The Friday Read: A New Whiskey, How to Brew Beer at Home & The J. Crew Bankruptcy

The coolest dive watch on the market, in time for the weekend.

If you’re just joining us for the first time for The Friday Read, welcome! And if you’re more than accustomed to my weekly roundup of the best menswear news to know and the best men’s style deals to shop, then welcome back. The headline at the top covers a lot of ground, does it not? These are extraordinary and trying times we live in, so hopefully, you’ll find each of the above topics interesting and informative (heck, I know I’ll  be enjoying some whiskey this weekend). But first things first: It’s *time* for the weekend, as that stylish dive watch above would indicate. The timepiece in question is from New York watchmaker Martenero, who’s currently offering up a great deal on a new dive watch via Kickstarter. It’s the brand’s first dive watch, and if looks are any indication, it could be your new favorite timepieceyou need only pre-fund it before May 22nd to secure one of the best dive watches out there (note that it ships in September).

Elsewhere around these parts, it looks to be business as usual this weekend here in Brooklyn, by which I mean I’ll be hunkered down, enjoying some of my new favorite craft beer from New York’s Nonsequitur Beer Project — gotta love craft beer delivery — and supplementing that with some freshly ground coffee from the very cool and ingenious Taylor Stitch x FiveTillFour project supporting small businesses. Of course, I’ll be spinning some vinyl on a stylish record player, too. What are your weekend plans (besides enjoying tomorrow’s Style Pick of the Week)? Let me know on Twitter. 

  • I mentioned above that we’d be getting into one of the best new whiskies to try now, and indeed, here we are: I wrote about a very cool partnership between Americana rockers Jamestown Revival and craft whiskey makers Oak & Eden for GearMoose. The Oak & Eden Round Prairie Rye Whiskey pays homage to Jamestown Revival’s roots while using an innovative finished-in-the-bottle process — the result is a rich rye whiskey that pairs perfectly with Jamestown Revival’s music.
  • Maybe you’re a bit more of a craft beer guy (I’m a craft beer enthusiast first followed by whiskey), and if that’s the case, the Bespoke Post Brew Box might be the right way to go. It’s a great way to brew beer at home, especially if you’re just testing the waters in that realm, and I wrote all about this excellent easy-to-use homebrew kit for GearMoose.
  • If you’ve been following any fashion news as of late, you likely heard the news: Once-lauded retailer J. Crew filed for bankruptcy last week. It’s quite the turn of events for a brand that likely introduced plenty of us (myself included!) to the larger world of men’s style, and it got me thinking about this archival Esquire piece on how everyone wears J. Crew. The title says it all.

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  • One constant around the Brooklyn HQ of The Style Guide? Great tunes (usually played through my LSTN Sound speaker) — and on that note, I’ve found this Pitchfork piece on why we listen to new music very fascinating indeed. Check it out, then let me know on Twitter what you’re enjoying lately.

OK, so that’s going to wrap up my weekly guide to, well, the weekend. Before you go though, I’m going to point you toward an essential weekend outfit, and it involves a rugged henley. More specifically, I’m pointing you toward my guide on how to wear a henley this spring. You’re going to love it (I hope). One final thing before the weekend: You can still pick up this stylish Taylor Stitch Moto Jacket as seen below right now (limited sizes available) for a heck of a discount. So, go for it?? Alright, that’s all I’ve got. Cheers!

Online Shopping Picks: The Best Men’s Dive Watches

Editor’s note: To grab all sorts of goodies, head here for more #menswear shopping picks.

What's on your wrist, 007? We're talking stylish dive watches that won't break the bank today on The Style Guide.

What’s on your wrist, 007? We’re talking stylish dive watches that won’t break the bank (unlike the OMEGA Planet Ocean pictured here) today on The Style Guide.

We’re back today with another edition of The Style Guide, and we’re “diving” in (literally) to a crucial area for spring and summer (and heck, year-round) style — the best men’s dive watches to buy now. Why is it so critical and helpful to own a great stainless steel dive watch, particularly during the warmer months? As we’ve talked about time and again here, versatility in the #menswear world is paramount, especially when shopping on a  budget. Now, make no mistake — it pays to have an arsenal of versatile watches, including a stylish casual watch (think less rugged, more laidback). However, a tough dive watch — a style favored notably by James Bond — can be the accessory equivalent of a reliable pair of slim tan chinos. That is, you can wear it with nearly any outfit, from a classic pocket tee and dark denim to a tailored suit for a summer wedding (that’s especially true if it leans dressier in  nature), to a pair of chino shorts and white sneakers. And although there are rugged rubber-strap watches out there made specifically for diving, a stainless steel timepiece is the more versatile of the two options — lucky for all of us, there are plenty of options to be had that’ll work during summer when you head to the beach, and thereafter when you head to the bar. Functionality is key, but we won’t get into the specifics of debating watch movements (at least today). So settle in, pop open a new browser window (multi-tasking), and read on to find out more about the best men’s dive watches to buy now. (P.S. Check out my Instagram page for more tips on how to style a stainless steel dive watch).

