OTC: What We Carry Everyday

What I Carry Picture OTC: What We Carry Everyday

OTC was recently asked to contribute a photo to the British site Everyday Carry UK showing what our editor-in-chief has in his bag and on his person any given day.  As bags and the stuff of life have always been a big part of OTC, we were happy to oblige.

While the sack may change based on need, style, and mood, what’s inside is fairly consistent.  When we tried to edit all the stuff down to a manageable representation of gear, one item inadvertently left out of the photo was a fantastic Chester Mox wallet that keeps his all-important Metro pass secure.  In addition, although out of view, the bag used that day was the Courier Messenger Bag from Frank Clegg.

This brief exercise reminded us of the many great brands, creative companies, and exceptional individuals we have met over the years.  We have linked to a few of those brands represented here.

Clockwise from top:


2014 Preview: Casio’s G-Shock

DSC 0600 2014 Preview: Casios G Shock

On occasion, we receive solicitations to review products or services that are not exactly in our wheelhouse – women’s footwear, for example.  On occasion, we say, “sure, send it on over.”  Such was the case when Casio asked us to take a look at their 2014 G-Shock watch collection.

While we are not a watch site, go visit our friends at Hodinkee for that, we certainly do appreciate a good watch.  While Rolex and Patek Philippe are all well and good, sometimes it’s the basics that matter most.  Casio G-Shock watches are classics when you talk about real world watches that take a beating and are wearable for most day-to-day needs.

These are not dress or retro classic, preppy timepieces.  But, they aren’t trying to be any of those things; these are beaters (but in the best of ways).  They have a tactical, function-oriented feel to them and sit purposefully on your wrist.  We should not that while OTC typically takes possession of the products we test and review, which allows us to really check them out to our standards, these were only review samples.  Therefore, we can only speak to the design and overall look and feel of the watches.  That said, we really like these timepieces for casual, everyday wear.

DSC 0545 2014 Preview: Casios G ShockThe Camo G-Shock  is something new for the brand and will be released in two waves this Spring.

Generally, we are cautious of the whole camo-everything trend (alert: it doesn’t actually work for everything).  In this case, OTC defers; we really like it.  The pattern is actually muted plays to the watch’s distinctive lines.  It is a nice blend of hip, “right now” and functional practicality.  It also got an unusually high number of compliments from all sorts of folks.

We reviewed the oversized GDX6900CM model which has their 3D camo pattern printed case, band and plated dial in either tan or grey (our tester).  The watch will retail at a reasonable US$150.00 and be available at select boutiques, jewelry stores, the G-SHOCK Soho NYC store and www.g-shock.com.

The Arabic Chronograph model is equally tough and purpose-built, but has a less functional appearance.

We reviewed two versions of this model.  The anolog dial is a pleasing departure and provides a slightly more dressy look, within the context of a sports watch.  It’s shock and magnetic resistant, and water resistant to 200 meters, has five daily alarms, and a world time feature.  The Arabic Chrono also retails for US$150.00.

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OTC Father’s Day Guide

Looking for some last-minute Father’s Day gift ideas?  OTC has pulled together a few great options that will make it look like you spent days, not minutes, tracking down the best ideas.

From a gift box subscription to the perfect shirt, some sharp watches to an exceptional pen, we’ve got you covered.  Even some amazing headphones made from cherry wood.

Birchbox Men
$20.00 / Month


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Citizen Primo Chronograph

Citizen Primo Chronograph OTC Fathers Day Guide

Timex T2N932 Chronograph


Timex Chronograph T2N932 OTC Fathers Day Guide


LSTN Troubadour Headphones


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Hugh & Crye Firefly Shirt

HughandCrye Firefly Shirt OTC Fathers Day Guide


Baltz Exemplar Pen

Baltz Exemplar1 OTC Fathers Day Guide


Kobold Arctic Diver Swiss3 Refresh Your Style: Kobolds Arctic Diver


Your watch is a personal expression of your personal style, and when it comes to picking that one special watch, we humbly suggest choosing the path less taken.  Clearing out the clutter and upgrading to one special watch that has meaning to you beyond mere functionality is a great way to set your personal style tone.

With the continued interest in high-end mechanical watches, luxury brands like Rolex, IWC, Panerai, and Omega have become commoditized status objects – elegant but to a certain extent, ubiquitous. Though each is certainly exceptional and unique on its own, such watches as a category seems to have become relatively commonplace, used more for status recognition than for personal expression.

