The Ingenieur Chronograph Silberpfeil is a direct homage to the famous Mercedes-Benz W25 Silver Arrow that dominated motorsports between the World Wars. These cars were monsters, with oversized spoked rims and massive straight-cylinder engines barely sheathed in metal. The watch’s dial sports the same circular-grained aluminum treatment as the Silver Arrows’ dashboards, and the caseback has an engraved likeness of the car itself. But enough about the watch. This year, a restored Silberpfeil took part in the famous Klausen Hill Climb race in Switzerland — and this video takes us along for the ride.
How good can a $50 down vest possibly be? Very. Light as a feather and packed with 800-fill goose down, the Uniqlo Ultralight Down Vest is this winter’s must-have layering essential. The slim cut and packable down mean minimal bulk and effective thermal insulation. Plus, it folds into an included compact pouch for easy packing. We like ours with a dash of prep — khakis or trim denim with an oxford. When errands turn to evening plans, throw on a dark blazer and a wool tie and show old man winter who’s boss.
Gifts for the Continent-hopper
Your friend’s passport has addendum pages for the addendum pages and looks like Costanza’s wallet. It’s easier to count the countries he hasn’t visited than those he has. Travel-weary? Not a chance: this rolling stone likes to be moss-free, so we have the perfect collection of goods to keep your favorite road warrior in fightin’ trim. The tools below cover technology high and low, all to ensure the journey is every bit as enjoyable as the destination. The lucky recipient of your generosity will easily navigate airports, checkpoints (TSA or Syrian Free Army), and resort lobbies with aplomb, arriving refreshed and relaxed, ready for the work (and play) ahead.
Grizzly Adams, you are not
Straight edge razors, Dollar Shave Club, electric, Mach 3, safety razors…for the clean-shaven out there, options truly abound. For those of us who opt for a little or a lot of facial hair, though, companies seem less inclined to provide choices. Keeping that beard trim and looking good is important regardless of season, particularly when research has shown women are more attracted to men with heavy stubble than their clean-shaven counterparts. In the interest of cleaning up this situation, we’ve rounded up our favorite beard trimmers.
For watch lovers, a fresh scratch on an otherwise flawless crystal is a devastating sight. The feeling can be even worse on a brand new watch, or one that just returned from servicing. But before you send your tainted timepiece back for a crystal replacement, you may want to consider a home remedy. First you need to determine what can be done — and that depends on the type of crystal you’ve scratched. Read on for our full guide.
Hertz So Good
While we could list fascinating mechanisms devised by ingenious watchmakers ’til the cows come home, there’s one particular complication that’s rarely mentioned: dead seconds, where the second hand advances in increments of a whole second rather than a half or a quarter of a second. The Grönefeld One Hertz ($40,659+) accomplishes the dead seconds complication in a way that’s never been done before. To Grönefeld, this was a challenge, one that they decidedly nailed with the One Hertz.
Sailing timepieces are, despite their obscure use and narrow target market, very popular these days. Yet few are truly useful to a skipper angling for the starting buoy in a regatta — most are simple chronographs gussied up with some nautical colorways and branding. Officine Panerai knows a thing or two about sailing, having been a very active sponsor of a classic yacht regatta series for the past decade. So it comes as no surprise that when the brand released its first purpose-built regatta timer, the Luminor 1950 Regatta 3 Days Chrono Flyback Titanio ($18,600), they got it exactly right.
Worth far better than third place
Bronze has been around almost as long as horology: finding form in weaponry and decorations at the same time water clocks first appeared (4000 BCE), it’s mankind’s oldest alloy. Concocted in varying combinations of copper and tin, bronze can pack a Vickers hardness rating higher than that of wrought iron and stainless steel combined, and is also anti-magnetic and resistant to the corrosion caused by seawater.These characteristics, along with its ability to stand out in the seas of stainless-steel wristwear, make it an ideal alloy for your wrist.
A Sistematic Takeover
The Swatch Sistem51 ($110-$220), so-named because there are fifty-one pieces in the movement, is quite simply a revolutionary timepiece. So revolutionary, in fact, that it may put an end to watch manufacturing as we know it and bring the mechanical timepiece to the masses.
It’s not often that a timepiece takes full advantage of the laws of modern physics, optics, and spherical geometry — which, when you think about it, is an odd combination to even address in a timepiece. But the Ressence Type 3 ($34,600) is just such a piece, giving scientists and engineers everywhere a reason to stare.
It’s difficult to re-invent a classic. A brand tinkers with an icon at its peril, risking inflaming die-hard fans and losing hard-won prestige. Just look at OMEGA with the vaunted Speedmaster. Everyone will agree that the Moonwatch — the Speedmaster Professional — is still the one to own, and that OMEGA has been wise to not meddle with it since 1969. But if there’s one modern Speedmaster that represents a “a giant leap” for OMEGA, it’s the new Dark Side of the Moon ($12,000) thanks to its use of an aerospace material and perhaps the finest automatic chronograph movement around.
Time For Innovation
Since the invention of the timepiece itself, the issue of decreasing mainspring torque has tormented watch- and clockmakers. As the spring gives up its coiled power, its strength diminishes little by little, causing irregularity in the oscillations of the regulating organ and undermining the watch’s precision. The revolutionary Girard-Perregaux Constant Escapement ($100,000) solves this age-old problem by making use of a mix of high-tech materials and watchmaking ingenuity — with a design inspired by the flicking of a train ticket.
If you need a rugged, no-nonsense chronograph as part of your next mission kit, the new Tutima M2 (~$8000), to be released in early 2014, is it. The M2 is an update of Tutima’s venerable NATO Military Chronograph; the previous generation watch, called the NATO because it was standard issue for all NATO pilots, was outfitted with Lémania’s legendary but discontinued Caliber 5100. Tutima has preserved the 5100′s distinguishing feature, an easily legible sweep chronograph minutes hand, in their new Caliber 321.
Bauhaus and In-house
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.
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.