If you’re like us, you have a long list of watches you’d love to own. But reality (almost) always steps in, and your desires remain unfulfilled. Gear Patrol’s series “Want This, Get This” presents a lust-worthy timepiece along with a more affordable alternative that scratches the same itch. This week, we’re celebrating German reunification and the Bauhaus design movement with two Teutonic tickers: the NOMOS Tangente and the Stowa Antea KS.
Bauhaus and In-house
Trust the Italians
The ultra-classic, timeless look of the Incotex Four Season Pants ($360) make them absolutely worth a wear. Made with perfectly weighted cotton to fit any clime at any time of year, the cut and fit of these straight leg trousers are excellent for dressing up, dressing down, or anywhere in between. Pop on a t-shirt and a bomber jacket; pair them with a sweater or button-down. Whatever you don, make sure you stick with Slowear’s philosophy: high-quality, heritage-inspired and iconic, timeless design.
Coat of Arms
Few items of clothing have remained relevant as long as the trench coat. Conflictingly claimed to have been created by both Burberry (in 1901) and Aquascutum (sometime in the 1850s), it’s been part of the public style lexicon since the British Army adopted it for officers during WWI (thus the “trench”). Well over a century later it continues to be offered in a variety of colors, lengths, fabrics and configurations from a myriad of companies. Innovation in a product this storied isn’t often seen — which is what makes American Trench ($725) so special and their Dark Navy Trench one of the best.
Scent of a Man
Not everyone wants to smell like a lumberjack. But for the rugged individualists who catch of whiff of fir trees and camp fires and think, “wow, sexy!”, Juniper Ridge ($65+) has just the right scents. They’re the world’s only “wilderness fragrance distillery”. If you’re wondering what that designation means, their mission statement — “We go to the mountains, harvest wild plants and distill natural fragrance” — pretty much sums it up.
What's old is new
Retro gear is retro for a reason: modern outdoor gear design performs better than its forebears in almost all respects. But we still have a soft spot for the leather, wool, canvas alpine designs of the 1950s and ‘60s — you know, before things got all sleek and neon. After seeing two Gear Patrol favorite brands, Topo Designs and Howler Brothers, collaborate to design a classic climbing pack, the Klettersack ($189), we decided to go all Reinhold Messner and take it to the mountains to see how a retro style pack works in the environment that inspired it.
Rolex's Hip Kid Brother
The biggest news in the watch industry these days is Rolex sub-brand Tudor’s return to the U.S. marketplace after an absence of almost 14 years. While the reasons for their departure and return can be debated, it’s crystal clear that Tudor’s been consistently knocking things out of the park since the debut of their vintage-inspired Heritage Chronograph in 2010. This year Tudor returned to the Heritage Chronograph and made it over in the vein of of their vaunted 1973 Monte Carlo chronograph. The end result is a stunning piece of horological architecture and the birth of a modern-day classic: behold the Tudor Heritage Chronograph Blue ($4,425).
When it hits the fan
There are tool watches, and then there is the Breitling Emergency ($15,750), which can do no less than save your hide when the unexpected happens. The new Emergency is the first wristwatch to be officially certified as a Personal Locator Beacon, a function that may just be the most useful complication of all.
Made in Detroit
When Shinola started making watches under the venerable shoe polish brand in near-bankrupt Detroit, everyone seemed to be thinking “What the hell…?” Since then, Shinola has proudly yelled to the world that American manufacturing isn’t dead, even in a town that seems decidedly deceased. The Runwell ($550), Shinola’s flagship timepiece, is a growing family of watches with a workman air. A bit industrial, a bit old-timey American pocket watch, the Runwell comes in two sizes (41mm and 47mm) and gives the distinct impression that the guy wearing it would bloody your nose for making a wisecrack either about his girl or American manufacturing.
