Breakdown: Seiko Astron GPS Solar
The Seiko Astron ($2,115) is billed as a World’s First: a watch that recognizes all 39 current world time zones by tapping into the global network of GPS satellites for location and time. It also does so while remaining remarkably uncluttered. We break it down.
LG Hecto 100-inch Laser Smart TV
Laser beams. Why aren't laser beams everywhere? It's 2013 -- we're supposed to be living in yesteryear's science fiction by now, right? Leave it to the not-so-mad scientists at LG to second that notion. This 100-inch Smart TV (but one of many Smart TVs from LG) has a laser diode-based light source, which means more displayable colors with richer saturation, and since lasers are, well, lasers, the picture is fast enough to practically eliminate motion blur.
Kit: Diving the Bahamas
While we love diving for its ability to transport us to an alien world, defy gravity and commune with nature, we also love it for the gear. Diving may be the most gear-intensive sport out there, with the possible exception of mountain climbing. Without your mask, you don’t see, without your tank and regulator, you don’t breathe, without your dive computer, you risk a nasty case of the bends. For our recent trip to the Bahamas, we packed along our favorite warm water diving kit, a collection of necessities, safety backups and just a little bit of style.
Time On Our Hands: Chronograph Shootout
The popularity and prevalence of chronographs might just make one think that it is an easy watch complication. Everyone from Hamilton and Tissot on up the line to the loftier likes of Patek and Lange & Söhne have one in their lineups. Something about the asymmetrical cases -- those buttons poking out from under a shirtsleeve -- and the gauge-like dials with tachymetric scales and multiple subdials seems irresistible to men everywhere. So when we recently got our hands on three of the best available in-house built automatic column wheel chronographs from three legendary companies -- Zenith, OMEGA and Girard-Perregaux -- it presented an opportunity we couldn't pass up. We'll call it a shootout -- loosely.
Want This, Get This: Vintage Rolex Daytona or Vintage Tudor “Big Block” Chronograph
Today we’ve got a vintage version of “Want This, Get This”, and its timing couldn’t be better. 2013 is the convergence of two important events in the watch world: it is the 50th anniversary of the Rolex Daytona and also the year in which Tudor makes its American market comeback. One is virtually unattainable to mere mortals and one will give you the same look and Rolex pedigree without having to mortgage your home.
Kit: Ultimate Mountain Challenge
The Ultimate Mountain Challenge at the GoPro Summer Mountain Games is one of the most unique multi-sport events in the world. You'll navigate white water, race up and down the ski slopes of Vail Mountain Resort on your mountain bike and in your running shoes, and finish with a grueling road bike time trial up to 9,500 feet in Vail Pass. Of course, it's also the perfect excuse to update aging gear and even splurge on a great bike or even a paddle board. Here's a look at the gear that got us through the race.
Time On Our Hands: Crepas Cayman 3000
Crepas Watches out of Malaga, Spain is a niche dive watch company that elicits true horological lust. Each of Crepas's three previous releases sold out, if that's any indication. Using classic dive watches as their muse, Crepas issues one watch per year, and their latest release, the Cayman 3000 (~$1,190), found its way to our doorstep this summer.
The Year’s Best Sailing Watches
There are few scenes that conjure up summer more than white sails against a blue sky, whether you're cruising in a 12-meter out of Newport, rounding buoys in a Laser at your lake's weekend regatta, or just sitting on the beach watching the action. Our country's lore and style are steeped in sailing culture, and watch companies haven't ignored the nautical theme. Even if the closest you come to a boat all year is your company's annual booze cruise, you can still channel a little bit of the maritime vibe and look like an old salt with any of this year's fleet of nautical watches.
Breakdown: Zenith Stratos Flyback Striking 10th
Zenith has had its share of ups and downs. After decades of success making watches for everyone including Mahatma Gandhi, the brand may have reached its zenith (sorry) in 1969 with the release of the El Primero chronograph, arguably the world’s first full-rotor self-winding chronograph. The '70s and quartz bottomed out the brand, but it has since recovered. We break down Zenith's Stratos Flyback Striking 10th ($9,500), released in tribute to the Austrian BASE jumper Felix Baumgartner, the man who would jump from a balloon 130,000 feet above the Earth -- with this watch on his wrist.