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#1. Invicta 8926 Pro Diver — $69.26

A Style Guide favorite and an excellent value for its style and quality.

A Style Guide favorite and an excellent value for its style and quality.

Watch  number one here has long been a Style Guide favorite — check out this 2013 review of the Invicta Pro Diver, for starters.  And while it doesn’t have the flash, name recognition or acclaim of the watch it’s patterned after (that would be the legendary Rolex Submariner), the Invicta 8926 Pro Diver is just as noteworthy for its combination of durability and style. That gets you major points over at Style Guide HQ, as my personal watch is still going strong. Now, it’s not fit for full-on deep-sea diving per se, but it’s water-resistant to 660 feet — that’s pretty far down. Plus the 40mm case diameter is a very nice size for most of us, and the styling potential is on-point.

#2. Orient Mako II Dive Watch — $325

Solid, reliable, durable and coming to you at a nice price -- the Orient Mako II.

Solid, reliable, durable and coming to you at a nice price — the Orient Mako II.

Whereas the Invicta Pro Diver is an affordable diver, the Orient Mako II jumps into another price range while still remaining in reach if you save up.  It’s from the brand’s most popular collection of watches, and for good reason — it’s no frills yet comes equipped with a handy and functional diving bezel, plus a 41.5mm case diameter that’s not too large on an average-sized wrist. The 40-hour power reserve is quite handy, and it again comes with a 660-foot water resistance built in. It’s right in the sweet spot in terms of both casual and refined style, so pair it up with a slim polo and sneakers with ease.

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#3. Seiko 5 SNZH55  Stainless Steel Watch — $133.16

A beefier 43mm case diameter combined with dressier markings make this a versatile dive watch.

A beefier 43mm case diameter combined with dressier markings make this a versatile dive watch.

Seiko, like the aforementioned brands on this list, continues to provide on-point styling potential and quality at a price that doesn’t break the bank. Its Seiko 5 SNZH55 Stainless Steel Watch is but another timepiece that gets it right on multiple fronts, including a unique case design that eschews numerals in favor of dressier markings. Yet, you still get the functionality of a dive watch — the 43mm case diameter and 100-meter water resistance help see to that. It’s a nice mix of sporty and casual, so you can definitely rock it with a slim blue chambray shirt and grey chinos to the office, and wear it out on the weekends to a patio bar crawl. This particular model tends to sell out quickly, so get on it while it’s there.

#4. Stuhrling Aquadiver 664 — $71.69

A classic dive watch at a very affordable price.

A classic dive watch at a very affordable price.

Have you noticed that Amazon is a great place to find affordable dive watches?  If not, I’d definitely recommend you take a look at it (if you hadn’t guessed that from the above recommendations). Stuhrling is an underrated brand that’s also a Style Guide favorite, including the Stuhrling Classic Ascot Agent Watch on the dressier side.  The Stuhrling Aquadiver 664  features a smaller, more refined 39mm case diameter, so it leans a little crisper in both look and feel (if ever you were looking for a cost-effective dive watch to wear with a suit, this is it). It’s also made with diving in mind — the water resistance is 660 feet — so use it as you please on the water or on land.

#5. Shinola Runwell Stainless Steel Chrono — $900

Sporty, well-built and worth the investment.

Sporty, well-built and worth the investment.

Now, just because Shinola found itself in hot water recently with the FTC doesn’t mean that its watches should be sworn off entirely. The Shinola Runwell Stainless Steel Chrono in particular is a super-premium, super-durable and super-stylish take on the dive watch, with plenty of sporty style built right in. The 47mm case diameter is positively monstrous, so it might not be a good fit for everyone. However, it’s a bit different than the classic dive watch, with thinner links, a dressier look and feel and a water-resistant rating of less than 100 meters. So, wear it reliably and across a variety of occasions, but take care of it. Does that defeat the purpose of a dive watch? If you’re looking for versatile style out of an investment-worthy piece, certainly not.

It’s always tough to narrow down any product category in these Online Shopping Picks to just five options — if you want to go up in price, might I suggest a rugged watch built for the field from Filson, among other options. If you get stuck in your shopping search, the folks at Dappered always offer great picks for stylish men’s watches. And if you’re really in a spending mood, why not spring for a classic timepiece like the Rolex Submariner? Ahh, yes — that price. At any rate, sticking with one of the affordable picks above should have you set in matters of style and saving. That’s a win-win at any time of day, right?

Head on over to Twitter or catch up with The Style Guide on Facebook to continue the great dive watch debate.

 

Frank & Oak