Posts Tagged ‘sean connery

10
Aug
11

One Guy Recommends: NATO Watch Straps


My post today centres around a new addition to my own wardrobe: a nylon “NATO” watch strap.  There’s no question that Sean Connery as James Bond looked cool as hell when he wore his Rolex Submariner on a “NATO” strap (see picture below).  So, I’m hardly the first person to trumpet these types of bands; nonetheless, I’m a late convert.  But convert I am – I’ve worn mine 6 consecutive days, and I don’t like to wear the same watch more than a day or two in a row. 

The nylon strap rose to popularity thanks to British Ministry of Defence (MOD).  The standard issue strap (called the “G10” thanks to its requisition number) has come to be known as the “NATO” strap because its stock number falls within those associated with “NATO”.  Traditionally, it came in only one colour (dubbed “Admiralty Grey”) and only in the 22mm size.  There are now two colours in the NATO stock catalogue, with both stil using the traditional chrome plated brass hardware.  It is now available in a wide range of colours and patterns, from a variety of aftermarket suppliers, most traditionally featuring vertical stripes running down the middle of the band.   Another popular variation is the “Zulu” strap, which is thicker and is worn slightly differently.

For me, the addition of a nylon watch strap stemmed not out of a particularly strong desire to wear one, but rather out of a problem: I don’t really love the standard bracelet that came with my Omega Seamaster Professional.  It’s not the clasp: I think Omega’s are some of the most functional.  Rather it was the style of the links which didn’t sit well with me (which goes to show you how personal one’s taste in watches are, as many people herald the Omega bracelets as some of the prettiest around).  The Omega has become my day-to-day, beat-around work watch, but the bracelet is a scratch and scuff magnet, it’s hot and heavy to lug around a steel bracelet all summer, and, most importantly, I just didn’t love it.  In fact, I was on the verge of selling the watch; that is until I figured I’d take a $17 flyer on a navy and steel grey NATO-style strap from Gnomon Watches.   Once it arrived (nicely packaged I might add) from Singapore, and I had taken it, along with my watch, to my Authorized Omega Dealer (or “AD” as it tends to be abbreviated on watch sites), suddenly my Seamaster was transformed.  Frankly, it looked cool as hell – just as importantly, it felt cool as hell given the light, breathable nature of the nylon.   Hopefully you’ll agree with my assessment, as I’ve provided two, rather poor quality pictures of my watch and its new strap below.

In my opinion, it’s acceptable to be worn in the summer to work (although, if you work in a particularly conservative environment, I might save it for Friday).  Really, it’s the best $17s I’ve ever spent, transforming a watch that was in my doghouse into a wrist fixture.  I highly recommend throwing one on your watch, even as summer winds down (and, what with the endless choices in colours, you can really customize your watch).  Being a Bond fan, I went with a classic NATO myself (and I’d encourage anyone to go down this road: it’s never going out of style).  Another option is to buy the watch with the strap already on.  The best affordable watch I’ve seen is this watch from J. Crew, which I’ll be discussing more in a future post.  More information on Gnomon straps can be found here: http://www.gnomonwatches.com/index.asp

Thanks for reading and I look forward to being much more active with this blog.

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06
Dec
10

This Week’s Object of Lust: Dunhill Biometric Wallet


Rarely will I come across something that immediately jumps out as being incredibly cool.  Without question, Dunhill’s Biometric Wallet falls into that category.  I have a few bad habits, but chief amongst them is my tendency to misplace things.  Whether it be jumping out of a cab after a few pints on a Friday night without my wallet, putting my phone down on the counter at the bank, or table at a restaurant, or seat pocket on a plane, or…. well, you get the picture.  Small accessories and I rarely form a lasting bond.  Which makes this wallet seemingly purpose-built for people like me.  First, it requires a brief swipe of the thumb to open, thereby preventing the theft of cash, credit cards, phone numbers or whatever else you keep in your wallet should it ever go missing.  Second, and even more importantly, it offers bluetooth connectivity to your phone and provides audible warning when the two are separated by more than 5 metres (16 feet).  So, you can leave your wallet in a pair of pants across your bedroom without bother, but, if you hop out of a cab with your BlackBerry remaining quietly tucked away on the seat, it’ll sound the alarm.  And vice versa – if you misplace your wallet, your phone will give you the same courteous notification.

Luckily, these features do not come at the expense of style.  The wallet is constructed from beautiful and ultra-lightweight carbon fibre, so you won’t feel like you’re lugging around a computer in your back pocket.  It features places for your credit cards inside, along with a money clip to keep your banknotes safely organized.  And really, this combination of style and ingenuity should be expected from Alfred Dunhill, a British company that many North Americans may not be familiar with.  Originally started in the late 19th century by its namesake founder, it supplied luxury goods meant to accessorize one’s automobile under the slogan “Everything but the Motor”.  Dunhill also became famous as a high-end producer of tobacciana (including their famed pipes with trademark white dot, their rollagas lighters and even custom tobacco blends that they made on request).  Dunhill has long provided accessories for the James Bond movies (including the cigarette lighter used by Bond in Dr. No) and was also featured in the remake of the movie Alfie with Jude Law given how quintessentially British the company is in terms of quality and style.  The company has, over time, branched out into luxury clothing, watches, leather goods, ties and a host of other products, always with a nod to the company’s British heritage, and sometimes with a nod to their automotive roots.  Quite surprisingly for North Americans, Dunhill is the third most popular luxury brand in China, following only Louis Vuitton (and beating out Gucci, Dior, Armani and Hermès).

