Tailor-made for stylish sailors or anyone who aspires to look the part, the new Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph from Swiss-German watchmaker IWC Schaffhausen belongs to the brand’s “Summer Editions” collection. With its blue dial, sturdy blue rubber strap and water resistant 43.5 mm stainless steel case, the piece has good looks to spare. But it’s the manufacture caliber with flyback function that truly elevates this sporty chronograph.
Surveying the heroes of the Brooklyn food scene with a selection of fine chronographs.
Photographs by Doug Young
It’s almost as easy to lampoon the great awakening of American eating (“The chicken’s name was Colin. Here are his papers.”) as it is easy to lampoon modern-day Brooklyn (“Nah man, Martha’s, that new artisanal mayonnaise spot.”) But the fedora foodies are moving to Ohio, and the half-cocked concept joints closing down, leaving behind only the smartest, realest, most passionate culinary characters. The kind of characters that made Brooklyn’s food scene so remarkable to begin with. The kind of characters that make modern dining feel like a privilege.
In recognition, we spent two days touring the borough, catching up with its most exciting and influential local chefs. We talked about food and progress and the city. Then we dressed them in exciting and influential chronographs, newcomers and mainstays, and photographed them inside the kitchen.
Each chef had a different way of thinking about food. But they all agreed on one thing: It’s a damn good time to be cooking (and dining) in Brooklyn.
Name: Chef T.J. Steele
Known for: Spending more than a decade in Mexico, embedded with local cooks and mezcaleros, then returning to New York and blowing minds.
He says: “All the décor comes straight from my friends in Oaxaca. The bar tiles are from Francisco Toledo and Dr. Lakra. They did the murals, too. There was this famous cantina down there, and it had a mural with three pigs cooking a woman. So we kinda did our own thing with it. Three goats. Pretty great, right?”
They say: “Old-school Brooklyn baking is very much Italian, very traditional. New Brooklyn is lot of people like us. More casual, more home-style. When we came here in 1999, it was all delis, you know? Now there’s a coffee shop on every corner.”
Four & Twenty Blackbirds 439 3rd Avenue (718) 499-2917
Name: Chef Dale Talde
Known for: Besides finishing sixth on Top Chef? Probably the pretzeled dumplings.
He says: “There’s an ability to take risks out here. Maybe more so before, when rent was cheap. It was the Wild West. When we opened, I couldn’t name another restaurant on Seventh Ave. Did I think I’d still be serving that pretzel dish six years later? No. But I’m happy doing it, because that’s what the neighborhood wants. This restaurant belongs to their neighborhood. If you’re a chef, and you haven’t caught onto that yet, you’re fucking lost.”
Talde 369 Seventh Avenue (347) 916-0031
Name: Chef Erin Shambura
Known for: Creating a buzzy, wine-focused Italian restaurant that actually lives up to the hype.
Wearing: Hermès Arceau Chrono Titane, $5,100; hermes.comShe says: “We wanted a 1950s Italy feel, but in a modern-day Brooklyn setting. I lived in the Veneto, about 30 kilometers from Venice. The traditional, hand-extruded pasta has sentimental value to me. We’ve got this Tajarin, an egg-based noodle, a play on carbonara, so instead of heavy black pepper in the sauce, the black pepper is in the actual noodle. We’re serving it with ramps, house-cured pancetta, finished with an organic egg … People have so much more knowledge about food than they ever have. They’re eating so many more things. So we can have the pastas, but also sardines and whole fish, presented on the bone. It’s beautiful.”
Fausto 348 Flatbush Avenue (917) 909-1427
Name: Chef Vincent Fraissange & Cat Alexander
Known for: One of the borough’s smartest seasonal menus, dished up at an unpretentious bistro hidden under the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.
They say: “We got married three years ago, and started a catering company. We were looking for spaces, basically a commissary kitchen, and saw the ‘For Lease’ sign. We live like a block away, and this was a famous butcher shop in the neighborhood, Graham Avenue Meats, a staple for like thirty years. Once we signed the lease, we were like, ‘Man, the neighborhood really needs a restaurant.’ So we just went for it.”
Pheasant 445 Graham Avenue (718) 675-5588
Name: Chef Justin Bazdarich
Known for: Initiating Brooklynites to gourmet-level, rustic wood-fired eats.
Wearing: Patek Philippe Ref. 5905P Chronograph with Annual Calendar, $78,250; patek.com
He says: “My other restaurants [Speedy Romeo] have wood-burning ovens. At first, New York City said we couldn’t have a wood-burning grill. We had to figure out all this stuff with permitting, but we got it done. So I’m sticking with that wood-fired theme here [at Oxomoco], but just doing Mexican cuisine.”
Speed freaks will appreciate the story behind Baume & Mercier’s Clifton Club Indian model, which pays tribute to Burt Munro, the New Zealander who set—and still holds—the record for the fastest speed reached on an Indian motorcycle, a feat he accomplished in 1967, at age 68, riding across Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats. Fifty years later, the watchmaker honors Munro’s daring spirit with this limited-edition automatic chronograph.
Are connected chronographs the next big thing in competitive sailing?
Breitling thinks so. The 46 mm Yachting offers the same features as the other Bluetooth-enabled Exospace watches (text and call notifications, a dedicated smartphone app, digital/analog quartz movement, rapid USB charging). But there are now regatta-ready features, including split timing and a dedicated countdown system, allowing multiple resets to synchronize with the judge’s timer.
Even Longines president Walter Von Känel was taken off guard when this chronograph took home the Revival Prize at last year’s Grand Prix d’Horlogerie. In retrospect, we shouldn’t have been so surprised; the BigEye oozes authenticity. It’s a straight reissue of an obscure 1930s pilot’s watch, rediscovered by a collector and brought to the attention of the brand’s heritage team.
They revived it, shoehorning a modern automatic movement (54-hour power reserve, 4Hz frequency) inside a 41 mm stainless case, while faithfully recreating the original’s dial arrangement. Between that quirky, oversized sub-register at the 3 o’clock position, the neat backstory, everyman price point, and GPHG pedigree, this one’s a no-brainer.