Lee 101+ Limited Edition 125th Anniversary Jeans Review (Part 2 of 3)

As I mentioned in part one of this review, Lee seems to have been doing aggressive marketing lately, most especially in Asia. In fact, they did a good job in their 125th Anniversary campaign, complete with microsite, social media app, and even an Archive Exhibit Asian Tour. My online research led me to believe that the driving force to this resurgence is the company’s Asia-Pacific headquarters located in Hong Kong. In fact, the Limited Edition jeans I am fondly reviewing seems to be an AP only product (there is no mention of it in western websites).

On to the jeans and its countless interesting features…

Let's begin part 2 of the review with relatively wide shot of the upper part of the jeans. Here you can see "Appreciate Every Jeans Made" embroidered on the inside part of the waist. I'm doing exactly what I am told. ;)

Let’s begin part 2 of the review with a relatively wide shot of the upper part of the jeans. Here you can see “Appreciate Every Jeans Made” is embroidered on the inside part of the waist. I’m doing exactly what I am told. 😉 You can also see the “+” bar tack on the coin pocket, that is flanking the commemorative rivet.

A nylon patch stitched on the inside waistline adds even more branding.

A nylon patch stitched on the inside waistline adds even more branding.

Zooming in to the fly area, you can see an  inner flap. It is interesting enough for jeans to have a flap but the designer didn't stop there, he also included a selvedge strip on the flap and said strip has 3 stripes of blue, green and red! Absolutely stunning!

Zooming in to the fly area, you can see an inner flap. It is interesting enough for jeans to have a flap but the designer didn’t stop there, he also included a selvedge strip on the flap and said strip has 3 stripes of blue, green and red! Absolutely stunning!

Opening the fly, you can see a 125th Year Anniversary tab bar tacked on both ends...for your eyes only. ;)

Opening the fly, you can see a 125th Year Anniversary tab bar tacked on both ends…for your eyes only. 😉

The custom zipper is marked Lee 101+ as well. You may ask: why is a limited pair of jeans not button fly? It's because Lee was the first brand that made and sold jeans with a zip fly! And they are proud of that heritage.

The custom zipper is marked Lee 101+ as well. You may ask: why is a limited pair of jeans not button fly? It’s because Lee was the first brand that made and sold jeans with a zip fly! And they are proud of that heritage. By the way, the zipper used here is smooth and seems heavy duty.

This pair of denim is just brimming with features! And yet it remains tasteful and restrained. Overall, the jeans let the beholder know that it is special, however, it is far from being gaudy, tacky or overdone. I’ll pause for now, but soon I hope to write the 3rd and final part of this review, where I will share the rest of the features (yes there is a lot more!) as well as initial impressions on how they fit and feel on the body. Follow my blog so you wont miss it, and do drop a line or two at the comments section to share your thoughts on my Lee jeans.

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New Year’s Resolutions 2013

It’s that time of the year again, and without further rambling, here are mine:
1. 1080p AVCHD video – my aging Sony NEX-3 only captures only 720p mp4 and I’m beginning to see that the output is anything but satisfactory. It’s about time I made clearer home videos. Of course this requires professional editing software like Final Cut Pro and a new camera which can be anything from a Nikon D600, a Sony NEX-5R or a Sony RX100. Whatever I choose, I will most likely report in this blog.
The Sony NEX-5R is capable of 1080p AVCHD video.

The Sony NEX-5R is capable of 1080p AVCHD video.

2. Retina Display – I’m still using the 1st generation iPad. It’s now as slow as molasses and ready to die (although its battery life is surprisingly like new!). Maybe this year is the time for a new tablet. The iPad Mini is half-hearted. The New iPad is what I want.

