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21 Best Fall Sweaters
A survey of the best sweaters to match the changing leaves.
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10 Great Rye Whiskeys
A bold shot of fall spice.
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5 Best Driving Sunglasses
Shades designed for quick acceleration.
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6 Best Camp Stoves
Upgrade from the campfire.
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WHAT'S NEW, NOW

Today in Gear: August 6, 2014

Today in Gear: John Deere’s Gators get sinister, a handsome pocket knife, Bacardi’s premium collection of rum and more.

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The perfect first watch

Time is Money: The Seiko 5 “Sea Urchin”, and Diving Headfirst into Mechanical Watches

Amid affordable watches, the Seiko 5 line stands tall. This week in Time is Money, Gear Patrol’s new series on watches under $1,000, we examine why.

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Ticking Off the Latest in Watch News

This Week in Watches: June 24, 2014

This Week in Watches: The Sistem51 hits U.S. shores, Audemars Piguet’s new digs, the missing watches of ten great men and much more.

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Today in Gear: June, 16 2014

Today in Gear: Seiko’s murdered-out collab with White Mountaineering, a new cooler for the worksite, Samsung’s quest for home appliance domination, Logitech’s ultra affordable computer speakers, potato vodka from the rockies and a wallet dipped in indigo.

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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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A Far-East Beauty

Essentials Inspired by the 1970 Datsun 240Z

For those dreaming of a vintage car collection, the Datsun 240Z is a great place to start. But you shouldn’t drive it in a dirty tee and sweatpants. We hunt down some great gear and garb from the era and the area from which the 1970 240Z hails.

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We tick off the latest in Watch News

This Week in Watches: April 15, 2014

This Week in Watches, we examine new offerings from Sinn, Grand Seiko, Magrette, Speake-Marin and the NYC-based strapmaker Suigeneric.

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The thrill of the hunt

The GP Guide to eBay Vintage Watch Hunting

What self-respecting watch nerd hasn’t spent countless hours trolling eBay for that elusive vintage treasure that no one has discovered? The Pre-Moon Omega Speedmaster, the MilSub, the Cosmonaute — the names alone are enough to get palms sweating and the heart racing. While the thrill of watch collecting is in the hunt, enough foiled plans and missed auctions will make anyone gun shy. We feel your pain. The best salve is this guide to vintage watches on eBay, featuring a strong mix of underdogs — those timepieces that fly under a lot of collectors’ radars. Not only do you stand a better chance of scoring one of these collectible tickers, once you do make the final bid, you’ll end up with a legitimate piece of horological history.

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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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The Best by Far from the Far East

Japanese Dive Watch Icons

When it comes to dive watches, many immediately think of iconic Swiss watches like the Rolex Submariner and the Blancpain Fifty-Fathoms. Of course, the story doesn’t stop here. In fact, there’s another country that can credibly lay claim to a long and storied history with the dive watch: Japan. If you need evidence of Japan’s dive watch prowess (or just a road map to buying yourself one), read on.

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Sashimi-Grade Timepieces

Japanese Dive Watch Shootout

Most Japanese dive watches are the best suited for real-world use. Their simple movements have legendary durability, even if they aren’t the most accurate. Designs that forgo adornment in favor of readability and functionality win out over fancy locking bezels, helium release valves and shiny slim hands. Of course, their affordability makes them not only more accessible to divemasters that live on tip money, but also more bearable should they be lost of broken.

In short, if you want a real dive watch, look to Land of the Rising Sun. We recently did just that, procuring three of Japan’s best dive watches representing different brands, styles and price points for a real-world shootout below the waves in the Caribbean.

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Standard Equipment

Stocking Stuffers: Pocket Stuffers

Editor’s Note: The stockings are hung by the chimney with care…now what the hell are you gonna put in there? Ah, stocking stuffers — the little things, the extras, the last minute goodies, the fun gifts. They’re as enjoyable to give as they are to receive. Thing is, there’s an endless supply of stocking-size gifts…

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Talk about shopping in advance

12 Guys of Christmas: The Techie

Oddly enough, the proliferation of electronic gadgetry, computer stuff and other digital goodies has made buying for the discerning sparkhead (we just coined that — please enjoy and proliferate at will) tougher. With this list, we aim to make the shopping a little simpler by covering suggestions for readers, photogs, movie buffs and gamers. Take a gander and start clicking; your techie giftee will thank you, probably with an email or holographic video message or something.

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10 Top-Notch Watches that Won't Break the Bank

Wound for Success: Watches for the Budding Collector

When building anything, one must begin with strong foundation. A watch collection is no different. While anyone, given the choice, would undoubtedly begin and end with only finest examples of haute horological hardware, we can’t all justify blowing junior’s college and post-grad funds on something small and shiny. A conservative budget should not dissuade wide-eyed complication connoisseurs however: there are many excellent mechanical options available for the budding collector. We’ve selected ten rock solid options, both vintage and new, that would proudly produce any one-percenter’s tan line. So get started. Junior will thank you — it’s his heirloom, anyhow.

Presented-by-lexus-logoThis month's features are presented by Lexus. The pursuit of perfection.
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Fifty, or Fifty-Five, Fathoms?

Modding Your Seiko 5: Secrets of the Subculture

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.

Presented-by-lexus-logoThis month's features are presented by Lexus. The pursuit of perfection.
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Just Five Things

Timekeeping Icon: Seiko 5

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.