While the A. Lange & Söhne Grand Complication is not the most complicated timepiece ever made, it’s the most complicated timepiece ever manufactured by A. Lange & Söhne, and arguably the most challenging ever attempted by any brand. It took Lange seven years to develop the watch’s L1902 movement, which features a sonnerie (chiming mechanism) with grand and small strike, a minute repeater, a mono-pusher rattrapante (split-seconds: a complication within a complication) chronograph with minute counter and flying seconds (it indicates fractions of a second in a sub-dial of its own: another complication within a complication), a perpetual calendar with date, day of week, and month in four-year cycle, and a moon phase.
Wear what you like, like what you wear
Several years ago, I unwittingly wrote what I now believe was my first Op/Ed article in the form of a post on a popular Internet watch forum. In it I dared to put a $200 Seiko dive watch up against a $4,000 OMEGA Planet Ocean — both watches I had owned — and declared the Seiko the better dive watch. I should have donned a Nomex suit for all the flaming responses I received. In the years since my inflammatory comparo, I’ve come to realize that there is so much more to a watch than its intended purpose. It’s made me think: with respect to timepieces, can “best” ever be applied?
Fifty, or Fifty-Five, Fathoms?
In our series Want This, Get This, we profile one wildly desirable, largely unattainable item and one similar item that costs far less. In fact, that’s exactly what watch modification, or “watch modding”, is all about. Now, given enough money, any watch can be modified. Just witness the huge market for blacking out and blinging out Rolexes. But there’s another subculture out there, one whose sweet spot isn’t a $25,000 watch, but rather a $50 to $250 watch — the ubiquitous Seiko dive watch. We examine the subculture and its major players.
In 1969 Omega released a handwound chrono in a strange shield-shaped case that had the pushers and crown on top of the watch. This so-called “bullhead” style was originally developed earlier for race car drivers, who wanted easier activation of the chronograph and minimal pusher interference. OMEGA, never one to shy away from a historical reference, has just released a limited re-edition of the Seamaster Bullhead Chronograph ($9,600) — albeit one updated with modern features.
31 shirts in 31 days
The shirt is a powerful thing. It says so much about who you are and how you approach life. It can give you confidence or take it away. After your face, it’s the first thing someone sees when they look at you. A more tailored fit says you have your sartorial act together. A strong collar stance ensures the people you meet will focus on you and not be distracted by awkward details. A little personality demonstrates you’ll not be swept up by the herd.
Ledbury wants to be your shirtmaker. That’s a great thing for you, particularly because they’re coming out with a different shirt every day in the month of October. That’s 31 shirts in 31 days. Ledbury’s lead designer and CEO, Paul Trible, spearheaded this major initiative and hand-selected his favorite cool-weather fabrics. From fine-wale corduroys to brushed-cotton flannels, the resulting collection of modern-yet-classic shirts is one you’ll rely on again and again for their versatility and uncommon comfort. Click the link below to shop the collection, and read on to see a video on the awesome new line.
Dr. Jekyll's timepiece
Just in case your budget is a bit thin for a pair of new timepieces or your multiple personalities can’t agree on which watch to wear, Hamilton has just the answer. One side of the new Jazzmaster Face 2 Face ($6,195) is a chronograph to match your high-performing, detail-oriented style while the reverse is an elegant time-only timepiece suitable for more understated affairs.
Born of a desire to create a watch that never breaks, the Casio G-Shock is revered by many as “the toughest watch on the planet”. But it is much more than that. The G-Shock is universally respected, avidly collected, and loved by everyone from Navy SEALS to tree-hugging tech nerds, a watch that gives new meaning to the word “durable”. But where did it come from? Let’s go back to the beginning: Casio’s head of watch design Kikuo Ibe and his “Team Tough” designers.
Thermo-Electric Cooling Technology — that’s not a term you expect to read on an electric razor’s spec sheet. Thankfully, there’s no need to butcher that science-speak in front of a sales associate; just ask for CoolTec. Fulfilling the next step in shaving innovations from Braun, it’s the world’s first razor that actively cools the skin via an integrated electro-ceramic cooling element in the head. To find out all grooming innovations the CoolTec has to offer, check out the video above.
The British are coming — again. It seems that the new frontier for the Empire is in watchmaking, given the renaissance of timepieces from the island nation. Incorporating both English and Swiss parts, the English-made Pinion Axis ($2,825) will debut at Salon QP, the UK’s big watch exhibition, in November.
