All posts in “Gear”

Today in Gear: Stress-Free Engagement Ring Shopping, a Prized Japanese Whisky’s Potential Swan Song & More

Today in Gear is our daily roundup of all the latest product announcements, drops and deals. Comments or concerns? We’d love to hear from you at tig@gearpatrol.com.


Buying an engagement ring is a pivotal moment. It can also be incredibly stressful, between sourcing a diamond within your price range, picking a style and the mystery of whether or not you got a quality product. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Couple, the first luxury brand selling lab-grown diamonds, can help to make the process not only easier but actually enjoyable. The brand’s lab-grown diamonds are not only atomically identical to mined diamonds, but they are 35 percent larger for your money. The best part? Couple also offers a Diamond Concierge service that can help you to customize your own design and pick a stone that fits your budget and your style.

New & Noteworthy Releases

This World War II-Era, Military Panerai Dive Watch Is Up for Sale

This World War II-Era, Military Panerai Dive Watch Is Up for Sale

Manufactured around 1943, this military dive watch is just one of many vintage Panerais on sale at Oliver Smith Jewelers.

Chevrolet May Be Planning to Destroy the Ford Raptor

Chevrolet May Be Planning to Destroy the Ford Raptor

Ford’s toughest truck has owned its niche of the pickup truck market since it debuted in 2010. Chevy might change that.

Did a NASA-Engineered Supplement Just Help Shatter the Half Marathon World Record?

Did a NASA-Engineered Supplement Just Help Shatter the Half Marathon World Record?

When Geoffrey Kamworor set a new half marathon record time of 58:01, race commentators speculated that he did it with a special drink.

Toyota Sells the Vintage Land Cruiser–Based Truck of Your Dreams, Just Not In the U.S.

Toyota Sells the Vintage Land Cruiser–Based Truck of Your Dreams, Just Not In the U.S.

South Africans may get the coolest Toyota truck on the global market.

This MacBook Charger Is So Tiny It Can Fit In Your Pocket

This MacBook Charger Is So Tiny It Can Fit In Your Pocket

The ideal travel companion for your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air.

This Classically Styled Watch Looks Totally Different from Most Modern Chronographs

This Classically Styled Watch Looks Totally Different from Most Modern Chronographs

The new Yacht Timer watch from Frederique Constant is made for timing yacht races with a clean, handsome interpretation of the chronograph.

This Could Be Your Last Chance to Try One of Japan’s Most Famous Whiskies

This Could Be Your Last Chance to Try One of Japan’s Most Famous Whiskies

Hibiki 17 is among the most-awarded Japnaese whiskies ever. Here’s where to get it before it’s gone forever.

Is Nissan About to Reveal the Electric Car Everyone Really Wants?

Is Nissan About to Reveal the Electric Car Everyone Really Wants?

300-mile range, a practical size, and 0-60 mph in less than five seconds.


Fresh Deals

grey_placeholder

Gillette Fusion 5 Razor Blad Refills
Save 30%: Now at Amazon, you can save 30 percent on some annoyingly expensive Gillette Fusion5 razor blade refills. This is a great chance to stock up if you shave regularly with a Fusion5 ProGlide razor. Each cartridge features five of Gillette’s thinnest blades (for a more comfortable shave) and a precision trimmer to help groom hard-to-reach areas. Normally $48 for 12 cartridges, the package costs just $34 today. — John Zientek


Roomba i7+ Robo-Vacuum
Save $100: When we reviewed iRobot’s i7+ robo-vacuum, we called it the best robo-vacuum you could buy. But we did so with one caveat: price. The full setup — which includes the vacuum and its charging and trash-dumping base — starts at $1,099. Today on Amazon, the cost is slightly more wallet-friendly.

Marked down $100, the i7+ is the first robo-vac to empty its dust contents for you. Once it senses its dustbin is full, it locks itself into its home base and deposits the trash inside (the base can hold around 30 Roombas worth of trash). It also retains “mission” data every time you send it out to clean, and it uses that data to more quickly clean your home on future missions. It’s all controlled through iRobot’s smartphone app. — Will Price

grey_placeholder

Seiko SRPC91 “Save the Ocean”
Save 27%: Released in 2018, the Seiko SRPC91 “Save the Ocean” is a Turtle-based special edition diver produced in partnership with Fabien Cousteau, Jaques Yves Cousteau’s grandson and and himself an ocean explorer and conservationist. It features a special blue gradient dial meant to recall the ocean housed in a 45mm stainless steel case, a Hardlex crystal, rubber dive strap and the Seiko automatic 4R36 movement with day-date indication. In partnership with Cousteau, Seiko will dedicate a portion of the proceeds from sales of the SRPC91 to Cousteau’s Ocean Learning Center, dedicated to promoting ocean health and conservation.
— Oren Hartov
grey_placeholder

G&L Limited Edition Tribute ASAT Classic Bluesboy Guitar
Save 33%:Today at Guitar Center, you can pick up a G&L Limited Edition Tribute ASAT Classic Bluesboy guitar for 33 percent off. This familiar guitar features the iconic body shape that put Fender on the map paired with a 22-fret maple neck. The bridge is unique and includes 6 individual brass saddles for accurate intonation and added sustain.

The Tribute ASAT Classic has a G&L humbucker in the neck position and a crisp G&L single-coil in the bridge position. This instrument features a limited-edition Mint Green finish and a 3-ply white pickguard.

Now at Guitar Center, this $450 guitar costs just $300. It’s practically a steal, so act fast — the deal will be gone before you know it. — John Zientek

grey_placeholder

Wolverine Boots
Save 25%: If you’ve been meaning to invest in a new pair of boots but haven’t found the right pair, Wolverine is currently making a compelling case for its hard-wearing styles. Now at Zappos, a bunch of boots from the Michigan-based brand are 25 percent off: choose from American-made lace-up styles including the iconic 1000 Mile boot and the go-anywhere Montague Boot boot. Many sizes are currently available, but with such a substantial discount, they won’t be for long. — John Zientek
grey_placeholder

Nike Epic React Flyknit 2
Save $50: When Nike announced React foam in 2017, it promised the impossible: foam that’s lightweight, durable, and provides ample cushioning and bouncy energy return. Nike’s materials scientists tested more than 400 chemical combinations until they found the perfect mix, which the first delivered in basketball footwear. But React found its stride after Nike injected it into the Epic React Flyknit, a running shoe that gained a considerable following throughout 2018.

