Editorial & Opinion

Hot, primordial ooze

Hiking in Hawaii’s Lava Fields

One of the most diverse islands on the planet, Hawaii Island plays host to all but two of the world’s ecosystems, including active volcanoes. GP contributor Will McGough summits Kilauea Crater for a firsthand look inside the Devil’s Kitchen.

Why 3D Ruined The World Cup Experience For Everyone

Decrypted: The World Cup’s 4K Tragedy

In 2010 ESPN banked big on 3D as the new way to watch the World Cup. It didn't work out well. Now the most notable advancement in high-definition television, 4K, is being left out of coverage of 2014's tournament -- and it's a damn shame.

Third-Party Extensibility Thrives in iOS 8

Decrypted: Apple Drops its Guard

Make no mistake: what we’re witnessing right now is the beginning of a new Apple. The company that showed itself during the WWDC 2014 keynote is dramatically different from the Apple of years past, a company that had maintained a legendary wall around its wares, demanding that users either do things their way or go elsewhere. And if I had to guess, I’d wager that most of you reading this stand to benefit yesterday's shift.

The Watch as A lesson

Father, Time

Unlike many family traditions, including those shown in Patek Philippe ads, in our family, watch gifts didn’t flow from father to son but rather the other way around.

When more is way too much

The Business of Busyness

Nissan's third generation Murano bowed at the New York Auto Show this spring. The reason you didn't see it in our Ten Best list from the show is because I hate it the way my architect wife hates attached garages and vinyl siding. Car design is trending toward overbearing, thanks in no small part to the tastes of drivers. But there's still hope out there.

Case in Point

Why the Watch Case Matters

Most discussions about watches and their value begin and end with the movement: Swiss versus Japanese, in-house versus outsourced, finishing and complications. But in reality, the movement is only part of the story. All too often overlooked is the humble watch case, which can be equally artful, interesting, and difficult to produce.

bat dogs, biscuits, and $3 beers...sign us up

Minor League Baseball: The King of Summer Sports

If you’re looking for something to do on a Friday night this summer, put down the craft cocktails and go take in the American Pastime at its absolute best.

Goodbye, Net Neutrality

Decrypted: What AT&T’s $42.5 Billion Dollar Purchase Means For You

Just over 30 years ago, the U.S. Department of Justice mandated the breakup of the Bell System in order to prevent AT&T from essentially gaining control over all of America’s telephony services. Later this year, AT&T will likely be allowed to join hands with the largest satellite television provider in the United States. As they say, what goes around usually comes around.

You Can Give a man a fish...

Life Lessons in Borneo

GP contributor Will McGough goes fishing in Borneo and reels in a dose of humility.

Deadly Salmon, Banana Rafts, and other

GP Tales of Near Death in Nature

We love outdoor adventures, but sometimes they don't love us back. Five GP staffers discuss their scariest run-ins with the elements.

A Heavy-Hearted Take on Today's 24

A Eulogy for Jack Bauer

One Gear Patrol writer's love of 24, and his dismay at the state of the show's recently renewed run.

Fast, understated, and utterly desirable

The Chevrolet SS is a Modern-Day American Sleeper

Most of us with high-octane petrol in our veins can't own a super car and won't own a minivan. Chevrolet still cares about us. How do we know? The Chevy SS, one of the best modern sleepers in the business.

A Life Worth Saving

Repair Your Gear

Gear worth owning is pricey, and repairs used to be the path of least resistance. Today, it’s actually kind of a pain. Yet reviving well-worn gear has major payoffs.

The Razor's Edge

The Best Shave I Ever Had

Mycah was grinning like a guy who just ran the table in billiards. A barber, easily in his 70s or 80s, practically danced around him, trimming his hair. The old man was stocky and cheerful and also grinning. The barber leaned Mycah back for a shave, all the while smiling and floating on his toes. And after a quick splash of aftershave and some mentholated powder, it was my turn.

Existential Invasion

Opinion: Under The Skin, Both Alien and Real

In recent years, movies like Moon, Her and Another Earth have shown audiences that great sci-fi can be subtle, thought-provoking and underbudget. Under The Skin, starring Scarlett Johansson, pushes this trend forward -- proof positive that a big budget, gore or even a spaceship aren’t necessary for an alien invasion.

