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Hodinkee Collaborations

Now, I don't know about you, but I get excited about pretty much every single Hodinkee Limited Edition colaboration. They are such cool takes on already brilliant watches, as well as being picks from people who really know what watches are cool; and worth spending the time on. I mean some of the notable standouts are crazy watches like the Hodinkee x MB&F LM101, the STUNNING Vacheron Constantin Historiques Cornes De Vache 1955 Limited Edition and of course the Hodinkee x Ressence Type 1 LE. However, there have been a smattering of 'affordable' in relative terms, limited edition offerings. having this accessibility, as well of course having some crazy pieces for me, hits the variery sweetspot perfectly. It means that anyone; within reason, can have the opportunity to dive properly into the crazy world of Hodinkee. And lets be honest, being able to say you own a Hodinkee Limited Edition is pretty cool whether its a Swatch or an MB&F.

The Hodinkee x MB&F LM101, The Hodinkee x Ressence Type 1 and the stunning Hodinkee x Vacheron Constantin Corne de Vache...

But what I have noticed about the Hodinkee releases recently, and what I really like about them, is that they have recently been colaborating with much more accessible brands, such as Swatch, Tag Heuer and most recently, IWC. I would imagine that this is probably a coincidence, and we will soon be hit with a a £500,000 Gruebel Foursey x Hodinkee release with a case made out of a unicorn skull, never the less; it is nice to have some Hodinkee releases that I could actually afford.

The most affordable of the Hodinkee collaborations. These are of course the two Hodinkee x Swatch Sistem 51's...

I bring up this topic of conversation because the most recent Hodinkee colaboration is one of these 'affordables'. Not only that but it does something a lot of Hodinkee colaborations manage to do. It manages to take design elements from its historic models, without being another boring 'vintage reissue', it gets the blend just right. In case you live under a rock, and have failed to see what the release is, you're in luck, as I am going to tell you about it right now...

The watch in question is the IWC x Hodinkee Mark XVII Limited Edition. It takes its design cues from the Mark series of days gone by, such as the examples below; whilst bringing it up to speed for the modern wrist. It comes in a larger (but spot on in my opinion) 39mm case. The case itself is also increbibly interesting. The watch has been cased in Ceratanium. It is a proprietary combination that is as light as titanium and as scratch-resistant as ceramic.

A more modern Mark XVIII, one of the most stunning everyday watches, and below, the original Mark II from 1948....

Now, a lot of people took it upon themselves to slate this watch when it came out. For some reason (and I for one still do not really understand it) people seem to hate Hodinkee. I for one am still a big fan of what they do; including this release. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, Hodinkee has this amazing ability to partner up with a brand, take every single good element from that brands line-up, and put it together into an awesome Limited Edition release. The IWC release is an example of that being done perfectly. The IWC x Hodinkee collaboration plays on the very popular 'Mark' series. The dial is quintisential vintage IWC. Simple dial configuration, nicely applied 'fauxtina' and simple Arabic numerals. This is a pilots watch with a clean enough dial that it could be worn pretty much anywhere. This military inspired dial is in very stark contrast to the Ceratanium case which I touched upon earlier. Now, to paraphrase Hodinkee's description of this material, here is a brief overview... Ceratanium is a propietary material developed in-house by IWC themselves. It begins as a titanium alloy, which contains something called Zirconium Oxide. When the titanium alloy is heated, the Zincornium Oxide hardens into ceramic whcih is distributed throughout the metal. This process turns the metal matte black, and this results in a watch that is light as titanium, but as durable as ceramic.

The brilliant IWC x Hodinkee Mark XVII LE. This watch takes the versatile aesthetic of the Mark Series, and then makes it black and awesome...

The problem with any Hodinkee colaboration, especially ones such as this which fall into the sub £10,000 category, is that they are much more achievable than some of the more expensive colaborations. As a result of this, they may be achievable on the surface, but they sell out so quickly that its pretty hard to get a look in. The Hodinkee Limited Edition for me that opitomises this was last years Hodinkee x Tag Heuer Skipper. This watch was, well, basically a little bit special... This watch is a homage to a very famous Heuer reference, This is the reference 7754, nicknamed the "Skipperera", hence the modern version being coined the Skipper. The original 7754 was comissioned in 1967 to commemorate Emil Mosbachers victory in the America's cup. This watch is actually less of a homage, and more of a faithful, modern reimagining of the original reference. It has maintained the lovely case shape and faceted lugs, but with an additional 4mm added to bring it up to a more 'contemporary' scale. The regatta countdown timer features the same tri-colour division as the original, but at a more modern 10 minute interval. Again, this is basically a watch that everyone dreamt about before Hodinkee decided to do it. And what does that mean geeks?? Yes, you guessed it. They sold out in about 3 seconds... And its not surprising. When you are getting this sort of package for just £4,500, of course they are going to fly off the shelves. Shame I couldnt buy one purely for investment really. I went onto Google and looked them up when I was researching this article, and I found one going for £12,000 on Stockx...

The undeniably gorgeous Hodinkee x Heuer Skipper... What a watch.

To wrap this article up, I want to play a game. If none of you geeks reading this want to play along that is fine, but I am going to all the same. My friends and I often like to try and predict the next Hodinkee collaboration watch, with incredibly mixed results. (Notably, our in-house graphic designer called that it would be IWC the night before it was announced...…. ). So I am going to write in this article my top three predictions, and lets see if I even get close shall we?? So, here we go... Oris, Phillipe Dufour and Grand Seiko. Now there is of course no way of knowing who they are going to collaborate with next, but I would like to think guessing an affordable, mid tier and stupid luxury guess gives me a pretty good chance of getting it right?

I hope you have enjoyed this article geeks. If you have we would love to hear from you! Drop us an email or a message on our instagram. LEt us know your predictions for the next Hodinkee LE and let us know your favourite collaboration!

Felix Arnold

Co-Founder & Editorial Director

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