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Beyond The Dial

A podcast about watches, how they work, and why they fascinate us.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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Episode 24 - Getting Funky With H. Moser Watches CEO Edouard Meylan

Allen sits down with Edouard Maylan, CEO of H. Moser Watches for a candid conversation about how this historically significant Swiss watch brand has become one of the most pioneering watch houses operating today. The watches are avant-garde, but they get there by employing traditional watchmaking techniques (fume dials, in-house movements, traditional cases) in new ways. Being edgy and traditional simultaneously, Moser has captured the watch collecting community's hearts under Maylan's leadership.

51mins

5 Mar 2020

Rank #1

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Episode 25 - Vintage Seiko Expert David Flett

Allen sits down with vintage Seiko expert David Flett for a highly informative dive into this snarly, but wonderful, collecting category. Whether you're looking to build a massive collection of old Seikos or want to snatch up your first vintage Japanese piece, this is the episode for you. And if you're not into Seiko, David's advice on vetting watches and their sellers is golden for those interested in any brand's vintage pieces.

1hr 21mins

11 Mar 2020

Rank #2

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Episode 10 - Allen's Top Ten Watches of All Time

Celebrating the 10th Episode, Allen goes through his top ten watches of all time. It's a personal list, not a top ten best, but a top ten favorite. You'll hear about some very tasty watches and what specific features appeal to Allen, including two watches which remind him of Jerry Garcia's guitar. Oysters, the plantimal not the watch, are discussed in some detail along the way as well, and the birthday watch decision begins to waver again.

53mins

20 Oct 2019

Rank #3

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Episode 14 - Gary Shteyngart on Watches as Literary Devices

Allen sits down with best selling novelist Gary Shteyngart to talk about how watches have figured into Gary's writing. From his New Yorker article called "Confessions of a Watch Geek" to his novel Lake Success Gary has used watches as literary devices that become windows into the internal lives of characters both real and fictional. Gary's command of watches as a topic is impeccable, and he is as fluent as anyone in going into "why they're so fascinating."

1hr 4mins

25 Nov 2019

Rank #4

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Episode 13 - Demystifying Watch Service

Grand Central Watch's 3rd generation leader, Steve Kivel, has turned his family's business into a high-tech service center with seven full-time watchmakers working full-time in a brand new state of the art facility. Allen and Steve sit down to discuss the ins and outs of proper watch servicing, how to vet your watchmaker, and why spending the extra money on proper servicing should be the norm but, alas, is not.

54mins

18 Nov 2019

Rank #5

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Episode 17 - Allen's 10 Favorite Watches of 2019

Allen goes through his top 10 favorites of the year. Not a "best of" list, but a "my favorites" list, including some very expensive and some very affordable watches.

55mins

22 Dec 2019

Rank #6

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Episode 15 - Embracing Mortality With A Grand Seiko

Allen's birthday watch is a Grand Seiko Limited Edition SGBH269, a watch that explores the turning of the seasons from Spring to Fall, just as Allen is turning to the autumn of his life. This episode is a meditation on mortality, nature, dying, living, and being true to your self, all in relation to this fascinating Grand Seiko.

50mins

2 Dec 2019

Rank #7

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Episode 18 - The Omega Cal 321 & The Quest for Authenticity

Why are we so excited about a recreation of a vintage movement like the Omega 321? Has digital social media and the ensuing crisis of truth prompted some of us to seek analog expressions of our authentic selves? Can a mechanical watch help us maintain authenticity?

42mins

9 Jan 2020

Rank #8

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Episode 21 - How to Pick Out Watches You'll Keep Forever

If you're flipping watches constantly and wondering how to slow that down, Allen's got a method for picking out keepers and avoiding flippers. The method grew out of a talk Allen gave at a Gear Patrol event about creating the perfect three-watch collection.  He wanders into Spiritual Materialism, a developing theory he's been tinkering with for about a year.

1hr

4 Feb 2020

Rank #9

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Episode 3 - Why Watch Diameter and Wrist Circumference Don't Matter

Allen ponders how watch diameter and wrist circumference became the main measurements of watches when, in fact, those two dimensions hardly matter when it comes to how a watch works on your wrist. He recommends a few different strategies for estimating how a watch will fit. This episode's listener essay inspires a contemplation of journalistic integrity in the age of so-called advertorial content, and Allen reads from The Rake magazine's editor Wei Koh's thoughts on the matter.