3. 1080p movies – up until very recently, I download movies in 720p to save hard drive space. I thought that the difference of 720p and 1080p was negligible especially with the smallish 40-inch plasma screen in my bedroom. I was clearly mistaken. For 2013, it’s 1080p movies all the way…
4. Apple Lossless encoding – again, in an effort to save space, I traditionally ripped my CDs to 256kbps AAC. That meant maltreating my ears. This year, I’d rather have less high-res music on my iPhone than have more music with crappy quality.
5. A 36,000 vph watch – yes, watches have resolution too! Theoretically, movements that beat faster are more accurate. Most mechanical watches beat at 28,800vph (vibrations per hour). God willing, I may be able to cough up funds to own a 36,000vph Zenith El Primero, or Grand Seiko Hi-Beat.
Zenith Original 1969 38mm with an El Primero movement beating at 10Hz or 36,000 vibrations per hour (vph)

Zenith Original 1969 38mm with an El Primero movement beating at 10Hz or 36,000vph

6. Explore 96khz, 24 bit audio – I may be going well ahead of myself on this one. I will certainly not adopt this better-than-CD audio bit rate this year as it seems to be still at its infancy, but I will definitely start researching on it. Today, the music format exists and there’s a gizmo designed to decode and play them, but I’ll let this one bake in the oven a little longer. Maybe next year it’ll be piping hot and ready to be consumed…
Well there you have it, a true geek’s set of New Year’s “Resolutions”. I hope you get the pun by now, else I cannot consider you a true nerd. Postscript: if you were hoping to read about 4k video, that’s reserved for resolutions a few years down the road!
Happy New Year Geeks!  

A G-Shock for Every Man

Every guy should own a Casio G-Shock, that cheap, digital and plastic (generally speaking), sometimes colorful and always tough as nails line of watches. It’s like a two piece suit, a television, sneakers, or a pair of blue jeans: every man should have at least one (not to mention survive with only one). It has an all important place in a man’s wardrobe (or watch collection): for those weekends slacking-out or when you want to rough it up–two things us guys can’t get enough of.

If you don’t have a G-Shock, shame on you! But you’re reading this so you’re a step in the right direction. There are hundreds of G-Shock models out there, and Casio churns out about a dozen new models every month. So if you’re going to own one, which would it be? Allow me to suggest: the GW-5000-1JF. Currently, it’s the one and only G-Shock I own, and the only G-Shock I’ll ever need.

Casio G-Shock GW-5000

Casio G-Shock GW-5000

DLC coated screw in case back etched with "MADE IN JAPAN"

Deep gloss: DLC coated screw in case back etched with “MADE IN JAPAN”

Why this one? Here are the reasons:

1. A spartan, no-frills model with a utilitarian tool watch aura, based on the form and construction of the first G-Shock ever released in the market: the DW-5000C, launched April 1983. No other G-Shock taps as deeply into its history and heritage.

2. Correctly proportioned, in contrast to most other G-Shocks with gargantuan heads. Guaranteed to please even the most conservative.

3. It’s one of the few remaining models that’s Made in Japan. Quality abounds.

4. It has a resin strap that’s softer and of higher quality than “regular” G-Shocks (translation: more comfortable on the wrist).

5. This G-Shock is made of metal (with a steel case and a DLC coated screw in case back) giving it even more toughness and reassuring heft.

6. Rare. While not a numbered model, it’s produced in very limited quantities. For the longest time, its supply cannot meet demand. A plus for watch snobs.

7. It is more likely to survive a Zombie apocalypse more than you can. It is also the perfect wristwatch for Doomsday Preppers.

Another wrist shot.

Quick wrist check taken with an iPhone 4s. Notice the perfect size, even for a small 6.5″ wrist like mine.

Don’t trust me? You’d better. Do a web search and you’ll discover G-Shock loving Netizens raving over this grail model.

Convinced? Don’t hit the mall yet as this watch is quite elusive. Your best bet is to get it online. And while you’re waiting for the FedEx guy to drop your new GW-5000, feel free to enjoy more photos below. By the way, G-Shock is celebrating it’s 30th anniversary.

The watch is packaged with an outer cardboard box.

The watch is packaged with an outer cardboard box.