Tested: Boardworks Surf Badfish MCIT SUP Board
After spending my morning commute passing the Stand-up Paddling Yoga group (yes, it's a thing) at the local pond, I got curious and found the perfect venue to explore this blossoming sport: the Vail Summer Mountain Games. The only disconnect between registering for the SUP river sprint at the Summer Mountain Games and actually racing? I'd never been on a paddle board. But first times are a charm, so I settled on the ten-foot six-inch Boardworks Surf Badfish Board ($1,429) and made for the water.
Five Quartz Watches We Wouldn’t Be Ashamed to Wear
While haute horlogerie is all about insane complications these days, even basic mechanicals are lots of fun when we get to peek under the hood. But quartz watches? They give one the feeling of an absolute black box: no clue what goes on in there. So sure, we'd rather go mechanical, but to overlook quartz watches is to ignore unique performance and a form-follows-function vibe in some pretty cool purpose-built watches. Quartz timepieces are, by their very nature, more accurate and often more comfortable to wear than their mechanical forebears. Sometimes those traits are welcome, like when you're swinging a golf club, marching into battle or just lifting a cold one on a hot afternoon. We take a look at a few electromechanical beasts that would add some much-needed variety to your watch box.
Time on Our Hands: Meridian Prime MP-01
A mix of precision and ruggedness has long defined the history of British watches, and that tradition is being carried forward by young companies like Bremont and Schofield, whose designs and sensibilities conjure up images of ships’ chronometers, RAF flying aces, lonely lighthouses and polar explorers. The latest British brand to jump into the fray, Meridian, hopes to espouse the same in their MP-01 ($6,000) timepiece. Does the Prime MP-01 achieve its goal? We aimed to find out.
Want This, Get This: Breitling Navitimer 01 or Sinn 903 St
Pilots are daring. They wear cool clothes. They have sunglasses that are named after their profession. If you fit the mold -- or even if you don't -- no one will blame you for some "finest form of flattery", and a pilot's watch is an excellent way to do it. In this week's Want This, Get This, we compare two prime examples: the Breitling Navitimer 01 and the Sinn 903 St.
The Well-Traveled Wrist: Five Great Travel Watches
In a wristwatch, any function beyond merely telling the time of day is called a “complication”. This term encompasses simple functions such as the date, poetic ones like the phases of the moon or even something as esoteric as sidereal time. But perhaps the most useful watch complication is the ability to tell the time in more than one time zone. Since the advent of the traveler’s watch, we’ve seen every conceivable variation of the traveler's watch -- for pilots, divers, businesspeople -- but all still live up to their raisons d’êtres: keeping track of the world’s times at a glance, no matter the complication style. Here are five of the best out there (yes, we said best, so gird your wallets) that are ready to take flight.
The boys at Bremont have done it again, this time with their limited edition Codebreaker ($18,700 in steel), honoring the UK's Government Code and Cipher School (GC & CS) at Bletchley Park. As with their previous limited edition pieces (like the HMS Victory and the P-51), Bremont co-founders Giles and Nick English weren't content to merely limit production and slap a number on the case back.
Canon EOS 6D: Turning Creativity Into Reality
The creative process is a series of concessions. That ideal image, pristine and brilliant in your mind, gradually breaks down in the face of technological limitations and, well, real life. Canon's EOS 6D, the lightest and most affordable of the brand's full-frame models, seeks to narrow the gap between vision and reality. With a 20.2 megapixel sensor, a 100 to 125,6000 ISO range, and 11-point autofocus, the EOS 6D more than holds up its end of the creative bargain. Read on for a breakdown of all the camera's unique features.
Introducing: Gear Patrol Shorts
We’ve all experienced it before — that overwhelming desire to stop and marvel at something. For some, the response is sparked by the sight of art, a beautiful landscape or even particular members of the fairer sex (uncouth, we know). Certain things in this world simply demand more than a passing glance or two. For people like us, though, it’s all about great things that live at the intersection of impeccable design and remarkable engineering. Chances are you feel the same way. Today, we’re introducing a new way of telling stories — one with fewer words and a higher focus on bringing products we test to life through the magic of short-form video, one perfect for a quick moment of inspiration (or awe) that’s mobile friendly and ready to go. We’re calling them GP SHORTS. Click to watch our first take.
Time on Our Hands: TAG Heuer Carrera Monaco Grand Prix Limited Edition
Heuer's venerable chronograph has an up-and-down history, but 2013 sees a triumphant 50th anniversary of the Carrera name. The limited edition Carrera Monaco Grand Prix ($5,600 on rubber) is one example of the new breed of TAG Heuer Carrera, a chronograph that looks back on its first half-century but is more than ready to face the next one. We got our hands on one.
