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Mystery Solved: Golay, Longines and NASA

Just before the US Thanksgiving holiday, I received a direct message on Instagram from the account @secondhand.secondhands. Al Worden's official NASA portrait from 1971. He's wearing the watch in question on his left wrist. They were looking for help identifying a watch on the wrist of an astronaut in a photo from 1971. The astronaut in question is Al Worden, pictured here. Worden was the command module pilot for Apollo 15. He orbited the moon 74 times during that mission. To this day, he travelled farther from Earth than any other person. Worden was a 1955 West Point graduate but he commissioned in the US Air Force (the Air Force Academy was not yet commissioning graduates so USMA and USNA graduates were able to commission in the Air Force). Before NASA, Worden flew the F-86D Sabre and the F-102 Delta Dagger. He then earned a Master's degree in aerospace and instrumentation engineering just before enrolling in a test pilot school in the UK. I've included a scree
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Lemonade from Lemons: Rolex Certified Preowned

News broke today that Rolex has entered the pre-owned watch market. The brand even released a press statement, which scarcely happens (aside from the standard announcement of a new reference, ambassador or similar). A screenshot from the Rolex press release regarding the certified preowned program. This post is not affiliated with or endorsed by Rolex, you can find the official web page at www.rolex.com. I'm still digesting this news, but I have a few thoughts about how this will all play out and how the preowned space will evolve in response. Side note: before we get into this I want to welcome all the new subscribers who joined, maybe following my "Watch of the Week" article on Hodinkee . Thank you for trusting me enought to read what I write. I take that trust seriously and it means a lot to me that you're sharing some of your valuable attention. Ok, back to the other topic: Rolex and preowned. Let's begin with a major caveat. Daily average seismi

Closet Currency: Let's Keep It Real

Today, I learned a new term from an Instagram post by @ebaywatches. That term is "closet currency." No, this doesn't refer to someone stacking bills in some dark corner of their wardrobe. Instead, closet currency is the value that is stored in items that you put in your closet. At least, that's what I think it means. I arrived at this conclusion since eBay's post featured YouTuber Jose Zeniga describing the monetary value of different luxury watches. Zeniga also described a "luxury exchange" that eBay set up in NYC. In essence, you could take something out of your closet, go to the exchange, get an appraisal value, and then use your item and its appraisal to purchase another item that was available on the exchange. The formal definition of money is anything that is generally accepted as payment. In essense, eBay set up a NYC micro-economy in which almost any closet item could be used as money. Money is actually a pretty complex topic. It took a lo

The Death Dodger and His Radioactive Rolex

One of the most popular Horolonomics posts details the story of a radioactive, strontium-laced Rolex GMT Master. The Navy pilot who owned the watch in question sued Rolex. The watch also traced a surprising path through the hands of the owner's descendants, ending up in the inventory of a watch dealer in Florida. In many ways, my Horolonomics post was "Chapter 2" of the dangerously radioactive GMT Master story. Chapter 1 was authored by Steven Pulvirent, in collaboration with Eric Wind, while Pulvirent was still writing for Hodinkee. With this post, I offer Chapter 3 of the radioactive Rolex saga. This chapter also involves a Navy pilot, one who is much more well known than the Rolex owner in Chapter 2. Along the way, we will learn some interesting facts which shed light on the history of Rolex. Let's begin at the beginning. Moar Archives A few weeks ago I found myself poking around, virtually, in the archives of the Smithsonion National Air and Space Museum.

Hot Take: Preowned + Vintage are the Greenest

I applaud the effort by watch manufacturers to minimize their contributions to climate change. Globally, we've made some progress towards "bending the curve" of greenhouse gas emissions, which is the good news. This figure from climateactiontracker.org shows that, even under an optimistic scenario, some increase in global temperatures is unavoidable. The bad news is that we clearly need to do a whole lot more to get to a point where we halt the growing cost of environmental degradation. As the graph I've presented here shows, existing policies are not enough to ensure a healthy planet for our children, their children, and all future generations. As Elizabeth Doer's outstanding coverage on Quill and Pad shows, the watch industry is discussing the challenges ahead and developing contributions to the fight against climate change. These include the use of recycled and recovered materials in manufacturing as well as requiring transparency in how raw materials are

Announcement: Hans Wilsdorf AI Bot

This post will be light on commentary. I'd just like to share that, today, I created a Hans Wilsdorf artificial intelligence bot on Character.ai. Full disclosure: I have no relationship to this startup, I just did this out of curiousity. I imagined that a few people might enjoy a chat with Hansbot. The tech behind this was developed by two Googlers who worked on the company's natural language processing model. To give you some sense of how it works, I'm sharing a few screenshots of my first conversation with Hansbot. You can find my second conversation with Hansbot at the link here . I began by asking Hansbot about his favorite watch (it got cut off in the screenshots). My book on the history of Rolex marketing is now available on Amazon! It debuted as the #1 New Release in its category. You can find it here . You can subscribe to Horolonomics updates here .

I Read the Meta 2022 Creative Forecast So You Don't Have To

Recently, I received an email from Meta, the umbrella organization that owns Facebook, Instagram, Occulus (VR headsets), WhatsApp, and probably a few other platforms I don't know about. The email announced Meta's "2022 Creative Forecast." The publication offers a list of suggestions for how businesses might alter their marketing and conduct novel outreach to buyers. These suggestions were drawn from "100 standout campaigns on Meta technologies from the last year." I'm not entirely sure what that means, but I'm assuming Meta had some kind of metric for the success of an advertising campaign and then reviewed the top 100 that were relatively strong by this metric. Here, I'll share the report's five recommendations, describe them, and then give awards to the best and worst members of the watch industry when it comes to following these "five key creative behaviors." The best example of engaging in a particular "creative behavior