It wasn’t surprising that the Epic React Flyknit 2, released earlier this year, would also be a success. It features the foam that’s embedded in its name as well as Nike’s sock-like knitted upper, Flyknit. But for the follow-up, Nike tweaked that part of the shoe’s construction: the upper is stretchier, more supportive, and comfier with a lower heel cuff. Right now, the shoe is $50 off on Nike’s website. — Tanner Bowden

grey_placeholder

Cole Haan Suede Bomber Jacket
Save 50%: If you want to score a classic leather jacket for an incredible deal, head over to Nordstrom Rack today. Currently, you can save 50 percent on a few suede bomber jackets from Cole Haan. The zip-up style features two hand pockets, a cotton-linen lining and a ribbed collar and cuffs. Available in olive, navy and tan, this $500 jacket now costs just $250. — John Zientek
grey_placeholder

Apple Watch Series 4
Save up to $100: Apple officially announced the Apple Watch Series 5 last week and, in doing so, also stopped selling the Series 4, presumably because it’s slightly too similar to the new flagship offering, with the exceptions the Series 5 has an always-on display and a new sensor (a magnetometer) that allows it to work as a compass, showing you which way you’re facing while using Apple Maps. The Series 5 also comes in titanium models, although those are significantly more expensive. That said, it’s a great time to shop for the Apple Watch Series 4 because it’s on sal. It also has a bunch of the newer features that the Series 3 lacks, including fall detection, a built-in EKG and a variety of fitness features. If you shop on Amazon right now, you can buy a Series 4 with cellular for as little as $399, which is $100 off. If you don’t need built-in LTE, which I’d argue that most people don’t need (nor do they want to pay the extra $10 each month on their phone bill), you can get a pretty good deal on GPS-only models of the Series 4, too. — Tucker Bowe |


Today on Gear Patrol

This Scottish Company’s Affordable Watches Are Unlike Anything Else on the Market

This Scottish Company’s Affordable Watches Are Unlike Anything Else on the Market

anOrdain has been making affordable enamel-dialed watches since late 2018, but it took the company 3 years to perfect its process.

Why Every Kitchen Absolutely Needs a Vacuum Sealer

Why Every Kitchen Absolutely Needs a Vacuum Sealer

Jimmy Papadopolous thinks everyone needs a vacuum sealer, a pair of weird Japanese knife sharpeners & more.

2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Review: The Mustang You Really Ought to Want

2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Review: The Mustang You Really Ought to Want

There are plenty of new Mustangs to choose from these days—but the Bullitt hits the sweet spot.

Galaxy Note10+ Review: Big, Beautiful, Best in Class

Galaxy Note10+ Review: Big, Beautiful, Best in Class

The Note10+ is a real powerhouse of a phone and if it has a primary flaw it is only that it may be more phone than you need or want to pay for.

The Best Habits and Products for a Safe, Smooth Shave

The Best Habits and Products for a Safe, Smooth Shave

Blade replacement, cleaning, post-shave hygiene and storage.

Test, Learn and Shop at the Stocked Product Marketplace in NYC

Test, Learn and Shop at the Stocked Product Marketplace in NYC

On Day Two of Stocked, there will be even more opportunities to learn more about products and shop them IRL — and after 12 PM, it’s completely open to the public.

This Is the Best Affordable Sports Car You Can Buy Right Now

This Is the Best Affordable Sports Car You Can Buy Right Now

Our Editor’s Pick for the best affordable sports car you can buy right now is the Mazda MX-5 Miata.

Discover the Gear That Inspires Chris Burkard at Stocked 2019

Discover the Gear That Inspires Chris Burkard at Stocked 2019

We’re excited to announce that adventure photographer and documentarian Chris Burkard will be headlining day one of Gear Patrol’s upcoming event, Stocked.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

Today’s Best Deals: Premium Accessories for Your Apple Devices, the Best Roomba You Can Buy & More

Welcome to Deals of Note, where Gear Patrol captures all the best deals of the day. You can also follow all our deal posts in the Deals section. Comments or concerns? We’d love to hear from you at deals@gearpatrol.com.

Woolnut makes some of the most stylish Apple accessories you can find. With premium iPad Leather Sleeves or the new iPhone 11 Leather Cases, there is no excuse for your Apple products not to look their best. The Woolnut MacBook Sleeves are all made with from German wool felt and vegetable tanned full-grain Scandinavian leather — available in black and a deep cognac. The sleeves are available for the entire MacBook series, so no matter which you have you can complement your device with minimalist and rustic cases. And to help you snap one up for yourself, Woolnut put together a code for 15% off all its products until the end of the month. All you have to do is use GEARPATROL19 at checkout.

[DEALS HERE]

Home



Roomba i7+ Robo-Vacuum
Save $100: When we reviewed iRobot’s i7+ robo-vacuum, we called it the best robo-vacuum you could buy. But we did so with one caveat: price. The full setup — which includes the vacuum and its charging and trash-dumping base — starts at $1,099. Today on Amazon, the cost is slightly more wallet-friendly.

Marked down $100, the i7+ is the first robo-vac to empty its dust contents for you. Once it senses its dustbin is full, it locks itself into its home base and deposits the trash inside (the base can hold around 30 Roombas worth of trash). It also retains “mission” data every time you send it out to clean, and it uses that data to more quickly clean your home on future missions. It’s all controlled through iRobot’s smartphone app. — Will Price

Outdoors and Fitness

grey_placeholder

Nike Epic React Flyknit 2
Save $50: When Nike announced React foam in 2017, it promised the impossible: foam that’s lightweight, durable, and provides ample cushioning and bouncy energy return. Nike’s materials scientists tested more than 400 chemical combinations until they found the perfect mix, which the first delivered in basketball footwear. But React found its stride after Nike injected it into the Epic React Flyknit, a running shoe that gained a considerable following throughout 2018.

It wasn’t surprising that the Epic React Flyknit 2, released earlier this year, would also be a success. It features the foam that’s embedded in its name as well as Nike’s sock-like knitted upper, Flyknit. But for the follow-up, Nike tweaked that part of the shoe’s construction: the upper is stretchier, more supportive, and comfier with a lower heel cuff. Right now, the shoe is $50 off on Nike’s website. — Tanner Bowden

Style

grey_placeholder

Cole Haan Suede Bomber Jacket
Save 50%: If you want to score a classic leather jacket for an incredible deal, head over to Nordstrom Rack today. Currently, you can save 50 percent on a few suede bomber jackets from Cole Haan. The zip-up style features two hand pockets, a cotton-linen lining and a ribbed collar and cuffs. Available in olive, navy and tan, this $500 jacket now costs just $250. — John Zientek
grey_placeholder

Wolverine Boots
Save 25%: If you’ve been meaning to invest in a new pair of boots but haven’t found the right pair, Wolverine is currently making a compelling case for its hard-wearing styles. Now at Zappos, a bunch of boots from the Michigan-based brand are 25 percent off: choose from American-made lace-up styles including the iconic 1000 Mile boot and the go-anywhere Montague Boot boot. Many sizes are currently available, but with such a substantial discount, they won’t be for long. — John Zientek
grey_placeholder

Gillette Fusion 5 Razor Blad Refills
Save 30%: Now at Amazon, you can save 30 percent on some annoyingly expensive Gillette Fusion5 razor blade refills. This is a great chance to stock up if you shave regularly with a Fusion5 ProGlide razor. Each cartridge features five of Gillette’s thinnest blades (for a more comfortable shave) and a precision trimmer to help groom hard-to-reach areas. Normally $48 for 12 cartridges, the package costs just $34 today. — John Zientek

Tech

grey_placeholder

Apple Watch Series 4
Save up to $100: Apple officially announced the Apple Watch Series 5 last week and, in doing so, also stopped selling the Series 4, presumably because it’s slightly too similar to the new flagship offering, with the exceptions the Series 5 has an always-on display and a new sensor (a magnetometer) that allows it to work as a compass, showing you which way you’re facing while using Apple Maps. The Series 5 also comes in titanium models, although those are significantly more expensive. That said, it’s a great time to shop for the Apple Watch Series 4 because it’s on sal. It also has a bunch of the newer features that the Series 3 lacks, including fall detection, a built-in EKG and a variety of fitness features. If you shop on Amazon right now, you can buy a Series 4 with cellular for as little as $399, which is $100 off. If you don’t need built-in LTE, which I’d argue that most people don’t need (nor do they want to pay the extra $10 each month on their phone bill), you can get a pretty good deal on GPS-only models of the Series 4, too. — Tucker Bowe | grey_placeholder

G&L Limited Edition Tribute ASAT Classic Bluesboy Guitar
Save 33%:Today at Guitar Center, you can pick up a G&L Limited Edition Tribute ASAT Classic Bluesboy guitar for 33 percent off. This familiar guitar features the iconic body shape that put Fender on the map paired with a 22-fret maple neck. The bridge is unique and includes 6 individual brass saddles for accurate intonation and added sustain.

