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Archive for September, 2015

Benrus1

For anyone who has attended a Bills game this year, you may have noticed two new clocks by BENRUS in the stadium. As the official timepiece provider for the Buffalo Bills, BENRUS has been making military style watches since 1921. Started by three brothers in New York City (Oscar, Benjamin and Ralph Lazrus), the name is a combination of Benjamin’s first and last name: “BEN” jamin laz “RUS”. BENRUS outfitted U.S. aviators during WWII with their “Sky Chief” model, while their TYPE 1 and TYPE 2 models were used by CIA and Navy Seal operatives during the Vietnam War. These original models are highly sought after by collectors and what BENRUS largely based their new H-6 model on. Recently, BENRUS relaunched itself as a full blown lifestyle brand, creating not only vintage style watches but also backpacks, apparel and sunglasses. I reached out to BENRUS and asked to feature one of their impressive timepieces on Buffalo Dandy and they were kind enough to send me one to review.

Having a background in design, I am always a sucker for packaging. So naturally I was instantly hooked when the H-6 arrived in a military-inspired waxed cotton canvas carrying pouch. Traveling with watches is always tricky when it comes to storing them and this pouch will certainly come in handy for that. Extra attention was paid to the design of the instruction booklet as well which was inspired by old field manuals. Lastly, when the watch finally came out of the pouch, everything fit together to complete the look perfectly.

The name “H-6” was chosen to acknowledge one of the most important events in all of horology… Centuries ago, there was a royal competition to accurately assess longitude on the open seas. This was the age of dangerous seafaring trade where fortunes were won or lost depending on the survival of a ship and crew. John Harrison won the prize by revolutionizing the time keeping craft and developing a series of ever improving clocks, the H-1 through the H-5. Carrying on the tradition, BENRUS came up with the H-6.

At 44mm, the watch is far from bulky due to it being so well balanced by its 22mm nylon strap. The unidirectional coin edge rotating bezel features the hours rather than the minutes which is common on most diving watches. The stainless steel lugs have a fantastic antique finish on them, with extra care taken to have the watch look weathered at all the right places. The face features a textured matte black finish while the hour markers are a great off-white color which (when combined with the antique finishing) makes the watch look much older than it really is. Further down the face, just below the H-6 name, is a more traditional callout of depth measurement of 10 ATM, which stands for 10 meters of static water pressure resistance per 1 ATM or Atmospheres. While a little math is required, this basically means the watch is water resistant up to 100 meters. The H-6 pays even further homage still to it’s Navy Seal background with an anchor symbol featured on both the second hand and crown. Lastly, the nylon strap is extremely comfortable and I love the fact that the holes on the band are reinforced with a wax sealant to keep them from fraying.

In conclusion, the H-6 is a smart, rugged, military-inspired workhorse ready to take just about anything you can throw at it. From top to bottom, the overall look and attention to detail on this watch is masterfully done. Best of all, BENRUS timepieces are very affordably priced, so your wrist game will be on point without breaking the bank. Many thanks to BENRUS for allowing me the opportunity to review this watch which has quickly become a favorite of mine. I received many a compliment on it during last weekends Johnny Onion Ride and it was great to find out so many people were already familiar with the history behind BENRUS and that it’s such a respected brand among watch fans. Head on over to benrus.com to check out not only their impressive watches, but also their selection of ties, bags and apparel from their FALL15 collection.  $255

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Lastly, as we mentioned earlier in the post, BENRUS recently announced they were the Official Timepiece of the Buffalo Bills and have been featuring the Best Dressed Bills on Instagram each week. Each winner receives a piece from BENRUS’s new collection and I love seeing how the team shows up on game day dressed to impress. Be sure to follow not only the Buffalo Bills on Instagram, but also BENRUS to check out some of the Bills most fashionable players.

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JohnnyOnion15_24

The weather was perfect for this years Johnny Onion Ride hosted as always by the BLRC. This remains my favorite ride every year not only for the fantastic outfits everyone wears, or the site of all the onions tied to everyone’s bikes or the look on bystanders faces as 100 Parisian-looking riders go by listening to french music… It’s the merriment and camaraderie among the riders as we travel along the waterfront with perfect early Fall weather and finish with a glorious picnic in the park full of baguettes, wine and of course French Onion Soup. As you move from blanket to blanket, fellow riders welcome friends and strangers alike to share their delicious snacks, drinks and stories of rides past. It never ceases to amaze me how friendly and welcoming this group is. It’s truly a testament to not only the people of Buffalo, but also everyone in involved in the BLRC for putting on these events. I had a smile on my face the entire ride (as many people did I’m sure) and the soup was ready in record time this year! Thanks again to everyone who showed up and I will hopefully see you all at the next ride!

