Can I Get A “Real” Watch Without Breaking The Bank?

Tissot Visodate Heritage with black face and Milanese loopIf quartz watches are supposedly junk how can I wear a “real” watch as you call them if I don’t have thousands of dollars? Kind of stupid if no one can afford them, no?

– Not Rich Like You. (also, with similar invective but much better grammar from Steve, TT, and Phukyu)

You may be surprised to find out the answer is in fact “yes”. I understand that you might have been somewhat aghast at the prices that were being tossed around in the “It’s Not A Watch” feature. When I reference “proper Swiss watches” I am almost always using the Omega Speedmaster 57 as my starting point. I use it as an example because it is arguably the pinnacle of modern Swiss watchmaking. It has a timeless design, exquisite mechanicals, it will last forever and is literally a work of art on your wrist. It’s also startlingly expensive to a someone taking their first steps in this particular playground. Fortunately there are two distinct price tiers in Swiss-made automatic watches … and the gap between those two tiers is rather substantial, in the same sort of way that the Grand Canyon is rather wide. While a decent Omega or Chopard is going to start around seven grand and shoot upward from there, you can get yourself a very nice watch from the shores of Lake Geneva for well under $1000.

Why the crazy difference in price? Three words: In-house movement. The most expensive Swiss watches feature internal mechanicals that are hand built – even to the point of machining the individual parts one by one – in-house by a single hyper-skilled craftsperson. When the timepiece on your wrist was built over the course of a few weeks or months by one of a scant handful of qualified artists, it’s going to cost. And cost and cost and cost.

When you drop down to the “second tier”, however, you are still getting a watch that still has a finely crafted case, exceptional design, and a sophisticated automatic mechanical movement … but that movement comes from an outside company who makes them by the thousands in a factory environment. The big player in this game is a company called ETA and they are so big that they control a virtual monopoly in the market. Fortunately, ETA movements are generally excellent and the scale of production means that watches built with them are affordable for pretty much anyone.

Where does that leave you and your dangling participle? It leaves you with a staggering number of watches to choose from. If you want a starting point, allow me to recommend the Tissot Visodate Heritage. Inside, it packs the proven ETA 2836 “top” grade movement with a full display back. Outside it references the classic mid-century-modern design that Tissot forged their name on, highlighted with the gorgeous classic logo, and the black face with minimal indexing is striking no matter what you wear it with. People will notice this watch. And you.

Close-up view of Tissot Visodate Heritage

As an added bonus Tissot has specified the original Milanese loop bracelet, which has a subtle and understated flair combined with an absolutely unique level of simple functionality. It’s going to be a statement too … you are going to see this band on Apple watches this summer and packing one through the spring will firmly entrench you in people’s minds as a trailblazer and tastemaker. When the Apple Watch is all the rage, people will remember that you were rocking the style first.

Quality, great looks, a timepiece you will have for life and a bit of alpha-male flair. That’s a potent package for well less than a grand. If you want to wear a real watch, it’s a hell of a place to start.

Oh, right. You’re welcome.

It’s Not A Watch

Apple Watch Stainless Link BandToday is the day. Apple makes their first foray into the world of personal luxury and fashion, earning them reams of text on fashion and style pages around the world. There is a nearly endless plethora of speculation about what we are going to see, learn, and – in the case of many people, specifically the style-challenged tech press – be shocked by.

But, when push comes to shove everything that comes down the pike today can be summed up in four little words:

It’s Not A Watch.

Now then. Before we go any further, a note on nomenclature. When I say “watch”, I mean a proper Swiss mechanical watch. Not some cheap-ass quartz-movement thing from a department store. Not some overpriced-but-the-same-cheap-ass-quartz-movement thing from a “designer label”. I mean a hand-built automatic watch, the kind of thing you invest a significant sum into and plan on having for your entire life. That’s what a “watch” is. And – much to the upcoming dismay of clueless media types everywhere – that is the market that Apple has their eye on with this product. Not ugly “smartwatches”. Not the Timex crowd, nor the Marc Jacobs or Fossil or Kate Spade crowd. Think about names like Omega and Hamilton and Tag and you have a much better idea of where this will all play out.

Where were we? Oh, right.

