Episode 63 Chatting with Cole Pennington of HODINKEE

Welcome to the Tenn & Two Podcast, Episode 63 Y’all!

Today is another special day as we are joined by friend of the podcast Cole Pennington of HODINKEE. We have all chatted back and forth so many times and are incredibly excited to finally have him join the show as us two Kats are such fans. As we begin our show, we realize that Cole is a life coach when we begin talking about schedules. Per Mr. Pennington, “you get to make your own schedule” which we think is a fancy way of saying YOLO. Most importantly, we come to the discovery that  spending hours on Instagram a day looking at watches is a blessing, so don’t let anyone steal that joy from you! …in case you haven’t figured it out by now, this is clearly going to be a fun and lighthearted chat.

The “Creation Story”

A man of many interests and hobbies, we get into the “real creation story” of what started Cole in this world of watches and horology. It all started with a subscription to Air & Space Magazine, where he started looking at the watches in the advertisements. By the time he was in highschool, Cole started buying and modding Seiko 007s like most people when they began their collection. By the time he was in college] he got into fricker case watches, one of his favorites being the Dreadnought done by Timekeepers, as well as the Alpha Time Sawfish and various dive watch companies that had a German dive watch vibe. In college he moved into vintage dive/aviation watches but has changed his collecting since to more modern pieces.

Image from Timefactors

We chat about what has Cole’s attention right now and play a guessing game (which we two Kats fail miserably at). Inspired by a watch Cole had from “back in the day”, the TSAR, Marathon has recently introduced the MSAR with white dial and black bezel which genuinely catches his attention. Cole talks about justifying possibly purchasing this watch to use when spearfishing as he clearly needs the white dial to stand out in murky water. This all leads to a discussion about lume as the Marathon uses tritium tubes and apparently we are all luminauts (it’s a thing I guess). Check out the Marathon MSAR here.


“Justified” Watch Purchases

Well, since we talked about the stretch of using spear fishing to justify a watch purchase, let’s find out what other random reasons Cole has purchased watches for. Apparently it’s a great time to chat about it as Cole has currently been in the process of this very thing before Covid-19 slowed it down. We discussed earlier that he has been more interested in dress watches as of late, and the SBGK007 really has his attention. He’s blaming this one on his position with HODINKEE, needing a dressier watch for many of the events that he attends or speaks at.


The next occasion that Cole wants to celebrate with a watch purchase? Getting his pilot’s license. We chat about the fact that watches don’t necessarily have to be expensive to celebrate with.

Wrist Watch Check

On the plus side, we remembered to do a wrist watch check, half way through but it counts. Cole is wearing the BB58 which he had intended to do a watch fast with but it didn’t quite work as well. We chat about Jason Heaton’s “One Watch Guy” article on HODINKE and how Cole failed at his one mission with the Black Bay to make it a one watch collection. This leads to a chat about whether or not we could actually do a one watch collection (spoiler alert, we can’t!). On Kat’s wrist, her new Tudor Harrods Black Bay. We chat about the sizing, proportions, and the way it sits on the wrist. Katlen is also wearing a new watch today with her NASA limited edition G-Shock which we learn that she is lucky to have gotten as many orders were not able to be fulfilled.



Current Styles

Talking about styles now, Cole mentions that one of the key things about modern watches is that watchmaking is back in a way that it hasn’t been for some time. This brings up yet another watch that he plans on purchasing, the new Captain Willard and then he’s “getting back to the modding game baby”.

We discuss an idea from the film “The Devil Wears Prada” in which the concept of designers dictating fashion trends is introduced. This leads to a chat about the watch industry and how that basic ideology is carried over. Cole’s theory, now that there is no Baselworld, maybe watch brands can respond to consumer demands more directly and immediate instead of having to introduce one time a year. Responding to trends is something that micro brands have always been good at and it will be interesting to see if other brands can do the same.


…and then Cole turns the interview on us

Apparently Cole has  a few questions for us which we weren’t quite expecting. His first is what the watch scene in Nashville here is. Our answer, basically big small town vibes. Diversity is increasing here in both brands and retailers, encouraging more people to be involved in the community. And we both agree that it’s the people in the Nashville community that make meetups and collecting in this city so much fun. The three of us chat about diversity in the watch family regardless of what city you’re in.

Cole’s second question, how did the podcast come about? This is a story that y’all have heard a few times but it’s always fun to stroll down memory lane and chat about it. As Kat got more into the hobby, she realized that there weren’t alot of female voices in watches and decided to seek out her own way of doing things. After meeting at a watch club event and then for coffee, Tenn & Two became a thing and we haven’t stopped since. “Ride or Die” is real y’all.


The three of us start chatting about Baselworld as news had recently broke before we recorded this episode that the 2021 (aka 2020 show pushed into 2021) event has been cancelled. Cole talks about the reality that Baselworld was never about getting the watches in front of consumers, it is essentially an industry conference and a business that now is lacking the organization.


Nodus Watches Giveaway!

As we wrap up today’s episode, we have a very special message from good friend Wes of Nodus Watches. As a way of giving back to the watch community during these difficult times, and to say “thank you” to the watch family, Nodus has partnered with us to promote a very special giveaway, one of their new Retrospect timepieces – the Snowy Sky. Head over to our Instagram page and look for the official giveaway post and rules! The contest runs through June 1, 2020 and is open to anyone.

Sponsored by Topper Jewelers

We want to take a moment and thank our good friends over at Topper Jewelers for their support of this podcast by being our very first sponsors. We have had a great relationship with Rob and the team there since well before Tenn & Two started, and we are thrilled that they support the podcast in such a strong way! Topper Jewelers currently has two phenomenal opportunities that they wish to let our listeners know about! The first being the “Mud Pack”, a bundle of Casio Mudmasters that include both the British Army Mudmaster and the Burton Mudmaster LE with a free Quad Sensor Mudmaster. On top of that, use code “TENN” and take an extra 10% off of the bundle. Topper is also having an exclusive Seiko Spring Vault Sale with phenomenal pricing on a specially curated collection of Prospex watches. Head over to their website www.topperjewelers.com to check out these great savings as well as what else Topper has to offer. 


Well y’all, that wraps up another fun and exciting interview. Thank you once again to Cole Pennington for joining us today! It was an absolute pleasure and we hope our paths meet soon. Stay safe y’all!

Kat, Katlen, and Cole

Tenn & Two

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