Shinola Watches – Made in Detroit

Shinola Blue Watch

While everyone else may be talking about a new watch from Apple, there are incredible watches made right here in American that you should be checking out as well.

The Runwell pictured above is a classic, hand-assembled watch made in Detroit by Shinola. Features of the watch include:

– A sapphire crystal, Super-LumiNova printed dial details
– A solid stainless steel case with screw down crown
– Three hands and date indicator driven by the Detroit-built Argonite 1069 high-accuracy quartz movement
– Laser-etched case and etched lightning bolt on the buckle

If you like attention to detail and beautiful styling, you’re going to love these watches. Browse the Shinola site for watches, and then check out their leather goods as well, along with the bicycles!

It’s great to see companies like Shinola bring manufacturing and quality back to the domestic market. The products aren’t cheap, but you’re still getting excellent value for your money.

  

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Product Review: Reebok Pump Watch

dee-brown-the-pump-watch

During the 1991 NBA Slam Dunk contest, Boston Celtics guard Dee Brown stole the show with a variety of dunks, most notably his no-look slam dunk to seal his victory. But even more notable than his dunks were the shoes he was wearing: Reebok Pumps.

At the most critical moments during the contest, prior to almost every dunk, Brown bent over and pumped up his shoes via the “Pump” feature on the tongue of his Reebok’s.

Check out Dee Brown pumping his shoes at 12:28:

For Reebok, it was a moment akin to Nike’s good fortune of Bo Jackson hitting a homerun during the 1989 Major League Baseball All-Star Game and the launch of the first TV ad for the “Bo Knows” campaign for his new cross-training shoes in the ensuing commercial.

Nobody had ever seen the Pump, but almost immediately, everybody had to have them.

Last weekend’s Sprite Slam Dunk Contest marked the 25th anniversary of Brown’s win and the launch of the iconic shoe. And as a part of Reebok’s new line of 2015 watches, Reebok is paying homage to its history with the Pump watch.

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Time to Upgrade to a Men’s Watch

Whether you just finished college, recently got hitched, or just celebrated your Bar Mitzvah, you are now officially a man. While your $20 Timex Ironman has been reliable, it is past time to retire it.

You know the watch I’m talking about…the one you got from your Aunt on your eight birthday; the one with twelve different features (most of which you never used).

You’ve spent five times the original cost of the watch on battery replacements, and the nylon band, well, it smells pretty rank. Pay attention, because these will be the deciding factors while trying to decide which men’s watch to buy.

Is it Practical?

First and foremost, purchase a watch that is practical. It sounds like I’m joking, but I’m not. When contemplating the complexities of purchasing a watch, consider both your lifestyle and the usefulness of the watch. Below is a watch that I think you will find—umm, rather useless.

Black Movado watch leather

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New Year’s Resolutions: Tools to Up Your Fashion Game in 2014

wingtip

The dawn of a New Year has a habit of shedding light on those parts of ourselves that we’d like to tweak and change. “A New Year, a new you:” a common mantra in support of creating and going after attainable New Year’s resolutions. Are you looking to dress the part of a new and improved version of yourself?

I am going to give you some tips on developing your style for the workplace without radically altering your look that will make keeping your New Year’s Resolution simple. The name of the game is accessorizing. Most men balk at the term, but accessories are one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to really polish off your style, and I know of a few essentials that you’ll be glad to have stowed in your arsenal.

Shoes

Surprisingly enough, shoes tend to be one of the first things women notice about a man. If you’re shuffling around in a beat up or scuffed pair of department store kickers, you’re drawing far too much negative attention to yourself. When it comes to dress shoes, stick to natural colors and patterns – you can’t go wrong with plain, laced up leather shoes in black, brown, or cordovan (burgundy). I prefer shoes without buckles, because I feel buckles limit the versatility of the shoe. To add some flare I like wing tips: think Mad Men style. High quality shoes do not necessarily have to be expensive. Consider shopping at places like Nordstrom Rack for great deals on designer shoes such as Johnston and Murphy Wingtip Oxfords for around $150.

Watches

The style of a man’s timepiece gives a brief but in-depth look at his personality, and a good watch makes a fine first impression. Trust me; watches are the one subtle accessory that will always get noticed. Not to mention, whereas other accessories will wear out and require replacing over time, a real high quality wristwatch will serve dutifully for a lifetime, after which it can be passed on as an heirloom. Even if you can’t afford to drop a few G’s on a timepiece, a watch at an entry level price will still make a great statement in the workplace.

A professional-looking watch should be understated and classic. I like watches where the dial matches the wrist band, but have seen many beautiful pieces with a leather strap and silver/stainless dial. It all comes down to personal preference. As a rule of thumb, stay away from brightly colored faces and straps – unless they are refined, elegant, and match your suit well. And unless you are in a high up executive position with a large company, a wristwatch in solid gold will make you look ridiculous. Stick to stainless steel and silver; rose gold for more casual work environments, and classic leathers.

While it is true that some entry-level watches from brands like Omega can cost upwards of $2,000, a good quality watch like Stuhrling from ShopHQ, will suit your purposes well and set you back only a few hundred dollars. A price frame between $300 and $1,000 usually implies that the pieces are mass-produced, but that’s not to say that they aren’t well made. In general, a watch made in Switzerland, Japan, or the USA can be trusted to be of higher quality and good value.