Will Dufour Bring the Conservative Brand Into the Modern Age?

A New Rolex CEO Gets the Keys to the Kingdom

Rolex had just three CEOs in its first century of existence; it's had three more in just the past eight years. This week, the iconic company made the latest change in its game of musical chairs, putting Jean-Frédéric Dufour, whom many will recognize as the man who turned Zenith around, in the hot seat. This a major development for one of the most conservative companies in a very conservative industry -- particularly because of Dufour's track record.

The Brawler Gets Dressed Up

Is the 2015 Mustang the Right Stablemate?

What has Ford wrought with the 2015 Mustang? It's rumored to be better than the previous car in virtually every way, but dare we say, it's also less American and less 'Stang, at least on its face. In Ford's quest to make the new Mustang a "world car", they seem to have lost some of the car's red, white and blue attitude.

A Starion is born

Bring It Back: The Mitsubishi Starion

The Mitsubishi Starion was one of the automotive standouts of the 1980s, not that it took much. It was angular everywhere but the wheels, but it did it right, and it was properly fast, too. Despite the greatness of the Lancer Evo, Mitsubishi has lost its way in the rest of its modern lineup -- and a new, 21st-century version of the Starion could be just the adrenaline injection the brand needs right now.

I Had a Vasectomy

Not Broken, But Fixed

At my age, many milestones in life have passed: school, first career, first marriage, kids by the first wife, divorce, second marriage, kid by the second wife. Like the vast majority of fathers out there, I love my kids and consider them the greatest blessings. However, there comes a point where you have to consider your work done and hang up your spurs.

A Conversation with the Jerusalem Police

Is The Jerusalem Marathon Safe?

Jeremy Berger speaks to Brigadier General Avishai Peled, Deputy Commander of the Jerusalem Police District, about the safety of this year's Jerusalem Marathon.

Walk a Mile in Our Shoes

Opinion: Raising Money Through Marathons

In New York, over the past six years, the number of charity runners has doubled, meaning that twice as many people are on Facebook, flexing in running gear and asking for money. Is it a distraction or beneficial? Gear Patrol debates.

No value package option here

The Argument for Brash Cars

If those with little personality and no detectable level of driving skill get their way, the Google Autonomous Car will be the most welcomed news of their humdrum adult lives. Sure, it has a place in the automotive landscape, mitigating traffic and hopefully decreasing the number of accidents, but it also excites us as much as a bowl of Grape Nuts and skim milk. On the other hand, it's the cars that don't make complete sense whose windows we're fogging with our hot, lusty breaths. We're after chutzpah, brazen performance, design, technology or all of the above. Here's why.

Captain Planet approved. Sort of.

Sentient Speed: The Dawning of Supercars With a Conscience

The Porsche 918, the McLaren P1 and the Ferrari LaFerrari are still all about superlatives -- fastest, best handling, most exotic. But they also repurpose the latest technology to maximize the "dear lord" factor. They're redefining excess, not stamping it out.

Wait...Yuengling's not an Import?

A Case for the Large Craft Brewery

Put a Heady Topper next to a Busch. One of the beers is craft, and the other is not. Why? When does a beer stop being craft? Who wrote the current definition, and why did they define craft like they did? Part of the answer, it turns out, involves two breweries you know.

Innovation in an automotive paradigm shift

Japan and the Future of Personal Transportation

We've been witness over the past few years of the rise of city bikes, hybrids, electric, and clean burning diesel cars; we've also seen prototypes of urban personal mobility vehicles, whose use will likely rise dramatically in the coming decades due to increased urbanization. And it's our far east friends in Japan who at the forefront of the development of such vehicles, from robotically-assisted exoskeletons to enclosed electric scooters to portable motorized chairs.

IS is it

Deutsche Dethroned: When Lexus Beat BMW

BMW has spent the past several years making its cars more luxurious and better appointed for its upmarket customers. While BMW was upping the luxury, Lexus was moving in the opposite direction, not by making their cars any less luxurious, but instead placing a stronger emphasis -- maybe even a bull's-eye target -- on sportiness. The result? For now, the BMW 3 has to get off the gilded chair and let the new kid have the scepter of power.

