Watches: Leica Launch L1 + L2 Watches

It's not often two passions collide. But thats exactly what happened for me last week.

From the moment I started taking photos of watches (sad I know), I was aware that one day, I would want to shoot with a Leica. To be part of a select fraternity of photographer that valued style, image quality and manufacturing prowess in equal measure. 

The German manufacture is seen as the market leader in street style photography (and rightfully so - with some of the most iconic images of all time taken on a Leica). Leica lead the way - like fellow German brands Porsche and Rimowa do in their respective worlds. 

Bizarrely, that realisation of being a Leica photographer came to fruition a few weeks ago for me (the Q has changed everything for me). This came prior to the opportunity of a lifetime, to be invited out to Wetzlar in Germany for the launch of the firms new watch offering. 

While I want to outline the watches launched, I though it was only right to let the images do the talking. So below I have, along with my friend Gabriel Vachette, attempted to tell the story of the visit through images - which seemed only right:

The two watches launched were the LEICA L1 and the LEICA L2. Both, elegant, retrained time only watch with camera design ques (you can push in the crown like you would on a camera and the cambered shape of the sapphire crystal is like that of a camera lens). Both models have been designed by Professor Achim Heine, the gentleman responsible for overseeing the design of many Leica Camera products over the years. Both references are 41mm and in steel, for the moment anyway (the L2 model will also be available in a version with an 18 k arat rose gold case.).

Both references are powered by gloriously finished, hand wound movements - which you can see through the caseback. The movements are made for Leica by Lehmann Präzision GmbH. The watches are entirely made in Germany (aside from the crystal). The development, design and a large proportion of the components come from the manufacture situated in Germanys' Black Forest.  If you're in the market for something to accompany you on those city breaks with you're M - one of these bad boys maybe your perfect companion. 

The LEICA L1 and the LEICA L2 will be available in selected Leica Stores a s well as at watch dealers worldwide from autumn 2018.  To mark the occasion of the Ernst Leitz Werkstätten commencing operation, limited special models of the two stainless steel versions with a red dial will be released.   

For further information head over to Leica here. 

 

Video: MR P

Not only is MR PORTER THE go to for the worlds finest global brands. It now produces its own label - and it rocks! MR P is a line of mens basics, made by MR PORTER done really damn well. And this video sums up all thats great about MR P. Its about easy, simplicity and quality. As you will see (if you advent already), the MR PORTER content is as beautiful as you will see anywhere online and this gent has got it spot on in my book, enjoy: 

Check out more from MR P here. 

Life: Goals 2018

Tim Ferriss has taught me a-lot over the years. But few things more powerful than they idea that its good to share. That it's good to share how you are feeling / working / thinking as someone may benefit. 

And for that reason - below is how I plan a year ahead. I would value any thoughts and I hope it empowers you to act.  

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Book: Stoicism by Tom Miles

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"Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones." -Marcus Aurelius

Tom Miles is an author, freelance writer and poet. He currently lives in Chicago with his wife and two children. An interesting fact about Tom is that he claims to have read at least 1 book a week for the last 4 years, and believes that a real-life education can be attained through reading, an openness to learn, practical application and experiencing life.

The book is great. It is Short, and to the point. A great overview of stoicism and how to apply it to your life. This is a great place to start If you want to learn about the historical relevance of not allowing external cicumstances effect your state of mind. 

Buy the book here. 

Watches: Inside Vacheron Constantin

It's not often you get the chance to spend a day fulfilling a childhood dream. But last week, during SIHH I did just that.

Vacheron Constantin are one member of the so called 'holy trinity', alongside Patek and AP they are seen as the very best in watchmaking. And without actually going into their manufacture, and seeing how they do what they do, its hard to appreciate the full extent of their greatness. Aside from its designs, which I have long been obsessed with (in particular the 1921 and this year the triple calender), I was totally blown away by the enamelling I saw at Vacheron. The time allocated and the execution of the work is staggering. 

Below are a few shots from the tour, and a few of the novelties from this year.  

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For further info click here. 

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Video: 10/01/18

Alan Wilson Watts (6 January 1915 – 16 November 1973) was a British philosopher, writer, and speaker, best known as an interpreter and populariser of Eastern philosophy for a Western audience. His philosophies seem to transcend ego, politics and limitations. His monologues have a powerful way of connecting distant abstract ideas with the present moment and his words have a unique way of putting life into perspective. Life is a gift. The guys at After Skool are doing great work with their animated videos on YouTube - check them out here. 

Life: 12 Things I Know To Be True

I recently had one of the greatest opportunities of my life. I was asked to go in and speak to a bunch of 11/12year olds at St Paul's school about 'success'. I know, I had a chuckle too. 

