In his dreams, Snoopy has transformed into many characters, almost all of which are world-famous: the greatest surgeon, the best fighter pilot of World War I, an arm wrestling champion. and the most amazing sunglasses-wearing creature on earth. Last year, watch designer George Bamford, along with the limited-edition production team at watch publisher and retailer Hodinkee, received an interesting Snoopy-related assignment: to peruse a catalog of timepieces. change the character of the famous cartoon dog, showcase their favorites, and decide which goes for the dial of a nearly $2,000 mechanical watch.
Hodinkee-Bamford London Snoopy First Collaborative Watch Joe Preppy stands out and released in April this year. The GMT has a 24-hour black and white inner bezel — and a glasses Snoopy wearing a tweed jacket. It sold out in three minutes, the second fastest a limited edition of Hodinkee was shipped. Eneuri Acosta, Hodinkee brand director, said: “We were surprised by the popularity of the first one. Now, after reviewing other versions of Snoopy like “Joe Cool,” the pair is back with another GMT that bears his “Beagle Scout” alias.
This new watch is a more elegant version of the Snoopy watch with green accents and a strap that looks like something the Beagle Scout could use to get her knotted merit badge. Both Hodinkee Snoopy watches place Woodstock loosely at the tip of the second hour hand. At $1,850, it will compete with the Joe Preppy piece for the fastest time to sell out. Over 4,000 people have signed up to receive notifications about the watch release, limited to 250 pieces. (Snag it from Hodinkee’s online store at 11 a.m. EST today.) In addition to these two Hodinkee sales, Snoopy watches from Omega, Timex, and Bamford find themselves looking for eager audiences. All of which begs the question: what mysterious force makes a Snoopy watch worthwhile and desirable?
Character watches are not really new in the watch world. Gérald Genta, the man behind the Patek Philippe Nautilus and Audemars Piguet Royal OakFeatured luxury watches Mickey Mouse in the mid 80’s. However, these character watches have grown significantly (adding a few zeros to their price tag) over the past few years. The Genta brand recently brought back those Mickey watches, while Gucci also added Disney mouse to the watch. Last year, the Marvel and Audemars Piguet collaboration was born a Black Panther watch worth $162,000 with a ceramic figurine of the superhero standing guard in the center of the piece. Turns out Popeye’s spinach-powered arm is perfect too for the seconds and hour hands of the watch. It also got weirder: Kostantin Chaykin produced a Minions watch worth 13,800 euros last year.
At first blush, the character clock seems like a novelty. But it also represents an interesting collection. When you get into the clock game, the advice (admittedly saccharine!) that you’ll hear again and again is Collect what you love. Character watches are not a prototype investment and a cartoon character on the dial is not necessarily the fastest way to communicate to passersby that you have dropped a large amount of change on the watch. But no watch speaks better to personal taste without equipment and love and cherish. “[A character watch] maybe not your first watch, maybe not your second,” Acosta said. “It could be a watch where you discover layers in your watch collection journey.”
And no character collector is more excited to see their watches than Snoopy. He is a big fan of watches dating back to the 50s, when New York-based manufacturer Armitron put Snoopy on its products. Before the Hodinkee x Bamford Snoopy watch, there was only the Bamford Snoopy watch. Timex and Swatch scoured Peanut catalog for different versions of cartoon dogs to place on their dials.