Watches, Stories, & Gear: A 13 Year Old Beats Tetris, “Succession” Props Head to Auction, and a Watch Saves a Life in New Zealand

“Watches, Stories, and Gear” is a roundup of our favorite content, watch or otherwise, from around the internet. Here, we support other creators, explore interesting content that inspires us, and put a spotlight on causes we believe in. Oh, and any gear we happen to be digging on this week. We love gear.

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The LVMH Shakeup

Yesterday saw one of the most significant executive level shakeups in the watch industry in several years, with the announcement that Frédéric Arnault, previously the CEO of TAG Heuer, would become the new CEO of LVMH Watches. Arnault, part of the family that has controlled LVMH for years, will oversee operations at TAG, Hublot, and Zenith, and report to Stephane Bianchi, CEO of LVMH Watches & Jewelry Division. As part of the change in leadership in the watch division, Julien Tornare, the CEO at Zenith since 2017, will move into Arnault’s old spot at TAG Heuer. The new Zenith CEO is Benoit de Clerck, formerly the Chief Commercial Officer at Panerai, and a Richemont veteran. 


Anytime there’s a shift like this in leadership across big Swiss brands, there’s a certain amount of tea leaf reading, prognosticating, and wish-casting that is bound to happen. Arnault heading the watch division at LVMH seems like a logical move given his quick rise in the company his family owns. The more interesting question, perhaps, is what Tornare’s leadership at TAG will look like. He oversaw an enormous period of growth at Zenith, leveraging the brand’s heritage and forward thinking philosophy in equal measure. It’s fascinating to think about what a similar approach at TAG Heuer would look like.

An Existential Crisis in Hollywood 

The 2023 Hollywood box office numbers are in the books, and on the page, it looks like a strong year. Spurred on by the success of Barbie and Oppenheimer, the total amount cleared topped $9 billion for the first time since the pandemic, a milestone that the industry has been hoping to clear since we started heading back to theaters en masse in 2021. But behind the numbers, there’s another story developing, one that has left the filmmaking community feeling like they don’t really know where to go from here. While the “Barbenheimer” phenomenon was real, and there were pockets of success elsewhere with unexpected hits like The Sound of Freedom and Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour, many of the big franchise tentpoles released in 2023 were seen as underperforming. This was a notably off year for the MCU, with The Marvels becoming the answer to an unfortunate trivia question (What’s the lowest grossing Marvel movie ever?) and Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man films that, while making an objectively large pile of money, didn’t outperform earlier films in their franchises. The upcoming year’s release calendar is going to be impacted by the 2023’s SAG and WGA strikes, so revenue could go down again, but even if Hollywood weathers that storm, there are larger questions about whether what moviegoers want is in line with the infrastructure Hollywood has been building over the last 15 years, which has been dominated by adaptations of well known intellectual property. 

“Succession” Props Head to Auction 

Succession fans, take note: if you’ve been desperate to pick up some unique memorabilia from the hit show which signed off last year, you’ll have your chance soon. As reported by Town & Country, Heritage Auctions (in partnership with HBO) will have many key props from the series on the block soon. Among the items in the sale: prop “Boar on the Floor” sausages, Logan Roy funeral pamphlets (sorry, spoiler warning), and costumes from the show including Tom’s gray Canali suit and Kendall’s aviator sunglasses. And yes, the “ludicrously capacious bag” brought to Logan’s birthday party in the season 4 opener is up for sale as well. 

Beautiful AI Watch Designs 


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A post shared by bobby rai (@solarjones9000)

Sometimes we come across watch related accounts and we’re absolutely shocked that they don’t have tens of thousands of followers. That was one thought we had upon seeing the watches on the @solarjones9000 feed. Bobby Rai’s AI generated watch designs started popping up only about six weeks ago, and they’re absolutely gorgeous. We’re not sure if there are plans to make any of these designs a reality, but, well, maybe there should be? The account is worth a follow even if you’re an AI skeptic. 

A Fisherman’s Life Saved by His Watch

Here’s a story with an absolutely terrifying beginning and a feel-good ending that will have you thinking about your watch as a “tool” in a very different way. Will Fransen, a New Zealand fisherman, fell overboard while fishing without a life jacket, with his boat motoring further and further away. He was stranded, treading water, for 24 hours, before catching the attention of a passing boat by reflecting sunlight off his watch crystal. It’s an absolutely harrowing story, told here in the New Zealand Herald, with a thankfully happy ending. 

A 13 Year Old Boy Beats Tetris

One of the big viral stories this week was that of Willis Gibson, a 13 year old Tetris prodigy who became the first human to successfully “beat” the game. To be honest, we didn’t even know Tetris was beatable, but it turns out you can get to a point where the game simply freezes somewhere beyond the 157th level. Before Gibson, only AI players had been able to get to the so-called “kill screen” where the game’s code can’t keep up with the advancing player. Gibson, who again is only 13, is somewhat new to competitive Tetris, rising up the ranks dramatically just in the last year. He uses a technique known as “rolling” the controller with quick taps from several fingers instead of just one or two, which many believe has made it possible for more elite player to advance further in the game. Read more at the New York Times here.

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