In these unpredictable late Fall/early Winter days it pays to have layers and versatility. One of the most important items a guy can have in his arsenal is a good breathable but water and wind resistant jacket that you can wear with or without a sweater or down vest. Now, there are a lot of good imports that will fit this bill, namely Barbour and Balstaff, that make high quality jackets and light coats with good looking contemporary fit and feel. But sometimes it’s good to buy American and not just because of patriotic pride but also because of style and excellence of craftsmanship. And that’s where Filson comes into the picture.
Cover Cloth Mile Marker Coat
Founded in 1897 in Seattle, Washington by C.C. Filson, the company pioneered the use of waxed and oiled cotton to make durable, lightweight and water resistant outerwear for lumberjacks, fishermen, prospectors and ranchers. Filson established a healthy trade with customers heading north to Alaska, as well, who appreciated the versatility of their many grades of outer- and underwear for the often-harsh conditions of their Arctic home. Today you’ll still find many of the items in their collections given the “Alaskan” label to denote a burlier fit and suitability for heavy layering. Filson is also a great proponent of Native American craftsmanship, such as the current Cowichan line of sweaters and wool items handmade by members of that nearby Pacific Northwest tribe.
Men’s Cowichan Sweater
But it is in their wonderfully authentic oil-finished and waxed cotton jackets and coats that Filson does its very best work. Modern and stylish takes on classic working man’s outerwear include the Mile Marker Coat, perfect for the motorcycle enthusiast with a 3/4 length tapered fit featuring plenty of roomy pockets, moleskin collar, elastic wrist and waist gathers to keep the wind out and the ability to accept Filson zip-in vest liners and button-on hoods for added warmth deep into the cold months. Or the Lined Short Cruiser Jacket made of soy-waxed cotton and lined with cotton flannel, a perfect everyday jacket in Fall and early Spring with a classically masculine fit and feel.
Lined Short Cruiser Jacket
Those are just two of my favorites — they even come with a can of oil finish wax in the pockets to help you refresh them and keep them water repellant — and I definitely recommend browsing through the varied offerings over at their cool site. They also feature a line of excellent leather accessories and boots and even restored, one-of-a-kind vintage items from axes to messenger bags and totes. Obviously you’ll soon see that nothing they make is inexpensive and the prices do in fact rival those British-inspired imports Barbour and Belstaff. But just like the Brits know how to keep dry and warm in damp and cold weather, so too do the folks in Seattle, so you know their efficacy is going to be similar. And there is just something about the Filson product lines that’s a bit more rugged and a bit more authentically outdoor oriented than their very fashionable foreign luxury counterparts. Chances are a Filson jacket or coat will be keeping you warm and dry twenty years hence so was the $300 you paid for it really that pricey? At a time where US quality and craftsmanship is really coming back with a whole new generation of artisans taking up the challenge of producing well-made practical and stylish clothes and outerwear, one might say that Filson is the granddaddy of that American spirit. They’ve been keeping it real in the USA for nearly 120 years and they’re still setting a very high — and a very handsome — bar.
Ham’s the man in Abu Dhabi to win race & World Championship, Rosberg’s dream stymied by gremlins; Massa & Bottas fill out podium to cap resurgent 2014 for Williams
Mercedes ace Lewis Hamilton grabbed his second Divers’ World Championship in the last race of the season with a flawless performance in Abu Dhabi. Starting from second position on the grid the Englishman shot by his pole-sitting teammate and closest Championship pursuer, Nico Rosberg, and never looked back. Meanwhile, Rosberg was forced to deal with a plethora of ERS-related gremlins just before midway through the race that robbed his car of critical horsepower and crippled his ability to put up a fight for the title. In a season where the only challenges to the Mercedes factory team have been occasional reliability issues, the finale showed the duality of the awesomeness and the frustrations inherent in any ultra-high performance machine. Rosberg was left to hope in vain that Hamilton’s identical car would suffer the same problems as his machine. It didn’t happen and the Englishman, who showed improved maturity in overcoming technical issues of his own throughout the year, sailed away into the desert sunset of the Gulf kingdom to grab the ultimate prize for any Formula 1 driver. With the way that Hamilton drove down the stretch to win six of the last seven races and a whopping 11 of 19 total Grand Prix, few would argue that he didn’t deserve it.