It’s Not A Watch …

… but the iPhone wasn’t a phone, either. When Apple first released the iPhone, a precious few people (thank you, thank you very much) realized that it wasn’t a phone at all. It was Apple swinging for the fences with an entirely new concept of computing … the idea that most of the data interactions you have don’t really require sitting down at a traditional computer and instead can be done in the palm of your hand. The “phone” part of the iPhone is just an app, and if you are like most people it is one of the apps you use the least. But calling it a phone made it easier for people to understand. And want. And use. It was just window dressing, a way to get the device in to average mopes’ pockets and ease them into the now-commonplace world of mobile computing. And that is the eventual end-game here as well. Call it a watch. Make it beautiful and something that people crave. Let them realize later that they are now into wearable computing and can’t imagine life without it. It works a lot better than trying to sell them on strapping a computer to their wrist.

It’s Not A Watch …

… but it’s not a “smartwatch” either. If you have ever seen someone with a Galaxy Gear or a Moto 360 you will realize two things: One, current smartwatches are ugly as shit and two, they are horrible to use. That’s because the current idea of a smartwatch as a teeny tiny smartphone is horribly broken. Using a watch to do the things you do on your phone just makes the task, whatever it is, harder, slower, and more frustrating. Why would you wear something on your arm – and worse, something wretchedly ugly – just to make the things you do more difficult? Answer: You wouldn’t. Which is exactly why you have probably never actually seen someone wearing a Galaxy Gear. Or a Moto 360.

The solution? Take functions and abilities away from the device instead of trying to cram more in. You can tell by both the materials we have seen so far and by the vocabulary that Apple is using that they envision the watch as something that you interact with in passive ways. You glance at it. You feel a tap from it. You touch the face or the crown. But you never ever ever sit there and poke poke poke away at tiny elements on a tiny screen. If Apple maintains that mindset, and enforces some extremely stringent rules on the app store to keep developers from trying to cram busy smartphone apps onto a watch screen, it could be the breakthrough in bringing wearable computing to the teeming masses that has been eluding all of the other players in the game to this point.

It’s Not A Watch …

… but it definitely looks like one. There is no denying the fact that the Apple Watch looks like high-end jewelry, and not like something that your early-adopter nerd buddy would strap to his wrist to tap out blog entries while waiting for a bus. And the wild differentiation in styles, from an obvious sport-activity device to an understated everyday quietly-elegant device to a full-on mega-priced personal luxury item means that Apple is targeting three completely different groups or watch wearers here.

The sport model is, I think, a panacea to the traditional tech and millennial crowd. Something that they can buy at a price that they understand, with a look that they will like, and a utility that is idea for their groovy active lifestyles. These are the people who already have sports bands, and it’s a market segment that is already measurable and ready to be entered. As for the edition model, well, that is for people who can drop ten grand or more on a whim and won’t really care if they have to do it again next year to get an upgraded model. They aren’t normal people – they are an alien group all on their own, and they will buy expensive things just to have, well, expensive things.

But the standard watch? That’s aimed at a market that is a complete crap shot. It’s a market with all the potential in the world, but also one that could crash and burn. This is where Apple is taking a risk – trying to replace quality traditional watches on the wrists of suit-wearing office folk, on golfers and cafe-goers, on the kinds of people who carry a high-end smartphone in one hand and a six-dollar latte in the other. It’s an all-or-nothing bet here. This is the market with the most room for growth, and also the market where the price shocks cause the worst hue and cry. Which brings us to …

It’s Not A Watch …

… but it will certainly be priced like one. Lots of people have tried to come up with an estimate of what the various models will cost. Some of them have been laughably inane. But when thinking about the prices that will be announced today, and about the reaction that is sure to follow, here are three bits of information that are worth having in the back of your mind.

Bit #1: Read this incredibly naive comment from your Average Tech Press Pundit about the cost of a stainless steel watch bracelet. If you don’t want to wade through the text yourself, the money quote is:

“… many of us are waiting for the official steel bracelets to be made available (at a hefty a la carte price of $79.99)”

Hefty. Eighty bucks is “hefty”. Remember that.

Bit #2: When people ask me about watches, I invariably tell them to forget the Rolexes and head towards an Omega. You get a brilliant piece of machinery that will last forever and with a history and heritage that you can almost feel every time you slide the thing onto your wrist. Of all the Omega models, the Speedmaster 57 is my favourite. Solid, understated, classic, elegant … it is everything a personal luxury item should be. If you do happen to have an Omega Speedmaster and you needed to replace the standard stainless steel bracelet, it’s going to set you back a minimum of $600. Not $60. Not $160. Six hundred. Now remember back to the “hefty” price in Bit #1 and you can see how this is going to cause rampant conniption fits among the tech (and probably mainstream) press.

