Father’s Day is upon us, and as always we at WatchTime hope we’ve provided ample choices over the year for those wishing to gift a timepiece to the fathers, grandfathers, and other important men in their circle. For those who may be looking for something else, we offer these curated, high-end offerings from our friends and partners (some of whom also make watches), as well as some new discoveries.
The Swiss atelier Kross Studios, which recently wowed sci-fi fans with a Star Wars-themed tourbillon watch, embraces another icon of pop culture with its 1989 Batmobile X Kross Studio Desk Clock. Designed to faithfully replicate the Dark Knight’s famous ride from the 1989 Tim Burton Batman movie, the model features a new, state-of-the-art, manually wound clock movement that stores a remarkable 30 days’ power reserve in three barrels. Developed in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, the clock uses a black aluminum composite for its bodywork, finished in aerospace-grade scratch-protection coating. Its lightly tinted windows offer a glimpse into the 512-piece movement, while hours and minutes are displayed on two horizontal cylinders on the hood, through bat-like cowl details. A special key shaped like the Batman emblem is used to wind the movement of the clock, which is limited to 100 pieces. ($29,900; www.kross-studio.ch)
Montblanc has produced some impressive watches for globe-trotters, and as business and pleasure travel restrictions begin to ease up on the eve of summer, the company continues the theme with a flock of new high-end travel bags and luggage, like this handsome M_Gram 4810 Duffle ($1,450), made of blue PVC Polyvinyl chloride with leather details that combine coated canvas and plain full-grain cowhide, chrome-tanned and dyed through. The new “M” pattern on the exterior is inspired by Montblanc’s heritage and the emblems are manually centered by artisans. Cotton-lined, with a zip closure and detachable and adjustable shoulder strap, it’s a stylish choice for a weekend trip, and at 500 x 300 x 290 mm of storage, ideal even if you want to extend that getaway. www.montblanc.com.
Berd Vay’e entices both art lovers and horological connoisseurs with its signature “frozen time” sculptures, which use vintage watch parts culled from antique clocks, pocketwatches, and wristwatches from around the globe and encase them in clear, virtually shatterproof Lucite. Its latest conversation piece, called “Galaxy,” is described as “two sculptures in one” — individually shaped Lucite orbs containing thousands of watch parts along their curvature are then submerged and baked inside a larger block of Lucite, weighing 39 pounds and measuring 9.5 inches cubed, resulting in an astonishing three-dimensional tableau and an effect of gracefully “tumbling” through a mechanical universe of time. Limited to 999 pieces and accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity, the Galaxy is priced at $6,900. www.berdvaye.com.
Garrison Brothers Small Batch Bourbon ($84.99) is hand crafted “cork-to-cork,” one barrel at a time, on founder Dan Garrison’s ranch in Hye, Texas. It’s made from a sweet mash of exceptional ingredients — premium, food-grade Texas corn, soft red winter wheat from local farms, two-row barley, and Hill Country rainwater — which is then aged for four years in slow-growth Northern American oak harvested from sustainable forests. Offering rich flavors of honey, cinnamon, and baking spices, it’s bottled at 94 proof in impeccably adorned, individually signed bottles that tout its Texan origins (www.garrisonbros.com). From another corner of America comes Old Man Liver American Whiskey, created by its namesake, a colorful Louisiana musician, ex-convict and all-around raconteur. Blended to combine the sweetness, oak, and spice of bourbon with the smoke-charred flavors of grilled meat, it’s distilled from corn, rye, wheat, and barley with added Appalachian mountain water before being aged in toasted and charred white oak barrels from Tennessee and Missouri in a proprietary process. At $38.99, it’s also, in its maker’s words, “top shelf quality at bottom shelf prices.” www.oldmanliver.com.
“World’s Largest Cigar Store” and online retail pioneer JR Cigar marks its 50th anniversary with a specially created limited edition of the Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua, named Cigar Aficionado’s No. 1 Cigar of the Year in 2019. Blended by cigar veterans Rafael Nodal and A.J. Fernandez, it’s the first Quattro Nicaragua available in a parejo (rounded-edged) torpedo shape; all of its predecessors were box-pressed. The special blend includes aged filler and binder leaves grown on Fernandez’s own Nicaraguan farms and is topped off by an attractive, flavorful Nicaragua Sumatra wrapper. Delivering a rich, creamy, spicy smoke with peppery overtones, the cigar is available in one size, a 6 x 52 rounded torpedo, packed 10 per wooden box, and limited to 1,000 boxes total. Prices are $105 per box and $10.50 per cigar. www.jrcigars.com.
