Up here in the cold northern Midwest we keep our watches covered under our sleeves, so it is a real treat when the watch aficionados at Hodinkee decided to come to Minneapolis for the weekend to participate in the annual Northern Grade, a pop up market for men's fashion and accessories. For a community known for their lack of ostentatious shows of wealth, a chance to see and talk about fine watches while drinking Grain Belt beer and enjoying appetizers at The Bachelor Farmer, an award winning locavore restaurant was an exciting start to a Friday night out. Hosted by restaurant owners and brothers Andrew and Eric Dayton (yep, those Dayton's department stores and relatives of the current governor) the evening started with a talk about vintage watch collecting basics given by Hodinkee's Jason Heaton. Turns out Heaton is a Minneapolis native with the laid back style and aw shucks depth of knowledge we have come to expect up here. He took the audience through key watchmakers, aspects of patina and grade, how to look for Frankenwatches, and aspects of watch history and provenance. This was particularly valuable as the audience was weighted towards the younger side, with yours truly at 48 being one of the older people present. It made me feel good to know that the future of vintage watch collecting is in good hands as people listened intently to what Jason had to say. Jason even supplied small Hodinkee field notebooks to each attendee so they could record and keep the information. After the talk Jason showed specific watches that will be available for the weekend pop up store, discussing various aspects of each watch for people who stopped over at the viewing table in between other conversations. People were able to see examples ranging from an Audemars Piaget Royal Oak B, Pre-moon Omega Speedmasters, Rolex GMT Masters, and Universal Polerouters. All these watches will be for sale this weekend at the Northern grade pop up market NorthernGrade | Main A wonderful evening was had by all. Thanks again to Hodinkee for coming to Minneapolis!