Product reviews

Royal shoe polish from John Lobb

Photo: Men's Individual Fashion
Photo: Men's Individual Fashion

 

May 6, 2015


Shoe polish belongs to the basics of shoe care. Years ago, a dear friend, who knew my passion for shoes, presented me a shoe polish from a trip to London. He bought it from John Lobb, the grand master of shoe care. I even kept the plastic bag like a relic. 

 

I took the polish tin to my working travels abroad and use it with excitement. It was an excellent polish to give basic moisten care to my shoes and if necessary colour them. I realize while treating a decent pair of shoes with it, that the special shining polish works even better with this shoe polish as basic treatment layer. The uncontested great features of the polish have a literally dark side. The shoe polish colours extremely and I strongly recommend an old t-shirt or apron for protection reasons. 

At source. Photo: Men's Individual Fashion
At source. Photo: Men's Individual Fashion


It is the best polish I know. I recommend it for basic care of decent leather shoes. After four years of thrifty use with my best shoes, the tin is slowly getting empty. It was always obvious to me that I had to go to the source. At my visit at the John Lobb workshop in 9 St. James Street, London I purchased another two. Nowadays I own, however, more shoes.

The shoe polish can be ordered in different colours online at John Lobb London for around 13 £/tin or at the store in London. 

 

http://www.johnlobbltd.co.uk

Love declaration to a loyal companion: My watch, the cosmopolitan

My Tangente watch. Photo: Men's Individual Fashion
My Tangente watch. Photo: Men's Individual Fashion


A simple and beautiful watch

 

March 25, 2015

 

Passing the law school exam I got a good watch as a present. This was in 2009. Since then a lot happened, my watch was with me at breathtaking places. I have it with me daily except while exercising, showering and being in bed. And I took it with me abroad, since I am of the opinion that my watch shall be will not withstanding the location. 


Great Wall near Beijing. Photo: Men's Individual Fashion
Great Wall near Beijing. Photo: Men's Individual Fashion

Shirt, watch and the world


There is a Chinese saying that a real man should stand on the Great Wall once. I play safe and be there several times, in winter and in summer. It is rather a climbing tour but both at degrees below and oppressive heat my watch accompanies me during this period of life’s travel. My Tangente watch shows me in Far East that the time in China passes faster. Weeks are like days in Europe. The time runs between countless people. 

 

During the same longer working stay in Asia I am in Hong Kong for vacation. Thousands of kilometres from home suddenly I stood in front of a huge advertisement banner of NOMOS. The situation was paradox and showed me how small the world is. On the peak, the breathtaking viewpoint over Hong Kong there I stood with the shirt I bought for my first internship and my daily time companion. It is oppressive hot and exhausting, but the view pays off for these efforts.


Sanlitun district, Beijing. Photo: Men's Individual Fashion
Sanlitun district, Beijing. Photo: Men's Individual Fashion

 

At a dinner in a nice restaurant with my Chinese friend in Beijing the watch was studied by skilled Chinese eyes. I was a little reluctant to put off the watch and gave it over the table but to resist the Chinese interested would be very impolite. Price, manufacturer, background, occasion to purchase it, all this I was supposed to tell and the stories are quite popular. In Asia I went curiously to many watch shops which sold other big names. Although the nearly realistic models of fight yets which seem to fly through the store window fascinated me and kindled my manly joy desire, I wondered whether men spend so much money on watches, which I consider rather as clumsy. 

 

My Tangente watch has a hand-wound movement, which means I have to use the winder to wound the watch. The watch runs for nearly two days, so I wound it daily. My long-term girlfriends once said, my day always starts with having an espresso, wound the watch up, showering and then put on my glasses. This was like lace shoes, I did not even realize. 

Sergels Torg, Stockholm. Photo: Men's Individual Fashion
Sergels Torg, Stockholm. Photo: Men's Individual Fashion

 

Smog, heat and smog

 

Far north my watch accompanies me on long walks in the snow and we experience the contrast to Chinese climate, degrees below and darkness. Moment of shock in Stockholm (where I lived): The watch fall down in the restroom and the glass flap out the setting. A watchmaker at Stureplan, the venue of the Swedish high society (see the report about Swedish fashion) inserted it in for free and besides praised my watch („Very nice brand, Sir“).

