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We're kicking off something new today, here on HODINKEE Radio. We're launching a series of conversations with our very own HODINKEE editors. These will roll out over the next few months, but when we decided to do this we knew there was only one place to start: Mr. Joe Thompson himself. You might remember that Joe officially joined team HODINKEE as an editor-at-large back in September 2017, but he brings more than 40 years of reporting on the watch world to the table (not to mention the fact that he's one of the smartest, nicest, and most thoughtful people you could ever hope to meet).
Since he got his start as a gumshoe reporter back in the late 1970s, Joe has met and interviewed basically every important figure of the modern era of watchmaking, from Swatch Group founder Nicholas G. Hayek, Sr. to Rolex CEO Patrick Heiniger to Citizen CEO Eiichi Yamada (who took the position just months after the end of World War II). Nobody in the history of horological journalism has been better sourced, better connected, and more dogged in the pursuit of the most important stories as Joe. We get into some of his most memorable moments, as well as why Joe continues to find watches just as captivating as ever today.
Now, our conversation lasted almost two hours and it was too good to trim it, so this is our longest episode yet. I promise you it's worth the time and there are some really good stories in the back half. This also isn't the last time Mr. Thompson is going to appear on HODINKEE Radio I can promise you that.
We hope you enjoy Episode 39 of HODINKEE Radio. Check out the show notes below and let us know what you think in the comments.
Wrist Check

Joe will be the first person to tell you he's not really a "product guy" he's much more interested in watches as a concept and the industry that makes them than he is in the minutiae of individual watches themselves. However, Joe still knows a great watch when he sees it and lately he's been wearing his newly-acquired Omega Speedmaster "First Omega In Space" quite a bit. Of course the story of the Mercury astronauts holds its appeal, but Joe also loves the attention to detail shown throughout the watch, especially the way the hands reach all the way to the outer tracks and the incredible legibility in general. This is a suitably august watch for a suitably august person.
Show Notes

The Cape May County Gazette
Jewelers Circular Keystone
Joe wearing traditional garb in Japan
Vintage National Semiconductor watches
Ernst Thomke and Joe in 1981
Ernst Thomke Wiki bio
The Watch Buff's Book Of Trivia, Revised Edition
King Farouk's watch collection
Winston Churchill's Breguet
Dent Watches
A History of Citizen Watch Company from WatchTime
The Four Revolutions of The Watch World by Joe Thompson
Nicolas Hayek with Joe in 1981
Jack Forster on the history of the spring bar
Patrick Heiniger obituary
Sandy Grady obituary
A Week On The Wrist With The Omega Speedmaster FOIS
Nyon, Switzerland
Isaac Rousseau
Absalom, Absalom!