39mins

31 Jul 2019

Rank #10

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Episode 5 - The End of 'Microbrands'

Allen goes after the notion of "microbrands" and calls for a change of thinking around the role of independent watch brands of all sizes. He discusses independent record labels as an analogous notion, gets into the importance of regionalism and diversity, talks us through a number of examples of regionally-oriented indie watch brands, and reviews two indie dive watches, one from Greece, and one from Croatia.

57mins

30 Aug 2019

Rank #11

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Episode 9 - Press Trippin' With Longines

Allen's account of his trip to the Longines factory in Switzerland starts with an explanation of how one ends up on such a trip in the first place. He then recounts hanging with Longines' CEO Walter von Känel (a.k.a. The Chef), a dream like factory with shipping robots and worker-determined schedules, and of course some beautiful Longines watches.

52mins

14 Oct 2019

Rank #12

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Episode 19 - Horological Polygamy & The Unholy Trinity

Have you tried to settle in on just one or a few watches and find yourself bored? Are you more interested in the hunt for the new timepiece than in a long-term relationship? Allen confesses to growing bored with his carefully curated 3-watch collection and to how he began to quell that boredom by fooling around on the side. This infidelity includes springing for his first Nomos!

34mins

16 Jan 2020

Rank #13

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Episode 6 - "Tool" Being the Operative Word

When watches are truly designed as tools and do their job without kowtowing to fashion trends, our aesthetically fussy attitudes can give way to a far more grounded affection for the designs. Many watches, old and new, are considered from this functional perspective.

52mins

4 Sep 2019

Rank #14

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Episode 20 - 20 Watches Allen Almost Bought During a 3-Day Delirium

Rather than go to Vail, CO with Oris and his awesome colleagues, Allen came down with the worst stomach flu of his life, during which he entered a fever-induced delirium and started shopping for a new watch for 3-days straight.

58mins

30 Jan 2020

Rank #15

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Episode 2 - Oren Hartov on IDF Watches, Steely Dan, and much more.

In this episode, Allen talks with Watch Desk Editor at Gear Patrol Magazine, Oren Hartov. They discuss the ins and outs of working in a bustling news room, the history of Israeli military watches, escaping the Nazis, making music, and a number of fascinating stories about Oren's family's watches going back five generations.

1hr 4mins

24 Jul 2019

Rank #16

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Episode 8 - Apocalypse Later: Zen Dystopias & The Apple Watch

Why do mechanical watches seem so calming and down to earth? Why does the Apple Watch seem so intrusive? In this episode, we travel in time to consider old and new technologies up against each other, and how a mechanical watch once felt oppressive, and how the Apple Watch may one day seem disconnected and archaic. James Bond and Marlon Brando make a guest appearance via a listener essay at the end.

39mins

21 Sep 2019

Rank #17

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Episode 11 - Ferraris, Ducatis, Hublots & Bremonts

Allen returns from a week in Italy having toured Tuscani on a Ducati motorcycle while wearing his Bremont Supermarine, lapped on a race track in a Ferrari, sported Hublots, and having accidentally bumped into the representative for Nims who just climbed 14 of the world's largest mountains as part of the Bremont-sponsored Project Possible. The birthday watch saga continues.

52mins

5 Nov 2019

Rank #18

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Episode 16 - Whiskey, Weed & Watches

How do booze and pot affect your perception of time?  Your sense perceptions?  Your impulsivity?  Find out as your host, Allen, brings his personal experiences up alongside phenomenology and medical research to form a theory of how watches connect us to eternity.

44mins

12 Dec 2019

Rank #19

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Episode 4 - A Strange Experiment and a Fox

In Episode 4, Allen is visited by a fox while record his account of a one-watch experiment. Unexpected results include feeling great about the one watch even though his time in it was hellish, and realizing that his personal collecting habits need to follow a wholly different set of concerns than those that govern his work writing professionally about watches. A lovely listener essay closes out the episode.

45mins

27 Aug 2019

Rank #20