The Tribute ASAT Classic has a G&L humbucker in the neck position and a crisp G&L single-coil in the bridge position. This instrument features a limited-edition Mint Green finish and a 3-ply white pickguard.

Now at Guitar Center, this $450 guitar costs just $300. It’s practically a steal, so act fast — the deal will be gone before you know it. — John Zientek

Watches

grey_placeholder

Seiko SRPC91 “Save the Ocean”
Save 27%: Released in 2018, the Seiko SRPC91 “Save the Ocean” is a Turtle-based special edition diver produced in partnership with Fabien Cousteau, Jaques Yves Cousteau’s grandson and and himself an ocean explorer and conservationist. It features a special blue gradient dial meant to recall the ocean housed in a 45mm stainless steel case, a Hardlex crystal, rubber dive strap and the Seiko automatic 4R36 movement with day-date indication. In partnership with Cousteau, Seiko will dedicate a portion of the proceeds from sales of the SRPC91 to Cousteau’s Ocean Learning Center, dedicated to promoting ocean health and conservation.
— Oren Hartov

See More Deals

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

LARQ is the World’s First Self-Cleaning Water Bottle & Purifier

Using integrated UV-C LED lights, the LARQ bottle is the world’s first self-cleaning water bottle & purification system. It also won a coveted Red Dot Design Award. The light technology built into the bottle eliminates up to 99.9999% of bio-contaminants, providing fresh, clean drinking water in just 60 seconds. Every 2 hours, the LARQ turns on automatically to keep your water & the bottle fresh. Available in 17 & 25-ounce sizes.

The OCLU Action Camera Is Built for All Your Adventures

With action cameras, we thought we’d seen everything. Then came OCLU–the smarter, sleeker and easier to use solution for capturing all of your best moments. State of the art processors deliver UHD 4K video @…

A Bunch of Wolverine Boots Are Now on Sale

Substantial Savings

A Bunch of Wolverine Boots Are Now on Sale


If you’ve been meaning to invest in a new pair of boots but haven’t found the right pair, Wolverine is currently making a compelling case for its hard-wearing styles. Now at Zappos, a bunch of boots from the Michigan-based brand are 25 percent off: choose from American-made lace-up styles including the iconic 1000 Mile boot and the go-anywhere Montague Boot boot. Many sizes are currently available, but with such a substantial discount, they won’t be for long.

Evans Boot by Wolverine $400 $300

Addison Boot by Wolverine $400 $300

1000 Mile Boot by Wolverine $385 $289

1000 Mile Moc-Toe Boot by Wolverine $415 $311

Montague Chelsea Boot by Wolverine $295 $221
Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

This World War II-Era, Military Panerai Dive Watch Is Up for Sale

Oliver Smith Jewelers, based in Scottsdale, AZ and Aspen, CO, is one of the best places to view important Panerai watches on sale in the United States. Owner Oliver Smith has been in the jewelry business for nearly 40 years and was one of the country’s first Panerai dealers, and now he’s curated a special collection of exceptional Panerais, including a fully badass reference 3646 dive watch manufactured in 1943 and originally worn by a combat diver during WII. There are also pre-Vendome Group Panerais and some important modern models.

“No one in the United States specializes in estate Panerai watches like we do,” Smith says. “We spend time analyzing every historic Panerai watch, to know if you’re buying vintage you need to know provenance. Dials, movements, crowns, and case backs all add to the history of the watch.”

The reference 3646 is an unsigned Panerai dubbed the “Anonymous Dial.” Most WWII-era Panerais were produced for issue to the Italian Decima MAS, an early special operations force of the Italian Royal Navy that used SCUBA equipment and manned torpedoes to attack Allied naval vessels, most famously in port of Alexandria in 1941.

These dials were often signed “Panerai” — however, one theory is that family-owned Panerai was resistant to having its watches adopted by the Nazi Kampschwimmer units (early German naval special operations units) and omitted its branding from the dials of these timepieces. Another theory is that the German military requested “sterile” dials in order not to identify themselves to the enemy in the event of capture (a similar theory governs the Benrus Models I and II made for American UDT divers and CIA-trained paramilitary personnel during the Vietnam War).

This particular 3646 first appeared on the market at Soetheby’s in 2013, where it was documented that the consignee of the watch believed his father, who served in the British Royal Marines during WWII, came into possession of the watch toward the end of the war while stationed at the Kiel Naval Base in Germany. Though the closest Kampschwimmer base was roughly 440 km away on the Oder River, Kiel Harbor was evidently used to move German prisoners by the Royal Navy in 1945.

Should you have any interest in checking out the 3646 or other important pre-Vendome Group or modern Panerais in person, you can do so at the Panerai Boutique in Aspen, CO from December 27th, 2019 through January 5th, 2020, or in Scottsdale, AZ at Oliver Smith Jeweler. Pricing and more info for all pieces in the collection is available upon request.

Vintage ref. 3646 “Anonymous Dial” by Panerai More Info

201A “Non-Matching” by Panerai More Info

PAM00300 “Mare Nostrum” by Panerai More Info

This Vision Venture Camper Concept Is the Future Of Travel

We love it when folks go all out in their concepts. This one, travelers will surely love. The Hymer Vision Venture is a concept camper that imagines what traveling will look like in a few years.

Hymer, a German firm that makes campervans and motor homes, teamed up with a chemical engineering company called BASF to build a concept what spending a few days off the grid will look like in 2025, realistically.

At the heart of it? A Mercedes-Benz Sprinter — the same van drivers use to deliver Amazon packages. But this one comes with a custom-made body that hides such humble origins, then clears out plenty of space for a pretty sick cabin that can comfortably shelter two passengers.

Some of the components involves 3D printing, a method that makes this campervan terribly unfit for mass-production. However, only some parts go through that process. If you look at the back part, you’ll see that the Vision Venture fully opens to give the passengers a nearly uninterrupted view of the surrounding nature.

Step inside, look down, and you’ll see the wood flooring, which makes the whole floor seem like an outdoor deck. A small but clever touch that bridges the gap between indoors and outdoors. Hymer even added a built-in BBQ if you feel the urge for some good ol’ backyard grub.

In the cab, you’ll find a full kitchen, a bathroom, and a staircase leads to the roof-mounted bed. For a camper, the Vision Venture surprisingly looks organized and not cramped at all. Much of what you’ll see inside also come from natural materials like wood. As a result, it almost looks like a super chic nature-inspired abode.

