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Six Battery-Powered Powerhouses

The Return of the Quartz Watch

The quartz watch was our introduction to timekeeping — the gateway drug that spurred our talk of ticks and led to our appreciation of mechanized complications — and like our first car, it demands respect. Battery-powered watches pack incredible complications, intricate details and robust build quality into an infinitely wearable and affordable package. Even the most ardent watch snob would be proud to strap any of these six quartz watches upon his wrist.

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Keep the revs high

Road Trip Style: Italian Tuneup

One of the best ways to enjoy a summer weekend is a top-down road trip out of town. Pick up a fun roadster like an Alfa Romeo Spider (preferably in rosso corsa) for just these occasions.

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Electricity: your new workout partner

Tested: Marc Pro Muscle Conditioning Device

We see if the Marc Pro, a muscle conditioning tool meant for improving athletic performance and hastening recovery, is the real deal.

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GP x Petrolicious

Kit: Facel Vega HK500

The Facel Vega isn’t a car everyone knows about, but it’s got presence like few other vintage cars. If you’re fortunate enough to park one of these muscular French beauties in your garage, you should be outfitted appropriately. That means dressed up, but not overly so — just like the Facel Vega whose rubber you’re about to roast.

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Make those Dogs Bark

Stand-Up Guy: 5 Best Standing Desks

Standing desks allow you to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the workday, keeping your body moving, your metabolism up and your mind focused. As they become more mainstream, their looks are improving and functionality is increasing. These five will help you take control of your work space and your health.

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Better Than What You Made in Art Class

Elements: Ceramic

Dig up dirt, mold into desired shape, apply heat. With that kind of recipe, it’s no wonder ceramics have been around for 27,000 years. Sure, you might know the material from DIY pottery and kindergarten art classes, but these days a handful of companies are producing high-quality ceramics that manage to toe the line between stark minimalism and natural roughness. Here are our eight favorites from both ends of the spectrum.

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A different WWW

Timekeeping Selects: Cyma British Military Watch (Sold)

For our new series, Timekeeping Selects, we’ve partnered with Analog/Shift, the New York-based purveyor of vintage watches. We’re doing the legwork for you, handpicking stunning, unique vintage timepieces at a wide variety of prices — all with impeccable authenticity, great stories, meticulously serviced and ready to wear. Our third offering is a Cyma British Military watch ($995) that fulfills the British Ministry of Defense’s “Watch, Wristlet, Waterproof” specification with several unique twists.

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Glory days on the road

Kit: Mustang Fastback

If you’re fortunate enough to possess a Mustang Fastback — one of the grandaddies of the American muscle car — you know the respect and admiration it garners from car lovers to kids. It’s Americana on four wheels. That sort of red, white and blue clout requires a driver to pull off an homage to American style without resorting to a pair of Ol’ Glory lined cutoff jeans. Here, we line up the right kit (light on the actual stars and stripes pattern) you need to get it right.

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Gear Patrol x Analog/Shift

Timekeeping Selects: Seiko 6139 “Pogue” Chronograph (Sold)

For our new series, Timekeeping Selects, we’ve partnered with Analog/Shift, the New York-based purveyor of vintage watches. We’re doing the legwork for you, handpicking stunning, unique vintage timepieces at a wide variety of prices — all with impeccable authenticity, great stories, meticulously serviced and ready to wear. This week we go east for our Timekeeping Select: a late 1970s Seiko 6139-6002 chronograph ($895 Sold), a watch that is significant for several reasons yet remains an outright bargain by any measure.

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Squid Vest not included

Sartorial Safety: Office-Friendly Motorcycle Gear

The office dress code can be a challenge for a motorcycle enthusiast; riding the elevator in an unzipped kangaroo skin onesie doesn’t score too many points with the boss. Thankfully, there’s some excellent motorcycle gear out there that provides the protection you need without sacrificing any of your executive flair.

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Take the back road to paradise

Building the Perfect Gravel Grinder

Gravel racing has a spirit of adventure and the chip-on-the-shoulder toughness of a Leadville ultra. Here’s the specialized bike gear you’ll need to ride a gravel grinder.

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Laid Back Cycling

Mellow Pedaling: 5 Best Cruiser Bicycles

Century ride? How about a ride to the ice cream shop. One of these cruiser bikes is your summer chariot.

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Meet this year's hottest new shooters

The New Camera Class of 2014: DSLR Alternatives

In just a few short years the world of photography has been turned upside down, and the advent of the iPhone and other innovations like mirrorless cameras has created a dizzying array of options. We take a look at the latest new class of cameras, none of them DSLRs, but all capable and unique in their own right.

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Don't Sweat It

Buying Guide: Unstructured Blazers

The best look of summer is the unstructured blazer. We have our six favorites.

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The Bear Essentials

An Everyman’s Guide to Survival Gear

You never know when things might take a turn for the worse. Match up to your skill level and ensure you’ve got the right basic survival gear with our survey.

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Chris Burkard's Gear

Kit: A Photographer in Oregon’s Wilderness

Photographer Chris Burkard explains his kit for capturing nature in the Oregon wilderness.

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Comfort in the High Country

10 Best Sleeping Bags of 2014

These 10 sleeping bags make your duvet look like a washrag.

