs: A less expensive version of the Hibiki 35
To take the edge off at the end of the day, I’d go for a glass of Hibiki 12.