Rock & roll legend and Grammy winning guitarist Peter Frampton played a Gibson Les Paul Custom “Phenix” guitar on his breakthrough 1976 album, Frampton Comes Alive! — only to lose the beloved instrument in a cargo plane crash in 1980. The guitar miraculously survived the crash and resurfaced 31 years later (hence the “Phenix” nickname) to be reunited with its owner. Frampton teamed with Gibson, America’s foremost manufacturer of guitars and supplier of musical legends, to create the Peter Frampton “Phenix” Les Paul Custom VOS ($6,999), whose appointments include a weight-relieved, ultra-lightweight mahogany body, gold hardware, Grover tuners, Schaller Strap Locks, and three open-coil Custom humbuckers. Its three-way toggle switch controls the neck and bridge pickups and its special VOS finish gives it the look of the original, minus the dings and scars. www.gibson.com.
The summer months are ideal for sipping Mexico’s signature spirits. Mezcal Amaras Cupreata is distilled from 13-year-old wild agave plants, grown at up to 6,000 feet above sea level in the rugged terroir of Guerrero, Mexico. Naturally fermented in open-air vats, its bold flavors include bell peppers, leather and zesty spices ($59.99, www.mezcalamaras.com). San Diego-based Cutwater Spirits added Cutwater Mezcal to its growing portfolio this year in partnership with a Master Mezcalero in Durango, Mexico. Wild Cenizo Agave, 10 to 15 years old, is harvested from the rocky desert region and roasted for three to five days in outdoor volcanic-rock-lined ovens and double-distilled in stainless and copper stills to achieve its distinctively smoky, rustic flavor with notes of herbal sweetness ($47.99, www.cutwaterspirits.com). If Dad leans toward something even spicier, Tanteo Jalapeño is a blanco tequila made from 100% Blue Weber Agave, distilled, infused, and bottled by hand in Juanacatlán, Mexico at a distillery owned by a co-op of agave farmers. Infused with locally sourced fresh jalapenos, it turns up the heat on the palate while still offering a bouquet of smooth flavors, as well as adding a bit of tasty fire to a margarita ($49.99, www.tanteotequila.com).
Germany’s Leica produces some of the world’s most beautifully designed and technically superior cameras (and has even dabbled into high-end watchmaking in recent years). If dad is an inveterate shutterbug, he’ll surely appreciate the new Leica Q2 ($5,495), which boasts an all-new 47.3 megapixel full frame sensor, integrated weather sealing throughout its body, and a built-in Summilux 28mm f/1.7 lens. Also noteworthy are the new electronic viewfinder, lightning-fast autofocus and capability for burst shooting and 4K video, along with a revised button layout and an overall refined design. www.leicacamerausa.com.
The Glenglassaugh Distillery was founded just outside Scotland’s Speyside region in 1875 and was recently reopened, after being mothballed for 20 years, in 2008. This new yet historic whisky maker now tantalizes audiences with three distinct expressions. Revival ($55) is the first bottling to be released from the revitalized distillery, matured in ex-red wine and bourbon casks and re-racked and vatted in sherry casks for double maturation for a smooth, traditional Highlands character. Evolution ($55) derives its rich, finessed character from being matured in used first-fill Tennessee whiskey barrels to create a harmonious marriage of whiskey and oak. Torfa ($58) is the smokiest variation and the most limited, using richly peated malted barley dried in traditional peat-fire kilns. www.glenglassaugh.com.
Boulder, Colorado-based Juniper Books is a specialty bookseller whose stock-in-trade is curating and compiling beautifully designed and exquisitely packaged book sets, building “custom libraries” for collectors and avid readers. Its new Classic Literature Trio collects a triumvirate of timeless, American literary classics perfect for summer reading (or re-reading): The Great Gatsby by F. Scot Fitzgerald (hand bound with an Italian Metallic Patent finish), Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, and To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (both bound in bonded leather). The set is priced at $350. You can check out this collection and a bevy of others at www.juniperbooks.com.
From our friends at Porsche Design comes the new Wireless Speaker PDS50 ($399), combining the latest Bluetooth technology with an avant-garde layered design. The speaker enclosure, crafted from solid aluminum, features high-gloss details, an LED strip and a recessed bass-reflex port, making a masculine design statement while also doing its duty as a high-performance audio device. The bottom layer provides a stable base and an elegant, wireless QI charging surface that includes a USB-C port. An additional USB port lends even more flexibility. And thanks to its special splash-proofing (IPX4 water resistance), you can even use it outdoors to provide a soundtrack to a summer cookout or camping excursion. www.porsche-design.com/us.
Founded in 1926 by a Norwegian traveler whose stopover in France led him to develop a passion for making cognac, Maison Larsen uses a special two-step process developed by its founder to ideally express the and finessed fruitiness of its grapes. After being harvested from Fins Bois and Petite Champagne vineyards, the grapes are distilled into Eaux-de-Vie and first aged in traditional oak barrels. Once extracted, these are blended and put into the house’s signature “Aqua Ignis II” barrels, made of fine French oak and steam-toasted three times, with an initial immersion in hot water to prevent the barrel from burning and thus preventing undesired smoky notes in the final brandy. Larsen Aqua Ignis (“water” and “fire” in Latin) offers a rounded, vanilla and mocha-tinged flavor with intense toasty aroma and a long, silky finish. ($49.99, www.cognac-larsen.fr)