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Davy Jones's (Dive) Locker

Kit: Wreck Diving

For centuries, man has found countless ways to send ships to the bottom of the sea. Since the advent of scuba technology, we’ve found ways to explore them. Whether it’s to search for booty, take eerie photos, or just to pay respects, wreck diving is a not a sport for the timid. Often found in deep, cold water with strong currents and dangerous reefs, wrecks demand expertise, experience, humility and marine-grade bronze balls — not to mention a lot of specialized gear. This isn’t tropical holiday diving, so be prepared to shell out for equipment that can stand up to the conditions the Gunilda, the Thistlegorm or the Doria present.

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Season Openers

5 Bomber Jackets for this Spring

Lightweight bombers are a simple, all-American affair. This spring mainstay has evolved over the past century to include styles with a wide variety of fabrics, slimmer fits and colors beyond the basics. With warm weather finally here, we’ve stowed our parkas and picked our five favorites that range from technical to timeless.

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To and From, safely and in style

Kit: Bicycle Commuter

If you’re thinking about joining the bike commuter set, you’ll need the essentials: bike, helmet, lights, lock and a handsome leather wine bottle carrier. We’ve got it all in this Kit, plus much more.

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Wheels for the working man

5 Best Commuter Bikes

Long gone are the days when the commuter bike was an old-school mountain bike with a potpourri of parts and a rear wheel that was only roughly true. A rise in people looking to build fitness, lower their carbon footprint or simply have fun while getting around has created a big market for commuter bikes. Here are some of our favorites for 2014.

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Taking the Alpha Out of Beta

Testing the Tumi Alpha 2, Concourse-Style

Can a piece of luggage have a successor? Tumi, the venerable brand practically synonymous with domestic airports, believes it can with the release of the Alpha 2. The carry-on/check-in sequel incorporates a slew of improvements — ranging from overdue to practically invisible — in the gangbusters popular flagship line. Across its 30 improvements, the Alpha 2 boasts an impressive 14 patents. To test its mettle, we made our way to the Alpha 2’s arena: airports.

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Special Watches Under $1000

The Frugal Watch Nerd’s Buying Guide

It’s easy to become numb to the incredible prices of fine watches. But being a watch enthusiast doesn’t mean choosing between a good watch and a decent used car. By looking in the right places, you can avoid bland fashion watches in favor of well-made, unique timepieces that scratch the watch nerd itch while protecting your post-college pledge to never subsist on ramen noodles again. Here are a few examples of what can be found for less than $1,000.

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Hot Tropik

Time On Our Hands: Halios Tropik SS

Shimmering a shade of blue clearly inspired by Caribbean waters, the Halios Tropik SS ($650) on my left wrist appears candy coated, looking infinitely more confident than I feel. A quick test of my regulator complete, I twist the Tropik’s unidirectional ceramic bezel to mark the beginning of this, my first real dive. I’m in the tropics to test this purpose-built diver on its home court.

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Cooking under pressure

Tested: SousVide Supreme

Cooking sous vide, French for “under vacuum” allows us to bypass this obstacle by cooking at a low and very precise temperature; it’s the equivalent of walking up to the dartboard and pushing the dart into the bullseye. While it’s a technique that’s been around for professional chefs, Iron Chefs and DIYers for ages, the technology has only been available to the average home cook since 2009. As more machines hit the market, we decided to test the one that started the home sous vide revolution, the Sous Vide Supreme ($500).

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Armoring up for battle with frigid surf

Kit: Winter Surfing

When it comes time to hit the surf and temps are in the 30s rather than the 70s, the right gear is the difference between channeling Bodhi and becoming intimate with the symptoms of hypothermia. While it’s admittedly tough to be toasty in water less than half your body’s normal temperature, with the right kit you can at least pursue your hobby and live to tell about it. Below are our picks for the gear you’ll need for winter surfing.

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Have it your way

Face Value: Martenero Watches

Martenero is an affordable new brand based in New York. Founders John Tarantino and Matt O’Dowd met several years back in a chance encounter on a street corner in Madrid, Spain. A friendship followed, and so did a watch brand.

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Gear for the jungle and the reef

Kit: Underwater and Underground in Belize

Packing for a tropical getaway usually only involves deciding what color swim trunks to pack. But when your plans include jungle hiking, cave exploration and scuba diving, things get a little more complicated. The key is versatility — you need gear that works underground or underwater just as well as it does topside. For our week in Belize we made sure everything we took did more than just one thing well. This saved space in our luggage and let us be nimble yet well prepared. Here’s a sampling of what we took.

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Gear for the diehard winter rider

Kit: Fat Bike Racing

Fat bikes can effortlessly glide over snowy conditions like a set of snowshoes, and they’re cushy enough for riding in frigid temps without shattering your frozen tuchus. But the bike can only take you so far. Staying warm and dry — and returning home with all your fingers and toes — requires the right set of gear for when the weather decides to take a serious turn for the worse. These winter fat biking essentials will help you battle the worst Mother Nature can throw your way.

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Less Space, More Power

Kit: The Perfect Machine-Free Home Gym

Twenty years ago a home gym required an entire basement. This was ridiculous. Our ideas about fitness have progressed in breadth and scope — generally toward functional workouts that have real-world application — and the equipment required has diminished in size and price. If you’re looking to set up the perfect home gym that gives you the opportunity for a huge variety of exercises, it helps to have a few more tools in your kit.