The only drawback with the Biometric Wallet is its staggering price tag ($825 or £525) – then again, items at the forefront of technology always cost an arm and a leg.  I’m not suggesting that we should all run out and pay retail, as cool as this particular item is (and, I actually just purchased a new wallet anyway).  However, this won’t stop me from trolling eBay, hoping that one of these slips through the cracks for a reasonable sum.  For more info, check out out Dunhill’s website (www.dunhill.com), or the page specific to this wallet, (www.dunhill.com/en-us/…/wallets/biometricwallet-qgk0169).

 

NOTE:  Speak of the devil, there’s one up on eBay right now: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320629718008&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:ITOpening bid is £99 (approx $155US), or a £425 reduction from the retail price.  Buy it now is £250 ($395), or more than 50% off retail if anyone is interested.  I’m watching the auction and am very interested how it’ll shake out.

25
Oct
10

Corporate Style – Part 5: Watches


Introduction

Men have a tenuous relationship with jewelery.  Almost without fail, more is definitely less.  However, I would highly recommend saving room for a watch.  And not just any watch, a watch that makes sure you’re dressed acceptably wherever you are, or perhaps one that puts you in a certain mood in light of its associations with car racing, scuba diving or sailing.  In the words of British GQ editor Dylan Jones, “You can be walking along a deserted Caribbean beach, wearing only a pair of shorts, but if you’re sporting an expensive watch, then you’re still well dressed.”  There is no question that this is a true statement – there are very few better ways to tell quite a bit about a person than to take a glance at their choice of wrist wear.  For example, a man with a Chopard Mille Miglia (see below) is likely to be interested in cars.  The guy with a Corum Admiral’s Cup is almost assuredly someone that sails (or wishes that they did).  And a man with a Patek Philippe is very likely a man with great taste that run towards the traditional and has very deep pockets.

 

But you shouldn’t buy a nice watch to send a particular message to other people; you should buy it for yourself.  For many men, it comes down to a fascination with the incredible engineering that goes into a fine Swiss watch.  For others it’s a love of the elegant design or, as I said before, the frame of mind that a particular watch puts you in.  I know men that have a particular watch they wear during the work week, and something sporty like a chunky TAG Heuer diving watch that they put on over the weekend.  That watch means its time for them to relax and enjoy their time off and shakes off the prim and proper elegance of their more business appropriate weekday wear.  For others, watches are a means of celebrating something, such as a wedding, a birthday, an anniversary or a promotion.  They can even be a means of remembering a loved one or cheering yourself up a bit.  Overall men, we’ve been given a grand canvas for our personality, our interests and our own projection of who it is we want to be, and so we shouldn’t waste that opportunity.

As someone that for quite some time did not wear a watch, I now realize that this was a mistake.  Even though we now are surrounded by gadgets that tell us the time (BlackBerry’s, iPods and the like), there is still something manly and prepared about having the time strapped to your wrist.  It suggests to others that you’re responsible and, well, a man. Continue reading ‘Corporate Style – Part 5: Watches’

18
May
10

One Guy Recommends: Silk Knit Tie


When it comes to dressing for business or for a formal occassion, I would say that my general philosphy is to dress conservatively, but with one small area where I express my personality.  There are many ways to do this, from wearing a cutaway collar (which is a bit unusual in North America, but probably more formal and completely acceptable), to wearing Scottish flag or bright red fabric knot cuff links, or  coloured socks, or having side tabs instead of a belt on one’s pants.  Adding personality to one’s clothing can be done through colour, texture, pattern or proportion (although I would caution against doing these all at the same time).   Which brings me to the silk knit tie, which plays with texture in an interesting, but very understated way.

Most of those reading this blog have seen the James Bond movie “Goldfinger” at some point in their lives and many of have seen it multiple times.  It’s without doubt my favourite Bond film, from the golf scene to the fantastic names (Pussy Galore, anyone?) to the three piece, glen-plaid suit (pictured above along with a mint julep, “sour mash but not too sweet”) that James sports throughout the flick.  Plus, it features Sean Connery in the title role, a must to be considered the top Bond film of all time.  One other thing you will notice about Connery’s suit if you go back and watch the movie again is his tie.  It’s a dark  silk knit tie that I doubt most people even spotted the first time around.  The silk knit tie was more popular in the 1960’s, but there has recently been a recent renaissance of sorts.

I purchased a silk knit tie about a year ago (and then another a few weeks ago) and, while I don’t wear them very often, I always receive compliments when I do.   You wouldn’t think that a solid navy and a solid black tie would draw much attention and, for the most part, they don’t.  But when you’re talking to someone face to face, particularly an observant member of the opposite sex, inevitably their eyes will dip to your tie and the feedback has always been positive.

Most silk knit ties have a flat bottom, unlike the pointed  bottom on your average tie; while I don’t mind this detail, I managed to find one from Battistoni that has the traditional pointed bottom.  The flat bottom gives the silk knit tie a more casual air and so I would caution against wearing it to the office.  That said, I often wear mine on fridays, which are considered to be more casual at my office.

My tip for pulling off the knit tie is to make it a simple, solid navy.  Once you’ve decided how you feel about it, then you can begin to explore striped and more colourful silks.   Again, even though it is likely perfectly acceptable, I also might not wear a silk knit tie to the office, outside of a casual friday, but rather save it for events in the evening or in the summer, especially a more casual outdoor wedding or other party.

Another great reason to buy a silk knit tie, other than to infuse a bit of personality into your dress, is that they’re all of a sudden widely available and generally inexpensive.  You can track them down at Lands End, J. Crew, Ralph Lauren, Thomas Pink or, my personal favourite (although definitely the bank-breaker of the bunch), Battistoni.  The prices are generally around $50, which is more than reasonable for a stylish tie.  So, for those out there who are understandably a bit concerned about showing personality through their clothes because they are unsure of how to do so, or are concerned about dressing conservatively, here’s the perfect antidote.  Enjoy fellows.




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