Watches, Stories & Gear: A Jelly Bean Factory, A Black Hole & Dune

“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.

Share your story ideas or interesting finds with us by emailing our Managing Editor at [email protected]

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

The Dune Trailer We’ve Been Waiting For

In this year of abbreviated movie releases as a result of the global pandemic, film fans are grasping at anything and everything that might generate some excitement for going back to cinemas. Now that Tenet is (sort of) here, we look ahead to the next big blockbuster, and many are pointing to Denis Villeneuve’s highly anticipated Dune adaptation as the event picture to most look forward to this fall/winter. To be honest, even if Covid-19 hadn’t taken the movie world hostage this year, we’d still be interested in seeing how Villeneuve, who previously helmed a Blade Runner sequel and Arrival, would handle this iconic piece of science fiction. The first trailer, featuring some striking visuals and a well placed Pink Floyd cue, has certainly piqued our interest.

Charlie’s Chocolate Factory Meet’s Real Life

If you grew up with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (or the somewhat confusingly titled Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory film adaptation starring Gene Wilder – we’ll hold off on commenting on the 2005 Johnny Depp version) then oh boy, do we have a story for you. It seems that David Klein, who makes candy under the  “Jelly Belly” name, is offering up  “gold-style tickets in the form of necklaces” in select packages of $50 boxes of candy, with winners getting an opportunity to win cash and prizes, including his candy factory.

If this all sounds wild and too good to be true, the plot has thickened with a statement from the “Jelly Belly Candy Company” distancing themselves from Klein. It seems we’ve entered into the middle of a candy war, and the fact that we can’t quite tell if Klein’s venture is a scam feels perfectly in line with the original source material. More details here

A Black Hole In Our Backyard

R. Hurt/Caltech/IPAC, via Reuters

Sticking with a space theme, here’s a provocatively titled New York Times story on the search for a black hole at the outer reaches of our solar system. “Planet 9” as it’s called is theorized to be a celestial object 10 times the size of earth, and orbiting the sun in an egg shaped route once every ten to twenty thousand years (in other words – it’s very, very far away). The prospect that Planet 9 could actually be a black hole is a relatively new idea, and offers human beings on earth a previously unconsidered possibility of studying a black hole from up close (relatively speaking). The trick, though, is finding it, and proving that it even exists, so we’ve got a long way to go. But if it’s there, and can be approached by man made probes, it would be a game changer for physicists studying string theory, trying to unlock the so-called “unified theory of everything.” Via NYT

New X Box Gets Release Date and Price

Microsoft has announced pricing and launch date details of their next generation console, the X Box Series X, along with the unexpected reveal of an entry-level console, the X Box Series S. The Series S won’t get the impressive horsepower you’ll find in the Series X, but it’ll cost you just $300 compared to the $500 price tag of the Series X. It’ll also be digital only, meaning it won’t accept physical media like CDs. Hey, at least it comes with a 1TB SDD. Both will be available for purchase November 10th, just in time to make your holiday season a little more exciting. 

That leaves the ball squarely in Sony’s court to reveal pricing and availability of their PlayStation 5, which also comes with a digital only counterpart. If waiting isn’t your thing, you could leap a few generations forward with a new NVIDIA 30 Series GPU and build your own gaming rig and put them all to shame. 


New Book from Assouline Celebrates Accutron Yesterday, and Today

Assouline has launched a new book by authors Aaron Sigmond and Jack Forster called Accutron: From the Space Age to the Digital Age. The book celebrates the history of Accutron, its birth from Bulova, and its impact both in watches and culturally from a fashion and lifestyle perspective. The book is full of beautiful pictures from the mid-century era presented alongside intimate insights from Jack and Aaron. Also worth noting, a lovely forward by industrial designer Carl Gustav Magnusson. 

We’re discussing the book with one of the authors, Aaron Sigmond for next week’s podcast so keep an eye out for that.

From the Archives: Celebrating 100 Years of Bauhaus

2019 marked the 100th anniversary of the famous Staatliches Bauhaus School, which opened its doors in 1919 for aspiring artists, designers and architects. The school was only operational until 1933, but in that time the school’s approach to unifying artistic vision with mass production yielded enormous influence on products, art, and architecture that is still felt today. In celebration of the centennial, watch brands paid tribute to the school with unique releases that Zach Kazan outlines right here from the likes of NOMOS, Swatch, and Max Bill.

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Blake is a Wisconsin native who’s spent his professional life covering the people, products, and brands that make the watch world a little more interesting. Blake enjoys the practical elements that watches bring to everyday life, from modern Seiko to vintage Rolex. He is an avid writer and photographer with a penchant for cars, non-fiction literature, and home-built mechanical keyboards.