Military Gear & Army Surplus Gear Blog

Watch Stories | Blake Malin and Zach Weiss of Worn & Wound

Watch Stories | Blake Malin and Zach Weiss of Worn & Wound


Today we’re in New York
hanging out with Blake Malin and Zach Weiss of Worn & Wound.
One of the fastest growing watch blogs in the country. Known for its
approachable, yet relevant, and insightful commentary on watches. Worn & Wound has
developed a cult following over the past few years. So both Blake and Zach are
photographers, they’re writers, and they’re watch guys. Today we’re going to get to know
Zach and Blake a little bit better and hear some really great watch stories. So
I’m Zach Weiss. I’m the co-founder, executive editor, and creative director of Worn & Wound. My name is Blake Malin and I am a partner and co-founder at Worn & Wound. I had always been interested in watches
when I was a kid, but no one really there to sort of guide me and tell me what to get so I just kind of went to the mall got a piece of junk, and I
probably lost after a couple months. So you know we started looking
online trying to find information on watches in the, you know, two, three, four
hundred dollar price range. We had a really hard time finding stuff that was
in depth or curated. It just had a really hard go of it. So that’s when we sort of
started to start Worn & Wound. I think we bought a watch and started a website
with that. So Worn & Wound is, I mean, its a few things. One there’s the watch blog where
we’ve always kind of focused on value driven watches, and then we have a
product side, which is a very big side of our business where we have pursued making,
kind of, like great, original, American-made watch straps and watch
cases. One thing that really separates us from our competitors is that we design
everything ourselves. First watch I’ll go through is the Hamilton
Chromatic Panda dial. This one was an accidental purchase, in a sense. I was
browsing a watch forum. It was there at a decent price, not that I really knew what
they would go for. I knew it was special. I knew it was interesting. I did not have what
the guy offered. Offered a lower price. He eventually came back a few days later and
was like, “My other buyer fell through. It’s yours if you want it.” So I had to
get it. It’s an exceptional watch. Stylistically, it’s gorgeous. It’s just
incredible proportions, but then the story behind it. Very interesting, you
know most people associate the Caliber 11 movement with Heuer and Breitling, but
Hamilton actually bought into Buren, which was the company that was
developing the caliber 11 with them. So they had a stake in it. So they had a
small amount of them. I don’t really know quantities and they made only a few
watches with it. So, you know, it’s just a very rare watch, but then the look of
it’s really I think what kind of keeps me there. It’s just like a perfectly
designed a little chronograph. I really like the fact that there’s no applied
markers on it. That it’s all flat printed and graphic. That there’s the contrast
tachometer on there as well. Even the contrast date in the center, you know,
at six. To give it that real like that true like panda like two eyes and a
mouth almost look, which obviously wasn’t the intention to make it look
like that. But then it’s also a strange watch by todays standards. It’s like 15
millimeters tall but 35 millimeters wide. Like it’s very funky. If they brought a
watch out like that today people be like, “Really? Like that’s so strange, but it
just works perfectly. This is a watch that I saw at meetups and I just
couldn’t keep my eyes off of. I would pick it up every time I saw it. I’d put on
my wrist. There’s just something about it, I think. You know it’s a larger watch, but
it’s just, it fits me well. I have a little bit of a bigger wrist. I just love
the proportions of it. You know, coming from so the Rolex-Tudor family the
build quality on it is just outstanding. And I just love the contrasty dial.
The white markers, the white blocky markers. I just feel like it’s such a
good contemporary interpretation of that snowflake Tudor style. I just love that
so much. It sort of significant to me, one because it’s the most expensive
watch that I have in my collection, and I just
the crap out of it. I wear all the time like I am NOT precious about it at all.
And it was a bit of an achievement watch for me. I had to flip a bunch of watches to
get it. I didn’t really have the cash to get it straight up at the time. So it
took a little bit of sacrifice, but I almost forget about the watches that I
had before because this has been well worth it. The Sinn 156 was a watch that I sought
out for for a while and it totally started with just absolutely adoring the
Heuer Bund. And then when I learned about the Sinn 156, which has been out of
production since the 90s. Actually kind of following the production, or the
stopping of production of the Lemania 5100 movement. I saw it I was just like, “Well
that’s the one I have to get.” Because, not only is it the Heuer Bund case design,
you know, 43 millimeters plastic rotating bezel. It has the 5100 movement in it,
which is, to me, like one of the coolest chronograph movements. The exceptional
aspects of it. It has a central minute counter, 24-hour hand at 12. It’s just
super super tough, and overbuilt. So it was used in a lot of military watches.