Tested: eFlow E3 Nitro Electric Bicycle
Sure, everyone loves to commute by bike. But there are inherent issues: showering at work, remembering different outfits, needing multiple grocery trips to carry your bags. The eFlow E3 Nitro electric bike is a major step forward -- a step with striking design efficiency and a style that belies its e-designation. We were amped at the chance to cruise it around town for a few weeks -- read on to see how it performed.
The Best Single-Speed Bikes for Every Rider
Single-speed bikes have recently enjoyed a comeback in popularity due to their straightforward aesthetics, ease of use and relative lack of maintenance. Although not ideal for hilly areas, single speeds are excellent for urban riders because of their simplicity: they have no derailleur, no gears, and with fixed-gear bikes, no freewheel mechanism (the thing device allows riders to coast, leaving them to use their legs to slow down in tandem with a front brake -- some daring types run no brakes at all, using only their leg power to stop the bike). With the warm weather upon us and more people than ever hitting the streets for their commute to work -- or the bar -- it's about time you got in on the action. Here are our 10 favorites. We've left no gear unturned, including everything from the most hardcore, feature-laden commuter to the most bare-bones fixed-gear track bike.
Kit: Ultimate Triathlon
For gearheads and Quantified Selfers triathlon is a chance to ride bikes that look like DARPA prototypes and collect more personal information about themselves than a Stasi collaborator, respectively; for Alphas it’s a chance to get ripped and grab bragging rights; for some people it’s just a fun way to get in shape. Whatever the reason, the tri gear is abundant. Sure, you could swim in your skivvies, hop on your Schwinn for the bike leg and run in some old Nike Mac Attacks -- but we'll do you one better with this kit.
The Best Triathlon Bikes for Every Rider
Any old road bike will do for a triathlon. Hell, we’ve seen a Taft-esque man lumber through a sprint on a mountain bike. But if you want to be in the optimal position for performance in a multi-sport race, to thrive in long course and ultra-distance races, then a bike with a triathlon-specific design becomes important. You've got to get aero. You've got to cheat the wind. You've got to avoid the recruitment of fast-twitch muscle fibers. You've got to pick up chicks on account of your superbike. We're here to help.
Tested: Hitting the Singletrack On The Yeti SB95
Somewhere in between grinding steep climbs and effortlessly floating hairpin singletrack downhill, it's inevitable that you'll encounter the dreaded "endo". The end-over handlebars is a rite of passage for any mountain biker as he works up the ranks from cruising novice to dirt demon. At least, that's what I thought before taking a spin on the new Yeti SB95 ($4,800 as tested) on a recent trip to Vail Mountain, CO.
The Best Mountain Bikes for Every Rider
'Tis the season to be tempted by a whole new model year of mountain bikes, and we've got some good news. Dialing in your own personal style of off-roading has never been easier -- once you wade through the overwhelming amount of options, that is. There's a different bike for just about every type of trail and rider, and even some that claim to do it all. You need a bike best suited to the kind of riding you enjoy, but that also won't keep you from the occasional change of pace (or any surprises the trails throw at you). As part of our week-long series on bikes to celebrate the launch of Limits, we've picked our favorites for racing enduro, downhilling, or just getting out for a weekend adventure ride.
The Best Road Bikes for Every Rider
Across the cycling categories, excluding perhaps the penny-farthing, we seem to be in the middle of a boom in popularity. Cities are adding bike lanes and bike programs, all the cool kids are riding fixies, mountain bikes are gnarlier than ever -- and the rest of us are riding road bikes. The popularity of road cycling owes in part to the low barriers to entry (everyone has roads), in part to the variety of awesome bikes available for riders of different skill levels and desired recreation, in part to the rise of the sportive or gran fondo -- a cycling event that emphasizes participation over competition -- and in part to all the really boss neon lycra. As part of our week-long series on bikes to celebrate the launch of Limits, we’ve picked out five great road bikes for all manner of rides, from entering your first century ride with friends to sasquatching a local crit.
