Each week our editors gather their favorite finds from around the internet and recommend them to you right here. These are not articles about watches, but rather outstanding examples of journalism and storytelling covering topics from fashion and art to technology and travel. So go ahead, pour yourself a cup of coffee, put your feet up, and settle in.
Chalk Of Champions – Great Big Story
A deep dive into a highly specific sort of nerdery, this beautifully idiosyncratic story and video takes a look at the world's finest blackboard chalk. A well-kept secret amongst mathematicians, Hagoromo Fulltouch chalk grew in popularity until it was known as the "Rolls Royce of chalk." To the dismay of both those tenured and peer-reviewed, the Japanese company that produced the chalk was forced to shut down – but the fascination lives on. As someone that loves watches and the right tool for the job, I can really appreciate an obsession like this.
– Ryan LeFevre, Senior Software Engineer
Inside Mark Rothko's Former New York City Studio – Architectural Digest
Talking about one's "favorite art" always feels a little weird to me, since appreciating art is about the furthest thing possible from a zero-sum game. That said, no works of art continue to have a more outsized impact on me, time and time again, than Mark Rothko's Seagram murals. Now housed in a dimly lit room at the Tate Modern in London, the black and red color field paintings just do something to me when I look at them. I've said before that spending 10 or 15 minutes in that room, by myself, not speaking to anyone is how I hit my reset button. Despite this personal connection, I never knew much about how they came to be, except for the fact that they were originally commissioned for the Four Seasons restaurant before being deemed too dark for the space. It turns out they were painted in a New York City studio not far from HODINKEE HQ that has a history as interesting as the paintings themselves. Despite a changing neighborhood and rising rents, Rothko's paint splatters are still on the floor (smartly sealed in with primer for protection). New office, anyone?
– Stephen Pulvirent, Managing Editor*
Against The Rules Podcast
With the advent of instant replay, goal-line technology, and all of the other tech now integrated into sports, referees are objectively better then they ever have been. Why is it then that the collective public, both players and fans, are more adversarial towards referees than ever before? Michael Lewis, the author of The Big Short, explores the decline of the referee in American life (and across the world). This isn't a sports podcast, though. There are referees everywhere - in finance, ethics, trade, and even art and watches. Feel free to start at the beginning, or skip to episode four, The Hand Of Leonardo, to hear Michael's compelling take on auction houses and art authenticators, who can seemingly fabricate millions of dollars with little more than a gut feeling.
– Brad Slavin, Advertising Manager*
Rejecting Restoration – Petrolicious
The upcoming Rolex 6062 at Christie’s Rare Watches auction on Monday had me looking at other industries to understand the idea of best practices when it comes to restoration. Recently, Porsche made a pretty interesting decision when it came to showing a 910/8 Bergspyder. The car was raced by Gerhard Mitter who won the ‘67 European Hill Climb Championship with it. That very year Porsche stuffed it into its archival collection and it hadn’t seen the light of day until now. Did they restore it to what it would have looked like it its heyday, reversing half a century of rust and dust that’s accumulated on the car? At the very least, did they freshen it up before it was to be shown? Actually, they did none of that. They dragged it up from the depths of the cellar and put it on display for folks to see, cobwebs and all.*
– Cole Pennington, Editor
Graduates, Are You Ready For The Most Important Secret In The Whole Wide World? – The Wall Street Journal
As someone who spends all his (non-existent) time running after my two girls and picking dried Playdoh out of the couch cushions, this graduation message rocked my chaotic world. If you’re in a reflective mood like I’ve been recently, I encourage you to take a moment and enjoy this short meditation on life. For more where that came from – and in honor of graduation season – spend some time with this classic David Foster Wallace piece, often called the best commencement speech of all time.*
– David Aujero, Video Producer