Watches, Stories, & Gear: New Casio Mods, USB-C Takes Hold in the EU, and a Double Dose of the Sopranos

“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, which now features an EDC section.

The Ringer Ranks Every Episode of The Sopranos

Credit: Warner Bros

This week sees the release of The Many Saints of Newark, a film prequel to The Sopranos, one of the most critically acclaimed and written about TV shows of all time. That means, of course, a lot of Sopranos content all over the internet, and as fans of the show, we’re here for it. Over at The Ringer, writer Justin Sayles has taken on the Herculean task of ranking every episode of The Sopranos from all six seasons. It’s hard to think of a tougher assignment, splitting hairs between “Pine Barrens,” “Made in America,” and “Long Term Parking,” to name just a few of what are generally agreed to be among the show’s finest hours. At around 30,000 words(!) this is one to sink into over the course of the weekend, and perfect second-screen material as you prep for hitting theaters (or HBO Max) to check out the new movie. 

A New Generation Embraces The Sopranos

Credit: New York Times

The Ringer’s exhaustive ranking of Sopranos episodes linked above is required reading for any fan of the show, but if you really want to go a step further and dive into the multi-decade cultural impact that it had, you should absolutely check out this recent New York Times Magazine piece that examines how it reads now to a contemporary audience. Sopranos creator David Chase had an uncanny ability to weave a commentary about the world around us into the show that not only stands the test of time, but has perhaps become even more pointed as the years go by. Writer Willy Staley examines how The Sopranos predicted not just a wave of “prestige TV,” but critical corners of American life and culture that would soon become pervasive, and give the show a fresh appeal to an audience far too young to catch it on its initial run. 

An End to Cable Madness is in Sight – For Europe

Credit: 9to5Mac

The latest version of the iPhone was just released, and with it came a reminder: we’re all living in port standardization hell. The fact that the iPhone 13 still uses a Lightning port and the associated cable is maddening at a time when nearly every other device on your desk is likely using USB-C. This, readers, is why we can’t have nice things (besides, I guess, the iPhone 13). But over in the European Union, steps are being taken to standardize the adoption of USB-C across all smartphones, tablets, and headphones sold in the EU. Apple will surely have something to say about this in the European courts, but over here in America, it’s encouraging to know that cable pain is felt worldwide, and there may be a light at the end of a very long tunnel. More info via 9to5Mac right here.

New Casio Mods to Give Your Watch a New Look

Modding culture has always been a big part of the enthusiast watch community, and these days it involves way more than adding custom bezels and hands, swapping out dials, or adding a coating. This video illustrates how one industrious modder has dramatically changed the appearance of a simple Casio F-91 through inventive use of colorful tapes to give the LCD screens a fresh look. This is the type of creativity that keeps this hobby interesting, and we love seeing how people switch up the look and functionality of their watches, truly making them their own. Be sure to check out the YouTube clip above to see these mods for yourself.

What’s Going on With Amazon’s Newest Gadgets? 

Credit: The Verge

Amazon is ubiquitous. Click a button on a website or give your phone a tap, and almost any product you can imagine will be on your doorstep in a day, maybe two. Amazon doesn’t only provide a means to get the products you want in your home quickly, in many cases they’re producing the products themselves, and, as you might have noticed, they look and feel a lot like items that came before them. This article in The Verge examines the uncanny resemblance between some of the latest Amazon gadgets and similar electronics from the likes of Fitbit. Amazon has a long history of, how can we put this…borrowing the designs of popular products in categories like apparel and accessories (and undercutting their price points), and it seems that gadgets are the newest frontier.

eBay Finds: Vintage Waltham 

Here’s a great funky 1970’s Waltham diver for your bidding pleasure. The 36mm wide steel case has a nice chunky look with thick lugs, and looks unpolished. The aluminum elapsed time bezel is in great shape and appears to have a very slight, even fade to it which gives it a great look. The black dial has nice creamy lume plots, and applied, faceted hour markers at 12, 6 and 9. A date window at 3 completes the look. Nice bold steel baton style hands with lume filled tracts, and a cool bright orange second hand really stands out. It has the original signed large crown as well. The automatic movement is clean and works well per the seller. Really a very nice example of a classic 1970’s diver in great shape.

View the auction here.

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