Take off your coat, and stay awhile…

Archive for January, 2011

Filson | Leather & Canvas

Alongside the revival of  interest in things made to last, is the revival of craftsmanship techniques that have stood the test of time. At  Filson, those techniques are alive and well. Using traditional saddlebag techniques and rugged twill, Filson’s luggage and messenger style bags have the weight and reinforced stitching to last a lifetime. The aesthetics and design of their messenger style bags is a happy medium between the stylistically-beleaguered backpack and the all too formal leather briefcase.

My only observation? You are more likely to wear off  on it, than it wear off on you. Proof of this statement? – A pleasant union of the hues of brown and blue on the bottom side of the bag from my deep blue denim jeans. But hell, I guess the patina is growing on me.

NYC Idling | Undercity

Find out about the city you tread over. Filmmaker Andrew Wonder and Steve Duncan take you to the underworld of Manhattan, wandering the long forgotten subway stops and breathes new life into them. His mini documentary is making quite the buzz, be sure to check it out after the jump.

Here we have yet another exemplary product of the possibilities afforded by todays DSLRs. Enjoy.

TGT On Foot | Snow Day

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Mantiques | The Vietnam Mark III Signal Mirror

Throughout the Vietnam War, the US found itself relying heavily on the efforts of their helicopter divisions. Having assembled these partly-experimental divisions, the pilots would find themselves pioneering the world of helicopter aviation and helicopter warfare. To this day, many of the techniques and capabilities these noble machines are known for, were all delineated during the Vietnam War.

As such, this brings us to today’s Mantique. To wage this Helicopter War, a new type of soldier/aviator was born. Accordingly, they would be need to be issued equipment which would meet the demands of their very unique missions. Insertion in hot zones, extraction of the wounded, nearby reconnaissance when needed, ass-and-trash missions and air to ground warfare would all become part of this multi-role machine, The BELL Iroquois UH-1 H.

Here we have the Mark 3 Emergency Signaling Mirror, manufactured by the now defunct American glassmaker Libbey-Owens-Ford. Tucked away in its original box dated May of 1967, it was one of the standard issue items in the newly created helicopter pilot’s survival vest. In perfect condition it comes with its original emergency orange cloth and a nylon cord to affix to the vest. Should a pilot find himself downed, he was to evade the enemy and make contact. The role of the Mark 3 ESM was just that. By finding his way to a clearing, he would have to silently communicate to Search and Rescue aircrafts his current location. Flares were not preferred as they signaled to the enemy where the potential POW would be found. The signal mirror ensured that only the SAR pilot and rescuee knew of the extraction location.

The Signal Mirror was to be held up with both hands and pressed (non-mirror side) against the face while peering through the grided sight hole while aligning the aircraft through the sight hole. The mirror would then be rocked on a vertical axis to cause flashes of sunlight to the aviators.  As in any war, supplies were slim with the influx of troops and standard issue  gear became scarce. Eventually, they would become highly sought after by pilots and ground personnel alike.

Aesthetically, the font, the colors and all to do with the design of the Mark 3 and its box make it look awesome. Its nice to see something with so much history be preserved so well by the superior manufacturing of its day, allowing itself to be a Mantique for all to enjoy, many years to come.

Made to Order – LBJ’s Pants

From the folks at Put This On, treat yourself to one of the funniest presidential sound-bytes I have ever heard.


Gloverall | Cool and Dry

There is really nothing quite like the sartorial construction by the hands of the British. Gloverall, known for its duffel and toggle coats, was started in 1950 by Harold and Freda Morris. The brand primarily got its footing as a clothier and supplier of industrial-like products for the man that didn’t mind getting his hands dirty. Today, they find themselves producing quality and well-constructed garments with a rugged edge, which has long been familiar in England.

Alongside their line of duffels is a superbly constructed Pea Coat which they refer to as their Reefer Coat. Originally, the Pea Coat was an accoutrement of officers and CPO’s  in the Navy and Royal Navy, functioning as a superior manner to keep the sailor underneath warm and dry by the use of high-grade wool. The Reefer Coat, by contrast was exclusively used by Officers and varied by its epaulettes adorning the shoulders and more ornamental buttons. That distinction, however, is lost in Gloverall’s Reefer Coat, but nonetheless is an exceptionally constructed and refined Pea Coat with a more slim fit than the usual sack-style construction of ordinary pea coats.

Pick yours up at C’H’C’M at their much awaited brick-and-mortar store at 2 Bond Street, NYC. You will be pleasantly surprised by the concentration of quality goods in one location while maintaining a wide variety of brands.

The Greasy Garage – The Restoration of a BMW R50

It was Richard Costello’s wish to have his son rebuild his once lustrous BMW R50. Born in 1958, it rolled out of the factory confines of the Bayerische Motoren Werke plant in Munich and would have a history that spanned 53 years. His son Bill Costello put together this video of its restoration and perfectly sums up this great machines life and its impact on the family which treasured it.

Well done Mr. Costello, Ride on.

Mr. Bolivar’s Timepiece


A watch is one of the peculiar artifacts of the modern gentleman. The obsession with time  holds common between all men, and especially among the great men of our time who strived to master the limited seconds that slip away as we sleep and idle, between our moments of greatness.  Fittingly, we begin with the timepiece of a great man, the pocket watch of Simon Bolivar, tattered by that which it paced, time.

In an undisclosed location in South America and from the hands of a gentleman that rather not be named, we hold the timepiece of The Liberator himself. A gift from American Colonel Belford H. Wilson in the final days of Simon Bolivar’s life, this Brillman of London pocket watch is engraved with the words of Simon Bolivar’s esteemed friend and personal aide in appreciation for their long-lasting friendship. Dated October 30th 1830, we find that the movements find themselves intact and well preserved with a face adorned by Victorian scrolls. Simon Bolivar’s life ended in that same year due to a severe case of tuberculosis on December 17th in Santa Marta, Nueva Granada (Modern-Day Colombia).

And so we take a look a close look at one of the items that help refine and calibrate our lives as men, and take a step back to appreciate an item that can make any modern gentleman feel infinitely cool, the fine watch.

Ladies and Gentlemen…

… We are floating in space. First Post 1/1/11.

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