HODINKEE Radio: How ’80s Hip-Hop Took Watch Culture To A Whole New Level

HODINKEE Radio: How ’80s Hip-Hop Took Watch Culture To A Whole New Level

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It’s ’80s Week here on HODINKEE, which means we’ll be bringing you tons of awesome stories, videos, and, yes, podcasts, about all things horological from the 1980s. Representing the zenith of the Quartz Crisis, this is one of the most overlooked decades in watches, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t rich with incredible innovations, important cultural moments, and fascinating personal stories.

First up, our own Logan Baker joins us to talk about the incredibly quirky Tissot Rock Watch. It’s exactly what it sounds like: A watch made from a hunk of stone, filled with a quartz movement and mounted on a leather strap. You could dismiss this as a weird gimmick, but you’d be missing the bigger picture. Logan explains why this little granite watch represents so many of the best things about ’80s watch culture and why it might have even had a hand in saving the Swiss watch industry as we know it.

After that, our Senior Vice President of Content, Nick Marino, makes his HODINKEE Radio debut, interviewing legendary photographer Janette Beckman. After coming of age immersed in the British punk scene of the late 1970s, Beckman moved to New York City, where she spent most of the ’80s documenting the culture and style of early hip-hop artists, working with household names like LL Cool J, Salt-N-Peppa, Flava Flav, and more. Unbeknownst to her at the time though, she was also documenting the movement’s watch culture, and Nick and Janette get into the interesting role that watches played at that time, which watches were most coveted, and what we can learn about our own cultural moment from her archival pictures.

It’s worth noting that both of these conversations are just previews of much more detailed stories to come later this week, right here on HODINKEE. Be sure to check back in throughout the week for more on the Rock Watch, more from Janette Beckman, and a ton of other ’80s-themed gems too.

We hope you enjoy Episode 126 of HODINKEE Radio. Be sure to check out the show notes, and let us know what you think in the comments below.

Show Notes

(4:00) Tissot RockWatch

(9:15) Ernst Thomke And Joe Thompson In 1987

(9:20) Four Revolutions: Part 1: A Concise History Of The Quartz Revolution

(24:30) Melody Maker

(24:45) The New York City Rap Tour

(25:45) 1978 THE POLICE

(28:00) 2 Live Crew

(30:15) LL Cool J

(30:30) Gruen Gold Nugget

(31:30) LL Cool J NYC – 1985 

(32:18) EPMD

(34:00) Unfinished Business

(35:30) Run DMC

(37:30) Heavy D

(38:30) Rap Portraits And Lyrics Of A Generation Of Black Rockers

(40:00) Flavor Flav

(42:00) Salt-N-Pepa

(44:30) Salt-N-Pepa – 1987

(45:30) Fahey Klein Gallery

(45:35) Janette Beckman Website

(45:40) Janette Beckman (@janettephoto)


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