CHECK IT OUT

Photos courtesy of Hymer

The Raleigh Redux 2 Brings Mountain Bike Chops To Your City Commute

If you want a mountain bike prowess on your way to work through a bustling metropolis, the Raleigh Redux 2 will give just exactly that. With it, you’re always ready for a ride at any moment’s notice. The Raleigh Redux always come prepared for any kind of ride. Be it on the way to the bar, home, or just plain strolling around.

The Raleigh Redux 2 can take on any challenge street riding entails. If you live in the city, you know that getting around can get quite tricky, especially in ultra populated ones. Worse, the roads often are inconsistent. Like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get. There are a ton of obstacles often in the way. You’ll encounter potholes, manhole covers, train tracks, curbs, and more.

If you want a smart option, you’ll want the Raleigh Redux 2 as an everyday street commute companion. This wee bike can handle all roadblocks ahead. It features a lightweight aluminum frame and fork. Meaning, despite its sheer robustness, you can always rely that it will zoom through the city with nimbleness.

When you’re ready to hit home, just carry it. It’s lightweight enough to lift up even steep stairs, even though it’s super strong and can handle hardcore use out the streets. You get nine speeds as standard, plus a larger diameter handlebar, and hydraulic disc brakes for optimal stopping power.

Make sure to hit the link below to know more. If this model doesn’t float your boat, look at Raleigh’s other equally valuable options.

GET IT HERE

The Diesel On Axial Is A Fashionable Chunky Smartwatch And We Love It

Wear OS is still far from being the best platform for smartwatches. Industry experts point out that the operating system needs to improve its battery optimization in order to stay in the game. Right now, Apple is clearly ahead of the game, followed by Samsung and other manufacturers. However, it does not mean the end of Google’s wearable ecosystem. Some fashion companies still rely on it for their products and the Diesel On Axial is one of the latest smartwatches that use it.

Labels such as Fossil, Michael Kors, Emporio Armani, Guess, and others still use it. Even upscale watchmakers like TAG Heuer and Montblanc use Wear OS as the backbone of their smartwatches. It’s safe to say that it’s not going away anytime soon.

As such, the Diesel On Axial is still worth your money if you are in the market for a stylish smart wearable. We love chunky watches and some of you do as well. Diesel’s previous offerings all came with thick bezels, but the On Axial is the thickest so far.

The On Axial It sports a 1.28 OLED screen within a 44 mm aluminum case. Additionally, gone are the round buttons save for the crown as Diesel replaces these with rectangular textured pushers. These details give the smartwatch an industrial look that owners will either love or hate. It’s packing a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset with 1 GB of RAM. We have no word about battery life, but we can speculate that it would be better than the previous models.

More from Diesel: here

Images courtesy of Diesel

The Best Habits and Products for a Safe, Smooth Shave

Poor hygiene is one of the main causes of shaving irritations, infections and razor burn. And it’s not your hygiene we’re talking about (though we hope you’re washing your face, at least); instead, it’s the cleanliness with which you store, sanitize and replenish your razor blades.

Think of all the gunk that collects in those razors: Dead skin, hair clippings, oils, shave creams — and that’s just from the shave itself. If you store the blade improperly, it’s going to collect dust, dirt and all kinds of nasty germs. The blades become a hotbed for bacteria, and soon you’re dragging that dirty blade across your open-and-vulnerable pores, just begging for them to transfer to the skin and find a home next to your hair follicles. Next thing you know, you’ve got a red, irritated face.

And if you aren’t one to replace razors at proper intervals, imagine how all of this multiples when you’re using a dull, rusty, bacteria-riddled blade. It ain’t pretty.

Or, you could avoid the agony all together and just practice proper razor hygiene. Here’s how to do that.

Blade Replacement

Since we all shave at different intervals, there are two ways to approach razor blade replacement. You need to toss out your cartridge after 2 to 3 weeks of use, or after 6 to 8 shaves, whichever comes first. So, if you shave daily, toss it after a week or so. If you shave once a week, toss it after the second or third week. If you pick a good razor replenishment service, like Dollar Shave Club or Harry’s, those blades cost between $1 to $2 each. And considering how imperative it is that you use sharp, fresh blades on your skin — that’s a low investment with high return.

As for safety razor blades, just toss them out after each use. They’re especially inexpensive—even top-shelf brands like Bevel sell them for less than 50 cents each — and they require ultimate sharpness in order to be precise since there’s just a single blade instead of 3 to 5. We’ll forgive you if you shave daily and reuse it once, but don’t push your luck.

Blades by Dollar Shave Club $7+

Blades by Harry’s $16

Blades by Bevel $10

Blade Cleaning

If you plan to reuse your razor blade, then you need to clean it properly before storing it. First and foremost, run it under hot water (the hotter the better), rinsing it in every possible direction. Don’t soak it in a full sink—don’t even do that mid shave, yuck—but just make sure you get all of the excess gunk out from between the blades. Sometimes I’ll take a tweezer or even a rubbing-alcohol-dipped cotton swab to fish out stubborn pieces, then will rinse again with hot water. There should be no need to disinfect the razor further if it’s cleaned out and has been rinsed under high temps. Some people will run dish soap over the blades or soak them quickly in rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide before rinsing again, but that’s a little excessive and could tarnish the blades.

Follow this same advice mid-shave, rinsing the blade as thoroughly as possible in warm-hot water to rid of each stroke’s collection. You don’t want to do a second pass over your face with any gunk already in the razor; that’s a surefire way to clog your pores.

Post-Shave Hygiene

One of the best things you can do when buying a razor is to also get a stand for it. Deluxe brands will often sell them alongside their razors; in particular, I love the ones from The Art of Shaving. You can get dual brush-razor stands or even safety razor stands. But it’s also not hard to do yourself: just get a small glass and leave the blade upright in the cup.

Where you store the razor is the next imperative. Because it needs to dry quickly and not invite moisture (which in turn invite bacteria). That means you’ve got to store the razor in a cool, dry place. Yes, that means you shouldn’t store it in the bathroom itself, which is a warm, moist place. I understand how weird it might be to store your razor somewhere that isn’t your bathroom, but it’s for the sake of hygiene. And it’s only overnight or for a few hours until it’s dry.

Store the razor upright in its stand, or upside-down for most safety-razor stands, so long as the blade is in the air. Safety razors should even be dried this way when you’ve tossed the blade because the head needs to be clean just as thoroughly as if the blade were still there. However, standard cartridge razor can usually be packed away after you ross the blade, and only need to be cleaned and dried when the razor is in use.

Shaving Stand by The Art of Shaving $100

Safety Razor Stand by The Art of Shaving $60

Home and Travel Storage

Between shaves and when you’re on the go, you need to shield the clean, dry blades from things like dust, moisture, and germs. So get a plastic case to guard the entire razor, or simply the blade itself.

Harry’s sells blade covers for all of $1. Merkur has an entire travel set, perfect if you’re also buying your first safety razor. I like plastic cases like both of these, since they can be easily washed and disinfected, and since no material will get stuck under any blades.