This Indo-Brit could pull it off

Feline Force: Can the Jaguar XE Overcome the Past?

For decades, the BMW 3-Series has been the sports sedan benchmark by which all others are measured, but all that is changing in this steel cage death match that includes German, Japanese and American contenders. BMW, naturally, has its hat in the ring. Then there's the Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C Class, Lexus IS, Infiniti Q50, Cadillac ATS, and soon a new Jaguar known as the XE, which was recently announced but not fully revealed at the Geneva Motor Show.

The Last Light in the Universe

Why “Cosmos” is a Beacon of Hope

When I was little, the Discovery Channel ran cultural and wildlife documentaries and history specials. It was stuff that made me want to become a paleontologist. Now, the station runs shows like “Amish Mafia,” “Game of Stones,” and “Rods N’Wheels,” not to be confused with the similarly named -- and similarly themed -- “Fast N’Loud.” In these dark times, the upcoming Cosmos reboot offers a glimmer of hope.

Think Globally, Drink Locally

On the Joys of Tropical Beer

One of the sublime joys of a tropical vacation is the beer. I’m not talking about anything you can find at your corner liquor store in Manhattan (Kansas or New York), or even those Mexican imports with the clever TV ads. I’m talking about the ones that come in brown bottles with peeling labels and caps that you knock off on the edge of a table, beers with names like Belikin, Polar, Banks, Sands, Sol, Belashi, Kalik or Three Coins.

The Wagon of My Dreams

All Hail the Volvo 240 GLT Turbo Wagon, the Coolest Wagon Ever Made

As much as I'd love to press my garage door opener and find a wickedly fast Audi A6 Avant 3.0 TDI bi-turbo or Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S 4Matic Wagon waiting within, the real wagon of my dreams might actually be even more difficult to come by and definitely moves at geologic speed compared to the aforementioned family rocket sleds. It's a true driver's car that just happens to be an iconic station wagon, too: the Volvo 240 GLT Turbo Wagon.

An empire once again?

The Horological State of the Union Jack

The 1700s really were the halcyon days of horological innovation and most of it was happening in the British Isles. In 1800, some reports say that Britain made half the world’s watches, around 200,000 a year. By 1900 however, production numbers had fallen to roughly 100,000, though worldwide consumption was by then in the millions. So what happened? And where does British timekeeping stand today?

Great Advice from a Dozen Great Women

The Valentine’s Day Journal

Confronted with two contradictory truths that nevertheless exist simultaneously -- Valentine's Day is a superficial Hallmark holiday, Valentine's Day requires decisive action on our part -- we fumble around and fuck things up. Knowing this, we came up with one very good idea: asking the women we trust what they think about love, romance and February’s big holiday. They’re bright, beautiful and successful. They’re sommeliers, teachers and racecar drivers. They’re editors, photographers and athletes. These are their insights.

Insight from our man on the ground

Notes from the Sochi Games

I'm in Sochi this week, and guess what? I haven’t been blown up, my phone hasn’t been hacked, my hotel room is quite nice and the water from the taps isn’t brown. Instead I’ve seen some amazing athletes doing some amazing things on the ice and snow and had my preconceptions sincerely rattled.

Time to Go?

Opinion: Are Mechanical Tool Watches Mere Relics?

For years and years, mechanical watches served not only as everyday timekeepers but also legitimate tools: a diver’s underwater timing mechanism, a doctor’s pulsometer, a driver’s tachymeter. The list goes on. But what about today? Has the advent of digital devices made mechanical watches irrelevant as tools? Two watch experts debate.

Go, Speed, Go!

The Spell of Speed Racer

One of the most iconic cars the world has ever seen doesn't even exist. It's sleek, has a three-pointed front end, a huge red M emblazoned on the hood, myriad gadgets like saw blades and a periscope and sometimes has a little kid and a crazy chimpanzee in the trunk. It's Speed Racer's Mach 5, and both the car and its super-skinny driver made an indelible impression on me as a boy. More than candy and snow days, I longed for the next episode of Speed Racer with its high drama, fast cars and peril on and off the track.

