Stephen Pulvirent November 08 2017
Just a little digging in the world of watches reveals that Stephen Pulvirent has got an influential voice. In his position as managing editor and director of operations at Hodinkee, the most premier and knowledgeable wristwatch site in the world, he has quickly grown to become a respected expert in the field.
After starting out his career with Hodinkee, his job-path followed work at Bloomberg & Surface Media, before returning 1,5 year ago to Hodinkee as their newly appointed managing editor. Founded in 2008, Hodinkee (Czech for a wristwatch), is based on an idea to focus their content on a single subject, instead of broadening their content. The editorial team has achieved their success, with the creation of material, that is both easy to understand, as well as accurate on the field.
Much like his interest in watches, Stephen Pulvirent has an excellent eye for the aesthetics of life, as a former contributor to GQ & Gentleman's Gazette. His work as an editor & photographer is something we enjoy following, via his Instagram feed @Sjpulvirent, where he highlights some of his interests and his professional life. Since he has chosen to include Mismo in his daily professional endeavors, we teamed up with him for a Q&A, to depict the person behind the passion.
Stephen Pulvirent taking pictures in New York carrying his Mismo M/S Backpack in Army/Cuoio
What drew you to working with watches?
I actually came to watches through the world of menswear. I started blogging and writing about clothes when I was in college, focusing mostly on custom, hand-made things – bespoke suits, bench-made shoes, etc. As I was moving from Chicago to New York, I was freelancing a story for Businessweek about a historic watch auction and got hooked. Shortly after, I ended up joining HODINKEE as the first employee, and I've been all-in ever since.
I'm one of those people who loves getting really into things and watches provide basically endless complexity and opportunities to learn. Watches represent a unique mix of engineering, history, pop-culture, and design. The community has grown so much too, even in the five years I've been in the industry. There are so many interesting people who end up connecting through these tiny mechanical objects.
Photo taken by Stephen
What projects are you currently working on?
We've got some big things cooking at HODINKEE right now, some of which I can't quite talk about yet. However, we recently launched our first ever print magazine, a project that we've wanted to do as long as I've been with the company. It turned out really fantastic (if I may say so myself) and brings a whole new dimension to our coverage. The magazine includes stories about architecture, vintage cars, travel, and other things that, while outside of watches, are part of the HODINKEE lifestyle.
Any quirky hobbys or passions aside from work (and watches:)?
I'm a huge hockey fan. Anyone who really knows me can tell you this. If there's a New York Rangers game on, I'm almost certainly watching somewhere, on the edge of my seat (likely yelling at the TV too), even if it's on my laptop in a Swiss hotel room at four o'clock in the morning. It's my one passion that has absolutely nothing to do with the subjects I cover professionally. Architecture, design, art, fashion, food, and technology are all in some way part of my work or tangential to it. Hockey is totally separate – it's my big release. I turn my brain off and just enjoy myself.
Name one thing or routine you have to do every day to get by?
I had to stop drinking coffee a few years ago because I discovered it gave me migraines. I love coffee, so it was really tough to give it up. Since then, I've switched over to Japanese green tea and I drink a cup of Matcha every morning – hot in the winter, cold in the summer. It's less about the caffeine and more about a sense of ritual and taking time to enjoy something special every day. I'm a creature of habit and those little things make a big difference for me.
My wife and I also have a five pound, 14-year-old Yorkshire Terrier named Eddie who I'm obsessed with. He's a tiny old man and the best. First thing every morning, we take him for a walk around our neighborhood and if it's a weekday I split off and head to the office right from there. I couldn't ask for a better way to start the day.
What is your favourite architectural building and why?
This is a really tough one. I think you have to experience a building to really understand it, so I'll limit this to those I've visited. It's a toss-up between Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye in Poissy, France, and Richard Neutra's VDL Research House in Los Angeles, California. They're two very different takes on Modern architecture, but equally impactful.
Richard Neutra's VDL Research House in Los Angeles, California & Harpel House by John Lautner
I visited Villa Savoye about two years ago and I had never seen a building like it. It still looks a bit futuristic today, but to think about what it must have looked like to the locals when it was finished in 1931 is astounding. The attention to detail through the house and the grounds is mind-blowing. Funnily though, the family that commissioned it hated living there and never settled in, but that didn't matter to Le Corbusier – he was making works of art that could be lived in, and cared about the former a lot more than the latter.
The VDL Research House is just the opposite. Neutra created the home for his own family, with space for his studio and apprentices too. There are plenty of nerdy reasons to like the building, and it perfectly embodies everything Modernism is about, but above all else, it is a comfortable place that instills a sense of calm and peace as you move through it. Everything has been considered, but you notice the overall effect much more than the individual components. It's a truly special place and you can feel it when you're there.
What’s the next thing you’re really looking forward to?
I've been traveling a lot for work lately, so things have been a bit hectic. Over Thanksgiving week I'm holing up with my wife in western Massachusetts, where I'm planning on spending the week cooking, reading, and editing all the photographs that I haven't found time to touch over the last few months. Equal parts relaxing and productive – my favorite.
Stephen Pulvirent from his Personal Archive
Will Holloway, @wbhollow on Instagram, for the series of Stephen in New York