The Apple Watch needs lugs

Apple Watch + Shinola Natural Leather Strap

Apple Watch + Shinola Natural Leather Strap

The Apple Watch looks to be a great little device that really pushes the personal boundaries of humans and technology. It is also among the first legitimate attempts for technology to cross over to fashion. There are no surprises that Apple likes to keep control over their products and how they are presented. In the world of watches this can be a bit trick with a decades-old legacy of attaching timepieces to wrists using lugs and spring bars. There is no doubt that Apple has made an advancement in this area by introducing a much easier way for customers to quickly change out straps and by doing so, they are telling us... buy lots of straps and change them often. This is a concept that has been for the most part exclusive to the watch or horological enthusiast community, until now. Apple's new mechanism in its innovation seems to have excluded the age-old approach of customizing a time piece. Personally, I think that's a bit of a shame. Although it's not right for everyone, I enjoy the simplicity of the lugs + spring bar approach. I also prefer its efficiency of materials and therefor manufacturing. The watch strap is the one piece of an Apple watch that can be handmade. Perhaps the one piece that is a bit more personal than technology. A handmade strap could be the one thing that makes the device feel truly, special. 

Black & Tan

Black and tan is a nice color combination on watches. Here are a few options that deliver a varying bang for your buck, depending on what you are looking for.

Above you'll find 4 watches with a similar aesthetic and a ver similar color combination. Ranging from a humble Timex to a luxury Bell & Ross these 4 timepieces have you covered.

The Timex is a classic, simple and humble entry in to this look for watches. Offering a lot for it's price point. $65 gets you a 42mm watch with a mineral crystal and 2 year warranty. At $325 TSOVET SVT-RS40 offers swiss build quality, including a highly reliable and efficient RONDA quartz movement that is covered by a 5 year warranty and lifetime *free (doesn't include shipping) battery replacement program. The Shinola Runwell is a $600 piece that for all intensive purposes is "Made in Detroit". The movement is quite similar to that of the TSOVET, the parts are even sourced by RONDA. The Shinola however boasts a sapphire crystal and high quality Horween leather strap, which on their own account for a decent chunk of change. Then there is the Bell & Ross, perhaps the pioneer of the black & tan look and the only automatic of the bunch. Bell & Ross is known for producing high-end quality pieces, using some of the best materials and movements out there. In the case of the BR123, it's using an ETA 2892 which provides hours, minutes, seconds and date.

Each of the above watches does a good job of providing a classically analogue look that should stand the test of time, even if we are all wearing TV's on our wrists in the coming years. 


At this point I have lived in California longer than anywhere else I have lived in my adolescent + adult life. I am not sure if that qualifies me as a "Californian", but I do feel like one. 

Canary Island Date Palm. San Diego, CA

Canary Island Date Palm. San Diego, CA

It wasn't until I had lived in the state for about 5 years that I actually took the time to explore the Golden State for all the amazing things it has to offer. Big Sur, Joshua Tree, San Luis Obispo, Palm Springs, the list goes one. I have come nowhere near scratching the surface of this massive state, but I am optimistic that I will make the time to make it happen. On the short list: Yosemite, Sequoia & Big Bear.


A quick look at the TSOVET SVT-RS40.


TSOVET is a California-based watch company that builds most of there pieces in Switzerland. The watch designs range from chunky aircraft inspired pieces to elegantly simple field inspired watches like the above TSOVET SVT-RS40. At 40mm the watch is reasonably sized. The case is crafted from stainless steel case that is finished with a mineral crystal.

Among the watches best qualities is the finishing of the face. The applied indices are well sorted and help to give the watch a more polished look. The use of a "0" in the "10" position is a bit political, but I enjoy the detail/design decision. The case design is also quite interesting with a nice application of bevels and edges to make the RS40's shape pretty unique.

On the wrist the watch is comfortable and perhaps more importantly keeps excellent time. The efficient RONDA 513.1 movement tends to gain about 5 seconds a month.

On the "could be better" side of things, the second hand alignment is a bit off (very common for quartz pieces). The luminescent is also short lived and generally week, which may have been a trade off to get the nice white indices and hands.

At the end of the day the TSOVET SVT-RS40 is a nice looking and accurate time piece. The price point is a tad high at $300 (recently reduced), but it gets you a USA designed piece, built in Switzerland with a pretty good 5 year warranty.

Check it out on TSOVET's website »