The Fantastic Freezing Five

Ode to the Winter Pentathlon

In the history of the Winter Games, the most spectacular, over-the-top event to take place was a one-off: the Winter Pentathlon at the 1948 Winter Games. There may never have been a more elitist combination of athletic feats grouped together at one time before that fateful winter, and there likely hasn't been since. A winter pentathlete in 1948 did the following in rapid succession: cross country skiing, shooting, downhill skiing, horse riding and...fencing. We love it. We long for it. We want it back.

A Young Man Reminisces on his truest ride

A Love Letter to My 2007 Kawasaki Ninja 250

Somewhere in a musty garage basement in northern Pennsylvania, my 2007 Kawasaki Ninja 250, silver with a few small red stripes on its cowling, sits collecting dust. I miss her. She deserves far better than this, and someday soon I'll give it to her: open roads dappled in spring sunshine, screaming lunges out of tight twisting corners, highway cruises where she can yell as loud as she likes. She's just a little thing, but ccs don't mean anything to me. I ogle Ducatis; she doesn't mind. Our relationship is not about displacement.

From My Cold, Plastic-Ensconced Feet

An Open Letter on Ski-only Resorts

To Whom It May or May Not Concern, There is a menace roaming these hallowed hills. Ever since that infamous Muskegon, Michigan snow day some 49 years saw the debut of the “Snurfer”, the world has been burdened with those who choose to lash themselves to a single board and careen through our mountains like an errant shot from a misfired handgun. It is today, my fellow skiers, that we must look deep within ourselves to rid this menace from our freshly driven slopes.

Jim Beam-san

Opinion: Jim Beam, Suntory Style

In 1923, a pharmaceutical representative named Shinjiro Torii built a distillery in Yamazaki with the dream of creating a Japanese whisky for the Japanese people. His original distillery evolved into Suntory, a holding company that recently made a $13.62 billion cash play for Beam, Inc., makers of Jim Beam brand spirits, Old Crow, and Maker’s Mark, among others. If it goes through, Suntory will become the third largest whiskey company by volume in the world. What does this mean for the whiskey (and whisky) world?

The Blue Oval gets Ballsy

With the 2015 Ford F-150, A Leader Goes on An Aluminum Diet

The most devilishly good detail in the 2015 Ford F-150 is more than skin deep. In fact, it sits just below the no doubt soon-to-be scuffed paint job. You see, Ford has made its boldest move in decades by building their flagship truck's body out of aluminum instead of tried-and-true steel. It's move that's both expected because of the environmental trend and pioneering due to the vehicle in which Ford has chosen to make the paradigm shift.

The Good, the Bad, and the sometimes Knockoff

Opinion: Rethinking “Made in China”

The phrase “Made in China” conjures up thoughts of inexpensive, low quality, and even knockoff products. While there is some fact behind these connotations, there isn't an absolute truth. The Chinese watch industry is no different; quality is all over the map. But in recent years, Chinese watchmakers have started taking quality more seriously. Putting aside the ever-present knockoffs and replicas, “Made in China” watches have the ability to fit low-priced niches that Swiss watchmakers can’t or won’t touch.

And romance in general, mind you

Opinion: An Argument for Romance Films

Pop quiz, Hot Shot: if your goal were to charm your newest flame at the start of your first date together the more appropriate gift would be (a) a dozen roses or (b) the bloody severed head of your arch nemesis. Give up? The answer is a dozen roses. If you answered "your enemy’s head", you have either transported here from some three thousand year old barbaric tribe and/or you’re being an ignorant smartass. Romance is important in life. And you're missing out on excellent films if you ignore the genre.

A grand vision and a noble idea

Essay: America, The Once and Future King of Watchmaking?

A century or more ago, watchmaking in the United States was the equal of any in the world. Unfortunately, in the intervening years that industry has largely gone away. Yet there are those who would like to see the industry and its uniquely American timepieces return, people who believe “Made in the USA” should be a label as valuable -- and meaningful -- on a watch dial as “Swiss Made” is today. Could such a thing happen?