Typically, one thinks of an heirloom only after it’s weathered a few generations of handsome patina acquisition. But originally—before that watch, or briefcase, or sword earned its perfectly imperfect nicks, battle scars and lived-in familiarity—it started out shiny and new on some store shelf. And since there are still companies out there making stuff that will last longer than you will, we’ve set out to find the new breed of future heirlooms in this weeklong series. Today we begin with watches...
If you’ve been paying close attention to the wrists of menswear lately, you’ll have noticed a lot of metal-strapped diving watches peeking from under well-appointed cuffs. It’s a good look, the rugged juxtaposed with the elegant (à la Agnelli’s Italian hiking boots and bespoke suit). But nowadays the Submariner has become so ubiquitous, it’s almost as if there aren’t other wearable watches out there—which couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Our two cents: it’s time to move on and start looking for a new, dressier watch. And as luck would have it, we’ve got a few suggestions...
Hamilton’s been a go-to shirtmaker for quite a while, not least because they’ve got some of the best fabrics out there. Now they’ve giving those same fabrics a new venue: the pocket square.
In particular, we’re talking about the plaids, oxfords and one particularly on-trend camo from Hamilton’s heritage-inspired 1883 line. They’re a little busier than the staid silks and linens you usually find in a gentleman’s breast pocket, but that just means you’ll need to be clever. Once summer comes around, having a strip of tattersall sticking out of your khaki blazer will look like a stroke of genius. Maybe even camo, if you’re feeling military.
Over the course of 127 years in the shirt business, you’re bound to pick up a few tricks and a few stories. Houston’s Hamilton Shirt Co. has been one of the best sources for custom shirts since the gilded age, and as of August 25th, they’re letting us in on some of those stories…in the form of some unusually clever monograms.
Exhibit A: this mark comes from a garbled customer order to have “my special brand” sewn into a crop of shirts, only he ended up with this inscription instead of the brand he had in mind. Fortunately he liked it well enough to adopt the phrase as an off-hand signature—and Hamilton liked it enough to revive it for their new fall line. You can also get Hamilton’s own special brand, an underlined H, but our personal favorite is a Mister Mort-inspired inscription reading simply “MINE.”
For 126 years, Houston shirtmaker Hamilton has been making some of the best custom dress shirts on the market. And now, for the first time, they're offering something straight off-the-rack—the new Hamilton 1883 line.
The shirts don't sacrifice on quality (they're still made in the U.S., and are as soft as you're likely to find), and include smart details like western-style stitching and dedicated pockets for pens. (Or, we suppose, more illicit things—we smell a trend.) And we're not just being because we did some of the modeling—though we suppose it doesn't hurt.