Monday, 21 March 2016
Saturday, 12 March 2016
"Know, oh horological elitist, that between the years when the markets shrank from Swiss watches and it's hand made mechanical wonder, and the years of the rise of Swatch, there was an age undreamed of, when ugly but affordable plastic and iron watches lay spread across the world like digital analogue interface beneath the stars - Seiko and its innovative yet economical features, Citizen and its reliability, Timex and its robustness, to name but a few. Hither came Casio with the G-Shock, durable, elements resistant, solar powered battery reserve and outlandish technologies, with gigantic square melancholies and gigantic diameter face, to thread the watch market and the industry jeweled face under its resin strap."
- The Nubian Chronicle.
Tuesday, 8 March 2016
OK. If any one bother to read my old and current blogs, the denim collection had stopped but I broke the rule for this Evisu Lot 2000 No. 1 Special in 17oz denim, made in Japon. I wouldn't go into details for an Evisu, it is same, if want to, go search my old blog for Evisu write up. Noticed that it used to come with a tote bag. Now it's a plastic bag. Cost cutting? Ha ha. Note also I have to sized up from usual 35'' to 36'' based on the size chart. The shrinkage is quite big. I am a 32'' to 33" waist. Happy that it comes with a Tiger aka yellow and black stiching selvedge.
I have the opportunity to own a couple of G-Shocks by Casio over the past but never really cares about the functionality and the legendary durability it comes with other than it can tell me time, it is good enough. I didn't even know what the "G" stands for? Great Shock? Good Shock? So until now, upon reading up on G-Shocks in general, it is the acronym for Gravitational Shock. Wot? And the first Gees came out in '83. Legend has it that its creator, an engineer by the name of Kikuo Ibe, in a fit of frustration, thrown out a prototype known only as "DW-X" from the toilet window ten stories high on the ground below. A car ran over it, a lorry ran over it and it was over. Or so Ibe thought. On the way home, Ibe's face turned pale as the watch was there, intact in all its glorious glory. It was ten o'clock at night and Ibe was standing 10 feet away. The watch then suddenly glowed with greenish illumination from within its blocky looking, squarish encasing. Ibe picked it up and suddenly...well, to cut things short because I am running out of idea, the G-Shock is born. It is my own fictionalised story of course but Ibe-San is real and from his idea, hither comes G-Shock, a wrist watch which is targeted at a market audience with an active lifestyle. Solar panels for rechargeable battery power (although there are versions with standard battery), water resistance, shock proof, grenade proof, just kidding, and etc. Over the past three decades, G-Shock became more entrenched into fashion accessories rather than what it is meant for. Plastic and affordable but darn it, incredibly reliable and never leaves you empty and go searching for a battery replacement (although the battery itself still needs to be replaced eventually). It becomes a collectibles and become more and more exotic. Try getting an all black GX-56-1B known as "The King". I am G-Shocked by the asking price. Including the latest one I gave an arm for, the MTG-S1000V-1ADR (for international market, in Japan domestic market it is model 1AJF). MTG stands for Metal Twisted Gees. Fully made in their Yamagata factory instead of Thailand assembly. Which means premium, like their Mr. G line. And comes with various technical specs which I am too lazy to lay it on here. Go search. Anyhoo, this is the watch which caught my eyes the moment I was looking into the current Gees. It has this aged, worn out finishing, much like some of my 1/6th toys, and stealth grey-ish in colour. And it goes well with its design. Why this? Well honestly my holy grail of watch is not a Patek Phillippe nor Rolex nor Breitling nor Panerai nor IWC (Indah Water Consortium, hahaha) nor Bell & Ross. It is simply a Cabestan Nostromo watch. And it costs 150,000 Swiss Francs. And within a sea of many, many great horology brands out there from costing millions to a Petaling Street triple A grade rip off, this watch to me stands close yet far from the Cabestan Nostromo, with the balance for casual or business wear. I can't really wear a standard G-Shocks with office attire. Kind of look..funky. Until I strikes lotto, I may go for the holy grail if I could find one and the rest of the famous brands would be purchased too but as complimentary partner. Till then, this will do.
What else should I say? It's a Redmoon leather chain long wallet. This time in natural leather color for me to see the evolution of color and obtain the legendary patina as seen on most raw leather. Purchased additional brass chain, longer ones than the existing Brassman series which I had. Great stuff this product. I chose this model due to the compartments, the Red Chief logo on the primary button, and of course the Redmoon and Made in Village Works wordings. The zipper holder is also embossed with Redmoon logo (Brassman is YKK, TF...haha).
Stumbled across Saddleback Leather while googling for uh, saddle leather. Had a look into the leather products they offered and read up about them, which is quite interesting, albeit in an off tangent way. I did some research into them via casting a net across the uh, Net and reviews are mixed pertaining to their leather goods. Very polarised. Either they like it or hate it. Most of the negativity comes generally from their earlier offerings which based on what I read on feedback forums, posters found the goods quality not in tandem with what was offered. This was when the company was still a one man enterprise operating out of Mexico. However, later reviews are more positive although the owner, Dave (one helluva guy from watching his videos), still courted controversy with his less than conventional approach to marketing and communicating with end customers. I would like to imagine him as the Ashley Wood (3A) of leather goods. But they are very pleasant people. When I decided to go for the Classic Briefcase in Dark Coffee Brown colour, my purchase couldn't go through. When the email wasn't responded, I called them straight from here over to Texas and they promptly replied in a very courteous manner, checked and advised me that the country I am residing in is not available for shipping. Bummer. But they suggested that I purchase via Amazon which I did.
