Watches, Stories, & Gear: Ants, Soy Sauce, & New Horizons

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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.

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.

Oh To Be The Queen

Credit: Clint Penick

Ants are amazing. They outnumber humans by orders of magnitude, are capable of physical feats that belie their small size, and, according to this article in the New York Times, are capable of regrowing their own brains. More precisely, the Indian jumping ant, Harpegnathos saltator, is capable of shrinking its brain, and then growing it back. Why, you ask, would an Indian jumping do this? As it is with most living creatures, the reasons for the strangest things that happen throughout the course of life can be traced back to an elaborate mating ritual. When the queen of an ant colony dies, the female ants engage in an epic battle-royale to become the new queen, and shrinking one’s brain is a unique quirk of evolution that allows the ants to become lean, mean fighting machines, with a single objective: become the queen, and reproduce. It’s been said that humans are well served to borrow certain organizational efficiencies from ant colonies, but something tells me a Bloodsport style tournament to become the primary procreator in a social group is something best left to the ants. 

Brewing Soy Sauce In XiLuo

If you’re at all interested in the craft behind the making of your favorite foods, this short film is highly recommended. Time, Terroir, Taiwan: Soy Sauce Brewing in XiLuo, takes a close look at the one family’s soy sauce operation that has been in business over 60 years. Soy sauce is definitely one of those things that is often taken for granted, particularly among Americans. Soy sauce bottles are just kind of there when you sit down for a meal at a Chinese restaurant, and it’s an item that’s a staple in many kitchens. But making soy sauce is complex, and takes a long time, and you likely won’t think about it the same way after watching this clip.

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A Day In The Life of a Michelin Star Chef

Everyone likes to eat, so here’s another food related story for this week’s WSG. Jeju Noodle Bar in New York City is the first Michelin-starred noodle bar in America, and the popular YouTube channel About to Eat recently spent a day with Jeju’s chef, Jane Peang. In addition to mouth watering images of the amazing food coming out of Peang’s kitchen, this clip is notable for its unvarnished look at how a working chef at the highest level goes about her day. Spoiler alert: it’s a ton of work, but completely fascinating. Fair warning that if you watch this on an empty stomach you’ll have food being delivered to your door before the end credits roll. You can watch the video right here.

New Horizons To Cross 50AU From Sun

Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

This weekend, a little later today, in fact, the NASA probe New Horizons will pass 50 astronomical units (AU) from the sun. In doing so, it will join Voyagers 1 & 2, and Pioneers 11 & 12 as the 5th farthest human-made object from the earth. New Horizons was launched in January of 2006, with the goal of studying Pluto and its moons, as well as the Kuiper belt beyond. New Horizons is responsible for some truly stunning images, including this now famous depiction of Pluto. As of 8:42 p.m. EDT, New Horizons will be 50 AU, or 4.65 billion miles away from home, and will mark the occasion by pointing its camera at Voyager 1 (which is a staggering 152 AU from earth). Godspeed, New Horizons.

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NOMOS Pays Tribute To Doctors Without Borders

Nomos has a long history of working with the French NGO Doctors Without Borders, which is celebrating their 50th year in operation. This is the 10th year in which Nomos will have created an LE for the benefit of the organization, and this year that watch is the Tangente 38 which receives a stark white dial and bright red 12 at the top of the dial. Just 2021 examples of the watches will be produced, with 100 euros from each sale going directly to the benefit of Doctors Without Borders. The watch, priced at $2,030 will be available through ADs as well as the brand’s web store.

eBay Finds: Bulova ‘Devil Diver’

Credit: stebe-9156

The semi-recent Bulova Heritage Devil Diver is a great watch for sure, but why get the copy when you can have the original? This one hails from 1969, and is in excellent shape relative to most of the vintage examples I come across. Beautiful black dial with those unique raised clear round hour markers are in great shape, with only a little patina to the lume on the hands. The  original crystal is scuffed, but hey, it’s original! The acrylic inlay diver’s bezel is really nice, with no cracks that I can see. The movement looks clean and the seller states it has been serviced. This example even has the correct signed crown which is always a plus.

View auction here.

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