Travel Blade Cover by Harry’s $1

Safety Razor Travel Set by Merkur $61
How to Recover from Razor Burn

Every so often, after what seems like a routine stubble shave, your skin breaks out into a painful, red rash. You need to recover from this razor burn, and fast. For this intel, we sought the expertise of Jason Bauers, barber at Blind Barber in NYC. Read the Story

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

The Foodi Air Fryer From Ninja Lets You Fry Food Healthier And Save Counter Space

If you love being in the kitchen most of the time, Ninja might be a brand you’re familiar with. The company has been producing some of the best blenders and food processors out there. After browsing around its catalog of products, we’re discovering some gadgets that will be an awesome addition to our arsenal of cooking tools. We’ll start off by showcasing the Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven. This a versatile convection oven ideally for those looking to save some space on the countertop.

Although it might sound like a one-trick pony, this air fryer can do so much more. On top of its most obvious function, this gadget likewise works as a dehydrator and toaster oven. Out of the box, you are greeted by a moderately-sized appliance that looks like it will last a lifetime. To make maintenance a breeze, the Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven touts a stainless steel construction.

Its space-saving feature comes in the form of a flip-up mechanism that keeps the oven upright. This is handy when you’re in need of extra space on the counter. Furthermore, in this position, you can open the bottom panel to access the removable crumb tray. It makes cleanup quick and easy when you can wipe down the interior as well.

As the name implies, this is a healthier alternative to the traditional way of frying food. The Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven comes with an air-frying tray and a non-stick sheet pan. Now you can feel a lot less guilty when you indulge in your favorite fried meals. Ninja just needs to add a little more height to allow larger ingredients to fit inside.

Buy one now – $229.99

Images courtesy of Ninja

Galaxy Note10+ Review: Big, Beautiful, Best in Class

For years, the Samsung Galaxy Note has been catering to faithful fans of the stylus and, this year, there are two options on the table, a first for the line. While smaller (“smaller”) Galaxy Note 10 is the chief successor to the Galaxy Note line, with a 6.3-inch screen and form factor that’s similar to its forebear, the Note10+ is attempting to carve out a larger, more premium niche with its gargantuan 6.8-inch screen, beefier batter, surplus of RAM, and staring price of $1099. The result? A beautiful phone with hardly any serious flaws other than that it may just be far more phone than you need.

The Good: The Galaxy Note10+ is a beautifully made device. Samsung’s build quality has been top notch for ages and the Note10+ is no exception with its satisfying heft and screen that curves over the edges. It comes in a variety of colors but the “Aura Glow” version I tested is notably eye catching. Like the underside of a CD, it changes color as it catches the light and while it struck me as over the top at first, the effect really grew on me.

Like any good, big phone, the Note10+ has a big, 4,300mAh battery that lasts ridiculously long. Even a Saturday of strenuous use streaming Formula 1 and then reading far too much Twitter for hours on ends was not enough to take its battery much lower than 30 percent by the end of the day.

The Note10+ sports a terrific camera system, very similar to the one currently offered on Samsung’s line of S10 models, which means it takes fantastic photos, as any phone at this price point should, but doesn’t quite offer any surprises.

The S Pen, now updated with an accelerometer and gyroscope, now has increased utility outside of just writing on the screen. Waving the pen through the air like a wand will allow you to do some a few potentially useful tricks like change camera settings on a phone that you might not be holding.

Who It’s For: The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is, at its core, for one type of person very specifically: the kind who absolutely loves a stylus. With its powerhouse performance, fantastic build quality, great camera, and stellar battery life, it’s a suitable and satisfying computing companion for anyone, but if you aren’t dying for the stylus, Samsung’s Galaxy S10 Plus slightly smaller but otherwise comparable in almost every way, with the added bonus of a bigger battery and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Watch Out For: While the S Pen’s new wand-like air commands are novel and theoretically useful, I didn’t find a lot of value to them in practice. They also support a limited suite of apps, perhaps most noticeably the camera, where it could come in handy for long-range selfie set up. Maybe. And though Samsung has provided the software tools for other apps to make themselves compatible, it seems hard to imagine this becoming much more than a gimmick.

At 6.8-inches, the Note10+ is _a lot_ of phone. I’m a man with relatively large hands and still had trouble negotiating its heft one-handed on the train even with the aid of a PopSocket. Of course that is part of the 10+’s appeal, but it’s something to be aware of, especially considering the smaller, 6.3-inch Note10 also exists and will be, for most normal people, indisitinguishable in terms of performance despite its slightly less overkill supply of RAM.

Alternatives: If the stylus isn’t your main concern, there are many. Chiefly the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus which is slightly smaller, slightly cheaper, but otherwise extremely similar. Google’s Pixel line, with its cleaner version of Android, also provides a possible substitute, with the Pixel 4 due for announcement in the next month or two.

But if the stylus is your bag, a Note is pretty much your only choice. The smaller Note 10 is a great way to get almost the same phone but with a smaller screen (and slightly less RAM, less battery power) for $100 cheaper if the Plus’ gargantuan size isn’t a must for you. If you’re not sold on the latest and greatest, the Note 9 is also an option. It only has a two-camera cluster, and sports a fingerprint reader on its back instead of under the screen, but is still a more than capable device you might be able to find at something of a discount.

Verdict: The Note10+ is a real powerhouse of a phone and if it has a primary flaw it is only that it may be more phone than you need or want to pay for. But if its price or size doesn’t make you wince at the prospect, it won’t let you down.

Key Specs
Size: 6.8-inch
Display: Quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
Rear Camera: 16MP ultrawide (f/2.2), 12MP dual-pixel wide (f/1.5, f/2.4), 12MP telephoto (f/2.4)
Front Camera: 10-MP dual-pixel (f/2.2)
Durability: IP68
Capacity: 256GB, 512GB internal, up to 1TB with MicroSD

Samsung provided this product for review.

Read More Gear Patrol Reviews

Hot takes and in-depth reviews on noteworthy, relevant and interesting products. Read the Story
Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

All the Stylish Essentials to Grab on a Trip to Detroit

Editor’s Note: In the second part of our Off the Beaten Path series in partnership with Montblanc, we’re telling the stories of Detroit — America’s off the beaten path, but rising, city. In this series we look at Detroit through the lens of those who know it best, its tastemakers, experiencing the very places they feel are worth a stop.

The story of Detroit, the underdog, clawing itself back from decades of neglect and mismanagement (culminating with the city’s bankruptcy in 2013) has been told time and time again. The rock bottom home prices attracting transplants, the urban farms popping up and new industry finding its way to the city are well recorded along with the “ruin porn” that defined the outsider’s view of the Motor City for much of the aughts. But in 2019, things are different in Detroit. “America’s Comeback City” is back, but if you’re not there, you may not know that. Whether you are going to Detroit for work or just for a vacation, the city has more than enough to offer and take in. Not least of which is the burgeoning fashion scene of makers and boutiques helping to define the Detroit style.

With companies like StockX calling Detroit home, style has a natural place here. And not everyone is a recent transplant. Born and raised in the city, with over 14 years of tailoring experience, Nelson Sanders is one of Detroit’s own defining what it means to get dressed in this city. Sanders runs his own custom tailoring shop in the city’s downtown — a stone’s throw from the Quicken Loans headquarters (which relocated there in 2010 as a bet on Detroit’s future) — aptly named Dandy. Working with Italian and English fabrics, Sanders offers clients a fully custom experience with a knack, as he says, for a certain Detroit flourish. With Sanders as our guide, he took us on a tour of his stylish Detroit for some more à la carte offerings that would be worth bringing back from any trip to Motor City.

