Yesterday, we reviewed the Hanhart Pioneer Monocontrol, a modern take on a classic chronograph from the venerable German brand. Our takeaway: the Pioneer Monocontrol is a great tool watch with an even greater value, especially when you consider its exceptional build quality and the highly modified (by high-end movement maker La Joux-Perret, no less) Valjoux 7750/3 movement ticking away within. Today’s Pairs Well With takes this special pilot’s watch and matches it to gear worthy of its tool-watch heritage. The clothes and brands featured today are exceptionally made with a special focus on fit, fabric, and utility, many of them military-inspired.
Before we get to this awesome jacket, let’s talk about the brand. Private White V.C. is an English company with quite the history, named after founder Jack White. Born in 1896 in Leeds, England, Jack White signed up to the Royal Lancaster Regiment when he was only 18 years old. During his service, Private Jack White proved to be a hero after saving his commanding officer from an enemy attack, and was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious honor that can be bestowed on British and Commonwealth forces.
After his service, Jack White returned to Manchester to begin an apprenticeship as a pattern cutter at a local garment factory. He slowly climbed up the ranks, becoming the general manager and finally the owner. Under his leadership, the factory was geared toward the manufacture of woolen garments, a focus and expertise that exists to this very day, with the factory now owned by White’s great grandchildren.
The G1 Harris Tweed Flight Jacket in navy is inspired by–you guessed it–the G1 and A-2 military jackets first worn by American Armed Forces in World War II. This modern interpretation may not be mil-spec, but it does offer the perfect blend of luxurious materials, superior build quality, and sheer utility. The outer cloth is a navy Harris Tweed, a beautiful fabric woven in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland and prized the world over (we love the stuff, and have used it in our limited edition rolls and folds.). The interior is lined with 3M Thinsulate for superior warmth, and a shearling collar proves extra protection against wind. Other details include microfleece-lined hand warmer pockets, branded copper studs, and a button down placket. In sum, it’s a versatile jacket that can easily carry you through fall and winter with a comfortable fit that allows for ample layering. The jacket is made entirely in Private White’s Manchester factory.
Ralph Lauren conceived RRL in 1993, imagining the sub-brand as a highly exclusive offshoot with influences that pull heavily from traditional workwear and the old American West (an aesthetic inspired heavily by Lauren’s Colorado ranch). The focus of the line quickly became fit, finish, and the use of high-end raw materials–everything from Cone Mills selvedge denim to tough English bridle leather.
This military-inspired shirt is no different. It’s impeccably tailored with just the right amount of details, and made of a super-soft washed twill cotton cloth. It can be worn by itself or as top layer over a tee. It’s built for comfort and function, both of which are accomplished without sacrificing fit and good looks.
A high quality full-grain leather belt can last you a lifetime, and that’s exactly what you get with the Standard 01 belt from Maximum Henry. In time, this seemingly simple belt, handmade from Belgian vegetable tanned leather in Brookyn, New York, will darken and soften, developing a beautiful tonality and patina that will only get better the more it’s worn.
Whillas & Gunn, with its focus on rustic outdoor gear, is one of our favorite little-known brands. It’s a bit like Barbour, but with a more modern and youthful bent. The clothes are super utilitarian, particularly the outwear–designed for purpose and meant to withstand ample wear and tear (we expect no less from an Australian brand).
The Mud Pants feature a pseudo-military aesthetic, with large cargo pockets and adjustable ankle cuffs. The overall styling, however, is incredibly versatile and doesn’t come across as costumey, undoubtedly tempered by the natural fit and darker shade of olive (they’re also available in camel). They can easily be worn to the office with an oxford and tie (with the abovementioned jacket, of course), or on a night out on the town.
Alden is the premier American shoemaker, based out of Middleborough, MA and in continuous operation since 1884. The brand focuses on Goodyear welted footwear, prized greatly for their classic American styling, superb comfort, hardwearing build quality (which allows for multiple resoles), and expertise with shell cordovan leather.
One of the most popular shoes within the brand’s catalogue is the “Indy” boot, lovingly named after the iconic film character. As the story goes, Harrison Ford needed a pair boots with optimal support, but the pair given to him by the wardrobe department was not up to snuff. So instead, Ford wore his personal pair of 405 boots from Alden, and has continued to do so in every film where he’s portrayed the character; hence, the nickname.
As tough as the original Indy boots are, these are even tougher. Kudu refers to the leather, which is a heavily oiled cowhide that’s supremely resistant against water and stains, sourced from the famed Horween tannery in Chicago. It’s dark brown with a beautiful pull-up quality that will only look better with age, even as you wear them in the foulest weather imaginable. But of course, the sole is often as important as the uppers when it comes to water-resistance, and Alden has you covered with a killer commando lug sole from Vibram. It’ll be years before you wear these down.