Phone. Wallet. Keys. Watch. There are certain essentials that every man needs to make sure he has with him before leaving the house. Here's how a mechanical watch fits into the globetrotting lifestyle and why every globetrotter needs a good one.
Watch collecting is more than just a hobby—it’s a lifestyle. Those who are into mechanical watches can be the most zealous of the lot, with a clear eye for detail and a focus on quality, materials, and functionality. But while an intense focus on watches can be a bit consuming, that doesn’t mean watch collectors don’t have time for other interests. Collectors enjoy a lot more than just their timepieces, and many of these hobbies appeal to the same personalities. Here are five other things that mechanical watch collectors love, to serve as proof that they can see beyond their own wrists.
For divers, a watch is an essential piece of safety equipment. Julian Dufort
Horology and travel intertwine so often, it’s arguable that they share a common DNA. In the early days of exploration, ship captains would carry a pocket watch to aid with not just timekeeping, but also navigation. In more recent years, mechanical dive watches have faithfully served divers as they time their dives, which has made the more trusted brands valued not just for their reputation but as a critical element of safety.
The usefulness of mechanical watches isn’t limited to the waters, either. In aviation, pilots and pioneers have used their trusty timepieces for navigation and timekeeping. Charles Lindbergh worked with watchmakers to design the watch he wore for his famous transatlantic flight and many watch brands trace their roots to aviation. DuFrane Watches offers their own in-house versions of the classic dive and aviation-style watches, which likewise share these heritages.
2. Knives and Blades
A well-made knife is more than just a tool, it’s an impressive piece of craftsmanship. Vladislav M
Maybe it’s their usefulness as a tool in survival situations? Perhaps it’s the equal precision in care and craftsmanship? Whatever the reason, many mechanical watch collectors also love collecting knives. Knives, pens, wallets and other accessories are commonly known in the men’s fashion world as EDC, or “every day carry” items. Mixing or matching these different items can further enhance your style.
Why do these two different collecting hobbies often intersect? In addition to being considered a part of one’s EDC, collectors of both knives and watches share an appreciation for the skill that goes into creating these beautiful pieces. Different metals and alloys can both create a fine blade in a knife or make up the inner workings and casing of a mechanical watch. Fine leathers can make for a knife handle or be used to customize the look on a watch strap.
Attention to detail appeals to both watch collectors and chefs. Fabrizio Magoni
With a shared interest in cutlery, it should come as no surprise that many watch enthusiasts also enjoy the art and science of the culinary world. Both hobbies cater to the precision and craftsmanship which create a certain je ne sais quoi. This one is a little controversial, as many professional chefs disagree on whether or not it’s appropriate to wear a watch in the kitchen, citing cleanliness and the sometimes brutal environments such a workspace provides.
However, one needn’t need more convincing of how important timekeeping is to chefs when you look at the laundry list of culinary personalities that share an interest in horology. Food Network personality Alton Brown is known as a watch enthusiast, dating back to a piece gifted from his father. Gordon Ramsay is also fond of classic watches and has been spotted on his television program Hell’s Kitchen wearing one, as has Ramsay’s MasterChef counterpart, Joe Bastianich.
A good pen makes writing more enjoyable. Trey Gibson
A fine writing utensil is another essential part of everyday carry, or one’s kit of day-to-day must-haves. Just like the other items on this list, beautiful writing utensils are closely tied to mechanical watches. In fact, many luxury brands like Mont Blanc and Cartier are known equally for their pens as they are for finely made timepieces.
Just like a watch, one’s writing utensil also serves as a necessary tool for both the workplace and life’s everyday challenges. With both, you’ll be equally prepared to answer “What’s the time?” as you are “Can I borrow your pen?” Just make sure to keep a watchful eye if you oblige to the latter.
5. Fine Spirits and Craft Cocktails
Watch collectors are likely to pay as close attention to their craft cocktails as what they wear on their wrists. Johann Trasch
After the end of a long workday, a mechanical watch collector is no different from anyone else, often indulging in a libation or two to unwind from their hectic day. What a watch collector sits down to drink may be a direct reflection of their personality or mood at a given moment. Are you a fan of the classic dive watch? Well then, Mr. Bond, a classic Martini (shaken, not stirred) is probably your drink of choice. Do you like brightly colored dials with colorful NATO straps? Well then, it’s time to order that piña colada or margarita. Then there’s the traditionalist, who likes to wear a classic leather-strapped dress watch. Sit down in your leather chair and sip on some bourbon while puffing your equally fine cigar. See, watch collectors are interested in more than just watches.