Taking full advantage of Rosberg’s technical misery and putting an exclamation point on their amazing comeback season, the Williams team claimed the other positions on the podium, with Felipe Massa the only driver to even hint at pressuring Hamilton in P2 and Valtteri Bottas coming good in 3rd after a poor start. With the switch to the dominant Mercedes power plant after last year’s Renault-powered debacle and the increased role of Claire Williams in the team, as well as the major sponsorship of Martini, Williams finished a remarkable 3rd in the Constructors’ Championship. Continue reading
Rosberg fastest in the desert to take Pole & keep dream alive, Hamilton starts 2nd; Bottas a strong 3rd
In the last Qualifying session of the 2104 Formula 1 season, Mercedes’ contender Nico Rosberg kept his Championship dream alive and the heat on his points-leading teammate Lewis Hamilton by taking Pole in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. Rosberg laid down a blistering 1:40.48 on his final lap of Q3, nearly 4-tenths faster than Hamilton’s best effort. The German heads into tomorrow’s title-deciding race with renewed confidence coming off a win in Brazil in the previous Grand Prix and taking a dominant Pole today. But Hamilton still controls his own fate and will wrap up the Drivers’ Championship with a win tomorrow. With both men piloting the fastest cars in the field and barring mechanical issues, it should be a dogfight to the end in the last race of the season to determine who walks away as World Champion.
Williams once again showed that they were only just off the pace of the factory Mercedes team with Valtteri Bottas continuing his breakout season with an excellent P3 and Massa continuing his season of renewal with P4. The Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo & Sebastian Vettel had the 5th and 6th fastest times respectively but saw their efforts disqualified in post-Quali scrutineering due to illegal, overly-flexible front wings. They will now have to start from the back of the grid come Sunday. Daniil Kvyat, who drives for Torro Rosso now but will move to the senior Red Bull team next year, had a sterling effort in his Ferrari-powered chassis to take 7th position and Jenson Button was a solid P8 for McLaren. The two factory Ferraris rounded out the top 10 with Kimi Raikkonen out-dueling Fernando Alonso P9 to P10.
Adjusted Top 10 after the Red Bulls’ exclusion here:
Complete updated Qualifying results available at AutoSport.com.
Tomorrow’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix airs live on NBCSports channel at beginning at 7:30am Eastern. It’s the last race of the year and will determine whether Hamilton or Rosberg comes away as Champion — how can you miss it?
This chilly November I’m offering one of the cult brands of the modern watch world, a big honking Panerai. But not just any Panerai: this is a PAM 305 Luminor 1950 Submersible in Titanium with in-house 3-day automatic movement featuring date and independent hour hand complications, plus the new non-screw strap change system.
Making it even more out of the ordinary, my consignor has had this 47mm beast professionally DLC-coated by the renowned International Watch Works to give it custom ultra-black beauty looks exceedingly similar to the coveted PAM 508 black ceramic but at a fraction of the price. It comes complete with triple boxes, booklets, tools and extra strap, although the Tropic-style factory rubber that it currently sports is the perfect match in my opinion.
For the guy who likes a bigger watch with terrific Tool-watch characteristics — super water proof, rotating elapsed time bezel, super luminous military-style dial & hands, stealthy black appearance, that oh-so-cool levered crown guard design — this customized Panerai PAM 305 Luminor Submersible ticks all the boxes. Plus, you will certainly get noticed at the bar with this macho negro machine on your wrist!
Over the last few years I’ve found it interesting that while men’s hats (hats – not ballcaps) have made a bit of a comeback, there are still very few people who make or wear really exceptional ones. There are a ton of cheap, stingy brimmed fedoras and trilby’s out there, but none of them are really any good. Most are made in the spirit of the fashion world, ie- disposable 10 minutes from now, and cost way too much for what they are. This is in pretty stark contrast to men’s suits, where there are now many really good tailors making some pretty fantastic clothes. But hats, alas, remain a comparative wasteland. But in the midst of the tumbleweeds, one man in New York State is making really exceptional custom made hats on a daily basis. That man is Gary White
Above: Hat by Gary White in “dark moss” beaver felt with 3 point diamond crown with a Homburg roll on the brim. Side view.
Mr. White runs “The Custom Hatter” from a small studio in Buffalo, NY. His shop is packed with tools of his trade that reach back 100 years or more. He has sought out and acquired vintage and antique wooden forms and machinery that allow him to create any authentic hat shape or style that you could dream up or find. I appreciate his work for two reasons. The first is his adherence to tradition and not falling into line with easy fads. The second is the craftsmanship and quality of the hats themselves. They’re made from very high quality felts pressed from one or more furs. The hat making process itself is carried out by Mr. White to the customers specific desires, although he offers guidance and advice if wanted. Using a rare old machine he blocks (shapes) the hat before going on to finish the crown shape with the correct form to match the customers desires, selected from a huge collection that Mr. White has acquired over the years. The final steps involve shaping and finishing the brim before hand sewing in the lining and putting on the ribbon. Basically Mr. White is providing the equivalent of Savile Row tailoring skills for the hat making industry. You can see an overview of his hat making process here.
