“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.
What’s Up With Seltzer in 2020
Is nothing sacred? According to Gizmodo, it appears the answer is a resounding “no,” as we learn that flavored seltzer water, the lifeforce for so many of us, the effervescent rush that carries us through the day, is potentially loaded with toxic “forever chemicals.” I’m no scientist, but that doesn’t sound great. These man made chemicals don’t easily break down in the environment or human body, and can potentially result in a variety of adverse health effects. According to the CDC, it’s estimated that these chemicals are found in the blood of 97% of Americans. Again, not a statistician, but that seems like a lot. Read up here, and perhaps strive to drink more of that plain old still water if your favorite brand of the sparkling stuff is among the chief offenders.
The Goodfellas Connection
Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas is 30(!) years old this year. One of the most critically acclaimed movies in Scorsese’s lengthy filmography, Goodfellas is based on the true story of Henry Hill, who spent his life in organized crime, until it epically all fell apart, as these things do, and he flipped on his longtime criminal associates. Hill’s path from small time neighborhood hustler to a witness to murder and grand larceny is an old school epic Hollywood tale that’s part of a long storytelling tradition, and Scorsese’s film is endlessly entertaining, and still a joy to watch after three decades.
In this appraisal from The Ringer, writer Brian Phillips puts Goodfellas into context with the two other major American works dealing with organized crime: The Godfather and The Sopranos. Goodfellas, according to Phillips, acts as a bridge connecting all three, and it’s fascinating to read this piece and consider how one work informs the next, and how they are all in dialogue with each other as we binge and rewatch them on demand in the age of streaming video.
Rolling Stones top 500 Albums
Do you like lists? Of course you do! Who doesn’t love a good list? They foster debate, question our expectations, and help to create a canon for whatever it is they chronicle, whether that’s literature, film, or, in this case, music. Rolling Stone has updated their authoritative list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, and when it dropped earlier in the week it hit with quite a bit of controversy. Pains have been taken by RS to be more inclusive of emerging genres and contemporary artists, which is, at first, somewhat jarring for this publication so closely tied to the Baby Boomers and classic rock radio staples. But there are gems in here, and certainly discussions to be had about selections, omissions, and the final order. What more can you ask of a list than a good debate?
The Infinity Bottle Journey
Now that we all have a bit more time to enjoy our at-home bars rather than outside bars, whiskey (whisky?) drinkers are getting creative with the final throes of their bottles. Known as the infinity bottle, this is a trend that has whiskey drinkers pouring the last few ounces of a bottle into a single, shared bottle. Eventually, you end up with a bottle full of your own unique mix. If you enjoy a particular type of whiskey, such as bourbon or rye, you can localize the bottle to more agreeable mixtures (maybe leave the Jameson out). With handwritten labels and a robust strategy in mind, this hobby has taken root with enthusiasts. Read more about this peculiar trend at the NYT right here.
Meet the New M3 & M4
BMW revealed the long anticipated new generation of M3 (G80) and M4 (G82) this week and to say they are polarizing would be an understatement. Sporting oversized, vertical grills the new cars feature a very different personality than the outgoing F80/F82, and they may take a little warming up to. Views from the rear or side are far more pleasing, as is the new interior design. Better still, the inline six cylinder engine benefits from a pair of turbos and can be mated to a 6 speed manual gearbox, or an 8 speed automatic in the Competition variants. The best news, however, was the confirmation of a wagon variant of the M3. Fingers crossed it makes its way to the US. Get the full rundown on the new cars right here.
From the Archives: Bringing Back Neil Armstrong’s Wolbrook Skindiver
Last year Zach Kazan brought us a look at a peculiar watch confirmed to have once been owned by the great Neil Armstrong, a Wolbrook Skindiver. The watch was being resurrected in the form of 2 new watches with either a mecaquartz or automatic movement, and was funded handily via Kickstarter last year. This is a watch that oozes ‘70s style and was offered at an attractive price point starting under $200. We look forward to seeing these in the flesh, but until then catch the full story right here.