Note to self: Next summer we have to attend the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic on New York City's Governor's Island. It seems like the same thing happened last summer, we missed it and then drooled at the photos after the fact. GQ's photos of the event illustrate men's summer style at its best.
This is the second in a series of posts from guest blogger, Will Eagle.
When my father passed away a few years ago, my Mother gave me his watches. He'd worked in construction his entire life and rarely wore a watch as it posed a potential hazard should it get caught on some machinery and he didn’t have much of a need for a watch for any formal occasions, so what watches he did have were mostly practical and chosen purely for function. However, amongst his watches I discovered a beautiful vintage Felca, a Swiss company that later became Titoni, a watch that I had never seen him wear. It had a metal strap from another watch that didn't do the face justice, but the mechanism was self-winding and kept excellent time. I decided to change the strap to something more Dandy inspired, reinventing an old piece into something new.
A chap named Brian at the watch repair shop I went to offered up a very helpful suggestion; when choosing a strap for a watch, look for color cues on the face. He said that often there is something on the face that gives a hint as to what a complimentary strap color could be. In this case, if you look very closely at the ends of the hands you'll see a touch of yellowish orange, prompting me to choose the leather strap that I now wear. It could easily be the faceplate itself, the numbers or any other accent. Spurred by this small success, I've had fun changing the straps on most of my watch faces, creating what feels like all new watches for a price significantly cheaper than a new or newly purchased vintage one altogether. Here are some more examples of other changes I’ve made:
A square Armani watch I bought when I moved to Canada from the UK that had a brown leather strap, and while I loved it, it felt too small to be a man’s watch. Switching the strap to a military style green canvas completely changed the look of the watch and after 6 years of never wearing it, I now wear it more than once per week.
A gold colored Brook’s Brothers watch that has multiple strap options for fun and easily changeable preppy options.
For a long time, this vintage Bulova had a brown leather strap with orange stitching, which gave it a casual look that I loved, but adding the strap left over from the Armani watch made it feel more elegant, and it soon started to get a lot more wear.
I was in Ottawa this weekend and met a chap named Francesco Corsaro, who had a beautiful vintage Lucerna with an updated modern strap.
If you’ve inherited a watch but it doesn’t quite match your style or you are looking for a change for one you already own, investigate strap options to reinvigorate your timepiece. Have you successfully reinvented any of your watches? Post a link to your photo in the comments.
Will Eagle is a British Dandy residing in Toronto and his dream watch would be a vintage Longines. You can follow him on Twitter @willeagle.
Are you a fan on Facebook? In celebration of American Independence Day we're giving away one of our neckties (handmade in New York City) on Facebook. To enter:
1) Find an image that embodies American Dandyism, whether you take a photo or find a vintage one, an illustration or an ad. As an example, we posted our current main image. Dapper young men posing in front of the American flag!
3) Press "Share" on the bottom right of your image and "Post To Profile" encouraging your friends to post a comment.
At the end of the day on July 4th, the entry with the most comments wins! The winning image will be posted on our blog and tumblr as well. Please note, only one comment per day from any one person will be counted for each entry.
Ted Stafford of GQ posted some photos here and here from the Pitti Uomo menswear trade show in Florence illustrating the fact that "men in Florence know how to pull off a colored pant with style." In our own lives here in NYC it reminds us of how the summer gives license to be a bit more adventurous when it comes to color (such as wearing bright green chinos).
It's no secret that we're more than a little obsessed with Sergei Sviatchenko's photo blog Close Up And Private. In fact we've posted his photos here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. Sviatchenko's most recent images for spring/summer don't disappoint and provide endless warm weather style inspiration.