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Tuesday, July 29th
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Uncomplicated, for your wallet

Five Complications Under $500

From the Archives: Watches that simply tell time are a dime a dozen, and sometimes close to a dozen a dime. But start adding more functions and things can get complicated — and expensive. While we’re just starting to forgive the quartz watch for dealing a near death blow to our beloved mechanical timepieces, there’s no denying that when you want more bang for the buck, battery power is the way to go. You’ll pay dearly for dual time zones, flybacks, alarms and tide trackers on the mechanical side of the fence, but if you’re willing to put up with a tick-tick-tick seconds hand, we’ve found five watches that are happy to complicate your life for under (or around) five hundred dollars.

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Today in Gear: July 28, 2014

Today in Gear: A new spin on absinthe from Nashville, Wolverine’s 1,000 mile boots, a convenient iced coffee maker, and more.

Monday, July 28th
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GP x Petrolicious

The Collector Series, Part Thirteen: Ferrari 400i

Vintage is in something fierce. You can blame the cliche and assign Mad Men all you want. But vintage is deeper than that. A stretch of tough times and the “planned obsolescence” of today has refocused our attention to history even more than ever. New doesn’t always equate to better and some things really don’t work like they used to. The Collector, a new Octane series in partnership with the classic car experts at Petrolicious, acknowledges the automotive gems of yesteryear that have gone overlooked for one reason or another. As a series, the selections we’ll share stand as both a group of savvy buys we’d base our personal car collection around and as a source of inspiration for life in the wake of ownership.

Head to Petrolicious to read The Collector Series, Part Thirteen: The Ferrari 400, then peruse the kit it inspired.

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No blue jeans and sneakers allowed

Kit: Ferrari 400i

Just because the Ferrari 400i isn’t nearly as coveted as, say, a 512 Berlinetta Boxer, doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of respect. It’s just the right car for the businessman who wants to set himself apart from the typical German sports sedan. For starters, it’s got automotive character in spades, and it’s still thrilling to drive as well as hear. To own one, dress and gear up appropriately. Gear Patrol has the right kit to helm this Cavallino Rampante.

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A case study in the downsides of the CUV

The Bizarre Success of the BMW X6

The BMW X6 been around since 2007 and has found shockingly good sales success for BMW, even earning a refresh this year: all this, despite its inferior specs, a small interior, and the fact that it looks like it’s been whacked with the same ugly stick as the Pontiac Aztek. So how does the X6 manage to draw buyers?

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Jeep's radical departure pays off

In the 2015 Jeep Renegade, Very Different is Very Good

Jeep is an American automotive staple, but it hasn’t done anything radically new in, well…ever. This signature Jeep American-ness on four driven wheels now gets its biggest injection of originality in the form of the Italian-made, Fiat 500L-based 2015 Jeep Renegade.

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The weird vehicles that started it all

CUV DNA: The Original Crossovers

While the marketing term “crossover” is a recent invention, the concept is not. Automakers have been making cars that fill the gap between utility vehicles and family cars for decades. Here are three that helped to determine what the crossover is today, along with their modern-day kindred spirits.

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This tiger's got teeth

An Achtung Baby: Quick Spin in the 2015 Porsche Macan

Twelve years ago, we said a Porsche truck was a bad idea. Boy, were we wrong. A quick drive in the 2015 Porsche Macan made our eaten words that much more delectable.

Buying Guide
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Crossovers to the dark side

Five Best Performance Crossovers

By AMOS KWON

Crossovers have changed in the recent past; you no longer have to trade in your testicles and driving sense to drive one. Even the haters (car nuts) have been proven wrong now that more horses, better driving dynamics and sleeker silhouettes have shown up in performance-focused crossovers. Here are five that break hard from the pack of mediocre crossovers still stuck in the driver’s ed parking lot.

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Not your neighbor's crossover

Driving the SQ5, Audi’s Secret Powerhouse

From the Archives: Perhaps the most enjoyable car to drive in 2014 is one you wouldn’t even stop to admire in a parking lot. The 2014 Audi SQ5 ($59,400) doesn’t have ostentatious styling; its idling engine wouldn’t wake a sleeping babe; it can seat a family of four comfortably with room for luggage. Yet it’s an absolute powerhouse.

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What's New, Now

Today in Gear: July 28, 2014

Today in Gear: Denon adds Dolby Atmos to its receivers, the Nvidia Shield is perfect for gamers on the go, Laphroaig’s newest release and more.

Friday, July 25th
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Our inbox overfloweth

Letters to GP: July 2014

We read all of your letters. Here’s the proof.

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What to See, Read and Hear

This Week in Culture: July 25, 2014

This Week in Culture: aerial photos of the Aussie coast, an inside look at Lebowksi, lots of pens, the history of the autocorrect and more.

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The Slow-n-Low Pursuits of one of Montreal's Best restaurants

The Smoker: An Excerpt from the Joe Beef Cookbook

You don’t just build a smoker and start cooking in it. Like any other major project, the idea turns into an obsession, which turns into a real possibility, which turns into a mess. Only then can you see what your initial idea has twisted itself into. We know this, and so does Frédéric Morin of Joe Beef. In this excerpt from the restaurant’s cookbook, Morin explains the tortuous path from a childhood of smoky fiddlings to an adulthood of…smoky fiddlings. And, ultimately, a working, self-built smoker at Joe Beef in Montreal.

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Hint: it involves flying fish roe

Montreal Meets New York, in a Bagel Shop

We get three bagel sandwich recipes from Black Seed Bagels in NYC, where they combine New York and Montreal styles to build the king of donut-shaped foods.