Tie

There are many distinct ways to wear a tie – numerous tie variations, knots, sizes, and diverse situations in which a tie could be worn – that giving general tie advice is the best course of action here. First, make sure you are able to tie multiple knots, from half Windsor to Full Windsor to a Shelby knot. The best way to learn is have someone who knows teach you, or watch YouTube videos and practice. A few general guidelines for dressing with a tie at the office:

1) Do not wear loud colored ties to work or, more importantly, a job interview, and stay away from bright reds exclusively.
a. Bright, obnoxious ties in general are just annoying; it is better to wear a subtle tie that will get you taken seriously.
2) Do not wear novelty ties. Ever.
3) Ties should fall to just above the beltline, no shorter or further.
4) The tie should not match the shirt’s color exactly. Experiment with contrasting colors that go well together, like black and white, or patterned button-up where the tie’s color can be found in the shirt’s details.

As with other accessories, creating a stylish wardrobe shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. In reality, a $200 Armani tie will not function better than a $50 Donald Trump tie from Macy’s. I have had great luck in scoring some really nice ties from thrift stores for under $5!

Pocket Squares

Pocket squares aren’t for everyone, but maybe that is because not everyone is capable of pulling them off. Your pocket square should carry a color from either your shirt or tie, but not both. As with a neck tie, there are multiple ways to fold the fabric, including the Straight Fold, One Corner Fold, and Puff Fold, all of which are incredibly straightforward and can be demonstrated on Youtube. Again, cost hardly depicts the quality of a pocket square; go for one that is a stunning match to your suit, not one that boasts a designer label. If you really want to save money, you can even try making your own. This way, you get to select the fabric that best complements your suit shirt or tie.

Fountain Pen

My personal favorite accessory is one that can really set you apart from the crowd: a good fountain pen. Nearly every time I bust out my pen to sign a receipt or write a note, I get compliments and questions. It is a great conversation starter, especially as most people have never even seen a fountain pen! Like watches, fountain pens can be very pricey – some Mont Blanc fountain pens cost over $3,000, and fine heirloom quality pens are abundant around a price point of $500-1,000. Most pens in the $500 and up price range will have at least a 14K gold nib; that being said, an impressive-looking pen with a stainless steel nib, like the Cross brand at Office Depot, can be had for as low as $50 at most office supply stores. Though stainless steel nibs do not write as well as gold nibs, the stainless steel nib does write much better than an everyday roller ball or gel pen.

Take your look to a new level this year by adding some subtle accessories that will set you apart in the workforce and show a little bit more of your personality. Use these guidelines as a starting point as you develop your own tastes and preferences. If you have suggestions on where to get high quality pieces or if you know of lesser known brands, leave a comment!

  

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Guy Stuff

Guys are pretty easy to shop for. Most of the time you can just get stuff you’d buy for yourself. Yet sometimes, when you’re shopping for your dad, brother or any other guy on your shopping list, you have to cast a wider net as tastes obviously vary. But at least you can pick up some stuff for yourself as you’re browsing.

Click on the image next to each item to purchase it online, and for more gift ideas, check out the other categories in our Holiday Gift Guide.

Watches

A nice watch is the ultimate accessory for men, and the right watch can make any man look good.

Tendence Gulliver Round Urban Men’s Watch

Here’s a slick and trendy new watch featuring a black silicone band and a black, round face with stylized white numbers. It’s a trendy look that’s not too extreme and should appeal to a wide variety of consumers. It’s great for a night on the town but also for everyday use. It’s the kind of watch people will notice, and you can check out other round watches from Tendence for other colors and styles.

Leather Strap Watch from Calvin Klein

If you’re looking for something elegant but with beautiful understated design, check out this Calvin Klein Stainless Steel Case Leather Men’s Watch. The silver, stainless steel face of the watch contrasts nicely with the black leather band. The watch is also water resistant up 100 feet. It’s a perfect watch for business or evening attire.

Luxury Sport Watch from Tommy Hilfiger

Most guys would love to have a nice sport watch, and this Sport Luxury Chronograph and Stainless Steel Bracelet Watch from Tommy Hilfiger offers a great choice. It has a stainless steel case and bracelet, and black chronograph dial for a sporty but elegant look that can be worn anywhere. It’s water-resistant to 165 feet and features a durable mineral crystal to protect the watch from scratches. It’s a high-quality item for a reasonable price.

watches

Dakota Watches

Much like that other watch company named after a certain archeological discovery, Dakota has been providing quality wristwatches at respectable prices for several decades. Ranging from sports watches to elegant timepieces, Dakota’s unique collection has something for every personality, gender and age. One of the more popular styles – the Dakota Spider – resembles a high-end luxury watch at a fraction of the price, with 330 feet of Stingray water resistance, mineral glass crystal and a stainless steel band. (There’s even a cool Rose Gold variation that’s perfect for the special lady in your life.) The collection also includes digital watches for those who lead active lifestyles, leather bands for formal and casual settings, and an entire rainbow’s worth of eye-popping colors. But most importantly, Dakota makes great watches that you can depend on, and until that changes, you won’t find a better gift for that friend or family member whom you’re not sure what to buy.

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