“Nucky” & “Jimmy” wearing hats by Gary White.
Rosberg bests Hamilton in Brazil to tighten Championship race — Game on for finale Abu Dhabi; Hometown favorite Massa grabs last step on podium
In one of the most entertaining races of the year and in unexpectedly dry conditions, Mercedes’ contender Nico Rosberg showed renewed determination to go from Pole to the top step, holding off teammate and Championship leader Lewis Hamilton and trimming the Englishman’s points lead to 17. With only one Grand Prix left on the 2014 calendar at Abu Dhabi two weeks hence and that one paying double Championship points, Rosberg proved he was truly game for the fight to the bitter end. The sensitive German had seemed thoroughly psyched out ever since the collision at Spa-Francorchamps, where he knocked Hamilton out of the race and was chastised by the team, subsequently performing less like a terrier than a whipped dog. But he dominated this race weekend in Sao Paolo. He led every practice session, bested Hamilton for the Pole in the dying moments of Q3 and then went on to win the race with Hamilton hot on hot heels when it was all-to-easy to picture him wilting under the pressure. In fact it was Hamilton who seemed to crack a bit with a lurid slide on Lap 29 that cooked his tires and lost him valuable track position. With the winner due to receive a whopping 50 points for the last race of the year and the Mercedes chassis reigning supreme, there is all to play for at Yas Marina. Now Rosberg has a better-than-even chance to do what very few prognosticators would have predicted before he broke Hamilton’s remarkable 5-race win streak this Sunday: beat the hard-charging Englishman at his own game and capture his first Drivers’ Championship.
As they have so often in the last quarter of the season, Williams played best of the rest if nowhere near actual spoiler. Native Brazilian Felipe Massa equaled his Qualifying position to take the last step on the podium and come home 3rd to the delight of the partisan crown. Massa overcame a 5-second stop & hold penalty for speeding in the pits to best McLaren’s Jenson Button, who had a splendid effort in what may be his penultimate Formula 1 contest, by over seven seconds. Massa’s Williams teammate Valtteri Bottas had a ragged race that include a prolonged and costly pit stop to readjust his safety belts and had to struggle to finish 10th but it was still a good points-scoring day for the resurgent Williams team. They currently sit 3rd in the lucrative Constructors’ Championship, 44 points ahead of Ferrari. Button’s teammate Kevin Magnussen was P9 for McLaren.
Outgoing Red Bull pilot Sebastian Vettel had a strong if bittersweet drive at the site of his remarkable 2012 title-clincher to take P5, though teammate Daniel Ricciardo saw his finishing streak snapped with suspension failure on Lap 40. Ferrari had a decent effort at Interlagos, seeming to finally get to grips with their season-long issue of lack of front end grip. But they were still down on power to the Mercedes-engined teams and outgoing stalwart Fernando Alonso could do no better than P6, though he once again showed his superiority by overtaking Kimi Raikkonen, who came home P7. Nico Hulkenberg was back on form after several subpar races in the second half of the season and drove a superlative tire management race, taking a valuable 8th place finish for the underdog Force India team after Qualifying 12th.
Top 10 finishers here:
Complete results available at Formula1.com.
Today’s race showed how truly thrilling Formula 1 can be when the season is coming down to the wire and the contenders must drive flawlessly to keep their championship dreams alive. Join me in a fortnight for the race weekend at the beautifully illuminated day-to-night race at Yas Marina circuit when a champion will be crowned!
Rosberg still fighting, claims Pole in Brazil; Hamilton a mere .033 behind; Massa grabs another 3rd for resurgent Williams
The temperature at Interlagos was cooler on Saturday than it had been for Friday’s practice sessions but Qualifying was red hot. Mercedes’ contender Nico Rosberg showed he was still game for the fight by just beating out his Championship-leading teammate Lewis Hamilton for Pole position in tomorrow’s race. With only two Grand Prix remaining and time running out on his title dreams, Rosberg was able to overcome a seemingly supreme lap by Hamilton in Q3 by a minuscule .033 seconds, proving that the difference between the two Silver Arrows aces this season is not due to outright speed but perhaps mental toughness. The German driver, who led much of the season only to see Hamilton rebound from numerous disappointments that might have dispirited a lesser competitor, also grabbed the Pole last week in Austin. But in that race Rosberg was yet again unable to keep his English rival behind him and had to settle for second place and an increasingly perilous points deficit. With only tomorrow’s race in Brazil and the double-point season finale in Abu-Dhabi, it’s up to Rosberg to regain the initiative and prove that he doesn’t wilt when the pressure is at its fiercest. It seems to me that Hamilton has already proven that point this season but both drivers are also at the mercy of their formidable but occasionally fragile equipment and one DNF could doom either one of them. As it so often does, pure luck could still play its part.