Sanders’s Dandy is located inside another well-regarded brick and mortar style haven, Détroit Is The New Black. This 2,300-square-foot shop stocks a mix of local designers as well as those on a global scale and has room for Dandy to take in clients for fittings as well. With pieces only to be found in-store — Détroit Is The New Black’s e-commerce is pretty limited — and a rotating crew of Detroit-based designers and a collection of hard to find magazines, the shop is well worth a visit, regardless if you are getting measured for one of Sanders’s suits.

Detroit is, of course, an iconic blue-collar city. Not only the birthplace of the nation’s auto industry but also Carhartt was founded in nearby Dearborn — it seems fitting the next stop would serve up some denim threads. Detroit Denim Co. was founded in 2010 and nearly a decade later they are still making everything there in its Rivertown factory. With the shop right off the factory floor, you can get your new jeans hemmed in a matter of minutes. But it isn’t only handcrafted jeans you can grab to bring back from your trip to the city at Detroit Denim Co., there are also limited runs of workshirts, leather goods and even tote bags — which caught our eye. From custom-tailored suiting to selvedge denim, Detroit is worth a visit if just for the pieces you can bring back.

Along with Sanders, we put together a directory of the must-visit shops and some of the Detroit styles to bring home for yourself.

The Bag for the Journey

The Puma Smartwatch Is Worth Considering

The Puma Smartwatch marks Puma’s first Wear OS option and first-ever smartwatch, launching at IFA 2019 this week. The sports brand teamed up with Fossil Group to make the wearable device, which comes equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 chip.

There is plenty to love about this wee smartwatch, though many of its elements are standard and pretty much what you’d expect from a modern smartwatch. For the display, you get a 1.19-inch round AMOLED, housed inside a cut-out nylon and aluminum 44mm case.

Clearly, Puma aims to target the sports fans, as the watch comes with waterproofing. The device weighs very little — just 0.06 pounds — thanks to a few cutouts on the side, reducing the overall weight.

The watch comes with 4 GB of storage and 512 MB of RAM, the vanilla specs of modern smartwatch options these days. Thanks to the Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset onboard, this thing should last 24 hours on a single charge. Or so Puma says. We have to test if that’s true, of course.

Since the watch sports Wear OS, you get the whole nine yards. NFC payments, heart rate monitoring, fitness tracking, Google Assistant, and more.

This isn’t Puma’s first tech product, by the way. The sports brand has been experimenting with technology in recent years. In 2016, it launched its first wirelessly connected self-lacing sneakers. Also, last year, it put out its classic 1986 RS-Computer running shoes, to the delight of many.

Puma plans to release its first smartwatch this november for $275. It will come in black, white, and a neon color.

LEARN MORE HERE

2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Review: The Mustang You Really Ought to Want

The Ford Mustang has a timeless charm. Imperative to that charm is how much that car channels coolness —  and for buyers of a certain age, the Mustang has never been cooler than when Steve McQueen used it in a car chase in the 1968 film Bullitt. With the Bullitt-idolizing generation at peak disposable income, it’s not surprising Ford tapped that nostalgia well for the third time in less than 20 years for a series of special-edition Mustangs culminating in this one. 

Fortunately, the car itself supersedes the nostalgia. Forget the movie: This car is beautiful, powerful and loud in any context. It’s perhaps the purest distillation of the Mustang’s greatness (at least, in terms of versions not made for the track). But keep in mind: Coolness is seldom cheap, comfortable or practical.

The Good: The Bullitt has a 5.0-liter naturally aspirated V8 that produces 480 horsepower and enough exhaust noise to rouse the peacefully interred. It only — only –comes with a six-speed manual transmission. The retro appearance pares down some of the model’s extraneous styling elements, reducing it to what may be the best-looking Mustang on sale.

Who It’s For: Anyone who wants a sharp-looking Mustang. Sure, it could be someone older living out a Steve McQueen fantasy — but this car does not need nostalgia to sell.

Watch Out For: Well, it’s a muscle car, so by average motor vehicle standards, the Bullitt Mustang is not particularly comfortable or practical. At 18 miles per gallon combined, it’s not very fuel-efficient, either. And introverts be warned: you should be prepared for strangers to approach you to talk about your ride.

Alternatives: The Mustang’s major rival is the Chevrolet Camaro, where the closest analog would be the 2SS trim with the 6.2-liter V8 ($42,995). There’s also the Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Wide Body ($47,740).

Review: The Ford Mustang is like a cheeseburger. There are more sophisticated and more expensive menu items out there. You feel like you should like those items more than you do. You might even talk yourself into ordering them. But the cheeseburger is what you want, even if it’s not so great for the environment.

To torture that analogy a little more, the Bullitt Mustang would be a Juicy Lucy. It’s as much of what you want as you can handle.

Spare your more efficient turbochargers. The Bullitt has a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 dubbed “Coyote” by Ford insiders. Thanks to its exhaust headers and some retuning, it cranks out 480 hp — a 20 hp bump over the standard Mustang GT. The Bullitt edition only comes with a six-speed manual. It has a curated rumble, with exhaust settings that can let you be heard blocks away. You only achieve 15 mpg in the city, but fuel efficiency probably does not factor into your fantasy.

An action-film-themed nostalgia package seems like it should be cheesy, but Ford somehow evades the cheese. Instead of adding shlock, the retro-inspired package simplifies and refines the Mustang. It’s a great-looking car, even if you’re far more familiar with Fortnite than Steve McQueen. (The Highland Green paint in particular looks spectacular.) The Bullitt badging will be a sticking point for some, but it proves unobtrusive if you don’t think about it too hard. My only complaint is the unnecessary odd chrome trim around the side windows and grille.

The Bullitt is a crowd-pleaser, drawing attention and comments wherever you go. That said, expect more construction workers to roll up to you at stoplights than Jacqueline Bisset look-a-likes.

The Bullitt is meant to bridge the gap between the Mustang GT and the more track-oriented Shelby models, a task at which it largely succeeds. It has Brembo brakes, the mechanical bits from the GT’s Performance Package,and some parts from the Shelby models, automatic rev-matching, and a ton of power and grip.  If you have the space to push the Bullitt, it’s brilliant.

That’s not saying it would make for a great daily driver. It can feel tepid under low-speed driving in urban areas; you have to go high on the revs to get to the real power, higher than most will go making a run to the drug store. On the other hand, my tester came equipped with the $1,695 MagneRide suspension, which should be considered a must-have. It handled Michigan’s rocky roads fairly well, though I did encounter some mild bump steer on egregious lumps in the road.

No one buys a Mustang primarily because it’s practical or comfortable. That’s good, because the Bullitt is neither. The trunk is surprisingly spacious, but the back seat is an absolute nuisance. There were times I left it in the garage and took my Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen instead because I could not face the task of getting my son in his car seat — a maneuver that required climbing in from the opposite side of the car. Only years of yoga saved me from a pulled groin.

Setting children aside, it’s still not an ergonomically pleasant car. The seat seemed too high. When I entered a parking garage, I had to shift my head to the right, jam it into the top of the window, and thrust out the window blindly with my credit card to access the reader. I’m 5’11”; a car should be able to accommodate me. Plus, the cupholders were also a couple of inches away from the gear shifter and right in the driver’s arm line, rendering them useless.