Bit #3: Examine this handy chart of three different models of the Omega Speedmaster and the associated retail prices.

Omega Speedmaster 75 Prices

These watches are identical inside. Same movement, same inner chassis, same daily, same everything. The only difference is the case material. And the prices are literally an order of magnitude different. Is there $15,000 worth of gold in the gold watch? $20,000 worth of gold in the gold watch and bracelet? No, of course not. There is, however, a completely different market for the two variants, and they are priced as such.

Will the difference between the standard Apple Watch and the gold edition model be $15,000? Probably not. But I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the difference was at least eight grand. Maybe more.

In other words, get ready for the shitstorm.

Now. With all that in play, I will take a shot at the madness anyway. We already know that the Sport model will start at the previously revealed price of $349. If I had to make an educated guess, I say that the standard stainless model will come in at $699 with bracelet options that take it all the way to $1199, and the gold Edition model will start at $5999 and have bracelet options that push it to the $11999.

Yep. Hefty. But also very much in keeping with the market that Apple hopes to open up with this particular play. The press can scream and faint all they want … Apple only cares if they sell.

The more intriguing question is whether or not the two sizes of each model will be priced the same. I have a sneaking suspicion that for the Sport, they will be the same. Size in a smartphone is a choice based on function. Size in a wearable is based on your body, and at least at the entry level I don’t see Apple making body size a monetized commodity. In fact, I think that even the stainless model will have one price for both sizes, although the steel bands may be priced in tiers depending on the size of the case they match. And the gold one? Oh yeah, that costs more for the bigger case. Just because they can.

It’s Not A Watch …

… but yes, it is going to be sold like one. Not like a computer, not like a phone. This is something you try on, heft, have a personal interaction with before you plunk down your cash. And that might be the biggest challenge of all. Apple retail stores are not set up with this sort of shopping experience in mind. Apple’s retail partners – specifically the big tech stores like Future Shop and Best Buy are really not set up for this sort of thing. How this part of the equation plays out will be the most interesting part of the whole experiment.

The traditional watch experience is also why the case and bracelet combinations will be limited to the ones you see on the Apple web site right now. You can’t go buy a stainless Speedmaster with a gold bracelet – Omega knows that will look like crap and they just don’t make it an option. The same mindset will be in play here – Apple doesn’t want nasty-looking combinations out in the wild, at least to start, and is willing to tick a few people off to maintain a certain visual standard as the product hits the street.

It’s Not A Watch …

… but it has been treated like one by the teams that designed and built it. And that, I think, is why this will eventually succeed. Everything about the product feels like a watch. Even the vocabulary that Apple uses to talk about the smallest details – to the point of using the unfamiliar-but-traditional term “complications” for visual elements of the watch face display – hints that was never designed as a tech toy on your wrist. This was designed as a beautiful personal item that you will be proud to wear … and just happens to do really cool stuff.

That’s the disruption. It isn’t about making smartwatches that do amazing new things. The Apple watch will probably do less than any other smartwatch on the market. Possibly far less. This is about making a high-end watch that just happens to do a few things that no other watch can do … and how our perceptions of computing are changed again.

Love it or hate it, the iPhone made the “post-PC” era a reality. Apple hopes the watch can do the same thing for wearable data. It’s a risk for sure. But the possible rewards? Staggering.

Back From The Dead!

Let's go to work.Okay, so maybe not “dead”. But definitely not really alive, either … at least in the sense that most of us think of when we try to check out a web site.

Either way, that was then and this is now. Site is up, email is functional, phasers on stun, yadda yadda.

Let’s go to work.

Jonny Lee Miller’s Button-Through Shirts on Elementary

Blue Industry Contrast Cuff Blue Check ShirtWho makes those shirts with the small collars that he wore this last season?

– Sumie

Ah, yes. A sure sign that autumn is well underway and another season of Elementary is right around the corner … the questions about Mr. Miller’s wardrobe are starting to trickle in. Frankly, I’m pleased about this. Mr. Miller is a damn fine actor, and he takes the time and care to dress like Not A Slob, which is something that more so-called celebrities should aspire to.

