Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Time has come today

Humans have kept track of time since, at the very least, 10, 000 BCE, developing both simple and complex calenders that allowed them to keep track of the seasons and better predict when to plant and harvest their crops. Magellan used 18 slow pouring hour glasses to track his (doomed) voyage around the globe. Einstein's assertion that time was relative completely changed how science thought of the natural world, and allowed us to venture to the stars (or at least, in their general direction for a few million miles before the battery runs out).

Today, we stand on the brink of a brave new world, with a brave new way to tell time.
Today, we Defy.

Lasers, explosions

I've been fascinated by the road wrist watches have gone down in the last decade. While supe'd up watches are nothing new, I myself as a young child pined over a "limited edition Dick Tracey communicator watch!", they've been trying their best to incorporate new technology as fast as they can. Why? Because they've all but died to the 35 and under crowd, who turn to their cell phones for the time, just as they turn to them for just about anything else.

"Black microblasted titanium case, Black titanium bracelet with blue lateral inserts, Deployant buckle, Unidirectional rotating black carbon fiber bezel, Screw down crown and push buttons, Black dial with silver carbon fiber in center, Luminous hands, Small seconds subdial, Chronograph feature (Seconds, Minutes, Hours), Magnified date at the 12 o'clock, Tourbillon visible at the 11 o'clock, Scratch resistant sapphire crystal, Automatic mechanical movement, Water resistant to 1000 meters/ 3330 feet. Shock and high pressure resistant."

Who is this fantastically expensive watch for?

For what it's worth, wikiAnswer list the following as records for diving.

"A Navy diver submerged 2,000 feet (609.6 m), setting a record using the new Atmospheric Diving System (ADS hardshell suit), off the coast of La Jolla, CA, on Aug. 1 2007.

The deepest open circuit scuba dive was accomplished by Pascal Bernabé (Ralf Tech/WR1 Team) who on July 5, 2005 descended to 1,083 feet (330 m). The dive took place near Propriano, Corsica."

This is the problem I have with watches.
When they just tell time, they're fantastic. A gold watch, or pocket watch on a chain can be the perfect accent to a terrific outfit, and make a far better statement on your personal state-of-class than the snazziest smart phone ever can.
In a post-camera phone world (where the phone-in-one seemingly began), the gadget watch seems like a retro gag. Sure, it may have titanium plates, silver carbon fibre, and the ability to survive far more atmospheric pressure than the person wearing it, but can it play an mp3? Can it interact with GPS? Can I check my Gmail?

Zenith is a fantastic company who have produced quality time pieces for years.
And to be frank, I think they should stick to doing just that.

Photo source Zenith/Amazon

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I'd like to share with you my latest fashionable obsession.

One of the cultural cornerstones of near-and-current contemporaria to came out of the end of the Second World War was the motorbike. Not an innovation of the global conflict itself, the bike was one of the unexpected bastard-child no one saw coming. As a literal army of young men arrived home from the front lines, as occurs with many wars and generations, some found themselves a piece out of place.

Still wired for war, many set out on their own, leaving behind what friends and families they once had, joining up with army buddies and criss-crossing the country on the ex-military standard Harley Davidson. By the close of the 1940's, the biker had become a national bogeyman, a nightmare on the edge of the otherwise forced-smile-happy-home-made Atomic Era. When Marlon Brando blew into the town of Wrightsville with his Black Rebels club in the classic counter-culture film The Wild One, he changed forever how the public saw youth-in-leather... and he did it wearing a Perfecto 618.

Marlon Brando circa 160 pounds

Designed by Irvine Schott in 1928, and refined into its familiar form by the mid-40's, the Perfecto is the ultimate leather jacket. Instantly recognizable across the globe as "badass", the Perfecto style jacket has become so intrinsic to the rebel-look that decades of rip-offs and selling out by those wearing them hasn't tarnished the jackets bad-boy reputation. It floats freely from fashion trend to fashion trend, sexually androgenyous and gender neutral unlike any peice of clothing in history. If you find one that fits, no one really cares, or can tell, if it was made for the opposite sex.

Joan Jett circa Blackhearts

I spent the better part of 3 months searching mostly in vain for this very piece. 'Come hell or high water', remarked I, 'it will be mine.' At first I was surprised by how hard it was to find... iconic enough to have survived Disco, yet missing in action... I had assumed at the very least 60+ years would result in a few piles of the old things waiting for someone to claim them and return them to their former glory. I was wrong. Mere hours before I would resign myself to another season without this glorious piece, one entered my life by way of H&M. Faux leather, "crinkled" creases all over (as per current flare laws, apparently) and badly in need of a pressing, it was still love at first sight.

So here's to you, legendary pop-culture icon jacket.
May you raise hell, rock out and terrify parents for another 60 years.

Ramones, circa 1-2-3-4

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Katty on the runway

There are a few designers that we here at Bloke believe to be of such concentrated creative insanity, that to not watch as they pass by is to embrace the inky bitterness of self-imposed blindness.

Vivienne Westwood is their queen.

Easily the most talented member of the fashion collective/experiment/freak out that spawned the Sex Pistols, English punk fashion, and through a sad 30 year long journey of cultural twists and marketing turns, Avril Lavigne, Westwood has amazed, frightened, and sexually frustrated audiences around the world with styles that usually defy any sense at all, despite being perfect. Without her, there is little doubt the 70's polyester hell would have carried on long into the late 1980's.

That someone would throw a stuffed cat at her during the finale of her Paris show on Friday makes all the sense it ever needs to.

Photo source Reuters

Sunday, March 7, 2010

And the winner is...

Glitz, glam, gowns, and the ruthless combat between designers and critics where the only casualty is the lady-in-question's style are the typical fair for the Academy Awards... unless you're the good folks at Out magazine.

Seizing on the sad fact that live-commenting the men on the red carpet this and pretty much any other year is an exercise in the mundane, Out has fashioned a what-if of leading fellas dressed in the best spring/summer has to offer.

While George Clooney, Jeff Bridges and Woody Harrelson are passable in some pretty oddball styles (Woody in a skirt? It's almost too perfect...), Matt Damon in Zucchelli and Christoph Waltz in Galliano steal the show.

Of course, it's wishful thinking. For chaps, the Oscars have always been a penguin affair.


Photo source Yahoo Movies and Out Magazine