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Anyway here is my speech in full AND my 12 things I know to be true - enjoy:

 

 

"Thank you, Mr Page.

Gentleman, teaching staff, I am honoured to be with you with morning here at St Pauls - one of the finest institutions in the country to kick off this series of talks.  

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I wanted to share two stories with you this morning – no big deal – just two stories. The first is about me, my education and my career ...if you could call it that. The second is simply 12 things I have learnt along the way.

I went to school just down the road at Epsom College and had a great five years there – so much so that I now have to restrain myself sometimes when telling people about it. I met my greatest friends there, developed the values I hold dear today and on a very basic level- laughed. A lot.  

I loved sport – particularly rugby and cricket but struggled in the classroom – of that there’s absolutely no doubt. My housemaster Mr Conway summed it up perfectly when in my final end of year report when he said, ‘Justin is a basic individual with little, if any god given talent’ – and you know what – looking back, he was spot. I was basically blessed to have had a group of inspirational teachers – for the most part - and a great bunch of great guys around me.

I left Epsom to go to Loughborough University where I studies management and logistics ..and spent three years playing a lot of rugby …I graduated by the skin of my teeth. – this bit is short.

I then left and took a job at McDonald’s ..not the perfect start I know…and to make things worse they only let me flip the quarter pounders – I don’t think they trusted me with the big Mac’s or Mcflurry’s. I also worked as an overnight labourer, at call centres, at a tobacco company and a beer company – and I don’t even drink or smoke! While these jobs came, and went, I was relentlessly trying to start a business on the side, initially an online dating platform called Yearbook Dating, a corporate branding business and even a butler in the buff service made up of broke university students.

As you can image, none of this made me feel great about myself, particularly when reflecting on the efforts that had been poured into me growing up by my teachers and parents. However, it was a vital period of trying and failing and trying and failing.

A quote from the late Steve Jobs of Apple in his now infamous commencement speech at Stanford University kept me going in the dark times, when he said “You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever’.

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While I knew I would never be the brightest guy in the room – I knew I could always be the hardest working. I was and still am hungrier than ever to build something meaningful – to, make my own dent in the universe.  

I now run a digital marketing business from my single bedroom (yup gents that’s right a single – you can image how my girlfriend feels about that) – I work with some of the world’s great luxury brands. And while I am some way off making millions, my mission when I left my desk job was to see if there was another way to live – to be time wealthy and operate outside of the predetermined system we are told to funnel into.

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I wanted to set myself the challenge of having to fight for myself, and know what that felt like and crucially to reduce my working week by half and double my income – within one year - which is exactly what I’ve done.

It all began when my dad gave me my grandfather’s watch for my 21st birthday. Having never met my grandfather I quickly fell in love with it. Knowing little about watches and having absolutely nothing to lose I began thinking of ways I could add value to the brands I liked without asking for their permission.

I could see how social media was evolving and felt by going into their boutiques, arriving randomly, developing relationships with their sales teams and taking photos of their products – then sending these images to their marketing teams free of change and allowing them to use them as they wished would be a good way to add value.

A good example of this would be IWC or International Watch Company on Bond St, where for weeks on end I would come in relentlessly – and I was and still not a trained photographer in any shape or form! IWC are now biggest client. Now, with basic English skills, no IT or photography training I’ve been published in the Gentleman’s Journal, HODINKEE, The Rake, Revolution and others.

But gentleman I am no god.  It’s been a great few years – I am just scratching the surface - the only thing worth celebrating is the fact that I said I would do something – and I’ve do it. Nothing more. What you will learn is that people say a lot and often do very little.

For some clients, I simply photograph their product, for others I host events at their boutiques, and for other I write and manage their digital content.

On my journey thus far I have formulated 12 Things I know to be true. I hope you gentleman find them as useful as I have."

 


1.   Make your bed in the morning - start the day with a small win

2.   Practice gratitude -  always write ‘thank you’ cards

3.   Concern yourself with character and NOT reputation 

4.   Never, ever stop learning

5.   You ARE the average of the 5 people you surround yourself with 

6.   ‘Stuff’ won’t make you happy. Meaningful relationships and meaningful work WILL

7.   Focuses on controlling what you can control what you can control - live with discipline

8.   Deepen your connection with your body – it’s one of the most beautiful experiences in life

9.  Embrace suffering – it’s how you perceive difficulties that really matters

10.  Go out there and fail - and fail often

11.  No ego. Don’t be afraid to sweep the floor

12.  And finally, always…always put in more than you take out