The bag arrived quite fast but held by custom due to the price and weight. So I had to drive all the way to the old Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT, which is now closed), near Sepang to the Custom Office. As I opened up the box before the custom officer as usual for inspection to ensure it is not something out of "The Anarchy Cookbook", both of us are taken aback by the beauty of this briefcase. And the size. Mary, the Mother of God...this bag is huge. The custom officer asked if this were for me and am I going for a backpack trip. Still reeling from the shock of the seeing the size, I forced a smile and said yes. I had a feeling the Custom Officer wanted to tell me that I could fit inside the briefcase. And I wanted to tell him no, this is not a backpack but a briefcase. Then off I went, paid the custom at the counter and immediately went straight home. Now here's the tricky part. How do I pass the barrier that are me Mom and wife? Like any large sized toys, I left it in the car until they are well into dreamland at night, as I went to the car and stealthily, cat-like, took the carton into the house, into the room.
And I had a better view of the briefcase this time 'round. Full grain leather, with suede side pigskin lining inner as reinforcement, including the flap (unlike earlier version, which I prefer more). It is ginormous and weighty. But nice. No so called "markings" (which courted Saddleback's owner a lot of debates and controversy) which they leave on the leather. Lucky me. Because honestly, regardless of what is said, if the "markings" are serious enough, and left on end products, I still believe it would inherently damaged the leather. And this would not be fair towards the end customers. There are numerous D rings, and inside could swallow up all my stuffs to work and more. Maybe I didn't really pay attention to the sizing chart (yes, they are courteous enough to have a sizing chart to generally match up the suitable size of the goods vs height). The leather used is really thick, and very rugged with that heavenly leathery smell. The only problem I have is the familiarising meself with the 3 straps enclosure. I have problem opening and closing it with one hand, particularly the middle strap. More practise I guess. Anyhoo, is this the last briefcase I ever get? You betcha. Can it outlive me and pass on to my kids? Probably would. Would it soften down and gets beautiful patina? Time shall tell.
Before I forget, I also purchased it together with a set of three leather caring, maintenance products. Read line number four and five. Which is again, reminds me of a company from another industry, well, what else, 3A of course, "Armstrong loves stale muffin" or "1/sexth scale" etc.
From the beginning on 1st April 1960, Dr. Martens boots are made exclusively from their Cobbs Lane factory in Wollaston, Northamptonshire after British shoe manufacturer R. Griggs Group Ltd. bought the patent rights from the boots inventor, Klaus Martens and Herbert Funck. Martens was a doctor in the Wehrmacht until a skiing accident which injured his ankle led him to create the prototype of what is to become the boots we known today. Griggs made a slight modification in the shape and added the iconic yellow stitching and trademarked the sole as AirWair. In addition, DM also licensed out manufacturing rights to several others to produce DMs on their behalf, all concentrated in Northamptonshire area. The most famous is NPS which stands for Northampton Productive Society, established in 1881 by five blokes as workers co-operative with joint ownership by local people. NPS collaborated with DM and provided the goodyear welt technology (all uppers are stitched to the welt) in order to fix the AirWair soft sole suspension onto each boot. This collaboration would last until when DM dropped them due to steady in flood of cheaper alternatives from 80s onward and their subsequent production line moved offshore to Thailand and China by early 2000s. No longer under license, NPS patented the Solovair brand, which is "sole of air" plus a help from a local businessman, Ivor Tilley to avoid the co-op from going under. Solovair is amongst the few British shoe manufacturers which survived the industry upheaval and still fully made in England. Others include Tredair, Grinders, Gripfast and Underground.
Production of Solovair boots are combined with traditional craftsmanship, hand made with latest technology from full grain leather. As such I am tempted into getting a pair from their sole distributor, British Boots Company online as previously, their accessibility is almost impossible. I have heard of Solovair here and there but mostly uninterested until, ironically and a 360 degrees turn in purchasing decision, I stumbled upon the Trent Reznor Combat Boots by Nice Collective. An ultra limited boots which retails for a wallet vaporizing USD1100, I don't know why as the two are totally unrelated but it led me to decide it is time to pull the trigger on a more affordable, albeit still on the mid upper range of pricing when converted into this country's currency, version of steel toe boots. As I have just bought a MIC DM, I am curious as to how Solovair would fare. I explored the British Boots Company website and singled out the 11 eyelet cherry red called "Englander" which comes with combat boots style sole and stitched steel toe. It arrived quite on time through post, and at first I was not quite happy about the really understated, understated box. It doesn't help that the box arrived in less than desirable condition. But once I opened the box, the beauty inside it almost blown me away. I immediately laced it up and tried it on. The leather feels good and again like the MIC DM, not cardboard hard but soft and supple. Require a slight break in but not as difficult as the old 90s DM and MIE DM I owned and tried on respectively (as well as Red Wing, which required a breaking in period). The tag on the back of the boots is green font on black background as opposed to DM's yellow. The sole is standard combat boots shape with the proudly proclaimed "Made in England" stamped on it as well as inside. The only curious thing about this pair I got is that it doesn't come stamped with "Englander" as shown on the website. Hhhmm. But it doesn't matter. And the question of quality between the two? Well, only time can tell. But a quick glance is that the Solovair leather has a more "shine" finish on it. Also the almost effortless breaking in required (in my case for this particular pair), would that means the quality is compromise? Probably not. And that's that. Time to stomp. Oi! Waaargh! Ha ha ha.