Saturday, 22 October 2011

Travel accessory: I got the power

I've been travelling a bit. And I got stopped by a security machine, not because I look shifty - much - but because the X-ray showed a load of wires with different chargers for stuff. This isn't a good look to a security person but it's kind of important - they soon realised I was carrying nothing suspicious but I was glad I was stopped.

One useful thing to counter this is portable charging. I don't want to be caught short by a laptop not working or something any more than the next guy, which is why the Duracell power range was particularly useful.

There are spare batteries, rechargeable ones and a battery charger in here, plus a USB-based portable charger. Once you've charged it up you have up to 5 hours extra talk time for smartphones, for example, by attaching them to it by USB. It's neat and folds up easily and for £39.99 is one of the cheaper items in its class. It'll happily charge two items at a time.

Duracell has helpfully issued its items in a carrying case (pictured) which, once you've established you probably don't need to carry the battery charger and spare batteries around all the time is a bit redundant. On the other hand if you're like me and used to sending alarms off because of all these damned cables and stuff in your bag,  maybe it's not such a useless thing.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Tweed for Movember from A Suit That Fits

It's nearly November and that can mean only one thing to the well-informed bloke and his friends - time to grow a moustache and get sponsored for male-specific cancer charities. Testicular cancer used not to be as widely reported as breast cancer (which a minority of men also get, we have the equipment) and it's not a competition, but there's still some awareness campaigning to be done.

The problem is I can't grow a decent moustache. I get a dirty great big gap in the middle and it looks ridiculous. Fortunately A Suit That Fits (sponsored link, I earn loyalty points but if I get to 1000 points because of this post I'll give fifty quid to cancer charities - fair?) is launching a couple of items exclusive to the charity and it'll donate money to Movember if you buy. I'm taking one of the ties (pictured).

It's not something I can see me wearing. But it's in a good cause. And I'm not buying one of the jackets (also pictured) because they look plain scary.

It's a great cause - do support it somehow.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Watching the watches: not quite Christmas

OK, OK, it's October so I've finally got to admit Christmas is very nearly starting to slightly threaten to arrive, in a couple of months.

So, watches. Loads of people think watches are an excellent buy for Christmas, for the very good reason that they can be indeed. In a few weeks I'll be looking at the new offering from Christopher Ward (for no better reason than it's a personal faourite of mine), but in the meantime I'm delighted that Terry Markham, assistant buyer and senior marketing merchandiser of has offered some thoughts on what's going to be in vogue this coming season. For people wanting to adjust their wristwear according to fashion - and this isn't everybody - he sees four main trends which are imminent:

Slim, elegant watches always sell but this winter, we expect slim watches to be everywhere, as most watch brands are producing a slim range. For the office, a slim watch is a great accessory to complement a suit and of course ensure you get to work on time.

Pictured: Men's Citizen Stiletto eco-drive, £279

Automatic watches seem to be increasingly popular. They’re certainly not the slimmest of styles but we believe the increase in popularity is largely due to a real desire for the more traditional watch technologies as an investment purchase. Men in particular seem to like the idea of wearing a piece of machinery and so brands are producing more low-mid priced automatics, making them affordable. 

Pictured: Davosa Pares classic automatic watch, £1195

The old favourite, black straps and dials have been a watch staple since time immemorial, and this is no different as we head into winter. Black complements all colours, and always radiates sophistication.  So whether your watch face is square or round, a black strap will almost certainly go with any suit or casual wear from brown belts to trainers.

Pictured: Seiko Premier Perpetual Kinetic watch, £450

Many timepiece makers are producing a strong, no nonsense face design, bold statement watches that grab attention with their design.  Combined with understated colours, these watches are for the man who likes a design that gets people talking.

Pictured: Mondaine Automatic Retro watch, £440

My thanks to Terry. My own tastes are towards the classic - more on that next time we're on the subject. From this batch I'd probably be happiest with the Citizen or the Davosa - I'm kind of into understatement and although the Davosa has a number of different dials as befits a chronograph, it masks them with a plain white dial and therefore looks less fussy than some.