Mercedes-powered Williams was nearly as fast as the factory team and native son Felipe Massa did enough to best his excellent young teammate Valtteri Bottas. While it seemed that Massa might have something for the Silver Arrows in Q3, in the end he was well pleased to come home third on the grid and Williams, third in the Constructors’ points, was delighted to solidify their status as 2014’s most improved team with Bottas’ P4. McLaren’s Jenson Button, appearing to come to the end of his illustrious F1 career as rumors continue to swirl about Fernando Alonso taking his seat, had a very solid P5 while his junior teammate Kevin Magnussen, who will probably keep his ride next year, was P7. With the sixth best time, Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel outdid his teammate Daniel Ricciardo, who seemed to have an issue in the pits that forced him to scramble to get in a hot lap and could only muster a time good enough for 9th position. The Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen were 8th and 10th fastest respectively.
Top 10 Qualifiers here:
Complete Qualifying results available at Formula1.com.
While Saturday was cool and dry such conditions are the exception rather than the rule this time of year in São Paolo. There is the very real possibility of rain tomorrow and when it rains at Interlagos it usually pours. With the racing surface notoriously slippery when wet it could well be a topsy-turvy kind of race where anything can happen and the consequences on the Championship could be huge. Watch it live on CNBC here in the States beginning at 11am EST Sunday morning to see how it all shakes out.
Talent, intelligence and beauty — sloe-eyed actress Emily Blunt has those attributes in spades. Descended from a prominent English family of over-achievers, Emily was precocious enough to go directly from secondary school to starring opposite Judi Dench in a revival of George S. Kaufman & Edna Ferber’s classic lampoon of theater prima donnas, The Royal Family. After more well received stage work, including a very fitting Juliet, it was natural that her lovely visage and electric acting should grace British television, where she had a breakout performance in the award-winning dark and complicated My Summer of Love.
Following yet more British television success in Gideon’s Daughter, Ms. Blunt broke through across the Atlantic in 2006 in the hugely popular The Devil Wears Prada. Her pitch perfect Emily Charlton, the icy veteran assistant to the great Meryl Streep’s Anna Wintour-like fashion doyenne, served as the ideal foil for wide-eyed ingénue Anne Hathaway and her performance was just as important to the overall success of that picture. Nominated for a BAFTA and Golden Globe for the role, Emily was now on the A-list in Hollywood. She followed up that breakthrough by de-glamming and teaming with Amy Adams in Sunshine Cleaning as very funny misfit sisters trying to start a business cleaning up after dead people. She showed more comedy chops alongside Ewan McGregor in 2011’s charmingly offbeat Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and with Jason Segal as a couple perpetually thwarted on their journey to the alter in 2012’s The Five-Year Engagement.
Showing her versatility as well as bankabilty, Ms. Blunt then jumped easily into high-concept sci-fi action with standout support to Joseph-Gordon Levitt and Bruce Willis in the trippy and original 2012 time travel thriller Looper. Caught in another time loop this year, she was more than a match for Tom Cruise trying to repel alien invaders in the would-be blockbuster Edge of Tomorrow. Emily is also slated to be part of the cast of the upcoming big screen adaptation of Steven Sondheim’s Broadway musical, Into the Woods. If she sings as good as she looks in a futuristic exoskeleton battle suit, or most other clothing really, we’re there.
Still only 31-years-old, Emily has been married since 2010 to The Office actor John Krasinski and the couple welcomed their first child into the world this past February, daughter Hazel. To which we can only say, congratulations. And also: keep taking those improv classes, fellas, because it seems that funny guys get all the babes. That’s definitely QED by Emily.