Written by Marco Cummings for RootsRated in partnership with DuFrane Watches.
The world of watch collecting is one that is both vast and intriguing. One needn’t look further than the Baselworld exhibition, the marquee industry event for watch exhibitors and enthusiasts, which draws hundreds of vendors and thousands of attendees each year—all focused on the love of timepieces. But with so much to learn, so many opinions, and so many brands to choose from, where can someone new to watch collecting look to begin? Here are some common tips for novice watch collectors as they get started.
1. Start Small
Not everyone’s first, or fifth, or even 10th timepiece is going to be a solid-gold, diamond-crusted, vintage masterpiece worth thousands of dollars. Like any hobby, it starts with exploring, learning what you like as you go along, and maybe even making some (hopefully inexpensive) mistakes along the way.
Starting out with inexpensive watch models and brands can help you figure out what you like and answer questions like:
Do I want (or need) a chronograph?
Leather or stainless steel?
Analog or digital?
What’s the difference between an automatic, quartz, or manual wind movement, and which do I prefer?
Starting with microbrands is a great way to explore horology (the art of watchmaking) without breaking the bank, and often they produce watches with many of the same features as the big boys.
2. Fiscal Responsibility
It’s easy to quickly spend a lot of money acquiring watches, but a plan can help you stick to a budget. rawpixel
Watch collecting can be an expensive hobby, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be.
Even the task of acquiring a “holy grail,” or “bucket list” watch can be achieved without breaking the bank. This can be done through smart saving and putting aside small amounts before pulling the trigger on a large purchase. It can also be done by riding the watch market, acquiring more modest, less expensive pieces that are desirable to other collectors or deemed valuable by the market, and subsequently selling or trading up in value until you reach your desired goal watch.
Like other collectibles, inexpensive doesn’t always mean cheap. The key is making sure the watches you’re purchasing possess both value and quality. A common pitfall for the novice watch collector is to acquire many cheap pieces quickly, which can turn an otherwise fun hobby into a costly addiction.
3. Seek Trustworthy Watch Repair
Just like an auto mechanic, finding a good watch repairman or shop can go a long way in preserving your investment. Whether your timepiece is quartz, automatic, or mechanical wind, at the end of the day, watches are fine pieces of mechanical ingenuity that require proper care and maintenance to run smoothly, last longer, and keep good time.
A good watchmaker can help you out with tasks as simple as replacing the battery in your daily driver quartz watch, to lubricating and fixing the movement on the more expensive and vintage pieces in your collection. By keeping your timepiece in working order, you’ll be on time and save money in the long term—and you will be happier for it.
4. Embrace the Community
As you get started in watch collecting, seek out others in the field to help show you the ropes. Joshua Reddekopp
Like any hobby, there are several resources available to help you sharpen your watch collecting knowledge. Online forums and discussion groups on Reddit and Facebook can often help you find the information you need. Members of these groups are generally friendly and helpful.
Fellow watch collectors can give you purchasing advice that comes from first-hand experience with a specific brand or model of watch. Many watch collecting groups online will also allow for sale or trade of watches, which can help you grow your collection. If you’re wary of being scammed online, many of these groups will also provide aid in vetting their own members via a feedback system.
Other forms of social media can also assist you in your watch collecting journey. There are several YouTube channels dedicated to watch collecting and horology, or you can do further research by following different brands and fellow watch enthusiasts on Twitter. Finding other people who share your enthusiasm is a big part of what makes this a fun and long-lasting hobby.
Written by Marco Cummings for RootsRated in partnership with DuFrane Watches.
Based in Austin, Texas, DuFrane Watches take inspiration from the city it calls home. Industry-leading companies, a thriving music scene, and trend-setting festivals (SXSW, anyone?) set the foundation for a city brimming with both style and substance, and DuFrane fits right in. Founded in 2016, DuFrane makes limited-edition luxury watches with a variety of style options that are sure to please, whether you’re a first-time watch buyer or a seasoned collector. And with customizable elements and straps, it’s easy to add your own signature style to any DuFrane watch.
Whether you’re craving a bit more from your sports watch or simply trying to snazz up your look a bit, let’s see what your DuFrane watch says about your style.
The Barton Springs 656
The Barton Springs 656 is an excellent choice for someone who loves outdoor adventure. DuFrane Watches
Whether in the boardroom or on the boardwalk, the Barton Springs 656 is the perfect watch for the refined man with a penchant for outdoor adventuring. If you’re all about being on the water—or taking a dive into it—the Barton Springs 656 is sure to make a splash with your style.
