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Sunday, 20 March 2016

SIX OF THE BEST: Tick Talk


Blake Drayson's Tick Talk, a blog about horology (the collection and study of watches), is exactly the reason this Six Of The Best column was started. It probably doesn't currently appear in the blogrolls of many readers of HeroPress, but demonstrates the diversity of hobby blogs that are out there. It's also a 'young' blog and an example of a blogger's knowledge of his subject growing with his blog.

(1) How long have you been blogging, and how’d you get into it in the first place?

I started blogging in May of last year so I am relatively new to the scene. I have friends who have written and continue to write blogs and I have tried to write in the past but never really found a hook that kept me going.

All of that changed with an unexpected present idea from my fiancé for my 35th birthday. She wanted to buy me a watch. I had not thought about watches in any meaningful way since I was much younger and never really considered collecting them, but this process of looking for, and ultimately deciding on, a watch ignited something inside me that ultimately drove me to collecting.

Making the jump from appreciating and acquiring watches to writing about them happened fairly quickly, it was only a few months after my birthday that I penned my first post. I think the fact that I knew other bloggers and that I had tried to write on different topics before pushed me towards setting up Tick Talk. It is still young but I am enjoying it immensely.

(2) What do you blog about, and how frequently do you post?

I blog about watches and watch collecting, all from the perspective of a novice collector. This ranges from why I personally collect, to articles about the basic types of watches, their technologies and history. I also write reviews on watches and articles on exhibitions or boutiques I have visited.

The blog is driven by where my collecting takes me - I do not currently have a defined path but more of a general excitement about watches that pulls me (and hopefully the reader) along for the ride.

When I started, the idea was to write a post every one to two weeks, but unfortunately the practicalities of life have tended to get in the way and my posts have been less frequent than I have liked.

I am currently house hunting and that has had an impact on my free time, there are also elements of writing the blog I had never considered when I started, for example; I do not currently have a lighting setup at home to take pictures in all conditions (most of my pictures have been outside in good light).

This (and the dark winter days) in turn has limited some of my posts being published, they are written but need me to take pictures to go with them, I am hoping to address this soon but it is something, due to my inexperience, that took me by surprise.

Blake's first watch review was the Vostok Komandirskie

(3) How does your blog stand out from all the rest?

That is a tough one, I have not compared myself directly with other bloggers as I have not been around as long as most of them. The approach I have taken with the blog has been one of a novice coming to watch collecting (which is exactly what I was). I had not built up a wealth of knowledge before starting out, so hopefully this will appeal to other collectors who are just beginning, or people who are considering a watch collection. I hope the blog will evolve over time as my knowledge grows but I will always try and present the content in a way that does not have too much assumed knowledge.

(4) What’s the best (and worst) thing about blogging?

The best, is the sense of achievement when I have written an article, re-written it, re-read it, changed it and then finally hit publish! I also love getting feedback or comments on articles - I enjoy the interaction be it good or bad. It also still makes me smile that I am writing articles as I never really considered writing as one of the areas I was particularly strong in or likely to do (I come from as Science / Tech background).

The worst is sticking to a schedule and trying my best to not get distracted from writing articles, there never appears to be as much time as you need nowadays, maybe it is because I am getting old!

(5) Do you have any self-imposed rules (or guidelines) for your blog?

I have never sat down and thought about specific rules for writing blog articles, in hindsight it would make sense to have some to build some structure (makes a note for later...). I think the only rule I do try to follow is to make everything I write something that I enjoy and hope others will enjoy, and not to write just for the sake of content. Your heart has to be in it, otherwise it will show.

(6) Name one blog everyone should be reading (other than your own).

The Watch Bloke, without a doubt. Even if you have just a passing interest in watches his blog on watch repairs, the wonderful photographs and explanations of the watches that have passed through his workshop are a joy to read. Also I can vouch for his work, having had various watches repaired and regulated there.

The third most complicated watch in the world: the Star Caliber 2000

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