Hamilton makes decisive pass on Rosberg to win in Austin solidifying Championship lead, Nico clings to hope with 2nd place; Ricciardo a solid 3rd for Red Bull
In a typically exciting Grand Prix at the beautiful and demanding Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton again found a way past Nico Rosberg, his teammate and nearest rival for the Championship, going on to claim victory in the United States for the second time in the last three years of the reborn race. Despite the fact that Rosberg started from Pole and led the race handily for the first 23 laps, it somehow seemed inevitable that the daring Englishman would overtake his German foe. And with an impressive outbreaking maneuver into Turn 12 on lap 24, overtake him he did. With that pass, Hamilton sailed away into the distance never to be recaptured and with the victory stretched his points lead to 24 over Rosberg with only two races remaining in the season. Six years after winning his first Championship with McLaren at the age of 23 Hamilton looks very likely to grab his second at the wheel of his nonpareil Mercedes F1 W05 Hybrid. But by coming home second Rosberg is still mathematically alive for the last two races, especially with the last race double points gimmick, so if Hamilton has a recurrence of the bad luck that befell him midseason and has a sub par finish or retirement in Brazil or Abu Dhabi, the German contender could still find himself able to secure his first Championship. One thing is for certain, though: with Hamilton’s late season surge leading to a stunning five Grand Prix wins in a row Rosberg has no room for error or misfortune himself if he is to achieve the dream which once seemed so very close to his grasp.
As it has so often happened this season the rest of the field was left fighting for the scraps from King Mercedes’ table. But what fights they were. After a poor start cost him several positions, Aussie Daniel Ricciardo was able to claw them back and then some with a typically determined and gutsy effort for Red Bull. In the end he improved on his fifth place Qualifying position and kept two charging Williams behind him to grab 3rd, yet another podium finish for the young Aussie superstar who has had a breakout 2014. Ricciardo’s teammate Sebastian Vettel, who started the race from the pit lane due to exceeding this season’s engine replacement limit, also drove a wonderful race. With his RB10 trimmed out to the max sacrificing agility for the best possible straight-line speed, the four-time World Champion was still able to control his car in the pivotal esses well enough to finish 7th, even after being forced to pit off-strategy for extra tires early in the race after running over debris. While the outgoing Red Bull driver has had a massively disappointing season his inspired drive at COTA on Sunday reminds us all of what kind of talent the German possesses even if his current car does not suit him at all.
Williams had another good day even though their chassis lacked the finesse required to truly excel at COTA. Continue reading
After a three week layoff and with only three races left in the season, and with two fewer teams and four fewer drivers competing in them, all eyes turned to Austin and the awesome COTA track for Saturday Qualifying for the US Grand Prix…
Rosberg claims Pole in Austin, Hamilton 2nd and Bottas again 3rd fastest in Quali
With the races dwindling down and starting position at a paramount Mercedes’ pilot Nico Rosberg regained a modicum of momentum by grabbing a dominant Pole position at the modern classic Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. The German, who has seemed to psyched out by his English teammate ever since they collided at Spa, made a good start to his final come-from-behind Championship push by mastering the twisty COTA track to the tune of one second in front of his archrival. Hamilton, the Drivers points leader, appeared to struggle to get heat into his breaks but still was able to top Williams’ excellent third year driver Valtteri Bottas by half a second to ensure yet another Mercedes front row lockout. Bottas’ seems to have been consistently 3rd best in Qualifying in the second half of the season and his more senior Williams-Martini teammate Felipe Massa able to claim P4 Saturday. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo took 5th but teammate Sebastian Vettel took only token part in Quali, as he is required to start from the pit lane Sunday due to his 6th engine change of the season regardless of any efforts he may have made.
Fernando Alonso was 6th fastest for Ferrari while teammate Kimi Railkkonen was a characteristic P9. Jenson Button was P7 and Kevin Magnussen P8 for McLaren but Button will be pushed back 5 positions on race day due to a gearbox change. Rounding out the Top 10 was a surprising Adrian Sutil for Sauber, who gave the struggling team a glimpse of hope for some possible points come race day after beating out both Force Indias.
And speaking of struggling teams, Caterham and Marussia will take no further part in the 2014 championship as both teams succumbed to financial woes and fell into receivership. While this unkind fate had been rumored for sometime about Caterham it comes as a particularly bitter pill to swallow for team Marussia, which scored its first ever Championship points in Monaco this year but also suffered the loss of the driver who scored those points, Jules Bianchi, to a critical head injury when he collided with a recovery tractor in the waning moments of the rainy Japanese Grand Prix a month ago. Regrettably there is no medical improvement reported on Bianchi’s condition.
Top 10 Qualifiers here:
*Note – Button qualified P7, drops 5 grid spots for gearbox change; Kvyat qualified P14, drops 10 for engine change; Vettel qualified P17, starts from pit lane for complete power unit change
Complete Qualifying results available at Formula1.com.
Tomorrow’s US Grand Prix airs live on NBC in the States beginning at 2pm EST. COTA is an exceptionally well-designed track with several opportunities to overtake and the race should be a good one — hope to see you then!