Military inspired timepieces

welder-k24 welder-k29 welder-k28 welder-k25

I love watches. Other than eyeglasses, they really are the bastion of masculine jewelry.

There are some challenges with these watches. The Welder watches shown above are from the same manufacturer of the U-Boat watches, Italo Fontana. The U-Boat watches were originally commissioned in 1942 for “distinguished officers” of Italy’s navy.

Back in 1942 the "Officine Fontana" was poised to produce a professional watch for the distinguished officers of its navy’s U-Boats. Though the project was ultimately scrapped, the distinctive original drawings, color samples and innovative materials were lovingly preserved for more than 60 years. In 2000, Italo Fontana, a cousin of the watchmaker’s late founder, made a long held company dream come true with the launch of today’s inspired U-Boat brand.

U-Boat watches, just like their original namesake, are bold, aggressive and oversized. These timepieces embodied force and style and revealed the unique personality of the man behind the revival, Italo Fontana: “It took me seven years to develop and refine the U-BOAT watches. Inspired by 18th century craftsmanship and intricate made-by- hand detailing we can now produce a timepiece of rare artisanal quality that reaches to a new dimension of watch making .”

As Richard Cohen points out some may have moral qualms about wearing watches designed for the operators of the U-Boat that took so many lives. Well you can decide how you feel about that in your Mercedes Benz, BMW or Volkswagen. Decide for yourself.

In Toronto, you can find the Welder collection at Got Style on King Steet West.


 uboat-classico-a925 uboat-eclipse



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Ya, well for our next web conference we’re getting all like black suits and black macbooks dammit

next web

Arjen Schat and Patrick de Laive spotted pimping the Next Web conference at Lift08

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How to look awesome without really trying

Gabe, looking awesome.

Step 1 pick out a perfect suit. Step 2, kick back and wrap the party around you like a scarf.

Gabe Sawhney, geek entrepreneur and community wifi hero, spotted at the after-party for the GameOn Finance Conference in Toronto, Jan 18 2007.

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Sole food

Fluevog CaponesI bought my first pair of John Fluevog shoes almost 15 years ago from the store on Queen Street West in Toronto. They had chunky soles. They had colour. They were a perfect upgrade for my Doc Martens. Just like Virginia Slims, you’ve come a long way baby. In the Fall 2006 collection, a new set of lasts and styles were introduced. The Capones are a must have, patent leather and just the right combination of flair and style. Perfect with jeans or a tux.

“This slip-on boot is made from the uber hip and stylin’ Executor shoe last which features rich and luxurious patent leathers with classic brogue details on a natural neolite sole.”

Fluevog Capones in grey

The patent grey is HOT! A charcol grey pinstripe bespoke suite. That would be drop-dead gorgeous. Or possibly with a Berlin means Business from Indochino. Just clean simple lines of a fantastic boot.

Classic English styleI think my favourite thing about this generation of Fluevogs is how sophisticated and simple the boots are in comparison to some of the Jo Ghost Shoes (beautiful but way over the top).

“Our shoes are all handmade with pride. This is all reflected in the price of our shoes, as our factories pay their workers a decent wage, give them decent benefits packages and medical insurance, and because we use only the best materials. The small number of shoes we order also means that we don’t get the ‘bulk’ buying discount that happens when you buy in huge quantities.”

Great shoes. Canadian designed. What else could you ask for?

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Got style?

GotStyle - The Menswear Store

GotStyle  is one of my favourite Toronto menswear stores. They have an eclectic mix of European, American and Canadian designers including my newest fav Bustle. I loved the style of the Summer 2007 line. The playful mix of country club chic with modern lines was a refreshing take on summer classics. The challenge was the fabrics were horrific, heavy man-made fabrics are not what I want to wear for summer. But don’t let this diminish the polish, style and potential for Bustle. The Fall-Winter 2007 collection is stunning.

Bustle Clothing FW 2007

I’m disappointed that GotStyle didn’t have the above blazer. I love the fabric. I love the orange silk details including the pocket edge. I ended up settling for a very swanky navy pin-stripe but I would love to see a number of Toronto retailers take some risk on edgier designers like Bustle.

The best part about Bustle is that Shawn Hewson is a judge on this season of Project Runway Canada which is only going to help cement Shawn and the Bustle line in the spotlight of Canadian fashion. Check out his episode blog on

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Commit Social Suicide

I always hated suits. I hated them because they were the uniform of the drones. I wanted an Armani or a Hugo Boss suit. Mostly because of the fit. But even these suits lack personality.

Brown & Pursed

Social Suicide is the project of Simon Waterfall. Josh Rubin of CoolHunting interviewed Simon in early 2006 about becoming a bespoke saville row tailor. The collection continues to evolve, but each hand-made piece offers a unique embroidery, stitched, flocked or printed message for the wearer. The suits and styles are unlike any other, they combine the high-fashion fit and materials of a traditional Savile Row suit, and the street-style and modern finishing that make these a must have for any wardrobe.

Sentimental Fool

A classic high-end suit with punk-rock stylings. Each piece tells a story that sets SocialSuicide apart from any other mens line. There are lots of great designers, but very few unique collections that are the epitome of craft and style. Reasonably priced if you’re buying Savile Row or other designer collections.

To top it off, the SocialSuicide Shop is built on Shopify by Ottawa-based JadedPixel.

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Tokyo Flashes

Sad to say that these days mobile phones have almost made the humble wristwatch dead medium. So what do you do as a watch maker when telling time is an all too easy commodity?

Well if you’re the nutbar Japanese horologists Tokyo flash you make your damn watches as imaginatively difficult to read possible. With every design, they seem to feel some perverse need to reinvent an entirely new (and wildly non-standard) schema for telling time. What’s could be more wonderfully obtuse than a digital watch that can hardly bear to tell you the time?

Well, they had me at “Between 6pm & Midnight the watch animates automatically every 15 mins to give the effect that it is malfunctioning.”

That and awesomely pointless blinking lights. What’s not to love?

Yes, Tokyoflash has all your fix of Japanese-techno-geek-esoterica while safely more socially acceptable than tentacle porn*. Karate-kid headbands extra.

We’re a fan of the Pimp and the “JLR7” lines. Be warned though some their current batch are verging on tacky, one can wish they’d bring back the hotness of some of their shit-hot older models

Tip: On their popular “Pimp Pusher” watches you can also try Coupon Code PUSH in the Shopping Basket before checking out to claim at least a 1000 YEN discount. Orders over 10,000 Yen (about a hundred bucks) ship free. Which is handy, cause they really do ship straight from Japan.

see also more hits for TokyoFlash on Flickr.

*Don’t click this link. Seriously.

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