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The Big Black Book

The Big Black Book

Big Watch Book 2020

The Style Manual For Successful Men. From Esquire magazine, The Big Black Book is the definitive guide to the finer things in life: fashion, food, watches, cars, travel. The autumn/ winter 2015 issue features the story of Braun design, 35 years of Corbin & King’s restaurants, we go behind the scenes to watch Steinway pianos being made, and there’s a special report on the booming online men’s shopping market. Plus, new writing from Iain Sinclair, Alex Kapranos and Alan Johnson, new interviews with Frank Ghery, Sterling Moss and Benedikt Taschen, and 86 pages of essential clothes and style for the new season. Don’t get dressed without it.

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País:
United Kingdom
Idioma:
English
Editor:
Hearst Magazines UK
Periodicitat:
One-off
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5,77 €(IVA inc.)

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3 min.
foreword

The must-have gadget of 1821 was a box containing a rotating paper disc onto which, at the touch of a button, ink would be dropped. It was the invention of Nicolas Mathieu Rieussec, watchmaker by appointment to the recently restored King Louis XVIII, and made its debut at the Champ de Mars in Paris, where it was used to time horse races. It was patented with the Greek words chronos and grápho — “time” and “to write” — or chronograph. One-hundred-and-ninety-nine years later and the chronograph — a timepiece with a stopwatch function — is still a must-have. After time and date models, it is the most popular watch. Clean and symmetrical but with lots going on, it’s what people think of when they think “men’s watch”. Vintage dealers talk of…

1 min.
contributors

Mick Brown is an author and journalist, notably for The Telegraph Magazine Dan Choppen is Esquire’s fashion assistant Richard Dowker takes photographs for MatchesFashion, Farfetch and Luisaviaroma Simon Garfield is an author and journalist. His latest book is Dog’s Best Friend Chris Hall is senior watch editor at Mr Porter Andrew Harrison is a writer and editor and the producer/presenter of the Remainiacs, Bigmouth and The Bunker podcasts Will Hersey is the content director of Esquire Lauren Jones is senior designer at Esquire Virginie Khateeb is a photographer for Numéro Berlin, Dazed & Confused and Twin Anna Bu Kliewer is an illustrator whose clients include Hèrmes, Penguin Books and The New York Times Ben Mitchell is a freelance writer Paul Zak takes photographs for Wallpaper*, 1843 and The Times Luxx…

4 min.
glowing tribute

If the weather in Paris in February was a bit nicer, things might have been very different. In 1896, French physicist Henri Becquerel, fascinated with the concept of phosphorescence, began experimenting with uranium salts. He discovered that if left in the sunlight for a few hours, a block of potassium uranyl sulphate would cause a silhouette to appear on a photographic plate, even if the two were separated by sheets of black paper. This was interesting; several compounds were already known to glow after being exposed to light — indeed, phosphorescent decorations had been used by ancient Oriental artists, made using crushed seashells — albeit none were as powerful as this. Waiting a few days for better weather in which to repeat his findings, Becquerel stored the salts and plates together, and…

8 min.
keep on ticking

Todd Snyder was head of menswear at J Crew in 2008 when the American outfitter launched a watch made in collaboration with Timex. So commonplace now, the concept of collaborations was still in its commercial infancy, but Snyder had seen Japanese brands Junya Watanabe and Commes des Garçons doing it and figured it could work in the West. The simple military field watch had a preweathered dial and a nylon Nato strap, and cost $150. “That was by far our best-selling item,” says Snyder, on the phone from New York. “I mean in the whole company of J Crew. We were selling something like 10,000 a year.” Snyder left the following year to set up his own brand, but the J Crew Timex lingered. In every meeting, he remembers, whether it was…

8 min.
french twist

Since its rebirth as a luxury industry in the early 1990s, the watch business has been reluctant to talk about certain realities. Thanks to an overwhelming and unrealistic focus on the mythology of “in-house” watchmaking, the fact that large portions of all but a few watches are outsourced, either to other Swiss companies or to large-scale industrial providers in Asia, is never really discussed. What was important, they decided, was the traditional Swiss expertise in making fine mechanical movements — the rest of the watch was not the story. Certainly, when it came to the topic of whatever means you used to secure this fine mechanical engine to your wrist, the conversation was a very short one. Steel bracelets for the majority, black or brown leather for anything a bit more…

2 min.
a bigger bang

When Carlo Crocco launched a new watch brand in 1980, no one could accuse him of playing it safe. His first product was a model that combined a precious gold with a hefty rubber strap — the first natural rubber strap in the history of watchmaking — effectively marrying elements of a dress watch with a sports watch. The next oddity was the case: an industrial design that closely resembled a ship’s window, featuring 12 H-shaped screws evenly spaced, so they served as hour markers. He called the watch “Fusion” and the company “Hublot”, the latter meaning “porthole” in French. Crocco and his team spent more than three years and $1m on the strap alone, trying to come up with a rubber that was bendy enough to fit on the wrist…