If you’re like us, you have a long list of watches you’d love to own. But reality (almost) always steps in, and your desires remain unfulfilled. Gear Patrol’s series “Want This, Get This” presents a lust-worthy timepiece along with a more affordable alternative that scratches the same itch. This week, we’ve found a vintage Cold War-era military chronograph and a modern one that has the same milspec look.
A Lesson in Trickle-Down Mechanomics
Just over 30 years after saving the Swiss Watch industry, Swatch has once again broken trail into uncharted territory. Revealed at BaselWorld earlier this year, the Swatch Sistem51, today’s watch version of the Model T, is set to be released this month.
Do I hear a bid now?
The SR-71 “Blackbird” reigns supreme as the highest and fastest-flying plane ever built. And we mean reigns: 32 of these pitch black wonders have patrolled the skies above hot spots for over 40 years. To honor this achievement in aeronautics, Bell & Ross is releasing the limited edition BR 126 Blackbird ($6,700), and it’s a worthy, interesting tribute.
CALLING ALL FLYING ACES
The Longines Avigation Oversize Crown Chronograph ($3,500) was modeled after a watch built for pilots inhabiting a cold, drafty, post-WWI cockpit. Thanks to timeless design and a few key updates, though, it works just as well during the cold, drafty days of this year’s autumn.
The Mechanical Watch is Dead -- Long Live the Mechanical Watch
It’s 1981. The Quartz crisis is in full swing. You’re a thirty-something watchmaker, trained in the old-school ways of repairing mechanical watches. But, along with numerous other watchmakers in this horological downturn, you’ve just lost your position with one of the biggest names in the chronograph world because you know nothing about quartz movements.
What do you do?
If you’re Gerd-Rüdiger Lang, you start a watch company. A mechanical watch company.
Neutral, yet alarming
Switzerland is known for many things, chief among them its fine watches, its excellent railway system and its picturesque mountains. So it was fitting for more reasons than one that we grabbed a Mondaine EVO Alarm ($475) to take along on a recent hiking trip in the Alps.
Essentials for the daily grind
Dali said intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings. Clearly, you’ve got both in spades — all that’s lacking is better preparation. Small upgrades can make big differences in organization, confidence and execution, and luckily for you, we’ve dug up the must-have office essentials to help you stay focused on conquering the office, one job done well at a time. Heed our advice and maybe you’ll be patting backs soon.
Just Five Things
The Seiko 5 isn’t just one watch. Instead, hundreds of watches with numerous different designs, intended for different uses, have carried the emblematic shield logo with the 5 in the center. In fact, the watches have been signed several different ways — Seiko 5, Seiko 5 Sports, Seiko Sportsmatic 5, Seiko 5 Actus — with movements ranging from 17 to 25 jewels. This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the original Sportsmatic 5, a watch that spawned affordable innovation and offspring galore.
A few weeks ago we ran an opinion article about so-called “homage” watches. Amid some attention from readers and experts alike, we heard from MKII, a watch company we had discussed in the article. They offered to send us the MKII Paradive, a watch inspired by Benrus’s iconic (and mysterious) “Type 1″ and “Type 2″ timepieces. We found the Paradive a tool watch worthy of homage, itself.
Essentials for a Smooth Trip
Travel pros. You’ve seen them. You’ve envied them. They glide through check-in, make the body-scan look like a photo shoot and sightsee like locals. Sure, part of it might be their passport with 200 stamps, but the right kit makes a world of difference, too. Whether you’re embarking on a shuttle flight or a trip around the globe, there are a few pieces of gear that will improve life on the road dramatically. We’ve got ‘em.
Hope your son's into photography
When traversing with photography equipment, you need a camera bag that can travel the same way you do: with a minimalist’s panache. We recently spent a weekend in New York City with something that fits the bill: the Billingham Hadley Small ($204), a handsome shoulder bag with a hefty woven strap, adjustable compartments, and an understated sophistication.