Now then. I do not have a definitive source on this particular subject, but I am going to make an extremely educated guess here and say that he is wearing Blue Industry. They use the same modern takes on plaids and checks that his character favours on the show, and they have the same scant collar and – crucial detail here – the same high placement of the second button on the placket. More to the point, I am sure that I saw the exact pattern on two of the shirts he wore last season in Blue Industry’s 2013 fall look book.

These are great choices for an everyday wardrobe foundation. The shirts have just the right combination of modern edge and classic lines … they are going to look as fresh and solid next year and the year after as they do right now. While you are browsing, make sure you take a peek at the knitwear section. The coarse-knit hooded sweaters with either the button closure or the sweet retro toggles are a killer two-season choice. You can use them as outerwear through the rest of fall and then transition them to “around the house” wear for the rest of the winter. I’m also a big fan of this beautifully minimal layering cardigan – if you are looking for one piece that refresh a lot of what you already own this would be it.

If I am mistaken here I am sure that a couple of my regular contributors will take the time to call me out, so stay tuned in case I have to endure the associated public humiliation and and point you in a different direction. In the meantime, Blue Industry is definitely worth a look.

Got Any Other Ways To Add Colour To My Office Wear?

Great Suits. Great Socks.Call me a wuss, but I’m not brave enough to wear the flower in my lapel. How can I make a little – emphasis on “little” – bit of a statement in the office but not be that obvious about it?

– J.

Dude. Statements are obvious, or they aren’t really statements at all.

However, I do see what you are getting at. You want a bit of flash, a bit of swagger, but you aren’t ready to play in the big leagues. You want to work your way up, find your comfort zone, and that’s all good. Remember: Style is pointless if it isn’t yours.

So let’s put some colour in a place that people will notice … but not a place that people notice first. If you want to strike a solid, conservative chord, build a foundation with your first impression and then add a note of flash, do it with your feet. Dress up your favourite pair of office shoes with a hit of colour and watch what happens.

Richer Poorer PF Flyers RedStrategy One: Get yourself a couple of pairs of socks from Richer Poorer. Socks are sort of a “quick strike” strategy here. When you are standing, walking around the office, or just at your desk you fly under the radar in “colour stealth” mode. But when you sit down in a one-to-one, or turn your chair away from the table at the end of a meeting … bam! Statement made, people impressed. The fact that as soon as you stand up the is colour back under wraps gives you a little air of intrigue. You, my friend, suddenly have hidden depths.

All of the Richer Poorer socks are of impeccable quality and insanely comfortable. Treat yourself to a couple of pairs or score a gift box for a friend. Looking for a place to start? Try these – nothing says “tower of corporate power” like big, bold, in your face – or feet – red.

Stolen Riches LacesStrategy Two: Invest in some laces from Stolen Riches. Good shoelaces are one of life’s little treasures. Good shoelaces that also give you a bit of “man amongst boys” style? Pure gold. You can go subtle with something like the Connie Stripe or the Parachute Maroon or you can shoot the wad with big guns like Huckleberry Yellow or the incredible Nicklaus Green. The options and combinations are endless … if you can’t decide, get yourself a four-pack and experiment.

And I would be entirely remiss if I didn’t point out that the Stolen Riches “style in a box” packages come complete with a stickpin boutonniere. I highly recommend this combo, which features two killer colours that let you punch up any black or brown shoe either a little or a lot and sets you up for the day when you decide you are actually man enough to put the flower in your lapel.

The Boutonniere, Reborn

la_touche_errol_flynn_7030.jpeg_north_780x_whiteThe scene: The Italian Kitchen, corner of Hollywood and Argyle, Hollywood, California.

The Time: January, 1936.

The Plot: Errol Flynn has just become the prototypical overnight sensation as a result of his performance in Captain Blood. The burgeoning star has a dinner meeting with a gaggle of senior executives from Warner Brothers to discuss a possible new deal with the studio. Warner Brothers has the upper hand … Flynn still owes them two more movies under his existing contract with the studio’s low-budget subsidiary, Cosmopolitan Pictures, and they want Flynn to work cheap for at least one more flick. Flynn really has no bargaining power at all, so it’s the kind of meeting where a guy wants to be on his best behaviour.

