Having been in this freelance game full-time for six months now, I feel like I’ve reached a good position. I’m running about half and half between writing for print and writing for Web and have winnowed down my clientele to three or four regular outlets which has greatly simplified the administrative side of the business.
I’m now officially a Contributing Editor at Revolution magazine, a quarterly whose work requirements ebb and flow and usually require a bit more in terms of research, word count and technical depth. This is in addition to my more full-time gig as Section Editor of the Timekeeping series at Gear Patrol. The latter job also allows me the flexibility to write articles on topics other than watches, for which I’m grateful. I also write the odd piece for Men’s Journal, AskMen and Motor Trend, which are great occasional assignments.
The first issue of Revolution came out and I have no less than seven articles in it, ranging from new watch write-ups to longer pieces on watches in space, a dive watch review and the tale of an historic Lange & Sohne grand complication pocketwatch that was lost and then found. Meanwhile, at Gear Patrol, I’ve done a couple of interviews with famous adventurers, a listing of great summer adventures and a roundup of seven great dive watches. This summer should be diverse, fun and challenging, with a climb of Mount Rainier, a trip to the Bahamas to film a shark research project and a trip to Switzerland for a photography workshop and some Alpine hiking. All will be duly documented, as one might expect. Watch this space!
I put together a roundup of “space” watches for Motor Trend Classic, a special quarterly book published by the automobile magazine. The cover of the book features Apollo astronaut, Alan Bean’s, 1960s Corvette so they wanted a space-themed watch selection. Inexplicably, the IWC Ingenieur featured in the main spread is not a space watch but at least it has an automotive tie-in. Here’s a PDF file of the article:
I’m starting to realize just how deep into the world of watchmaking I’ve gone when I’m going on press trips to cover the release of not a new watch, not a new movement, but the release of a new part of a movement. Girard-Perregaux, the venerable Swiss company recently introduced a constant force escapement, which promises to revolutionize watchmaking but probably won’t gain notice outside of the world of collectors, watch geeks and writers like me.
The event was held in Zurich, a city that I love, but I flew in a few days ahead of time and was able to visit G-P’s factory in La Chaux-de-Fonds and even take part in a watchmaking workshop. I can now say I’ve successfully disassembled and reassembled a handwound Swiss movement without losing a single screw. I was even able to regulate the movement to within chronometer specification (speaking of which, I wrote about chronometers recently too).
If you really want to learn about a constant force escapement, you can read my blog entry on Revolution’s website. A longer version of this article will appear in the magazine’s summer issue as well.
I recently wrote an article about world time/travel watches for a magazine that caters to the private jet set. The magazine, BizJet Advisor, has multiple language versions and when I asked for a copy of my article, the editor sent me the Chinese translation. Hard (for me) to read but neat to see. Since I can’t comment on the quality of the translation, at least I can pass judgment on the layout, which is excellent.
You can practice your Chinese and learn about the history of the world time watch , if you wish: BizJet Advisor World Timers (PDF)
I just got back from a week diving in the Bahamas Out Islands. I took along a prototype of the new Bremont Supermarine 2000 dive watch to review and get some video footage and photos of the watch for Bremont. Gishani took the photos, both topside and underwater and Bremont liked them so much, they used some for their launch event of the watch in Grand Cayman.
San Salvador Island is a wonderful place, remote and rustic, and the diving was fantastic. We encountered sharks on every dive. It’s so encouraging to see so many apex predators, a sign of a healthy ecosystem there. The sharks we saw were all Caribbean reef sharks but on our very last dive, a 7-foot hammerhead swam directly in front of me, just cruising across the reef and out to deep water. It was the thrill of a lifetime.
Here’s a video I put together from some of my footage. All was shot on a tiny GoPro camera. I realize how much I enjoy creating videos but also how much I have to learn about editing it. It really is visual storytelling.
’13 is starting off as a lucky numbered year! I have been officially added to the masthead of Revolution magazine, with the title of “Contributing Editor.” I couldn’t be more thrilled since I think it’s one of the top timepiece publications in the world.
Starting with the next issue (April), I’ll be writing the bulk of the Prime Time watch coverage in addition to two or three features, including my usual Bottom Time dive watch reviews.
It’s been a busy start to the New Year. My latest in Men’s Journal just showed up in my mailbox, I submitted five brand profiles for a commemorative book being published for the annual BaselWorld Watch Fair, I’m working on three articles for Revolution’s next issue, an article for a trade magazine for high worth private jet buyers, and then there was this, my magnum opus for Gear Patrol:
This is the future of publishing–not just words, but photos and video.
Next up, a week in Geneva for the annual Salon International Haute Horlogerie, the gathering of 12 top watch brands where they wine, dine and wow us journalists with their latest horological offerings. I’ll be covering the festivities for Hodinkee.