Rolex Turn-O-Graph, an Underrated Classic

Introduced in 1953 the Rolex Turn-O-Graph (reference 6202) featured many firsts for the brand.  It was the first serially produced Rolex to offer a rotating bezel and the first model to be offered in two-tone steel and gold.  The Turn-O-Graph was also the official watch of the U.S. Airforce Thunderbirds in the 1950s. Even with these innovations the watch never really found the following of the Submariner or Datejust.  Production of the 116264 Turn-O-Graph came to an end in 2011 and that’s really too bad because the modern incarnation is an outstanding watch.

Rolex Turn-O-Graph 116264
Rolex Turn-O-Graph 116264

The 2006 model my wife wears features a white face, Oyster bracelet, an 18 karat white gold fluted bi-directional turning bezel, and a red second hand with matching date wheel that really pops against the white face.  The watch strikes the perfect balance between a dress watch and a sport watch for her. The 36mm size is not as chunky as a Sub would be, but the bezel is larger than Datejust giving the watch a bit more presence on the wrist.

Rolex Turn-O-Graph 116264

Because it straddles the line between a sport watch and a dress watch the Turn-O-Graph looks equally at home with casual outfits as well as dressy looks.  And since the model isn’t as popular as a Datejust or other Rolex sport models it makes the watch somewhat unique; in fact, I haven’t seen another 116264 “in the wild.”  If you’re looking for a Rolex that has a storied history and is a bit different than a Sub or Datejust I highly suggest seeking out a Turn-O-Graph.


Special thanks to Bob’s Watches for the history of the Turn-O-Graph


Hemingsworth Clipper Swim Shorts Review

Hemingsworth and Prosecco

My wife and I are fortunate enough to live in Florida which means there’s no shortage of sunny days in the upper 80’s even in mid-October.  We decided to spend the weekend at the new Art Ovation Hotel located in the heart of Sarasota’s thriving theater and arts district. The hotel features curated art exhibits, artisan classes and professional demonstrations, as well as a Perspective, a roof top pool bar making it the perfect venue to break in my new Hemingsworth Clipper swim shorts.

Hemingswoth Clipper swim shorts
Hemingswoth Clipper swim shorts, perfect attire for a roof top pool

There’s no shortage of high-end swimwear choices for men these days.  I’m a fan of brands like Orlebar Brown, Sunspel, and Vilebrequin, but I was highly intrigued when I came across the English brand Hemingsworth.  Launched in January 2017 by former advertising executive, Matt Jones, Hemingsworth aims to be a purveyor of an “English gentleman’s travel wardrobe.”  The first piece in this wardrobe comes in the form of the Clipper swim shorts.

Hemingsworth Clipper swim short, pure white
Hemingsworth Clipper swim short, pure white

Hemingsworth Clipper swim shorts are handcrafted in England by London-based tailors and have impeccable details such as: Tahitian mother of pearl buttons, zippers custom made in Italy by Lampo, and side buckles that are cast and finished in Germany.  No expense has been spared when crafting these swim shorts. In fact, the swim shorts feature a 27 piece pattern and go through 17 distinct hand finishing processes.

The packaging of the Clippers is top notch.  The swim shorts come in a tube worthy of a single malt Scotch emblazoned with a brief story of the brand.  Inside the tube is a canvas bag containing the swim shorts as well as a handwritten note; truly first class.  Already a great experience from the packaging alone.

Swim shorts packaging
Swim shorts packaging

The fit of the Hemingsworth Clipper swim shorts is excellent.  I ordered a size 30, which is what I wear in Orlebar Brown Bulldog swim shorts, and the cut is spot on.  When compared to the Bulldogs the fit of the Clippers is a bit more tailored. The Clippers are not restrictive in any way, they’re just cut ever-so-slightly more trim in the legs than the Bulldogs giving the Clippers a crisp silhouette making them perfect for the pool, beach, or cocktails watching the sunset.  The finish of the swim shorts is perfect as well. There is not a thread out of place or a misplaced stitch. The mother of pearl buttons are beautiful in person and are an elegant detail.

     Tahitian mother of pearl buttons
Tahitian mother of pearl buttons

The color of the Clippers is also outstanding.  I ordered a pair in solid white and the color is gorgeous.  The color is not a “pure white,” it reminds me of a vintage Ford Mustang in “Wimbledon White.”  Surely that’s no coincidence as the solid white Clippers would not look out of place on Centre Court at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.

Enjoying a private cabana at Perspective

I am extremely impressed with the product and high level of service offered by Hemingsworth.  I cannot recommend them highly enough and I’m incredibly excited to see what is next for the brand.


The Perfect Vesper Martini

“A dry martini,’ he said. ‘One. In a deep champagne goblet.’ … Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon-peel. Got it?”

― Ian Fleming, “Casino Royale”

With those words Ian Fleming created a cocktail that is timelessly cool and extremely easy to make.  The ingredients of the brands that Fleming suggests have changed since “Casino Royale” was published in 1953, so below is my updated take.

I substitute Plymouth Gin for Gordon’s.  Plymouth Gin was first distilled in 1793 and it the sole remaining gin distillery in Plymouth, England.  Plymouth Gin has won numerous awards, was a favorite of Winston Churchill’s, and a full review can be found here.

Fleming doesn’t call for a specific Vodka in “Casino Royale”, but he does mention that the Vesper would be better still if “you can get a vodka made with grain instead of potatoes,” so I opt for my personal favorite, Chopin Rye.

The final ingredient, Kina Lillet a French wine-based aperitif, was unfortunately discontinued in 1986.  Kina Lillet was replaced with Lillet Blanc which has a smaller amount of quinine compared with Kina Lillet.  Why does it matter? The quinine is what gives the Vesper its distinctive “bite,” think about how tonic water tastes a bit bitter, that’s the quinine!  A modern substitute for Kina Lillet is Cocchi Americano (proniced “KOH-kee”) which does contain the all important quinine.

So get your shaker ready, slice a thin lemon peel, grab your Bond Girl and drink up; just don’t get behind the wheel of your DB5 afterwards!

Vesper Martini:

  • 1.5 oz of Plymouth Gin
  • 0.5 oz of Chopin Rye Vodka
  • 0.25 oz of Cocchi Americano

Shake over ice, garnish with thin slice of lemon peel (PPK optional)

Oxblood, the perfect color for Fall shoes

Allen Edmonds Strands in Oxblood

In a sea of black and brown derbies and oxfords why not change it up with the addition of an oxblood dress shoe, like this pair of Strands from Allen Edmonds?  Black is a staple, brown is incredibly versatile, but oxblood? Oxblood is brown’s hip older brother, it’s the color that exudes a subtle confidence, it shows you know what you’re doing; sartorially speaking.  The deep, rich, red hues pair well with everything from greys, charcoals, raw denim, and khakis; and there’s no better way to make a navy suit really stand out than adding an oxblood dress shoe to anchor the look.

Should oxblood dress shoes be your first choice when purchasing your first pair of dress shoes?  That title belongs to dark brown, which is a wonderful all-around choice that will look great with many different outfits.  However, oxblood is nearly as versatile and a great way to stand out by adding a color that’s a bit less common while injecting some personality into your Fall wardrobe.