You know that I love having guests on HODINKEE Radio who can’t be boiled down to a simple label. And this week’s guest is a perfect example of that. Adam Marelli is an artist, a photographer, a builder, a craftsman, a philosopher, and, of course, a watch lover, amongst other things, but he’s also a friend and someone with whom I’ve always enjoyed talking about big ideas and the ways we can find meaning in little things. It was a ton of fun to finally sit down in front of the mic with him and to hear him tell part of his story.
We get into his own artistic and professional practice, the ways in which woodworking and photography relate to one another, what defines “culture” and makes it so difficult to pin down, and the ways in which Zen philosophy helped him find a center. We also dig into one of the questions I get asked more than any other: Are watches art, and can watchmakers be called artists? I think our answers might surprise you.
But before that, I sit down with our own editor-in-chief, Jack Forster, to talk about some of the recent stories he’s written for the site. There’s nobody who can go down a horological rabbit hole quite like Jack, and I’m really just along for the ride here. We talk about what an escapement even is and why you should care about it, the ways that travel watches have evolved over the decades, and a few what-ifs about watchmaking history. If you’re a watchmaking nerd, this is total catnip. If you’re not, well, you will be by the end of it.
We hope you enjoy Episode 102 of HODINKEE Radio. Check out the show notes below, and let us know what you think in the comments.
While Adam’s interest in watches originally came from reading Dava Sobel’s epic book Longitude: The True Story Of A Lone Genius Who Solved The Greatest Scientific Problem Of His Time and then researching the work of watchmakers like George Daniels and F.P. Journe, he’s developed a passion for classic dive watches too. This connects to his love of all things oceanic, and a vintage Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Aqua Lung “No Radiation” is pretty tough to beat when it comes to iconic tool watches. Adam’s dates to 1968 and can almost always be seen on a Bond-style NATO, completing the mid-century look.
Tour De Gall
Saxonia Dual Time