“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 features an EDC section.
Field Report: Becky Kagan Schott & Seiko Return To Explore Antarctica
Becky Kagan Schott is one of those people where it’s hard to describe what she does because she’s so proficient at so many things. She’s an accomplished technical diver, experienced underwater photographer/videographer, consummate explorer and oh, an Emmy Award winner (five of them to be exact). Last November, Schott and Seiko teamed up for an expedition to the Matanuska Glacier located in Alaska to do what very few people have done, and that’s to dive inside a glacier and document their findings. From making multiple gear runs in an R44 helicopter just to get situated at the dive location, braving temperatures as low as -15 degrees Fahrenheit and accessing a stable Glacial Moulin (essentially a pothole in the ice) to dive in, the expedition was a true adventure. The real danger lies within the dive, as the glacier could unpredictably move and drain at any moment, but what Schott was able to successfully reveal were the unique and spectacular underwater glacial caves beneath the ice.
Well, Schott and Seiko are back again for another expedition and this time it’s to the frozen land of Antarctica. The project will involve documenting the environments that they encounter with the intention of showing how the landscape is being impacted, whether by human or natural causes. Schott and Seiko have shared their experiences with us over the past couple of days as she and her team traveled to Ushuaia and embarked on a ship through Drake Passage encountering swells up to 30 feet. Below is the most recent check-in from Schott.
January 5th, 2022 “We just passed the South Shetland islands and are entering the Antarctic peninsula. The seas today were much calmer around 5-10 feet. Our first iceberg came into view and it was stunning! A massive piece of ice that just kept getting bigger as we moved closer to it. A few penguins jumped next to the ship welcoming us to Antarctica. It feels surreal to see one of the least explored places on the planet. Tomorrow we will go ashore and take the zodiacs around the icebergs and glaciers”
Stay tuned next week for another Field Report from Becky Kagan Schott and Seiko
Perfecting the Tourbillon
What’s the point of a tourbillon? If you were to jump in a time machine and travel back to 1801 and ask Abraham-Louis Breguet, he’d tell you that his invention was designed to counteract the effects of gravity on a pocket watch, keeping the rate stable over the duration of its power reserve. Actually, he wouldn’t specify that it’s for a pocket watch, since this era pre-dates the widespread concept of wearing a watch on the wrist to begin with. But ask someone today what the point of a tourbillon is, and their answer would likely have the word “flex” in it. They seem to exist primarily to display that, hey, I have one of these, even when the chronometry is on point.
This piece from Europa Star last month seems to almost forget that tourbillons have become more highly prized as a status symbol than a functional component of a great mechanical movement, and dives into the work of a group of scientists at Instant-Lab EPFL in Neuchâtel who have been working on figuring out how the “perfect” tourbillon would be designed for a wristwatch (which doesn’t need to be protected from impact of gravity in the same way as a pocket watch, because a wrist is constantly in motion). There’s a lot of math in this one, but it’s a worthy long-read for anyone with an interest in cutting edge chronometry, and what a perfect tourbillon might look like.
The early ‘90s were a special time for many reasons, and we rarely get the kind of HD glimpse of the period as seen in this video filmed on a D-Theater HD for a demo of the camera’s capabilities (pretty impressive for the time). This video tour of Manhattan captures the feeling of the ‘90s in glorious detail, complete with ill-fitting suits, vintage cabs, pony-tailed men (one of whom showed up in the YT comments of this video). Some great fly-overs are included as well, offering views of Central Park refreshingly absent of Billionaires’ Row, and the Brooklyn Bridge with the Manhattan bridge in the background. Come for the views, stay for the pony tails. More about the video from the Gothamist right here.
Not So Fast With Those NFTs
I’m sure at some point or another, you’ve had the conversation or heard a couple people chatting away about Blockchain. If not, then a quick Google search will tell you that it is a decentralized public ledger commonly used with Cryptocurrencies. I’m sure you’ve heard about Cryptocurrencies, right? You know, like Bitcoin, Litecoin and dare I say, Dogecoin. But now there’s another topic taking over that space and that’s Non-fungible Tokens, or NFTs. Solely based on bits and pieces I’ve gathered, it potentially may benefit artists by providing a digital certificate of authenticity for their work, allowing the creator to make someone a rightful owner in a digital space. This should be the future of digital technology, but some are hesitant where this might lead us. Check out one man’s thoughts and concerns about the future of NFTs here.
eBay Finds: Vintage LeCoultre
Super cool and rare find for the first ‘find’ of the year, a vintage LeCoultre 10k gold fill fancy lug dress watch complete with original box and purchase receipt! This one looks almost NOS, and the gold fill case looks to be in perfect condition. The fancy lugs are super sharp and really unique looking. The cream white dial looks to be all original and mint, with a nice sub-seconds dial at 6 o’clock. It comes with the original inner and outer boxes, as well as the papers, and the original receipt dated 1986. It’s not often people saved the receipts, and I find it to be such a cool part of the watch’s history. Inside the box there is a vintage looking leather strap with gold buckle, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the original band/buckle! Great vintage piece that has the full kit, you can’t beat it!