Walkaround Guys: 5 Best Everyday Kit Lenses
Kit lenses have a bad reputation for being the cheap training wheels of the photography world, built solely to make the DSLR buying process more approachable for thrifty consumers in search of a one-stop upgrade. These knocks against the category aren't completely unfounded, but you shouldn't let the general snobbery of experienced photographers steer you away from a good deal or convenience. There are a variety of kit lenses that are still a tremendous value and a great starting point for building a glass collection, whether they're purchased with a camera or on their own. Here, you'll find a few of our favorites across a variety of major brands and setups.
Want This, Get This: IWC Ingenieur Automatic or Christopher Ward C20 Lido
What's a nearly broke watch collector in love with the IWC Ingenieur Automatic to do? In this week's Want This, Get This, we searched for an affordable alternative -- and found one in the Christopher Ward C20 Lido.
Want This, Get This: 2009 Chateau Petrus or 2011 Leonetti Merlot
You know the pinnacle of wine-making remains in France. Well, so do all those newly minted Chinese millionaires, and they’ve driven the price of Old World red wines sky high. This is especially true for top-end Bordeaux, which carry the highest cache among French wines. Those of us without a state-sponsored fortune, trust fund, or impending Wall Street bonus, however, have to look elsewhere for quality wine. Here are two splurge-caliber choices, made in the same style, of the same grape -- merlot -- though one comes without the inflation of appellation.
New Father’s (Day) Gift Guide
It's the scariest and most exciting thing a man will ever face: fatherhood. Suddenly there's the pressure of knowing this human life is wholly reliant on you, the hope of being just like your father or the fear of the same thing. It's the moment when BC becomes AD, a distinct frozen moment when a corner is turned and there will forever more only be a "before" (child) and "after". For many of us, Father's Day means finding the right gift for Dad. But now some of us will be receiving gifts as well, and so without further ado, we introduce New Father's Day -- along with a wish list for the sleep-deprived new dad to make the beginning of this next lifetime easier.
Super Models: The 10 Best Lightweight Laptops
When it comes to choosing the right laptop, everyone seeks three necessities: a sleek profile, high performance, and most importantly, portability. A weighty -- or worse, bulky -- portable computer can take a heavy toll on the body and make daily commuting a pain in the ass; yet everyone from business buffs to college grads wants a machine powerful enough to meet computing needs. We’re fortunate to bask in a beautiful balance of both virtues thanks to the latest leaps in laptop engineering. From convertibles to high-end subnotebooks, we sifted through the market to find the best laptops weighing in at under four pounds. Just remember, they'll probably make you look fat in comparison.
Want This, Get This: Sharp Elite PRO-60X5FD or Panasonic TC-PST60
If you’re like us, you have a long list of gear you’d love to own. But reality (almost) always steps in, along with bank accounts and eagle-eyed spouses, leaving your gadget desires unfulfilled. Gear Patrol’s series "Want This, Get This" presents a lust-worthy piece of gear along with a more affordable alternative that scratches the same itch. In this installment, we put the Sharp Elite PRO-60X5FD and the Panasonic TC-PST60 head to head.
Weekend-Ready: Great Duffels For All Budgets
Call it the "Goldilocks of Bags" if you like, though sometimes it seems like more of a "Unicorn of Bags": the perfectly sized and properly priced duffel can be elusive (hell, brands can't even decide one way to spell it). When the occasion calls for light packing in something that'll easily fit in the back seat or sling comfortably over your shoulder there are myriad options, but how many of them can be considered worth a buy? What follows are 30 of the best duffel bags to fit every budget. These represent a vast array of materials, styles, colors and purposes, but suffice it to say each of these duffels is just right.
Well Tucked: A Survey of Great iPad Cases
The iPad's extreme portability is simultaneously glaringly obvious and overlooked in favor of its flashier tech wonders. The take-it-anywhere-ness of the iPad is also perhaps its biggest downside: we tend to treat it like the things it replaced, the books and magazines that we could toss without a care. That usually doesn't work out well. Here are 30 great options -- leather, wool, propped, or otherwise -- that should keep your tablet ticking and looking good.
Want This, Get This: Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 or Magrette Moana Pacific Professional
If you’re like us, you have a long list of gear you’d love to own. But reality (almost) always steps in, along with bank accounts and eagle-eyed spouses, and your gadget desires remain unfulfilled. "Want This, Get This" presents a lust-worthy piece of gear along with a more affordable alternative that scratches the same itch. Today we examine the Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 and the Magrette Moana Pacific Professional.
