Watches, Stories, & Gear: Brendan Babenzein’s J Crew, Van Life With A Rivian, Breaking Records With Nomos, & More

“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].

Header Image Via: Die, Workwear!

The New J Crew: First Look At Brendan Babenzien’s First Collection

Via Die, Workwear!

It seems that not too long ago, specialty retailer J Crew was in a very tough spot. The quality had dropped off significantly. Their designs watered down. What was once a hub for basics, outerwear, accessories, thoughtful collaborations and everything in between, was now a brand that had really lost its edge. In 2020, with James Brett at the helm as CEO, the company announced that they would be filing for bankruptcy. And to further throw salt onto the wound, J Crew had announced they would start selling their product through Amazon. How the mighty have fallen.

Via Die, Workwear!

But now the tide and perception seems to be shifting ever since Brendan Babenzien has taken over as the newly appointed menswear designer. You might recognize the name. Babenzien was the creative mind behind Supreme as their Creative Director, and the man who revived the streetwear brand, Noah (remember the Noah ‘Turtle Timex’ that sold out instantaneously, yeah that’s Babenzien). From the looks of the lookbook from his debut collection, he’s tapping into the roots of the J Crew heritage and prep. It seems that he’s not trying to create something completely new, but embracing the foundation of what J Crew was built on and at the same time adding his own streetwear touch to it all. It’s been awhile since there was something to be excited about with J Crew, and now it seems there’s plenty to look forward to in the future. Check out the coverage of Babenzien’s debut collection and the entire catalog of lookbook photos here.

Van Life Gets More Appealing With The 2025 Rivian Adventure Van

Via Motortrend

If #vanlife is appealing to you but you don’t have the time or patience to properly outfit a camper van from a base model, Motortrend reports that Rivian might have a tech forward solution in the works. The Rivian Adventure Van is an enormous, electric, off-road capable van that you could conceivably live in and document your life for all of social media to see. That’s what #vanlife is, right? OK, even if becoming another van inhabiting influencer isn’t on your agenda, the vehicle itself is pretty cool, and represents one of only a small handful of true OEM overland vehicles that are ready to go without a ton of aftermarket customization needed. It’s believed that it will be built on the same platform as the R1T pickup and R1S SUV, but likely won’t be ready until late 2025 at the earliest. Estimated price? A cool $125,000. Cue the Chris Farley impressions.

Record Time With The Nomos Ahoi

Via Nomos

What do you think of when you think of Nomos? I’d guess that most of us tend to associate the brand with fairly refined watches that sit on the dressier side, with a touch of playfulness here and there to give them a bit of a youthful energy. That is still very much their core, but Nomos has gone to considerable lengths in the recent past to beef up their sports watch bona fides, and there isn’t a better example than the case of Dr. Joseph Heß, a long distance swimmer and project leader at Chemnitz University of Technology who just swam the length of the Rhine in Germany over the course of 25 days (a new record), in chunks of 17 to 47 miles daily. That’s exhausting to even think about. On his wrist? A Nomos Ahoi Atlantic, a watch he chose for its comfort over the course of long days in the river. The Ahoi Atlantic might not be the first watch that pops into your mind when you think of endurance swimming, but it’s nice to know that it’s up to the task.

Add A Vintage Touch To A Modern Toyota Land Cruiser (& More)

We’re sure at some point or another you’ve killed some time on a site that provides a platform where you can customize a product to your own unique taste and aesthetic. Think Nike I.D. or your favorite automotive manufacturer’s webpage. Well here’s another one to add to the list if you’re keen on Toyota Land Cruisers or any other Toyota 4X4. The brand is called Renoca and they specialize in retro modifications to modern Toyotas.

On their website, you have an array of Toyota vehicles to choose from to customize. That includes the Toyota Land Cruiser, Hiace and Prado. Each vehicle has the option to change up the color, wheels, grill and interior color. The more vintage flare, the better. Check out our very own customizations below and head on over to Renoca to build your very own Toyota.

Custom Renoca Toyota Land Cruiser
Custom Renoca Toyota Prado
Custom Renoca Toyota Hiace

eBay Finds: Vintage Gents Omega Dynamic Tool-107 Automatic Date Wristwatch Stainless Steel

Via eBay User: stlauctionco

You like 70’s funky style? Well, I’ve got the perfect watch for you! The vintage Omega Dynamic is the epitome of the disco era. The oval / UFO shaped steel case with its wide bezel is definitely unique with a style all its own. This example is unpolished with the original brushed finish and nice sharp edges. The blue and silver/gray bullseye style dial is a classic, and is in excellent condition. Set off by the broad white lume filled hands and orange second hand, this gem really stands out. The oversized and recessed crown is correct and signed with the Omega logo. As a bonus this one comes with the original leather strap and steel buckle. Now, the band is pretty much shot, but at least you can re-use the Omega buckle! Seller states the watch runs and keeps time.

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