Huge holding companies like LVMH Moet Hennessy-Louis Vuitton, Swatch Group, and Richemont have come to dominate the luxury watch market; once the domain of craftsmen.

The craftsmen still exists of course, just not always where you expect them. Close your eyes. What comes to mind when you hear, “handmade mechanical timepiece,” “exacting quality,” and “coveted by collectors, celebrities, explorers, and heads of state?” Did your thoughts immediately drift to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania? Maybe they should.

CSH1 Refresh Your Style: Kobolds Arctic DiverWhile Switzerland is home to the likes of Rolex and Germany to Glashutte, the Steel City is in fact the world headquarters of Kobold Watch Company and home to the remarkable Michael Kobold. These unique wristwatches are the epitome of making a choice to opt for individual over expected, distinctive rather than predictable. Kobold watches are modern classics; deceptively simple and refreshing.

At all of 34 years old, Kobold has done something most in the luxury industry would have thought impossible. Within the insular world of high-end timepieces Michael Kobold has created a boutique watch company from scratch, and it’s thriving. His line of watches, anchored by the stunning, and stunningly functional Polar Surveyor, is primarily geared to adventurous types – armchair and genuine.

Celebrating its 16th anniversary this year, Kobold Watch Company is barely out of diapers compared to brands like Cartier, Jaeger-LeCoultre or Breguet. But his creations are already being likened to blue-chip brands like the aforementioned Rolex and Omega. Often it’s Kobold doing the talking, but that’s part of his brand’s success: he isn’t afraid to put his products to the test and tell you why they are just as good – if not better – than those better known names.

Wave Vidmar PS large Refresh Your Style: Kobolds Arctic DiverKobold’s loyal brand ambassadors include former President Bill Clinton, A-list actors like The Sopranos’ James Gandalfini and Leonardo DiCaprio, legendary adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, and global architect Daniel Libeskind.

One Kobold that stands out for its simple but powerful styling is the Arctic Diver. Even at a weighty 46mm, it’s a great watch that sits comfortably on the wrist. The unique yet classically inspired face is easy to read, which will come in handy as it is also very much built for someone who plans on wearing it to the ends of the earth. Literally.


Dyson Logo Refresh Your Style: Kobolds Arctic DiverDyson Digital Slim™ vacuums have a detachable long-reach wand for floor to ceiling cordless cleaning. Powered by the Dyson digital motor, they’re the most powerful cordless vacuums. Learn more at www.dyson.com/digitalslim.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Dyson via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Dyson.


DSC 0249 1024x685 John Varvatos ChronoScope Hits Nantucket

A few days before OTC decamped to the island of Nantucket, bastion of East Coast laid back preppy, we were thrilled to receive John Varvatos’ newest collaboration with Swiss watch maker Ernst Benz.  Into the carry-on and off we went for a week on a famous, tiny island in the Atlantic ocean.

The Ernst Benz by John Varvatos Limited Edition ChronoScope is big, showy, and to us, the definition of rock gone classic.  At $6,800.00, it’s also a serious investment for a serious watch.  OTC has long been a fan of John Varvatos because his signature style takes traditional ideas and adds a bit rebel rock-n-roll while still maintaining luxury quality standards.

The large vintage-style ChronoScope is an updated and super-sized homage to retro watches. Its stainless steel case, bezel and pushers are brushed for an slightly aged look and feel. However, inside rests an expertly made Swiss movement from Ernst Benz. The issue was limited to 250 signed and numbered pieces and each is presented in a specially designed leather case designed by Mr. Varvatos himself.

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The 47 mm brushed stainless steel case houses an automatic Valjoux 7750 Incabloc movement with Glucydur Balance and Nivarox Alloy Hairspring.  Primary watch functions include hours, minutes, seconds, and date. The squared pushers control hour, minute, and second chronographic functions.  Large though it is, the watch is very comfortable on the wrist.

The large knurled crown is double O-ring sealed. Its domed sapphire crystal has anti-reflective treatment.  The exhibition back is also sapphire.

The ChronoScope is water resistant to five atmospheres (50m/165ft). However, since the available straps are handmade alligator or calfskin, we do not advise getting it anywhere near water!

That said, we had a lot of fun showing off this beautiful timepiece across the island and placing it in the context of of our East Coast preppy aesthetic.

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