I'm of the conviction that every product, beyond it's own DNA, is like a blank canvas. A true masterpiece emerges when you stop treating it with white gloves and fearlessly break it in over time. Then you can really wear it with ease and comfort. A few weeks ago, I wrote about my A.L.I.C.E Pack - a vintage 1969 military issue rucksack that, since its retirement from my childhood "Army" games, has been repurposed into an excellent camera bag. It now graces my "the-longer-you-have-it-the-better-it-gets" collection, which includes a variety of other items like ripped Levis, worn-out shirts, battered shoes.. the list goes on. For example, take this ISAIA shirt you see me wearing here. The cuffs are worn through, but I've earned those tears... The same can be said of my BARBANERA Gatsby lace-ups (also pictured here): they are beaten, broken and scuffed. But as Sergio Guardì (one of the creators of the brand) said, they have "soul." And that there qualifies them to be the best pair of shoes I own...
I have the same "rugged" philosophy with my OMEGA Speedmaster, the most expensive thing I've ever bought myself. When shopping around, I wanted a watch with heritage - something that could accompany me on my adventures to the moon and back (figuratively speaking, of course), and this historic chronograph, which Buzz Aldrin took to the moon and back (literally) seemed an appropriate choice.
There was one problem, though. I had a hard time making it my own. After two years of wearing it almost every day and being able to account for nearly every scratch around its bezel, the watch still felt like it belonged more to Omega than to me. I decided the issue came down to the bracelet. It felt bulky, and the polished links made my watch look more like jewelry than the tool that I wanted it to be.
So I decided to take action and try a nylon NATO strap on for size (I ordered it from HODINKEE). In no time, the watch finally joined ranks with my A.L.I.C.E. pack, my favorite ISAIA shirt and my Barbanera's. It finally looks like the watch I've always wanted. Actually, I'm thinking of riding this wave further and commissioning a custom watch strap from THIS AWESOME LEATHERSMITH that I met in Rome... Stay tuned for further developments.