Named after Austin’s famed outdoor playground fed by natural springs, the Barton Springs 656 is a dive watch that doesn’t sacrifice style for function. Features like a brushed stainless steel finish, screw down crown, and water resistance to 656 feet make this watch ready for any challenge, from a busy day in the office to a long day hike to a secluded swimming hole. (Also coming soon is a version with a silky smooth black PVD case.) With two sunburst dial color options of black or dark blue (a striking nod to the aquamarine spring water it’s named after), the Barton Springs 656 can pair with just about anything you’re wearing, whether you’re in swim trunks or dressed to the nines.
The Bergstrom is an aviation-inspired watch with a classic look. DuFrane Watches
Named after Captain John August Earl Bergstrom, the Bergstrom is an aviation-inspired watch that combines a classic look with innovative features. Bold, adventurous, and resolute—just like the World War II hero behind its name—this stylish watch is all about solid design, reliability, and timeless sophistication. Its design is a subtle nod to the innovation of early pilots who strapped their pocket watches around their wrists during flight. Whether you’re looking for a stylish, everyday watch or a statement-making piece sure to impress, the Bergstrom delivers. It comes in three different trim levels: the Bergstrom, the Bergstrom Premium, and the Bergstrom Cinq.
The Bergstrom has several features that contribute to long-lasting durability. These features include Swiss ETA 6498-1 Movement with 46-hour power reserve, options for matte bronze or steel finishes, and a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating. It’s also water resistant to 50 meters and features shock resistance to protect it from drops and bumps.
Durable, stylish and timeless, the Bergstrom is perfect for active types who play as hard as they work. It’s a stylish multi-tasker that fits right in at the office, your local watering hole, or on special date nights.
The Bergstrom Premium elevates the design with well-appointed yet subtle features geared toward luxury and prestige: studding with blue screws, 18k gold engraving, and Geneva stripes. It’s an excellent choice for the man with a keen eye for detail.
With just 300 renditions made, the Bergstrom Premium appeals to those who really appreciate the finer things. Additionally, features such as the optional horizon dial and exhibition sapphire case make this the perfect timepiece for those with a deep appreciation of how things work.
The Bergstrom Cinq is the most exclusive of the Bergstrom line. With only five renditions of the watch ever made, it’s an ideal fit for the highly discerning consumer. Unique and sophisticated, this showstopper is sure to please.
Whether you’re a CEO, artist, or an everyman, check out DuFrane Watches. You’re sure to find a watch that fits who you are.
Written by Marco Cummings for RootsRated in partnership with DuFrane Watches.
Austin, Texas, may promote itself as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” but that’s just scratching the surface of what there is to do in the capital of the Lone Star State. One of the fastest growing big cities in the country, Austin has developed into a regional powerhouse attracting young and creative people. It’s home to the University of Texas, world-class barbecue, and enough outdoor adventure to thrill anyone who enjoys hiking, mountain biking, trail running, or boating. Take a zip line ride or float in a city pool that’s measured in acres. When you’re ready to relax, you’ve got an incredible restaurant scene, art galleries, museums, and, of course, more live music than you could ever hope to hear.
You won’t be able to do it all, but it sure is fun trying.
Located close to the center of the state, Austin is just over an hour from San Antonio, two and a half hours from Houston, and three hours from Dallas. It began as a settlement along the Colorado River, consisting primarily of immigrants from Germany, Sweden, and Mexico. The town was originally called Waterloo, but was renamed for Stephen F. Austin soon after it became the state capital in 1839. The University of Texas at Austin was founded in 1883, and Driskill Hotel, where you can still stay today, opened in 1886.
A fire destroyed the original capitol building, and the new one was completed in 1888, becoming the signature feature of the city’s skyline. (Since we’re in Texas, the Capitol building was designed to be taller than the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.)
Texans are intensely proud of their history, and you have lots of options for learning more on a trip to Austin. Go on a free tour of the Capitol building, take one of several historic walking tours of the area, or visit the Bullock Texas State History Museum, which is filled with artifacts, photographs, and special exhibits that tell the story of the state.
Whether it’s hiking, paddling, or cycling, there are plenty of adventures to find in Austin. Johannes Schneemann
With more than 300 days of sunshine a year, Austin is a great city for spending time outside—and it’s filled with options for those who love the outdoors. The Barton Creek Greenbelt is an easy place to get started. Its 13 miles of trails through the city offer a scenic route for running, hiking, and bicycling.
