Yo watchfam! I am very very happy to announce the relaunch of our #wristalk series! We have been taking some time off to tweak and improve this segment and I am glad to say that everything has been sorted out as of now, and so I guess its time for us to indulge in another exciting episode!
But first, let’s get the introductions out of the way, our guest for today’s wristalk is Kenneth Kidwell, as many of you might have known him as @kidwizzle on Instagram. Kenneth is from a town in Northern Kentucky called Florence (about 15 minutes south of the city of Cincinnati). He spent a few years living in Louisville, Kentucky but have since moved back to Northern Kentucky, near his family. For me, I remembered I first came across his feed when he won that badass-looking Seiko from the @seikowatchusa Instagram competition… ANYWAY …
Like many (or maybe just some) of us, Kenneth’s approach to watch-collecting began with fashion watches, which mainly focuses on aesthetics more than what really matters to us as watch lovers (you already know). Obviously, there is no shame in that because all of us had to start from somewhere. And like many of us, his love for watches eventually intensified as he gets more and more exposed to online resources like Hodinkee, Worn & Wound. So without further ado, let’s all just sit back, relax, have a beer and enjoy this week’s episode.
Ladies, gents and watchfam, this is EP39 of #wristalk. Cheers!
Having a mechanical watch on your wrist, whether automatic or hand wound is having a connection to that watch. Your movements give the watch a heartbeat.
–Kenneth Kidwell (@kidwizzle)
How it all started?
I’ve passively worn watches on and off since I was a kid, but as far as my current fascination with mechanical watches, that began about 4 years ago. I was casually strolling through my local Macy’s and began browsing the watches. While scanning the display cases I saw a mechanical Kenneth Cole watch with a skeleton face and mesmerized, asked to see it. It was nothing special, just a two tone steel and copper watch with a Chinese movement, but it was the first time I’d really seen a mechanical movement. Looking intently at the display back and watching the escapement beat back and forth, I was hooked. I bought it right then and there and took it home. I was so intrigued by the mechanical aspect of it, and the idea that it was powered by my own kinetic energy, that I began looking online for more mechanical watches.
During that search I stumbled upon Worn & Wound and Hodinkee and thus began a daily ritual of reading about all aspects of mechanical watches and browsing the vast market of these interesting little machines. That ritual hasn’t stopped since.
What was your first watch?
My first watch was an Easter gift from my mother when I was 10 years old. She had bought a digital watch where the entire face was a black display, and the two digit seconds counted away on the dial. I loved how large the displayed seconds loomed and I asked her to wear it all the time. Shortly after on Easter I had the same watch waiting for me in my basket. I wore that watch constantly for a long time. I wish I knew what happened to it, but it’s since been lost in the annals of time.
What do watches mean to you?
What is the focus of your collection?
The answer to this question is fluid. I’ve bounced around from vintage watches with unique patina, to robust tool watches, to iconic/historically significant watches. I’m still in the process of finding a niche, but getting to experience many different kinds of watches has been a focus in and of itself. Recently, I’ve been focusing on the more historically significant pieces.
Like everyone else, I’m a huge fan of the Omega Speedmaster, particularly because of it’s immense historical significance of being “The First Watch Worn On The Moon”. Also I’ve been buying vintage Seiko 6138 chronographs, as they were some of the first automatic chronographs ever made. The history associated with specific watches is something I greatly appreciate.
What was the last watch you bought?
Let’s see…. the last watch I bought was an Oris Diver’s Sixty-Five. I bought this a few months ago from a personal friend and fellow Red Bar Cincy member. As soon as I saw this watch I was obsessed with its aesthetics. It’s just a damn good-looking watch. I really appreciated the fact that it was such a true reissue of a vintage piece.
Oris really did a great job keeping the new watch as close to the old model as they could, down to the vintage styled hour markers with a faux-patina hue. Traditionally I’ve steered clear of faux-patina as I find it kind of phony, but being that it was an homage to a vintage watch they produced (and how well they executed the color and application) I was happy to make an exception. It’s also the last watch I sold. I still really dig the watch but you don’t have to own a watch forever (or at all actually) to appreciate it.
Which is your favorite watch in your collection?
What is the dream watch?