Watches, Stories, & Gear: Yvon Chouinard Passes The Patagonia Torch, Unknown Story Of The French Laundry, A Ferrari First, & 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: New York Times

“Earth Is Now Our Only Shareholder.” 

Via Patagonia

Those were the recent words of eccentric rock climber, longtime surfer, environmentalist. and Patagonia founder, Yvon Chouinard, after he announced that he and his family will relinquish their ownership of the outdoor apparel company after 50 years. We’ve come to know Patagonia as a company that has revolutionized how a company should go about their business in regards to leaving the smallest ecological footprint possible. They’ve found innovative ways during the apparel manufacturing process to avoid using harmful chemicals and dyes, adopted organic cotton and established a repair-recycle program to prevent customers from casually buying new gear, and shifting focus to maintain the things they already have. They’ve even gone as far as putting out a Black Friday ad-campaign one year that said, “Don’t buy this jacket.” Chouinard has also changed the perspective of how employers should treat their employees. In his book, Let My People Go Surfing, he recounts introducing on-site childcare, unlimited PTO and like the title of the book suggests, letting his employees go surfing whenever the conditions are appropriate.

Via Patagonia

Patagonia has been a leader across all industries and now, is giving 3 billion reasons why other companies around the globe should take note on what it means to stay true to what you stand for. Not to worry, although the Chouinard’s no longer own Patagonia, the ethos and foundation of the company will continue. They’ve made sure of that by establishing two new non-profit organizations; Patagonia Purpose Trust and Holdfast Collective. Patagonia Purpose Trust, which will be headed by the Chouinard family and their closest advisors, will receive 2% of the company’s total worth and will be tasked with ensuring the company stays on track with their mission and commitments. The other 98% will be transferred to Holdfast Collective where all their profits, about $100 million a year, will be allocated to various programs across the globe that are fighting the good climate change fight. Chouinard says it best in his recent letter to the public, “Instead of going public, we’re going purpose.”

Via New York Times

Watching Yvon Chouinard and his family pass the company along is truly admirable. We say at the top of every WSG that this platform puts a spotlight on causes that we believe in. Some of us even own some Patagonia gear in some form or another. Our very own Thomas Calara ran a project a while back that donated to the efforts of 1% Of The Planet (a non-profit organization founded by Patagonia).  In addition to gear, and of course watches, our Out Of Office series tries to push people to get outside to appreciate the outdoors, because once you start to appreciate the outdoors, then you start to care enough to be mindful of your own impact on the environment. Here on the pages of W&W, we’ve covered brands like Oris, Christopher Ward, Breitling and many more that have made a commitment to using recycled materials, implementing sustainable manufacturing processes and in some cases, completely changing the way they run their business.

Via New York Times

We can all learn a thing or two from what Patagonia did this week and what they have done the past 50 years. And when the dust settles from this surprise announcement, we can be comfortable knowing that Patagonia will continue to do what they’ve been doing for the next 50 years.

The All New Jeep Recon EV

Via Jeep

Continuing with the tone of being environmentally conscious, Jeep gave us a first look at their all new Recon EV that’s slated to come out in 2024. From the looks of it, this won’t be your typical looking sport utility electric vehicle. From the burly blacked out wheels, to its stout body profile, the 2024 Recon EV looks agressive and ready to tackle anything that resembles driving off-road. We don’t know much about the Jeep Recon EV right now other than it’s a full electric midsized SUV with an available option for a power-folding rooftop and removable doors. The starting price tag for the Recon EV, $60,000, which comes in and around the price range of the 2023 Volvo XC40 ($54,645), 2023 Genesis GV60 ($59,985), and the 2022 Tesla Model Y ($67,190). If you’re interested in more details, Car and Driver has got you covered. If you’re keen on up-to-date information regarding the 2024 Jeep Recon EV, stay tuned to the C&D space.

A First For Ferrari

Via Ferrari

Sure, we do believe in great causes and appreciate conservation efforts as much as the next person. But this is WSG after all, and we can’t help but obsess over ridiculously cool sports cars. Enter the Ferrari Purosangue (pronounced PURR-oh-SAAHN-gway), the Italian design house’s first four door four-seater vehicle. The Purosangue has the familiar curves and lines found on your traditional Ferrari, but with the inclusion of another set of doors, which by the way are rear hinged, the new horse in their stable looks beefier and brawnier. But don’t let the thicker body fool you. The Purosangue is fitted with a 6.5 liter V12 engine capable of going 0 to 125 mph in 10.2 seconds. The subject of sustainability is not totally lost here. The fabric roof-lining is made from recycled polyester, the carpet made from recycled fishing nets and the suede made from a synthetic material made from recycled polyester called Alcantara. The sticker price for the Ferrari Purosangue, a cool $400,000.

The Story Of Sally Schmidt And What Became To Be Known As The Best Restaurant In The World

Via New York Times

We’re sure many of you have heard of world-renowned chef Thomas Keller. He’s won countless culinary awards, written several cookbooks, and has even made a guest voice-appearance in Pixar’s Ratatouille. But what he may be most known for is being the creative mind and chef behind what was the “Best Restaurant In The World”, The French Laundry.

Via New York Times

This short documentary from the New York Times however, isn’t about Thomas Keller, but about Sally Schmidt, which turns out, was the chef and owner of The French Laundry before she sold it to Thomas Keller. The story itself is more than just about the journey of how Schmidt came to opening up The French Laundry. It’s about the development of “California Cooking”, the importance of family and staying true to what you love doing. Sally Schmidt is charming and charismatic in every shot she’s in and that alone is worth watching this short documentary.


Finding The Camera That Could Change Mount Everest History Forever

Via National Geographic / Photo By Renan Ozturk

It’s been long known that Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first to summit the tallest point in the world, Mount Everest. Or were they? About 30 years earlier, a pair of climbers, Andrew “Sandy” Irvine and George Mallory made a bid for the summit, but unfortunately met their demise. Although long gone, Mallory would find himself in the headlines in 1999 when Conrad Anker came across his body on the north face of the mountain. The question remains … were Irvine and Mallory actually the first to reach the summit of Everest?

Via National Geographic / Photo By Renan Ozturk

In an oldie-but-a-goodie article published by National Geographic in 2020, a team set out to answer that very question. And just how would they prove that the pair were in fact the first to summit before Hillary and Norgay? It seems that Irvine at the time was carrying a Vest Pocket Kodak camera, which was the exact object the Nat Geo team were searching for, and could potentially have the evidence that could settle the “Who summited Everest first?’ debate once and for all. The images throughout the article are just stunning and is to be expected as they were shot by Renan Ozturk.

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