Kit: Epic Pool Party
Around the country, where people can't easily access a natural body of water, they'll flock to fake ones for some relaxation, fun, and relief from the heat. This is the seasonal blessing and curse of the fortunate few who own -- or have access to -- a pool. If you fall into this category and are already bemoaning your hosting duties to come, may we remind you of the wise words of
"Uncle" Ben Parker Voltaire, "with great power comes great responsibility". Think that bowl of corn chips ("but they're restaurant style!") and playing some Jimmy Buffet from your puny laptop speakers answers the call? You are woefully mistaken.
It's time to take your waterside shindigs to another plane. What we're talking about is the kind of event that'll haunt Charlie Sheen's dreams and leave the neighborhood gabbing for decades. We've got your shopping list right here.
Two Wheels Good: 5 Best Starter Motorcycles
Now that the riding season is under way in many parts of the country, it's time to sign up for riding lessons and start thinking about the machine that's best suited for your needs. You could jump right into researching bikes for months online, but we'd recommend starting with our roundup of the 5 best starter motorcycles first.
Paddle Proper: 5 Great Kayaks
There’s no easier way to cool down on a hot summer day than an adventure at the local lake or river, and no better way to enjoy said body of water than a kayak. A good one will help you ditch the crowds and find the perfect hidden spot for some summer fun –- all while traveling the water less paddled. Don’t know the difference between a whitewater creek boat and an ocean kayak? We’ve got you covered with some great kayaks for summer adventure.
Staff Favorites: Amos Kwon
The fifth installment of our Staff Favorites series features Mr. Amos Kwon. Amos is, simply put, a man's man. He's entirely focused on family (he's a proud husband and, more recently, a father), but he's also passionate about cars (he's the heart and soul of our automotive coverage), cigars (it's amazing that he hasn't yet hired a personal Cuban roller), Scotch, and a mean EDC. He's a diligent, talented writer, zipping absurd humor (we still can't get over his "Whoever chose this... should be slapped with a pair of wet Depends" line) into the tight copy of his otherwise earnest reviews. We're proud to have this proud Chicagoan on the team -- and his favorite gear doesn't disappoint.
Time on Our Hands: Baume & Mercier Clifton Complete Calendar
After some years occupying the dreaded fashion watch segment, Baume & Mercier has been regaining its former glory with several beautiful new timepieces and an evocative brand image. With the new Clifton series, Baume has managed to avoid the sophomore jinx, delivering yet another brace of seductive watches. We got our hands on the Baume & Mercier Clifton Complete Calendar and gave it a few weeks of wrist time.
Blade Runners: 5 Great Riding Mowers for Under $2k
Though you might dream about dropping lotto-winning cash on a pimped-out riding mower, the truth is that you don't need to spend more than $2k for a mower that you can captain with pride. Whether you plan on doing your best Bill Murray (Caddyshack, not Lost in Translation) impression on your own personal links, or hope to trim a more modest green acres, we’ve got the riding mower for you.
Time On Our Hands: Graham Chronofighter Oversize
The Graham Chronofighter Oversize ($6,900) is the latest offering from a brand that has long caught our eye. It's a watch decked out with unique dial layouts, applied sub-dial magnifier portals that look like they’re straight out of a Jules Verne novel, an imposing size... and then there’s the trigger.
The Heat is On: 10 Best Grills
Summer is bearing down fast, and no man passes up the opportunity to get outside and burn some meat (ok, and perhaps a vegetable or two). It is, simply, an integral summer experience, whether enjoyed in the backyard, at a tailgate, in the campsite or on your tiny urban front step. My dad had a saying: “When it’s burning, it’s cooking. When it’s black it’s done.” This might explain the lack of repeat visitors, but maybe it was the limited tools he had to work with that contributed to his cynical approach to backyard grilling. With any of the 10 excellent grills here, you’ll not only find the right one to suit your particular needs -- everything from searing steaks, to cooking a pair of burgers, to smoking an entire pig -- you’ll guarantee a line around the block for your ‘cue, and a long list of friends who won't stop asking when you're having them over again.
Breakdown: IWC Ingenieur Automatic
IWC's Ingenieur is as steeped in history as any watch. First seen in 1954, and designed as both a general-purpose sport watch and for scientists who worked with strong electromagnetic fields -- hence the name, "engineers" in French -- it reflected a growing trend towards robustness, which was already driving the popularity of the still-nascent diving watch. We break down the reference 3239 Ingenieur Automatic, our favorite of the bunch.