Josh Bernstein is an explorer, educator, storyteller, anthropologist, and a whole lot more. And if his name sounds familiar, it’s because you probably remember him either from his episode of Talking Watches, which aired earlier this year, or from his time as the host of travel and exploration TV shows, including The History Channel’s Digging For The Truth and Discovery’s Into The Unknown.
Since he’s on HODINKEE Radio and has done Talking Watches, it probably comes as no surprise that Josh is a real watch guy, and he has had relationships over the years with brands like Breitling, Panerai, and Rolex. You know, the classics of go-anywhere, do-anything tool watches. He isn’t afraid to put his watches through their paces, either, though he also enjoys the craftsmanship and design that goes into creating a fine watch. If you’re the kind of person who daydreams about cave diving while working your nine-to-five with a Sea-Dweller on your wrist, Josh is exactly who you want to be.
We spend plenty of time chatting about things horological, but we also talk about his transition from a wilderness survival instructor to a TV host, how he develops a relationship with his audience through the camera, and how he’s using these skills for his latest project, Explorer At Large, which brings adventure and science into the classroom in a new way. Josh is a natural storyteller and the easiest kind of person to talk to. Grey had to keep telling me to wrap it up, since I just wanted to keep asking Josh more questions, and the result is a super fun episode.
We hope you enjoy Episode 113 of HODINKEE Radio. Check out the show notes below, and let us know what you think in the comments.
Rolex wasn’t Josh’s first foray into the world of nice watches, but after developing a friendship with Allen Brill (the late CEO of Rolex USA), he got really into the brand and eventually picked up his first Rolex, a Sea-Dweller, which he loves for its incredible build quality and lack of a Cyclops magnifier. Since then, he’s had the bug and has added a few more Rolex watches to his collection, including this “Kermit” Submariner that was released for the Sub’s 50th anniversary in 2003. It wasn’t easy for him to track one down, but he found a great example and wears it frequently to this day. It’s something special without being flashy, which is just the kind of watch Josh likes.
(4:00) Digging for the Truth
(49:30) Josh’s Collection
(51:30) Josh’s Double Red Sea-Dweller
(55:55) Explorer At Large
Top photo: Jon Moe