Lady Bird Lake was created by two dams on the Lower Colorado River, and it has become a recreational mecca for the city. Motorized boats aren’t permitted, meaning it’s the perfect spot for kayaking, canoeing, and stand-up paddleboarding, and you’ll find several options for renting boats. The 10-mile Butler Hike and Bike Trail and Boardwalk runs along the shore of the lake and is the most popular way to get outdoors in Austin. It attracts 2.6 million visitors a year to enjoy the scenic natural environment, whether you’re out for a run or a romantic walk after dinner.
In Zilker Park, you’ll find the Barton Springs Pool, one of Austin’s favorite local spots to cool off. The 3-acre pool is fed from underground springs, which brings in water that’s consistently 68 to 70 degrees year round.
It’s no surprise that a city known for attracting artists is filled with venues dedicated to creative endeavors. The Blanton Museum of Art is one of the top university art museums in the country, known for its collections of modern contemporary American and Latin American art and Italian Renaissance and Baroque paintings. Also at the University of Texas, the Harry Ransom Center houses a Gutenberg Bible, the Watergate papers, the Gone with the Wind collection, and the world’s first photograph.
You can spend a day exploring the galleries around town, such as The Contemporary Austin at the Jones Center, or explore the regions cultural heritage at the Mexic-Arte Museum or the George Washington Carver Museum. Keeping with the theme of “Keep Austin Weird,” a slogan you’ll undoubtedly see around the city, the Cathedral of Junk delivers on its promise with more than 60 tons of, well, interesting found objects.
The Texas Performing Arts Center is known for its touring Broadway shows, dance troupes, and classical musicians. (Hamilton arrives in May 2019, but good luck getting a ticket.) The Ballet Austin performs five different shows a year, including The Nutcracker over the holidays. Finally, most of the time you visit Austin there’ll be some kind of festival going on. The biggies like the Food + Wine Festival or the SXSW Music, Film, and Interactive Conference draw people from around the world. But you might just find a smaller local option as well highlighting a particular neighborhood.
Tacos are a must when visiting Austin. Heather Schwartz
You’re in the heart of Tex-Mex country, so you should be sure to take advantage of the incredible food offerings in Austin. Start the day with breakfast tacos at a place like Juan in a Million, whose Don Juan El Taco Grande is a must-have for many Austin visitors. But you’ll find quality Mexican fare all over town. Some other favorites include Manuel’s (which features a Sunday jazz brunch) and Polvos, known for its salsa bar.
If you want to eat on the water, the Hula Hut (aloha y’all!) features Hawaiian cuisine with a Tex-Mex twist with an incredible deck sitting atop Lake Austin. The Oasis on Lake Travis serves contemporary American fare with live music and sunset views.
Of course, you can’t come to Austin without getting barbecue sauce on your fingers, and some of the favorites include La Barbecue in East Austin—you’ll usually notice the line coming out of the store. Franklin Barbecue, Micklethwait Craft Meats, and Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ are among many that vie for the title of the best barbecue in the city. Be ready for an argument if you dare bring it up.
Don’t forget Austin’s food trucks, of which there are hundreds. Be on the lookout around town, or stop by a place like the Picnic food truck trailer park, where many of them congregate.
Austin attracts some of the biggest names in the music business. Dane Deaner
Hearing live music is part of the Austin experience—and you often don’t have to work very hard to hear it. In the airport, grocery stores, and city parks, it’s a part of everyday life. Austin City Limits and the SXSW Festival have popularized the city as a musical destination, but you can find more than 250 live music venues throughout the city. The toughest part of your trip will be deciding where to go.
The Broken Spoke is one of the mainstays for classic country, while the Continental Club is a cool throwback that features roots, rockabilly, and swing. The Saxon Pub has a smaller space, but it’s known for attracting nationally known signers to play its intimate room. The Cactus Cafe is known for its acoustic performances, while the Elephant Room has jazz in a cozy atmosphere. We could go on and on, but as we said—250 venues. You’ll have no trouble finding a place that fits your musical tastes.
Craft Beer and Cocktails
In addition to music, Austin is also known for its craft beverages. From wineries and vineyards to brew pubs and distilleries, you can find a locally made beverage that will suit your taste. When it comes to craft beer, Hops & Grain, Austin Beerworks, and Adelbert’s Brewery are all excellent options. The Black Star Co-Op Pub & Brewery is the country’s first cooperatively owned and worker-managed brewpub, which fits into Austin quite well.
