Watches, Stories & Gear: Pikes Peak Hill Climb and a Seiko 5 Speedtimer Deconstructed

“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.

Vortic Watch Company Raises Money For Veterans Watchmaker Initiative

Image via Vortic Watch Co

What began as a customer request to create a wrist watch from a pocket watch turned into a special project that has netted $25,000 for the non-profit Veterans Watchmaker Initiative. The unusual pocket watch that started it all ended up being a WWII era time keeper built for the United States Army Air Corps. Using this as a template, Vortic Watch Company produced 50 examples of a GCT AN5740-1, made with restored movements from Elgin, Waltham, or Hamilton. $500 from each watch sold was donated directly to the Veterans Watchmaker Initiative, which works to provide jobs to U.S. Military personnel upon their return, educating and certifying them as watchmakers. 

All 50 of the watches sold out, meaning a total of $25,000 was raised for the Veterans Watchmaker Initiative. It’s a great story and a better result for a worthy cause. Learn more about the VMI here and visit Vortic Watch Company right here.

Colliding Contradictions Crack the NBA’s Political Facade

Illustration credit: The Ringer

The world of sports has been upended by the pandemic, and as teams return to the field of play, they enter an environment that’s unfamiliar, with new rules, no fans, and abbreviated seasons. Those factors, combined with the simmering tensions of national unrest that have pervaded this long summer, have made for a period unlike any other in memory for sports fans, as players, coaches, and management at the highest levels navigate the dramatically shifting slopes of racial justice. It all came to a head this week in the NBA, after a police shooting in the home state of the Milwaukee Bucks, perhaps the championship favorites, sparked a new round of protests, and a dramatic and unprecedented walkout among players in the midst of a playoff run. 

This feels like an historic time, and the Ringer has been documenting the situation in the NBA as well as anyone. This piece from Brian Phillips, published earlier this week, does a nice job of contextualizing the walkout, and shedding some light on the recent history of activism in the NBA that you might not be familiar with if you’re not a close observer of the sport, but is important to understanding where we are now. Be sure to watch the videos and listen to the podcast audio embedded here for reactions and analysis from members of the Ringer team.

Watch Jeff Zwart Tackle The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb In A Porsche 935

Photo: Larry Chen (@Larry_Chen_Foto) via Porsche

This weekend marks the 98th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The event sends racers up a 14.2 mile route consisting of 156 turns along Pikes Peak mountain in Colorado. The run attracts some of the top racers in the world, who take turns making runs up the hill and compete based on completion times. This year, event veteran Jeff Zwart will be racing a 2020 Porsche 935, a car based on the 991.2 GT2 RS, of which just 77 exist. Zwart will be competing in the Time Attack 1 class designed for track and race cars based on production models. There are 44 total entries to this year’s race spread across 6 divisions. Keep an eye out for the 2 GT2 RS Clubsport cars also running in the Time Attack 1 class.

The Hill Climb takes place Sunday, August 30th. You can stream the nail-biting action live from Official PPIHC YouTube channel.


The Naked Watchmaker Deconstructs an original Seiko 5 Chronograph from 1969

Image credit: The Naked Watchmaker

Top notch watchmaker and even better human being, Peter Speake-Marin aka The Naked Watchmaker has made a habit out of documenting the deconstruction of watches, providing his valuable insights along the way. He’s had his hands on everything from Ferdinand Berthoud and Philippe Dufour to more mainstream watches from the likes of Omega and Rolex. His most recent decon is decidedly more humble, featuring a Seiko 5 Sport Speedtimer Chronograph from 1972. It’s a watch that represents the first vertical clutch chronograph with automatic winding movement to come out of Japan. It’s a welcome look at one of our favorites. Catch the full decon over at The Naked Watchmaker right here.


Grant Stone Edward Boot in Maduro Shell Cordovan Limited Release

Image: Grant Stone

Our friends over at Grant Stone have been on a tear these last few months with some exceptional releases. Like many of the watch brands we write about daily, Grant Stone is a small, independent company in a sea of giants. So, also like many watch brands, they keep things spicy and interesting with limited editions. Their most recent are these exceptional everyday work boots made out of “Maduro” shell cordovan. Like the cigars they are named after, these boots are a rich, dark brown color that will be perfect for the fall months. More importantly, they are made out of one of the most exceptional leathers you can buy. An equine article, it’s actually not skin, but a subcutaneous layer on the hip of the animal that yields only a few square feet per animal. Tannage takes several months, so the supply is limited, and quite expensive, but the result is a highly durable leather that ages incredibly, and will last decades or more with proper care. 

At $675, you might think these are very expensive boots… and while they certainly are not cheap, they are a bargain for shell cordovan made at the level of fit and finish Grant Stone are known for. So, if you’re in the market for a new pair of fancy boots, be sure to check these out before they are gone. These launches are typically very limited and don’t last long.

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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.