Halfway through the meal the wife of Hal Wallis, second-in-command at Warner, arrives fashionably late. All of the men politely stand as she arrives at the table – except for one. One of the studio creeps eschews the standard etiquette and Flynn calls him out on it. The movie mogul is less than contrite about the incident, mumbles a half-hearted apology … and Errol Flynn, best behaviour be damned, hauls off and punches him in the face.

The moral? Real men take manners seriously.

Also, Errol Flynn was wearing a boutonniere.

From the last decade of the 19th century and well into the depression years, a boutonniere was the way for a well-dressed man to show a bit of flash and a shitload of confidence. It was part class, part “what the hell” insouciance, and completely cool. Street corner flower sellers would open early each day and hand-craft boutonnieres to order from their daily stock. Whether you were a captain of industry, an ambitious young executive, a breakout movie star, or just a well-dressed ne’er-do-well, a freshly twisted flower in your lapel was a simple and stylish way to let people know that you were not of the common herd. A man with a proper boutonniere was a bull amongst steers. A ram amongst sheep.

A man amongst mopes.

No one really seems to know what happened to the boutonniere. But a good guess is that the wartime austerity of the 1940s, the move to suburbia in the 1950s, and the long descent into terminal casualness throughout the 1960s and 70s combined to doom this once-awesome accessory. Along the way there have been some exceptional men who re-claimed the boutonniere and made it an essential part of their style and persona – Pierre Trudeau comes immediately to mind – but they have been sadly few and regrettably far between.

Edward Armah boutonnieres and pocket square combinationsHowever (and you probably saw this coming) all is not lost. The fine folks at Edward Armah have crafted a line of handmade fabric boutonnieres that are subtle, stylish, rakish, bold, and best of all, will last pretty much forever. Wear one in your sports coat or blazer on a Friday at the office. Pair one with a pocket square in your favourite suit to totally dominate a meeting. Or finish a suit and shirt combo with a little hit of arrogance that no tie can ever match for your next dinner date. A great starting point would be this sublime black and merlot number that will work with virtually anything you own. All you need is a functional button hole – another reason to avoid cheap suits – and enough attitude to pull it off.

Errol Flynn was a man’s man. If you can rock a boutonniere, maybe you are too.

Can I Wear Flat Shoelaces In My Dress Shoes?

Black dress shoes with proper round lacesThe round laces that come with my dress shoes always come untied. Should I replace them with flat ones? Flat ones stay tied.

– T.D.


What? You want more? Fine. No, no, no, not in a million years no. I don’t care if you have to stoop and do the damn things up a hundred times a day (although, if you keep reading, you will see that this is not actually necessary), the answer is still no. If you want a quick and nasty guide to lace selection, go with this:

  • If your shoes came with round laces, that’s what you use in those shoes. Period.
  • If you are wearing your shoes to the office or with any sort of business attire, round laces only.
  • If your pants have a crease or a break, go round.
  • If you are in any doubt at all? Round laces.

You are probably noticing a trend here. Round laces make your shoes look finished, and they make you look like someone who knows the score.  Flat laces are fine in your running shoes and your work boots.  Beyond that … go round if you can.

As far as the staying tied up thing goes, ditch the cheap department store laces and get something decent.  Better laces stay tied.  Better laces last longer.  And better laces are kinder to your shoes, especially shoes with unfinished holes.  Spend a few bucks and get something that has both the quality and the fresh looks that you and your shoes deserve.

Stay tied.  Look great.  Go round.

Spring Tip: Take A Look At The Shape Of Your Shoes

John Varvatos bound oxfords in distressed black leather.See that headline? That’s a clever sort of double-meaning deal based on the the word “shape”. Shape can mean condition, and shape can mean the contour or outline. And now that spring is here, you need to check on both.

I told you it was clever.

It’s also necessary. Over the past few days I’ve seen a lot of dudes out walking around in shoes that are, to put it mildly, embarrassing. Don’t be those guys. Take a couple of minutes right now to dig into the closet, bust out your favourite pair of warm-weather casuals from last year, and take a look at both aspects. Start with condition. Are they beaten up well past “comfortably distressed” and a lot closer to “downright ratty”? Then check the contour of the toe … are they really rounded, like you just stepped out of a 1996 time machine? Or are they super pointy, the kind of thing you would see on sleazy second cousins at a late 80s wedding?