If you enjoy cocktails, Drink.Well features an extensive selection of spirits, including more than 75 American whiskeys. The Deep Eddy Vodka Distillery and Tasting Room makes tasty cocktails with its handcrafted vodka, while the Argus Cidery features hard ciders created from apples picked right in Texas.
Written by Jeff Banowetz for Matcha in partnership with DuFrane Watches.
It's no secret that Austin is known for its art, style, and culture. In the Texas capitol, you’ll find the juxtaposition of the Old West alongside the modernity of industry, shops, museums, and a bustling fashion scene. This duality is also present in the style of a Texas Gentleman. A true Texas Gentleman combines a pioneering spirit and “git ’er done” mentality to go along with the refinements that civilization offers. He’s as comfortable out in the field hunting and fishing as he is sipping fine bourbon while reading history books in his den. The Texas Gentleman needs a wardrobe to match his personality, and we’re here to help. DuFrane Watches has looked at some key parts of a Texas Gentleman’s wardrobe, and they’re letting you in on some of their secrets. Here are some favorites:
Headwear & Hairstyles
View this post on Instagram
A post shared by Noah Marion (@noahmarion) on Jan 20, 2019 at 9:35am PST
Fashion starts from the top down, and since the days of the Old West, Austinites have needed solid head coverings. Whether for keeping away the beating Texas sun, staying dry from the elements, or looking dapper for a night out on the town, a hat is a necessary element for the Texas Gentleman to look his best. Noah Marion has a great selection of Beaver hats available in a variety of styles and colors, completing the look of Texas Gentleman. They also have wool caps for colder nights, and its selection of leather goods and belts make sure you’re not just looking your best but smell the part, too. Find them online or visit its flagship store located at 2053 South Lamar Boulevard in Austin.
When it comes to life necessities, a good tailor can be just as important as a good doctor or auto mechanic. Like other experts in their field, a tailor has insider knowledge when it comes to making a man look his best. Our favorite tailor and haberdasher is Bykowski Tailor and Garb. Located at 411 Brazos Street in downtown Austin. Bykowski has everything a man needs to complete his wardrobe, from casual to dressy. Going casual for the night? Pair one of their slant placket small check shirts with a pair of linen trousers. You’ll not only feel relaxed but look the part as well.
Need something more formal? Bykowski has a wide variety of suiting options to help you look the part. They also feature custom suits to fit any build helping you look good no matter what your body type. Lastly, they offer not just the clothes but the details to complete the look. With accessories, grooming products, and neckwear, Bykowski can help you find anything from a cravat to a revolver.
View this post on Instagram
A post shared by DuFrane Watches (@dufrane_watches) on Mar 2, 2019 at 8:58am PST
You can’t go wrong with a DuFrane watch. A good starting point for the Texas Gentleman is The Bergstrom. Its aviation inspired design along with a classic leather band and styling make The Bergstrom a natural pairing with most outfits, whether you’re going on a casual night out at a local Austin watering hole like Whisler’s or are dressed up for an important meeting at the Capitol.
If you’re more into the satisfying clink of solid stainless steel construction, check out a dive watch like DuFrane’s Barton Springs 656 Diver. It features the option of both blue and black watch faces, making it likewise an easy pairing with most outfits. Aside from its own offerings, DuFrane also has a vintage store featuring secondhand timepieces in excellent working condition from well-known brands such as Bulova, Hamilton, Seiko, and Rolex.
Every man needs a dependable shoe to get him where he’s going and look good while he’s getting there. When it comes to dress shoes, one can’t go wrong with classic leather, a material that will look good and last for years when well cared for. The penny loafer is one popular dress shoe style, named as such due to the alleged popularity of inserting a penny into the diamond-shaped slit on the front of the shoe. Several theories exist as to how this practice started including fashion, pure boredom, or the practical need to have extra change available during the era of pay phones.
Keeping a spare penny around could also help with pure luck, and one Austin-based shoe brand takes the penny concept a step further by adding lucky penny soles to each of their shoes. Penny Luck manufactures a variety of leather dress shoes including derby shoes, dress boots, and the classic penny loafer to complete the look of a classic Texas Gentleman.
Now that you’re dressed, head out on the town and enjoy all that Austin has to offer. After all, you can’t be a Texas Gentleman sitting around at home.
Written by Marco Cummings for Matcha in partnership with DuFrane Watches.
Free domestic shipping and flat rate international shipping
I'm always available at email@example.com to reply to your questions.
Your payment information is processed securely via https encrypted transactions.
Need to contact me? Just send an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
I agree to the processing of my data in accordance with the conditions set out in the policy of Privacy.