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2015JohnnyOnionRide

Always a highly anticipated event is the annual Johnny Onion Ride by the BLRC. Last years ride was a huge success with gorgeous weather and by the looks of things, we’re going to have more of the same this year. As per usual, if you’re looking for French-inspired clothing like striped shirts, berets and neckerchiefs, Uncle Sam’s Army Navy Outfitters has everything you’ll need. Just don’t forget the onions! Salut!

[via Facebook]
Summer is making way for Autumn. That means it’s once again time for the darling of BLRC runs. The Buffalo Lazy Randonneur Club hosts our fourth annual and the world’s only Johnny Onion Ride. On this day we pay homage to AR JOHNNIGED BRO ROSKO, the pedaling peddlers of Breton’s famous Roscoff onions. Under their adopted moniker of Onion Johnny, these intrepid farmers have peddled their onions throughout Great Britain on bicycles. After crossing the channel by ferry, the Onion Johnny strings his bicycle with a hundred pounds of prized onions to sell to homes and restaurants. We will not ask so much of you. 
We do ask that you outfit yourself in [stereo]typical french maritime or farmer style. Stripes, Berets, Neckerchiefs, etc. Also string a few onions to your own bike and we will add them to a cauldron of french onion soup made at the end of the ride. We gather at noon on the first Sunday of autumn at out waterfront park, a port of Buffalo’s own ferry. From there we lazily ride along bike paths to the rose garden pergola at Delaware Park, our nod to the english rose. Feel free to bring any other refreshments or picnic fare you like. 

As always we request that you remain responsible for your own safety and equipment. Whenever you ride, follow all laws and safety precautions. 

This is a RAIN OR SHINE event. Sailors and farmers dress like they do for a reason.

Canalside Buffalo
44 Prime Street, Buffalo NY 14202
Sunday, 12:00 pm-ish

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FallTransition

The temperatures are finally dipping back into Fall like numbers here in Buffalo, and while white girls everywhere are salivating for Pumpkin Spice lattes, UGG Boots and leggings, us men are looking for some simple Fall transition pieces to add to our wardrobe to keep things comfortable while still looking good.

Patagonia Better Sweater Fleecen Jacket – Patagonia has been making a huge comeback in the menswear scene both for their retro looks and social/economic responsibility. While cardigans and blazers are great for Fall, sometimes a lightweight fleece is all you need to handle the outdoors. $139

Ketchup N’ Mustard Steak & Whiskey Tee – Graphic Tees have also been making a big comeback this past season, and I think you’d be hard pressed to find one as manly as this Steak & Whiskey Tee from LA-based Ketchup N’ Mustard. Apparently their online store will be up and running soon, and this will be the first of many purchases from this brand.

J.Crew 484 Denim – J.Crew has finally listened to what their customers want with a truly slim fitting (but not too slim), tapered jean. Using Japan-sourced denim, the jeans are hand-distressed to look like they’ve been worn for years so you can finally give up on trying to break in your selvedge denim. $125

Brixton Messer Fedora – With all the fedora talk we’ve been featuring on the blog lately, I had include this handsome and very affordable fedora from Brixton. The moss colorway is prefect for Fall. $52

Red Wing Penny Loafers – While Red Wings are synonymous with work boots, they also make a handsome penny loafer which utilizes their famous vibram sole for superior comfort. $348

L’Occitane Vetyver Eau de Toilette – Lastly, Fall is the perfect time to add a new scent to your repertoire and our current favorite comes from an unexpected (but none the less awesome) source: L’Occitane En Provence. Their Vetyver scent contains deep, woody aromas of vetyver, cedar wood and nutmeg. $58

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UniqloCardigan

I am pleased to say that after roughly 6 years of searching, finding a grey marled knit lambswool cardigan sweater has finally come to an end thanks to UNIQLO. Finding the perfect combination of color, contrasting buttons, fit and of course cost always proved a difficult task and every season I found myself looking at cardigans with the hope of finding my holy grail.

