Watches, Stories & Gear: A Bucatini Shortage, HSNY Scholarships & An Unusual Patek

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“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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This installment of “Watches, Stories, and Gear” is brought to you by the Windup Watch Shop, which now offers home goods.

The Great Bucatini Shortage of 2020

Credit: Melissa Hom for Grub Street

Bucatini is a long noodle with a hole in it. Basically it’s spaghetti, but hollow. It’s a wonderful pasta to cook with, because of its ability to absorb sauce on both the inside and outside of the noodle. And, as you’ll discover in this fantastic article in Grub Street, it was nowhere to be found throughout the bulk of 2020. What happened to all the bucatini? Was the shortage pandemic related? A production issue? A widespread conspiracy the likes of which we can barely understand? Rachel Handler, the “the Bernstein of Bucatini,” takes us through the whole crazy ordeal in what has to be one of the top 2 or 3 pieces of investigative journalism devoted to pasta in the history of the internet right here.

Space Art With A Watch Themed Twist

Credit: Spacetronaut

If you’re a watch lover looking for horology themed artwork to hang on your wall, be sure to check out Spacetronaut on his new website and Instagram account. What we have here is space themed artwork with accents made from actual watch movements. The mysterious artist uses movements that are associated with watches that have actually been used in space flight, such as the Omega 321, and the Seiko 6139A. The artwork is whimsical and colorful, and aimed directly at that small niche of people who are deeply interested in watches, art, and space travel.

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Peculiar Findings In Robert Caro’s Archive

Credit: Jonah Markowitz for The New York Times

Robert Caro is a hero to many writers and lovers of history. He has chronicled the life of L.B.J. in a massive, ongoing, multi volume biography, and detailed the rise of Robert Moses, the public official who perhaps shaped what New York City is today more than any other individual, in the hugely influential “The Power Broker.” What really sets Caro apart is his commitment to research. Nobody does it more thoroughly than Caro – he talks to everyone involved in a story, over and over again, and has been known to take up residence in the places he writes about (rural Texas in the case of his work writing about L.B.J.) to get an authentic sense of his subjects. This article in the New York Times steps into Caro’s daily life (he’s 85 and still going to the office, putting the finishing touches on the next volume of his L.B.J. biography) as he prepares to hand his archives over to the New York Historical Society. It’s a great read for anyone who’s read any Caro (and you should, if you haven’t), or is simply interested in old school journalism practiced by one of the masters.

A Very Different Patek Comes To Auction

Image: 1stdibs

Six figure Patek Philippe timepieces are par for the course within the world of watch auctions. The brand has proven adept at creating all-time classic references both simple and complicated that well-heeled collectors have made a sport of fighting over at auction. But what to do if you already have your perfect 1518 and salmon dialed 3970? Think bigger, of course. 1stdibs is offering a Patek Philippe T3 world time tower created for Zurich’s airport in Kloten. It looks like something straight out of Bond villain’s lair and is a guaranteed one-up on your neighbor who won’t stop rubbing their new grand comp AP in your face. It’s big, but if you got the scratch for it, you likely have the space for it. Make your offer right here

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HSNY Announces Scholarships for Minority Watchmakers

Our friend Roberta Naas of A Timely Perspective shares news of new scholarship opportunities for minorities being granted by the Horological Society of New York. The first is the Benjamin Banneker Scholarship for Black Watchmaking Students, named for the self-taught mathematician and astronomer, Benjamin Banneker. His work in the mid 18th century produced one of the first wooden mechanical clocks in the country. The second is the Oscar Waldan Scholarship for Jewish Watchmaking Students, so named for the Polish-Jewish watchmaker who learned his craft while being held at the Buchenwald Concentration Camp.

eBay Finds: Vantage Chronograph

Credit: timefirspring

Ok, here’s something you don’t find on eBay very often, a vintage ‘panda’ chronograph as an auction! This vintage 1960’s Vantage chronograph is a real gem. 37mm steel case with screw on caseback and skinny lugs looks excellent and unpolished. The silver dial has the classic black sub-dials giving it the iconic ‘panda’ look. There is some mild patina on the dial, but overall it looks original and quite the looker. The manual wind Valjoux 7733 movement is clean and the seller states it is running well and recently serviced. Both ‘panda’ and ‘reverse panda’ dial chronographs are extremely sought after these days, and I rarely find them listed at auction rather than top-dollar ‘buy-it-now’ listings. Now, it may end up going for top dollar, but at least you have a shot at a decent deal!

View auction here.

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