Specifically the German military watches and NATO forces watches that were made
by Tutima. Because it can do something like go 7 Gs, and not lose any
accuracy like with the chronograph running. It’s also like extreme the
shockproof from a drop perspective. So I just really like that this movement, that
I think considered by a lot of people almost like crass, and like it’s
kind of like has plastic in it, and people are like, “Ugh it’s an ugly movement or
whatever.” Like it’s not meant to be a stuffy horological movement. It’s just
rugged, you know. You don’t look at it. It works, and it works really well. But yeah
then aesthetically I mean it’s a big watch. I typically like smaller watches,
but this one just looks so cool, you know. And it just it just works. I love it, and the
function of it. The one I have here like I didn’t get it to put in a safe or
anything like that. I wear it very regularly, yeah. So this is a Nomos Orion 38
millimeter date. So this is a watch that we got in for review, and I think
everyone in the office was pretty enamored by it. It’s just, I mean for
obvious reasons, you know, like Nomos does everything so well. Their build quality is
excellent. Just everything is so thoughtful and well executed on it. You
know, they do sort of restrained elegance so well. It’s
not super blingy, though it’s got a touch of gold on it. And it’s got a polished case.
It just is sort of this perfect package for mean. It’s also very different from a
lot of the other watches that I own. So it’s sort of a nice departure, but one of
the things I really love about this watch is. You know I’ll show people my
watches in my collection, and you know if I show them the Pelagos they say, “Oh that’s
too big.” Or if I show them some of my Sinns they’ll say, “Oh that’s too rugged or
military. I don’t like that.” But then I show them the Nomos and they almost
always say, “Okay. I want that. Like that’s the watch for me.” You know. It’s just it’s
simple, but it’s got that sort of perfect design
detail and attention to detail that only Nomos can do. So I just really love this watch, and I love showing it to people because it always wins them over.
Beginning to appreciate watches more has been a vehicle for me to really
appreciate design, manufacturing engineering, style. All these different
things, and I think the more that I’ve become interested in watches and gotten to
know about that those avenues. The more I’ve been able to apply that to clothing,
or shoes, or anything else in my life, you know. I’m able to examine other objects
in my life and say, “How was that made? Why does it look like that? You know,
where did it come from?” And I think owning a watch and getting into watches
allows you to become knowledgeable about those things. And it allows you to become
sort of curious and thoughtful in those ways and other parts to your life as
well. I think its important to have objects that last, and you can kind of have an
attachment to. I think that’s that’s a concept that, you know, I’d say for people
you know my age and younger. Has been fleeting with the objects we get. You
spend a lot of money on a phone and then you’re just immediately thinking about
what the next one is, and you throw it away. So a watch, the fact you can get it,
that it can kind of live with you, that you can build a story with it. It can really
kind of accentuate or express your style, and then that it’ll just have this
heritage with it. There’s just nothing really else like that right now.
So yeah, I don’t think everyone needs 10 watches, 20 watches, but like A really
good mechanical watch that like you love and really kind of works with you and who
you are. I think, yeah, everyone should have one like that.
I think Worn & Wound, in all of our different pursuits, is a place for people
to come, to learn about watches. Whether you’re sort of seasoned, and you know a ton about watches, we get nerdy enough. But if you’ve never heard about
watches before you’re going to be learning about watches in a really
unpretentious, approachable way. We try not to talk down to people, we try not to
get to in the weeds, we try to talk about watches of a wide range that are going
to appeal to people of all different tastes and positions in life. So whether
you’re new to watches, just getting into it, have a lot of money, have a little bit
of money, you’re going to find something that you’re going to really love at Worn & Wound, and hopefully we’re going to present it to you in a really appealing,
unpretentious, approachable way.


Reader Comments

  1. Great video! Worn and Wound was my gateway into fine mechanical watches and my intro to Sinn and Hanhart, for which I am forever grateful. Great photography, great writing, great guys. Zach and team do some of the best reviewing I've ever read. And terrific video reviews, too. Thanks, Crown and Caliber for featuring Worn and Wound!

  2. A very refreshing view on watches. It's great to have a video where they don't talk about all these super expensive watches that's not relevant to 99% of the folks out there.

  3. I need to find a way to give these guys more of my business. They seem so hardworking, genuine and down to earth. Much needed in the watch enthusiast world that can sometimes get out of touch with the quality/affordability equilibrium.

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