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Uncomplicated, for your wallet

Buying Guide: Affordable Complications

Watches that simply tell time are a dime a dozen, and sometimes close to a dozen a dime. But start adding more functions and things can get complicated — and expensive. While we’re just starting to forgive the quartz watch for dealing a near death blow to our beloved mechanical timepieces, there’s no denying that when you want more bang for the buck, battery power is the way to go. You’ll pay dearly for dual time zones, flybacks, alarms and tide trackers on the mechanical side of the fence, but if you’re willing to put up with a tick-tick-tick seconds hand, we’ve found five watches that are happy to complicate your life for under (or around) five hundred dollars.

timekeeping-promo-logo-gear-patrolThis article is part of GP's fresh new face to TIMEKEEPING, a weekly chronicle on the utility, design, tradition and innovation of watches.
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39 HOURS IN A DAY

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.

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Mr. Gaffney's Gear

Staff Favorites: Jon Gaffney

In the latest edition of Staff Favorites, we turn to one of Gear Patrol’s longest standing contributors, Mr. Jon Gaffney. The New England native was always a shoe in for the team thanks to his eye for craftsmanship, an obsession for photography and a hunger for physical challenge that at times made us question his sanity (in a loving, concerned way, of course). Luckily, he still knows how to properly relax, typically on a dock somewhere in Maine between waterskiing runs, which also happens to be his default answer to “where he’d rather be”. But you didn’t really need to read this to know any of these things. His favorites tell the story far more eloquently than we ever will.

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Jump in, the water's fine

7 Great Affordable Dive Watches

You’ve been bequeathed plenty of hard-earned watch knowledge from Gear Patrol’s Timekeeping team. So, what’s taking you so long to get out there and buy your first real timepiece? A diving watch is a great way to start — a good one can toe the line between dress and active, suit and wetsuit, and they certainly follow the current large diameter trend. Before your wallet gets intimidated (some timepieces tend to do that), remember that you don’t have to take out a loan or hit the jackpot to get a great dive watch. Gear Patrol shows you seven great watches, all under $1,000 — many well under. Who knows, maybe strapping on a dive watch will get your dormant mojo going this summer and get your certified for the beautiful open water.

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The few, the proud, the Packard

Staff Favorites: Scott Packard

The seventh installment of our Staff Favorites series features Mr. Scott Packard. Scott is thoroughly defined by his 20 years of service as a Marine Corps infantry officer; you’ll see this clearly throughout his staff picks. But to imagine that this is his sole character trait is entirely foolish. He’s an excellent writer, enrapturing GP’s audience with Defense Journals and other articles packed full of ethos and well-studied logic. Scott’s also an active athlete (his favorite pastimes include bicycling, surfing, skiing and even, recently, motocross); a craft beer enthusiast who frequents many of the great tap rooms in his home of San Diego with his wife, who he says enjoys beer even more than he; a passionate cook; and a father and husband. He is, in short, the Most Interesting Man in the World’s older, wiser brother. We’re proud to have this experienced character on our staff. He’s proud of some awesome gear.

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Re-inventing precision

Timekeeping: Seiko Astron GPS Solar

The primary goal in the manufacture of any watch is precision; there is scarcely a watchmaker, from Patek Philippe to Citizen, that would argue that fact. After all, the whole raison d’être of a watch is to tell the time — if it does that poorly, you might as well be wearing a charm bracelet….

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A collectible in its own right

Timekeeping Icon | Volume 5: Seiko 6105

Seiko watches have a long and impressive history: the company produced their first watches in 1924 and have continuously produced wrist watches till this day. While often exempt from the conversation about fine timepieces that is typically reserved for German and Swiss pedigrees, Seiko takes quality very seriously. While they now produce some parts overseas…

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Timekeeping Icon | Volume 2: The Valjoux 7750 Chronograph

This article is Volume 2 in our special Icons series for Timekeeping, written by our guru Jason Heaton. In case you missed it, be sure to catch our first Icons article, Volume 1: Super Compressor Dive Watch. 1970 was a year of great ups and downs for the mechanical chronograph. The vaunted Omega Speedmaster helped…

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Complications? Yes. Complicated? Let's discuss.

Timekeeping: The Chronograph, Deconstructed

The follow-up to our last Timekeeping feature (The Dive Watch, Deconstructed), Jason Heaton delves into the hallowed world of the Chronograph. There is no other type of watch that requires as much interaction from its wearer as the chronograph. Even at rest a chronograph dutifully waits, its sweep hand standing still, alert and vertical, inviting…

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Timekeeping: Seiko Velatura Kinetic Direct Drive

When it comes to Seiko, most of us have fond memories of the quartz watches we wore back in our high school — long before moving onto more expensive and complicated timepieces. Before making such a jump, we often start at more modest beginnings and as evident by their inclusion in our guide, Seiko is…

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A man is what he carries

The Loadout: My Perfect Everyday Carry

Editor’s Note: We’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about our EDC (everyday carry for the uninitiated); in large part because of one of our favorite Tumblers, EDC. If you’ve never been, head there if you want to kill an hour or two. While we already have our daily rigs sorted out reasonably well…

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Seiko Sportura World Timer Chronograph

We feature a lot of watches and admittedly many of them cost a sizable amount. That isn’t about to change, but there are fine choices out there that don’t require nearly the same investment. Seiko is one of our favorite timepiece manufacturers (this author has two) – and the Sportura World Timer series is one…