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes” then it’s time to chuck those puppies and invest in something new. Broken down shoes are bad for your feet, your shins, your back, and your posture. And painfully out-of-date shoes are bad for your social life. Is that really what you want? A hunched back, aching feet, and potential dates dismissing you as a thrift store reject? No, of course not. Stupid question. So update your damn shoes.

Now then. Getting new shoes that aren’t all threadbare and nasty isn’t that hard since that’s sort of what they are all about. Ignore that part of the equation and just concentrate on shape. Shoes look best – and last longest – when you stick to the classics. You want a toe that is tapered but not pointed, and with a nice curved toe box that isn’t skater-shoe round. Take a look at those sweet John Varvatos oxfords in the picture at the top of this post. Those are the shape you want. They will look great this year, next year, and ten years after that. Pair them with jeans, pair them with casual pants, pair them with slacks and a vest on casual Friday … it doesn’t matter. They just work.

Shoes – especially quality men’s shoes – are an investment, not a fashionable whim. You aren’t going to get lasting quality on the cheap, so it’s only smart to make sure that you get your money’s worth with timeless style.

Where Did The Canucks’ Owner Get His Sweet Glasses?

Francesco Aquilini sports glasses from Tom FordI was watching the Vancouver Canucks press conference yesterday and I really liked the owner’s glasses. Any idea what they are? My girlfriend says they are Raybans.

– Nucks Fan

Dude. It’s Ray-Bans, not Raybans. Details count.

Now then. Your girlfriend is wrong, but – for reasons I probably don’t have to explain to you – you don’t want to tell her that. Those excellent semi-retro glasses that Francesco Aquilini was wearing are from the new Tom Ford collection – specifically, the new “TF5178” model. One of the cool things about the new Tom Ford acetate frames are the “mix and match” options: You can have one colour for the frontpiece of the frame and something different for the temples. In this case. it looks like Mr. Aquilini has gone with the dark tortoise front with black temples.

In an interesting bit of symmetry, you probably know that the Canucks’ new president is the celebrity face of a discount online eyewear retailer. Unfortunately, if you have been following this blog for any length of time you know that Tom Ford is not a discount brand. Sorry, Trevor. If you do want to browse, the entirety of the new Tom Ford catalogue is online at Smart Buy Glasses – click here to see the whole selection.

Once again, the readers of Hey Style Guy! show their impeccable taste by leaning towards a striking-yet-subtle offering from a premium designer. You guys rock.

Which Boots Can I Wear With A Suit?

Alden "Cordovan" cap-toe boot I’m looking for lace up boots (both black and brown) that can be worn with a suit, but that have something more interesting/cool/unique going on than the standard plain black side zip up. Something that can be worn with a suit but also dressed down a little. I know this is a broad question so if nothing comes to mind, maybe just brands?

– Jeff

Unlike ties, questions are never too broad. And this is a good one, since it let’s me introduce you to a boot that has long been a staple for gentlemen in the British Isles but has never been common over here. What you want is a traditional “brogue” boot … they straddle the line between traditional looks and stand-out style and will work with pretty much anything you can think to pair them with.

Until recently they have been a total chore to find on this side of the Atlantic, and if you wanted a decent pair you were stuck paying the hideous shipping fees associated with overseas retailers. Times change, however, and now one of my all-time favorites – the Cordovan cap toe from Alden, shown in the picture above – is available at J. Crew. They have a softer profile than the full-on brogue, so they tone down with a suit but still make a pair of jeans pop. They aren’t cheap, but these are some serious quality dogs, and you are going to get a decade or two of wear out of them.

J. Crew! I know!

If those aren’t quite your cup of tea and you have access to some brick-n-mortar stores that carry some of the better U.K. brands (or you feel like dealing with the ruinous cost of trans-Atlantic shipping) then these are a couple of other makers that I have a soft spot for:

Grenson Sharp two-tone

A modern and exceptionally clean take on the classic gentlemen’s country boot.. Every pair is still made by hand and every pair can be fully re-sewn and re-soled for a lifetime of wear. I especially love the “Sharp” in two-tone … they are, quite frankly, stunning.

Trickers Stow country boot

This is as old-school as it gets. No fancy urban updates here – these are real country boots with two centuries of use behind them. They aren’t for everyone, and getting a pair is going to put a serious dent in your wallet, but if you want to properly channel your inner “English County Gentleman” this is really the only way to go. These boots are going to outlast you, and probably look a lot better than you doing it.