I personally love the current wave of menswear. Real honest to goodness manly stuff- the clothes and all the extras that go along with being a guy. Tweeds and non-Satin Ties, Worn-in Boots and Belts, Bags and Hats (with brims), Waistcoats and Waxed Canvas Jackets, Beers and Bourbon (ok, they’re not fashion- but, oh so important, indeed). None of these items are new or had ever actually gone away, but thanks to some well-curated collections, they are easier to find.
As with all things, what we wear is the sum of the parts; and the devil is truly in the details- a quality pen, a well-made wallet or billfold, a solid and dependable watch. These are the items that go with us no matter what we’re wearing or what we’re doing.
Sitting in both my great grandfather’s pockets and mine consecutively over the past 50+ years, the Rodania’s backside is showing a little wear. Competing for space with keys and coins over that many years has left some battle scars.
My great grandfather Teage Howard, was a well-dressed man. Classic black suit and tie with a black hat perfectly at rest atop his silver-haired head. My memories of him are part visual and part tactile. The visual memories are of me sitting on his lap or walking with him down the streets of Chapel Hill, North Carolina or playing with him on the porch or in his sitting room. The memories that have stayed with me the strongest though are of the littlest things, like these pocket watches. Little boys love trinkets and treasures. The weight and sturdiness of the watches, the mechanical element to them and the fact they were his really made them intriguing to me as a child. Now as an adult, these are part of a small handful of objects that I hold most precious. I am forever thankful to my family for saving them and entrusting me with their care during my life.
Some clothing and shoes are made to last for more than one lifetime (a good friend of mine actually wears a beautiful pair of his grandfather’s Red Wing boots, passed along to him years ago), but these are not the norm. It’s often the furnishings of a man’s wardrobe that are able to make the journey to the next generations, so it makes sense to buy them and treat them with this in mind.
A Hampton Watch Co. piece that my great grandfather carried during the early 1900′s. Still ticking today, but requires a little more care than the above Rodania as it will loose a couple minutes during the course of the week. Not bad though considering its been working for over 100 years.