There’s something about the call of the open road — packing a few essentials and setting out for nowhere in particular to withdraw, if temporarily, from the daily grind. Americans love a good road trip and when it’s in a vintage BMW, you really can’t go wrong. Our latest lookbook Gear Up celebrates the escapist sentiment featuring the timepieces and accessories every gear-minded man needs for (luxe) life on the road. It’s a romantic idea that captivates many — like Easy Rider, if Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper wore Patek Philippe watches and no one died. To find out more about the shoot, we asked Fashion Editor Toni Mills and Senior Jewelry & Watch Merchandise Manager Trish Stevens about their inspiration and what to pack for hitting the road.
What was the inspiration for this shoot? TM: We wanted to speak to men in a new way by presenting them with a sort of aspirational idea of how the modern man lives. We wanted to create a lookbook that felt very masculine so we used a lot of rich leathers and neutral colors, but we also wanted to infuse this bit of nostalgia, so we got a hold of this beautiful vintage BMW, which sort of echoes the timelessness and classic feel of the watches we feature.
TS: If you talk to watch collectors, a lot of them are also into cars. They’re gearheads, really. They want to know everything about really technical objects, no matter what they are.
Why do you think men are still drawn to designer watches even in the digital age? TS: I think for a long time there was a suspicion that mechanical watches were going to be obsolete and people would gravitate toward tech watches, but there’s still strong a cult following for luxury watches and the long tradition of expert craftsmanship that isn’t going away.
What’s your advice for choosing a luxe watch? TS: It’s a big investment so I would recommend something that’s going to hold its value, a brand that has the history and the quality that can stand the test of time like Patek Philippe or Rolex. Secondly, it comes down to how you plan to useit and wear it. A great dress watch can be something you use every day if you work in a more conservative office, but if you’re wanting a true performance watch, for a specific sport and you want that functionality there’s some really cool options for that as well.
What’s your favorite piece from the shoot? TS: I love the Patek Philippe 3940 Perpetual Calendar. The leather strap and touch of gold make it such a classic — it’s the epitome of the men’s collector watch.
TM: I’d have to say the Tom Ford aviator jacket from the cover. It’s a new take on a classic piece that has a lot of history in it, having been invented for military pilots in the ’50s. It sort of alludes to this idealized lifestyle for a lot of men, of being a luxe jetsetter like James Bond, taking off at a moment’s notice.