With the Bullitt edition, Ford made what may be the best-looking and best-all-around Mustang on sale today. But you do have to pay for it. It starts at more than $8,000 above the GT Premium Fastback. Add in the necessary options like the magnetic ride suspension, and you’re looking at a car coming in significantly above $50,000. That’s a lot for a “regular” Mustang. Indeed, my kitted-out tester priced at $52,885 — not that much less than the base model GT350, which has 50-plus more horsepower and an even bigger V8.

Verdict: Owning a Mustang is primarily about having a cool-looking, cool-sounding car. For the buyer who just wants to cruise and have some old-school muscle car fun, the Bullitt may be the optimal choice.

2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt: Key Specs

MSRP as Tested: $52,885
Horsepower: 480
Torque: 420 lb-ft
0-60 MPH: 4.6 seconds
Top Speed: 163 mph

Ford provided this product for review.

Read More Gear Patrol Reviews

Hot takes and in-depth reviews on noteworthy, relevant and interesting products. Read the Story
Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

Why Every Kitchen Absolutely Needs a Set of Japanese Water Stones

In the last five years, Jimmy Papadopolous has earned an Eater Chef of the Year award in Chicago, a Zagat ’30 Under 30′ designation and various ‘Best New Restaurant’ awards for his 2017 opening of Bellemore in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. Papadopolous describes the restaurant, a temple of dark woods, woven cane chairs and brass, as “artistic American.” From $30 whetstones to $2,000 vacuum sealers, here are four things he couldn’t cook without.

Japanese Water Stones

“I have long built my knife kit over my career to where it is. Collecting one of the most important and basic tools to great cooking; a knife. Right behind having a knife, the second most important thing is keeping it sharp. I like sharpening my knives to the point of being able to shave the hair off the back of my hand with a single stroke — a feat that wouldn’t be as easily attainable without the technique and skill that comes from mastering Japanese water Stones.

Polyscience Immersion Circulator

“I cannot stress enough how convenient, precise and how much these machines shrink the margin of human error in professional and home kitchens alike. An absolute must in my kitchen.”

Vita Prep Blender

“They literally can turn a brick to dust. Well, I have never tried to powder a brick in one so, not literally. But they are amazingly versatile. From silky purées, to powders, to emulsifications, my kitchen could not function without one.”

Minipack Vacuum Sealer

“One of the best inventions ever. Vacuum sealers have become complete commonplace in professional kitchens — I could not picture our kitchen functioning without one. From cooking sous vide to tight storage of all prepared food products, a vacuum sealer is an absolute essential.”

More Chef-Approved Kitchen Gear

From a lava stone molcajete to a disposable thermometer to a very, very old-school pasta maker, these four professional chefs reflect on the gear they couldn’t do their jobs without. Read the Story

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

Why Every Kitchen Absolutely Needs a Vacuum Sealer

In the last five years, Jimmy Papadopolous has earned an Eater Chef of the Year award in Chicago, a Zagat ’30 Under 30′ designation and various ‘Best New Restaurant’ awards for his 2017 opening of Bellemore in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. Papadopolous describes the restaurant, a temple of dark woods, woven cane chairs and brass, as “artistic American.” From $30 whetstones to $2,000 vacuum sealers, here are four things he couldn’t cook without.

Japanese Water Stones

“I have long built my knife kit over my career to where it is. Collecting one of the most important and basic tools to great cooking; a knife. Right behind having a knife, the second most important thing is keeping it sharp. I like sharpening my knives to the point of being able to shave the hair off the back of my hand with a single stroke — a feat that wouldn’t be as easily attainable without the technique and skill that comes from mastering Japanese water Stones.

Polyscience Immersion Circulator

“I cannot stress enough how convenient, precise and how much these machines shrink the margin of human error in professional and home kitchens alike. An absolute must in my kitchen.”

Vita Prep Blender

“They literally can turn a brick to dust. Well, I have never tried to powder a brick in one so, not literally. But they are amazingly versatile. From silky purées, to powders, to emulsifications, my kitchen could not function without one.”

Minipack Vacuum Sealer

“One of the best inventions ever. Vacuum sealers have become complete commonplace in professional kitchens — I could not picture our kitchen functioning without one. From cooking sous vide to tight storage of all prepared food products, a vacuum sealer is an absolute essential.”

More Chef-Approved Kitchen Gear

From a lava stone molcajete to a disposable thermometer to a very, very old-school pasta maker, these four professional chefs reflect on the gear they couldn’t do their jobs without. Read the Story

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

This Scottish Company’s Affordable Watches Are Unlike Anything Else on the Market

Last fall, we wrote for the first time about anOrdain, a Scottish company producing in-house enamel-dialed watches in Glasgow. At the time, the company was just six people strong and only capable of churning out 8 dials per week using the grand feu enameling technique, which involves covering a copper dial with ground enamel powder and then firing it in an oven.

Until anOrdain was established, there were very few companies one could look to for an affordable enamel-dial watch — because of the time and costs involved with firing enamel dials (and the steep learning curve), these timepieces can often cost tens of thousands of dollars. Sure, an enormous watchmaker like Seiko can produce something like the Presage with an enamel dial (which we loved, by the way), but if you wanted something slightly more out of the ordinary, you’d have been hard-pressed to find it.

“We tried making enamel dials elsewhere in the UK and people just couldn’t manage the tolerances, and didn’t have the passion to do it, so we started doing it ourselves,” explains company founder Lewis Heath. “A consequence of that is the price; the raw materials aren’t too expensive, once you’ve mastered the techniques then the cost is in labour — we’re now getting to the stage where we can make 14 or 15 per week with a team of three enamellers, so it’s starting to become a viable business, but it’s been a long way from that for the past four years. If we didn’t make them in-house then we’d be paying mark-ups for a third party and that takes you out of ‘affordable’ territory very quickly.”

anOrdain’s watches, as a consequence, run around 1,000 GBP (~$1,200-$1,300), which is very little money when you consider the size of their operation and the beautiful products they’ve been producing in just a few short years. anOrdain has won fans all over the world through their classically-inspired designs, beautiful dial colors and friendly attitude toward their clients, though Heath doesn’t draw the line at making exclusively enamel-dial watches, and there’s clearly plenty of exciting work to come down the pipeline.

“The crux of anOrdain has always been around fusing design with craft and experimenting, so we aren’t sticking to enamel religiously — there’ll be some work coming out which isn’t enamel soon, but there’s certainly a lot more to explore here!”

We recently visited anOrdain in Glasgow to get a better idea of how the company works its magic and makes these affordable beauties.

Photo Tour

HQ

anOrdain is located in a multi-use building called Templeton on the Green that was once the Templeton Carpet Factory, first opened in 1892. (Given the lavish 19th-century styling, one can deduce that the firm was at one time selling lots of carpeting.) Converted into a business center in 1984 and then a mixed-use “lifestyle village” in 2005, it houses anOrdain’s operations, as well as a brewery/bar/restaurant.


In the Workshop

Lewis Heath, founder of anOrdain, surveying his domain. The watchmaking and assembly area (indeed, the entire workshop) features custom-built furniture, and the large windows provide the necessary light for working with minuscule pieces. To the left in this image is Chris’s watchmaking bench.


The Model 1

anOrdain’s first watch, released in 2018, was the Model 1. With a typeset modeled on that of vintage Ordnance Survey maps, several different available dial colors and an extremely affordable price tag for an enamel watch, it was an instant hit. This particular one was a special edition of 6 pieces made by mixing all other dial colors together. Unfortunately, all Models 1s are now sold out.