Tourist warranty card. I bought mine at Yodobashi Camera, Osaka Japan.

Tourist warranty card. I bought mine at Yodobashi Camera, Osaka Japan.

Rolled up manual and filled up warranty card.

Rolled up manual and filled up warranty card.

The pleather watch box with pleather inner lining and pleather pillow attempts to convey the watch is special. Something different compared to the tin can and foam of lesser G-Shocks. Notice the tatami mat of the Ryokan I was staying in--the watch in the country where it was born.

The pleather watch box with pleather inner lining and pleather pillow attempts to convey the watch is special. Something different compared to the tin can and foam of lesser G-Shocks. Notice the tatami mat in the background? The watch in its home country.

Photo while synching with the radio time signal. Signal level was quite strong (L3) at Universal Studios Osaka.

This is a Multiband 6 model. Photo taken while synching with the radio time signal. Signal level was very strong (L3) at Universal Studios Osaka.

Another wrist shot, on world time mode while I was on vacation in the East Coast

Another wrist shot, on world time mode while I was on vacation in the East Coast

Happy holidays!

Geek Firmware Upgrade Version 2012

A.K.A five New Year’s Resolutions for twenty twelve. A new year is a chance for us to tweak ourselves, run smoother, remove the bugs and the occasional crash. Truly, a man’s preferences evolve. He is also forced to adapt to the changing times, and most importantly to adjust for irreversible aging. And like firmware upgrades, it doesn’t have to be dramatic revisions. More often, some subtle tuning is all that is needed.

And so, here’s my personal list of five improvements and bug fixes for this new year:

1. A few steps forward towards health. A few months ago, I’ve been hitting the stationary bike and lifting some weights. Not hard core, but I began wearing pants a size smaller and it’s quite inspiring. I’m also saying no soda (not even diet), and no artificial sweeteners. My blood sugar was on the high side of normal, but I figure artificial sweeteners might be more dangerous than helpful in the long term.

2. Move towards organic. Not only for food, but for other grocery items as well. It is only lately that I realized that some products such as shampoo and toothpaste produced by multinational companies may not be entirely safe and healthy to use. After all, for most products nowadays, price and profit margin are the main consideration and heaven knows what they put in those things. I could only hope for a Whole Foods Market to open in the Philippines.

3. One watch a year, one gadget a year. This is an attempt at a stricter discipline when it comes to spending…for geek vices in particular. Wrist watches have been a recent passion, and it is very easy to lose control–and my entire savings for that matter–to this addiction. Limiting myself to buy only one watch will not only save my wallet, it is also a fun, exciting and challenging quest to research and pick just one from a sea of choices. Same goes with gadgets: if I decide to ditch my crappy Blackberry Playbook for a Macbook Air, that’s it, upgrading to iPhone 5 would have to wait until January 1, 2013 the earliest. If I am unable to buy a watch nor a gadget for 2012, that would be better. My savings account will thank me (hey, that actually sounds very mature!). Hopefully I can apply this resolution not only for 2012, but for the succeeding years beyond.

4. Tweet the traffic for public service. Not everyone has the MMDA iPhone app. And not even MMDA can tweet the traffic situation in all areas at all times. If I get stuck going south bound in South Luzon Expressway (which happens a lot but fingers crossed for 2012), I’ll let the Tweetdom know to help others from falling into the same trap. It’s the least of a good that I can do, given my permanent mean streak and irreverence on Twitter which will not change anytime soon, by the way.

5. Migrate from iPhoto to Aperture. Truly a geeky and trivial new year’s resolution but just to explain: currently I upload my photos to both which is not only uselessly redundant, but a waste of hard drive space. 2012 onwards, I will use Aperture as my only photo management software (and I encourage everyone to do the same).

Just like the Facebook app that releases an update every so often, this set of personal resolutions is by no means absolute. Besides, we all have to apply kaizen to keep us from hanging and crashing.

Have you installed your own personal firmware upgrades yet? Happy twenty-twelve everyone!