 

NOMOS Glashütte tells in the manufacturer book that the watch is suitable for an extended daily life, but (extreme) sports shall be avoided. I have not asked them about the fight for every millimetre against considered one billion fellow Chinese travellers in the Beijing subway. 

 


 

My watch has to face service every three to four years. It is reviewed and polished. After it was with me in Brussels, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Stockholm, coped a temperature margin between 15 °C below and 45 °C and I wore it daily in eastern heat, snow, smog and rain, 2014 I let change the watch strap and it was for service in Glashütte. Except that it was a few minutes slow, the watch strap smelled a bit and looked worn, it was like the first day looking super beautiful. Even more than my watch I love my shoes and NOMOS proves having class by using Horween cordovan leather, the leading manufacturer of horse leather. Cordovan leather is extremely resistant, a reason why shoes made of horse leather are among the most long-lasting garments ever (see the shoe category). On balance, you can not expect more from your watch. 

Upshot

 

My watch belongs to me like no other accessory and is a loyal companion. Abroad it was kind of an reminder and connection to home, the constant being always with me. It an issue whether you have to own a watch equal more than 1000 Euros (the same issue actually whether you have to have the latest smart phone or the extra optional equipment for a car). In my opinion the price performance ratio is good and my burning admiration for my watch it has for sure.  


This article is an independent journalistic contribution, personal experience and indeed the ultimative long-term product review. Men’s Individual Fashion thanks NOMOS Glashütte for furnishing further information. 

 

http://www.nomos-glashuette.com/en/


The Uniqlo Raw Jeans

 


 

March 10, 2015

 

Shanghai is one of the world’s biggest cities. In June 2013 I am there the second time and in need of a normal jeans. Now I have been wearing it for nearly two years my Uniqlo raw jeans (a Japanese manufacturer). I bought it in the Uniqlo store on the biggest shopping street of Shanghai. As every raw jeans it was very tight and stiff in the beginning. In a boutique in Stockholm a sales guy once told me, he could not allow me to buy the damn expensive Swedish jeans I tried on since it was too tight (actually I did not, but just because he was in the dark). 


 

My Uniqlo Raw Jeans wided after several months (as do Swedish jeans as well). I brought it to the dry cleaner just after six months have passed. Before I aired it out over night and cleaned it by hand with water. The fabric is still stronger than those  of normal jeans, in my opinion it looks better and especially lasts longer. It fades slowly and develops the characteristic worn look on the pockets and on thighs. For 400 Chinese RMB (equal 40 Euros) a very fair deal and a great memory of Shanghai.

The photo shows my own jeans. Since it is a garment purchased outside European Union, a permission of the manufacturer was necessary to publish the photo. Men’s Individual Fashion thanks Uniqlo for giving this permission.

 

http://www.uniqlo.com/uk/

Shoulder bag by Zara

The old bag 2012 in Brussels. Photo: Men's Individual Fashion
The old bag 2012 in Brussels. Photo: Men's Individual Fashion

 

 

February 26, 2015

 

My old shoulder bag from Zara accompanied me many years through travels in the whole world. It faced tremendous challenges. Although it was for sure not constructed to carry laptop, water bottle, books and jumpers, it did fine. Considering that I totally overloaded it, it was rather seldom at the repairman. 



 

In 2014 at Zara’s store in Stockholm I bought a new one for 400 Swedish Crowns (around 50 Euro). Not even the repairman was capable to renew the old one to good looking appearance. Thus, it is on honorary retirement in my cellar. 


Since less than a year the successor bag is in service. It has to stand high, maybe unrealistic expectations. The day before yesterday I had to see the repairman to take care of it.  My mood was a desaster. I told him: „Look at this! So bad quality!“ and through it at the service counter. The shoulder band and the bag's border were broken. Of course I put weight in it, but not too much, in my opinion. Maybe it is because of the zip which I always leave open in order to win some extra space. 

 

Wrap-up

 

The price-performance ration of the successor bag is not good for me. I do want my old bag back, the new one is far too sensitive. Traveling? Carrying the swim stuff of my colleague and me through Budapest? Asia, e.g. Great Wall? Hong Kong? Never! But the old bag was not any longer in Zara’s selection. 


This bag is sufficient for the laptop and a few paper, but as a long-term companion in every situation of life, I have go for another one.