Watchmaking

Chris, who trained at the British Horological Institute, is anOrdain’s staff watchmaker, responsible for individually assembling and regulating each anOrdain watch, as well as carrying out repairs. According to Heath, Chris was the only active member of the BHI of working age who specialized in watches (rather than clocks) when he rang them up, looking for a watchmaker. “He’s a natural mechanic, very methodical and instantly understands how things work whether it’s a pocket watch or a car,” says Heath.

anOrdain is proud of the accuracy of its timepieces and offers a 5-year warranty on each watch.


“I think we’ve got our enamelling work to a good level — when well-respected Swiss brands approach you as a supplier, you know that you’re doing something right! Now the team is at a point where there’s an opportunity to experiment and really push things forwards within enamel dials.”

Regulation

anOrdain’s small size allows it to focus on each individual customer. Knowing which wrist a customer wears his or her watch on, for example, or what kind of lifestyle he or she leads, allows the team to custom-regulate each watch to the individual client.


“I often think of anOrdain as a sort of rehoming centre for lost creatives, you’ve got a load of people engaged in something they’re really passionate about, and something they’re trained in, whereas before they were perhaps working pay-the-rent jobs and practicing their craft in their spare time. So there’s a definite feeling of gratitude towards the customer for facilitating that, and hopefully that comes across in our interactions and things like pricing and quality.”

Enamel Colors

anOrdain began operations in 2015, a full three years before the debut of the Model 1. The company eventually experimented with 168 different enamels from five different countries over a period of 4,000 hours across three years (whew!) in order to create the perfect enamel formula. Because of the painstaking process involved in making enamel dials, price points are usually much, much higher than what anOrdain charges.


Applying Enamel

Once a dial blank is cut from a sheet of copper, it’s coated in enamel powder (or a mix of enamel and water), which generally consists of silica, red lead and soda ash. (The reverse of the dial is also “counter-enameled” so that the dial doesn’t bend during firing). The blank is then fired in a small oven heated to 830°C multiple times until the correct finish is achieved.


Dial Experiments

Crafting enamel dials is an extremely precarious process — one little speck of dust beneath the enamel can ruin an entire dial, and this can occur at any point during the firing, on pass one, for example, or pass seven. Hence anOrdain’s initial output of only 8 dials per week, and lots of discards (and a few colorful experiments, too). These days, Heath says anOrdain is able to output about 14 or 15 dials per week.


Tools of the Trade

Between each firing, an enamel dial must be sanded to a consistent, flat finish, and tools can include both specialist implements such as belt sanders and wire brushes as well as toothbrushes, paint brushes and other common items.


Typeset Testing

This blank is being used to test different typesets. The Model 1’s typeset was based on that of original Ordnance Survey maps of Lock anOrdain, in the Scottish highlands, whereas the Model 2’s typeset was based on 1950s industrial equipment. Who knows what will inspire the next iteration of anOrdain’s affordable enamel watches?


Kiln

This Prometheus Kiln can heat materials up to 1,100°C (~2,012°F), though anOrdain’s dials are fired around 830°C, at which point the powdered enamel melts and covers the dial. Multiple firings are necessary (up to eight) in order to achieve a smooth finish.


The Model 2

The Model 2 is the next evolution in anOrdain’s design philosophy. Featuring unique, skeletonized hands holding thin tips, they’re extremely difficult to manufacture. The Model 2 dials feature a typeset inspired by 1950s industrial equipment, and timekeeping is carried out by the Sellita SW220, a handwound version of the SW200, which is itself a copy of the ETA 2824-2.

Though the enamel dials themselves are inspired by Scotland, it’s clearly anOrdain’s talented artisans who provided Heath with most of his design inspiration, and indeed, his impetus for moving forward with the brand. “There are some more obvious influences in terms of colour palette in the Model 2 being based around natural colours found in the highlands, but I’d say it’s the people behind the watch, and it’s really the team who make anOrdain and in turn, the watches. I felt from an early stage that the brand had its own personality; and for me that’s what makes a good company.

That personality is a combination of the people here. From a design perspective that personality is easily traced back to the two major art schools in Scotland (which everyone bar Chris came through): the Edinburgh College of Art and the Glasgow School of Art. And to my eye the anOrdain aesthetic is synonymous with those schools and the local creative scene which is intrinsically linked to them.”


The 2020 Land Rover Defender Is Here

The 2020 Land Rover Defender finally arrives. It’s been a year since Land Rover first announced that it would bring back the Defender after 21 years. And now, at the Frankfurt Motor Show, that finally came the. The 2020 Land Rover Defender finally arrives, much to the delight of all off-roader enthusiasts out there who sorely miss the ride.

This year’s comeback variant represents a major leap forward in terms of styling. You’ll find a much smoother and modern design language this time around. The front grilles consist mostly of slots, while the headlights and their running-light patterns resemble a set of formidable eyes. Refined, but very aggressive. Exactly what you’d want from a beastly ride like this.

The long-awaited Land Rover Defender redesign will come in a five-door “110” variant and a short wheelbase two-door “90,” and both will come in six different models. If you live in the United States, you will have the option to go for a P300 powertrain with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 296 ponies. The range-topping P400 mild-hybrid, meanwhile, ups that to 395 horsepower, 406 pound-feet of torque, and a zero to 60 time of just 5.8 seconds.

The 2020 Land Rover Defender is built on Land Rover’s new all-aluminum D7x platform and stays true to its heritage. It boasts a high level of off-road capability that you can adjust through a new Configurable Terrain Response system. It will also serve as the first Land Rover to include a Wade Sensing program. With it, the car automatically adjusts its settings as it traverses through different terrain.

MORE INFO

Photos courtesy of Land Rover

Four Roses Limited Edition Might Just Be This Year’s Best Whiskey

All you whiskey fans out there know that Four Roses is known for being super picky. Rather than release limited edition whiskey on a regular basis like its rivals do, Four Roses sticks to a single release every year. And just like past iterations, this year’s Four Roses Limited Edition will likely hit the mark with flying colors.

Who can forget? The Limited Edition Small Batch has won the World Whiskies Awards’ Bourbon of the Year award twice in three years. This year’s iteration blends a 21-year-old, an 11-year-old, and two separate 15-year-old whiskeys. This brew effectively makes it one of the most refined bottlings thus far. Four Rouses, for the uninitiated, combines two mash bills with five proprietary yeast strains to produce 10 distinct bourbon recipes. It is the only distillery that does this.

What’s more, this year’s Four Roses Limited Edition release is non-chill filtered and bottled at a firm 112 proof. Meaning, a few proof points higher than the usual 100 to 108. Here’s Four Roses Master Distiller Brent Elliott:

“With this year’s Limited Edition we found some exceptionally well-rested Bourbons in some of our higher aged barrels.”

And about the mixing and matching:

“Combining the delicate fruit flavors and light spice from our V and K strains resulted in a uniquely nuanced whiskey.”

Plans call for around 13,400 hand-numbered bottles of the 2019 Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon. It will hit the United States for around $140 apiece. Official tasting notes say it “offers elegant aromas of oak, honey, red raspberries and vanilla.”

CHECK IT OUT