Hodinkee’s Latest Limited Edition is an Old School Travel Clock with a Vintage Mechanical Movement

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If you had “Eight-Day Travel Alarm Clock with Vintage Movement” on your Hodinkee limited edition bingo card, well, you just hit it big. In what on the surface seems like a surprising move (but after a little reflection, is actually a great fit) our friends at Hodinkee have released a very limited, very cool, retro inspired mechanical clock as their latest limited edition. It’s a really nice looking product, and completely unlike anything else on the market right now, so let’s jump right in to the Hodinkee Eight-Day Travel Clock.


Hodinkee Eight-Day Travel Clock

  • Case Material: PVD coated stainless steel
  • Dial: Gray
  • Dimensions4.5 inches long; 2.5 inches wide; 1.2 inches thick                     
  • Movement: Vintage Pontifa 8 day movement
  • Price: $5,900
  • Reference Number: n/a
  • Expected Release: Available now

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The travel clocks that inspired this edition were once fairly common among frequent travelers in the first half of the 20th century. The first travel boom was of course well before the age of the cell phone and other passive methods of timetelling, so a travel clock with an extended power reserve that lasted for roughly a week would have been incredibly useful to throw in with your luggage. As a bonus, these clocks were often fitted with alarms, and designed to be portable, often by folding in on themselves. 

Hodinkee’s take on these classic clocks is contemporary in its execution but inextricably tied to the past – there’s a romance to these early travel tools that means they can never be fully modern, and the design emphasizes this dual nature that’s inherent in the clock. While the clock is made from stainless steel and PVD coated, vintage cues abound: the face of the clock has a gray gradient pattern that is, at this point, a Hodinkee signature, and the leather accents have the quality of old world luxury.

The typeface is another nod to horological history, as the team at Hodinkee have expertly utilized “Decimal,” a typeface designed by Jonathan Hoefler that is heavily influenced by vintage watch design. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Hoefler’s episode of Abstract: The Art of Design on Netflix for a look at how this typeface came to be (there’s also plenty of vintage watch spotting).

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A leather carrying case is provided with each clock

While the clock is great to look at, you could argue that it is what’s inside that makes it special. Each clock is powered by a vintage movement originally made by Pontifa, a small family owned Swiss manufacture. Pontifa’s specialty was in movements designed for travel clocks much like this one, but they also made calibers for pocket watches, dashboard clocks, and the like. Hodinkee has collaborated with a top firm specializing in mechanical clocks and complications to assist with the construction of this piece, ensuring that it’s mechanically sound and can stand up to regular use, despite the use of a genuine vintage movement. 

Unsurprisingly, the Eight-Day Travel Clock is quite limited – only 96 of these will be made due the rarity of acceptable new-old-stock movements that are necessary to build it. And it’s not inexpensive, carrying a price tag of $5,900. But it’s truly collectible, and for a watch enthusiast, world traveler, or someone who just loves well made things, it’s a very compelling objet d’art, even if it’s not nearly as necessary for actual travel as the clocks that inspired it. Hodinkee Shop

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.
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