Nothing helps shake off the doldrums of mid-winter like a visit to Geneva for the annual Salon International Haute Horlogerie. For the uninformed, SIHH is the watch trade show put on by the watch brands under the Richemont Group umbrella and some of their friends. Familiar names like IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Panerai set up shop next to lesser known watchmakers like Parmigiani and Gruebel-Forsey in the grand confines of the Palexpo convention center. We asked Gear Patrol’s Timekeeping writers to weigh in on what impressed them the most from this year’s crop of timepieces. Their picks vary from the classic to the outrageous (see the Tourbillon Yohan Blake, below), and together they represent a great range of SIHH 2013.
King of the hill and vale
The remote West is a far cry from where most modern SUVs claim their stomping grounds, but it’s exactly where we found ourselves recently. Utah’s desert landscape isn’t what you’d call sparse, as far as scenery is concerned. Sedimentary rock formations that range from the utterly massive to the small and bizarre are scattered as far as the eye can see, peppered by small patches of remnant snow and capped by the beautiful winter desert sky. But this is where we tested the 2013 Range Rover — and the car felt right at home.
New winter gear
Every six months all the major players in outdoor sports get together to show off their latest and greatest wares for the season. It’s like Comic Con, except cool: Outdoor Retailer has been the launch platform for just about every groundbreaking piece of skiing, climbing, backpacking and paddling gear that’s come to market. We were on the ground at this year’s winter show, and here are the fruits of our efforts: the best gear of Outdoor Retailer 2013.
Stay frosty, stay smart
Winter’s that time of year when dead Christmas trees tend to litter the neighborhood landscape, you don’t see your neighbors for weeks on end and countless pounds are added to the collective American waistline. But don’t forget the pains of winter driving — the wheelspin, the snow-induced oversteer and the eye-searing whiteout conditions that make you lose sight of just about everything. Though you can’t avoid it all, you can certainly learn some basic skills that should help you stay shiny side up and clear of the local towing company.
The History of America's Greatest Sports Car
Your loyalties may lie with other sports car brands, but the Corvette garners respect from all automotive circles for its remarkable capabilities, especially in light of its price. The Corvette is truly an American automotive icon and easily qualifies as America’s supercar, though it didn’t always boast the performance numbers of today. For at least the past three generations, it has been widely considered a bargain, as far as supercars go — with the speed, handling and track chops to make cars costing three times more quake in their brake shoes. Follow the Corvette as we detail its humble C1 inception to its modern automotive exotica in the recently released C7.
On Safari in Kenya
The Masai Mara National Reserve on Kenya’s southwestern border with Tanzania is blanketed with large mammals, so heavily in fact that it takes a day or two to register that the animals are real and not holographic or cutouts from a National Geographic photo spread. This is what happens when you combine a life spent mostly staring into a computer with the ease of international travel. One day I’m in Crown Heights, Brooklyn; 24 hours and four airplane meals later, I’m on safari in the African savanna.
I ain't afraid of no snow
Winter is the time of year when we reflect on those epic single track rides that cleanse the soul and remind us why we ride in the first place. But it’s also a season to remember that while you’re sitting on the couch with your rig hanging on a stand your fitness is disappearing faster than the sun. Let’s not let that happen. There’s no need to hang up the bike when it gets cold.
The watch company that came in from the cold
Gear Patrol’s Jason Heaton travels to Saxony, home of A. Lange & Söhne, to explore the region, experience the watchmaker and learn its storied history. Read on for our short film, photo essay and his story — filled with snowy drives, German culture, precision watchmaking and an incredible company that came out of the cold.
The real gear you'll need to survive when it all falls down
The world isn’t going to end in 2012. But things could still get hairy sometime in the future. So, what would you need to carry on after the grid permanently dissolves? What are the necessities, and how could you improve your chances of accessing them over the long haul? As a team of curious souls, we decided to dive into the brain trust of the unsociably paranoid and prepared — the sharers of secrets across dedicated survival blogs and forums — in search of answers.
Slipping through time, nearly untouched, in a Belizean Cave
In the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve of Western Belize, late in 1989, Dr. Thomas Miller jumped into a tributary of the Roaring River and swam inside an unnamed cave’s vine-covered mouth. But the American geologist wasn’t in pursuit of a lost Maya relic; he was there to study geomorphology: the formation of caves. What he found, however, led him to contact Dr. Jaime Awe, director of the Belize Institute of Archaeology, who recorded his findings in 1992.
We dream of next year's burnt rubber
2012 was a banner year for cars here at Gear Patrol. We tested our mettle in the driver’s seats of some great automobiles: Lamborghinis, Porsches, Bentleys, Jaguars, Audis, Mercedes, and Land Rovers, to name a few. 2013 should prove to be even better, as a slew of new cars beckon us to be experienced. So, as we gird our automotive loins, check out our wish list — whose tires we’d like to burn in 2013.