I have had said perfect cardigan in my possession these last 6 years which I acquired from Ruehl back in the day for an incredible %75 off. It has always been one of my favorite wardrobe pieces and I’ve been amazed that it has lasted as long as it has. When I purchased it, however, it was about a size too small and always fit a little snug. It’s thankfully stretched out over the years and even survived a couple baby accidents. However, the elbows have stared to wear out (which thankfully meant I got to add suede patches to it) but it only served as a haunting reminder that my old friend would not be around forever and thus my hunt began to intensify. It was only after randomly going on UNIQLO’s site that I happened to find it. Even better was the fact it was available for an incredible $40.

I eagerly awaited for my package to arrive and was thrilled to find out that it fit perfectly right out the box! I was also pleasantly surprised that the button holes were reinforced with a grosgrain backing to ensure the holes holds up. The fabric is a bit more scratchy than my other cardigan, but still soft to the touch. Lastly, not only is the price perfect, the cardigan also comes in over a dozen color ways so you don’t have to feel guilty about getting one in every color like some people.  It also appears that I was not alone in this hunt because this style of cardigan seems to be popping up in a couple of stores this season. So if you’re looking for a different material or fit, you’ll have a few of options if you’re looking for something similar.

UNIQLO Lambswool V-Neck Cardigan $40
J.Crew Rustic Merino Cardigan $108
GANT Rugger Cardigan $116
Comme Des Garsons Play Cardigan $345

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DollarShaveClub

You’ve no doubt seen the now famous video for DollarShaveClub.com advertising high quality blades delivered to your door which only cost $1. After finally getting into a steady shaving routine thanks to The Art of Shaving and instantly getting tired of spending $25 on a new set of razor blades, I signed up for Dollar Shave Club to see how they faired against the competition.

One of my immediate concerns was that fact that I only shave once a week and could usually make a 4 pack of razors last a 2-3 months. Not wanting to end up with a stock pile of razors that weren’t getting used, Dollar Shave Club thankfully has an option to get blades delivered once every two months instead of monthly. So I updated my account settings and waited for my package to arrive.

After a couple of days my first box arrived at the door. One of the things I’ve always liked about DollarShaveClub.com is their package design. Simple, no frills, but very masculine and with the same tongue and cheek attitude which made their Youtube commercial so successful. I had been using a Gillette Mac3 blade for quite a while now, so I opted for The 4x blade. The handle of the razor had a nice weight to it which rivaled my Gillette and was a pleasant surprise. I lathered up my face got to work.

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I definitely noticed a difference between the blades. The DSC blade had a nice feel to it, but I noticed the Gillete blades definitely had a smoother pull when using it. Both blades offered a nice close shave, but the Gillette blades just seemed to be a bit sharper by comparison. Wether this was because they were made to last longer or are made from better materials, I’m not sure. But since the DSC blades are meant to be discarded after 1 week of use (figure 3-4 shaves a week) I got the feeling these blades were not meant to last and wore out more quickly. And this is where the debate comes into play. Is it better to pay more for blades which last longer or for blades which don’t make you feel as bad for throwing out because it only cost $1 (or in this case $6)? If you have to constantly replace the blades more often, are you really saving that much money?

The other thing I noticed about The 4x is I had a difficult time reaching some hard to reach places like under my nose. The additional trimmer (which is included on the Gillette Mac3 and DSC The Executive) really becomes essential for these types of areas, but you have to now move up from a $6 razor to a $9 one. Still cheaper than a $25 four pack, but kind of a bummer that you need to get the most high-end razor in order to get a feature which is standard on most razors these days.

My final thoughts on Dollar Shave Club, honestly, are a bit mixed. The service, design and ease of having razors delivered to you door is awesome. The quality of the blades are good but I wouldn’t call them “F*cking Great” as the commercial claims, but as the old saying goes, “you get what you pay for”. For those tired of spending a fortune on razor blades and don’t need anything too fancy, I would definitely recommend Dollar Shave Club. For those looking for a higher-end razor, there are plenty of options to choose from and if you are spending the money on expensive shaving products, you may as well spend the money on a quality razor as well.

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