12 gifts for the adventure seeker
He shows up at Christmas dinner with new scars and less digits from his latest cage dives and winter Alpine ascents. His tales, most of them true, scare Aunt Betty to tears and enchant the kids. And while the adventurer’s gifts for you usually amount to a carved tribal trinket or a rock from a…
12 gifts for the booze lover
The Mixologist’s gotten you into plenty of blissful adventures, most of which ended without real long term damage to your record or your marriage. He’s a passionate guy, and he knows his craft: beer, that is. Malts, mash, wheat, barley, rye, and oh yes, sweet sweet delicious hops — he sucks them all down, grinning…
Christmas came early in Saxony this year, at least for Gear Patrol and a few other journalists who were given a rare sneak preview of one A. Lange & Söhne’s novelty timepieces for 2013. On a snowy night in a villa overlooking the Elbe River in Dresden, Lange CEO Wilhelm Schmid introduced the Grand Lange…
12 gifts for the tech obsessed
To the inexperienced, the words “techie” and “guy” seem synonymous. Sure, most guys do like technology these days — but like does not true a techie make. So while this list can absolutely be applied to any modern man, its real target is the hardcore gadget nut. The one who scours the blogs and refreshes…
12 gifts for the handyman
You lean on him all year-round to assist, assemble and install everything from kitchen cabinetry to those amazing Patagonian rosewood floors you love so much. He tirelessly tackles the disparate demands of Honey-Do lists and familial fixes without so much as a peep. And yet, of all the men featured in our 12 Guys of…
Riding a (blast) wave
Warfare is often a battle against change, and the U.S. military is always attempting to stay ahead of, or at least on top of, the curve. A fairly new yet significant player in this struggle is the MRAP, or Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle. From seemingly nowhere, the ubiquitous “Humvee” (High-Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle, or…
12 gifts for the aesthete
They speak to Adobe software like a petulant brother, organize bookshelves by color for “fun” and fill photo albums with typefaces. They find calm through arranging objects in right angles (whether it’s their property or not) and take pleasure knowing that they’ll always notice the details we philistines ignore. “They” are designers of course, that…
12 gifts for the traveler
These guys seem to have racked up a bigger airline status than Clooney and more time on the road than Kerouac. They call ports of call home and know how to navigate the TSA, border checkpoints and a nasty comped bar hangover with ease. Whether a job takes them to exotic first-world destinations or their…
12 gifts for the lead foot
To find gifts for those men who consider driving simply a way to get from point A to point B, head to the nearest Brookstone. For those impassioned drivers you know — the ones who have 5W-30 running through their veins, love talking about tire aspect ratios and own some kind of driving/riding apparel (which…
12 gift ideas for the fitness obsessed
The fitness fanatic is the man that puts in a quick 5K before the rest of us have even tossed the beans in the burr grinder. His body fat is measured in fractions, and biceps in feet. His dinner conversations involve things like basal metabolic rate; his pecs flex, noticeably, when he passes the pepper….
Hey There, Sport
How do you really define overkill? Is 510 horsepower too much or just being prepared? If your $100K luxury SUV can climb a 45 degree muddy slope in a forest, but only goes on grocery runs, does it really make a sound? The 2013 Range Rover Sport Supercharged answers the question, “what if you wanted…
12 gift ideas for the active adventurer
The outdoorsman on your list is easily identifiable: he’s rarely home and smells faintly of man sweat and wood smoke when you do catch him between excursions. His particular passion falls within an extensive of range possible pursuits (noodling for catfish, anyone?), but one thing is for certain — he does them outside. His look…
12 Gift ideas for the sofa spud
We’ve all got one. Maybe it’s you: The mediaphile in the family who’s impossible to shop for because he has it all and he’s seen it all — twice. His TV? Projected. His surround sound? 9.2. His wardrobe? Needs work. His love of movies and music has been fueled in the past by those enabling…
Time is the wisest counselor of all -- Pericles
“Time and tide wait for no man”, wrote Geoffrey Chaucer. We spend our days clamoring after bigger homes, nicer cars, the ultimate vacation spot — and time keeps ticking, someday getting the better of us. Death and taxes, as they say. Every so often, in the stillness of the night, we think about the legacy we’re leaving, about what will remain that has our name stamped on it long after we’re food for worms. Discomfortingly, it seems little will. Even in the world of architecture, with varied and vast creations across the globe, it’s a constant struggle to keep many historic buildings intact or to actually restore them to their original glory. Some survive, and many of those buildings aren’t even a century old. Others fall, their legacy continued only in photographs or history books.
Reaping Row C
The straightforward instruments used to harvest grapes by hand haven’t changed much through the years: A pair of picking shears (sharp and oiled, please), a generously proportioned basket and, God willing, decent weather and bottomless espresso. The process itself remains just as simple an affair. Choose a starting point within the grapevine row, look for mature grape clusters, aim shears slightly below the attached stem — snip — gently place cluster into basket. Repeat until basket is full.
A sublime encounter with the bull
In the world of exotic Italian automakers, the Lamborghini name needs no introduction — especially with the legacy of V12 superbeasts like the Miura and the Countach. Such icons adorned the walls of many a high school boy’s room just a few decades ago, and still ring true in our memories as a couple of…
Examining 007's inky origins
I’ve gaped at car chases, grinned from ear to ear over sly one-liners and left theaters flushed with the gory glory of Daniel Craig’s stone-faced massacres. No arguments here: theatrical James Bond is the perfect feel-good character for a whole sect of males. Cars, women, subterfuge and wit — that’s not a hard pill to…
Like a brick through a plate glass window
And so James Bond reluctantly retires his Beretta 418, in .25 ACP — and takes up the Walther Polizeipistole Kurz (police pistol, short) as his issued weapon, in both the original novel and the movie. Ian Fleming had Bond’s original Beretta catch in his holster in From Russia, With Love ; but in 1956 he…
Digging for gold
For our last Hunting eBay post (for now), I’ve turned the focus to cameras. When it comes to photography gear, eBay is packed with listings — occasionally even leaving you wondering where to begin. But even if you’re the type who likes to dig around eBay for store-beating deals on DSLR kits and lenses (free…