Buying for a style conscious, vintage-inspired gent? Our Vintage Cool Hunter's holiday gift guides have become a favorite feature at VCH. It's only about two weeks before the big day, so let’s get right to it.
The Beatles 'White Album' 50th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition —$129
"You say it's your birthday...it's my birthday, too!"
It's hard to believe that the Beatles' epic, eponymous double album, better known today simply as the The White Album, turned the big Five-O this year. It first hit the shelves of record stores everywhere on November 22, 1968, just in time for Christmas and holiday sales. To celebrate the 50 year milestone, the White Album has been remixed by original producer George Martin's son, Giles Martin, to sound brighter and better than ever. If you are buying for a true Beatles aficionado, you'll want to splurge for the Super Deluxe Edition, which is 6 CDs plus a Blu-Ray.
The set includes the newly remixed original album plus numerous rehearsals, instrumental and alternative takes of many tracks, as well as the fabled "Esher Demos" thought to have been largely recorded at George Harrison's manor house in Esher. Think of them as the Beatles Unplugged. (And these Esher Demos are much better than the bootleg tapes and CDs of this session we used to buy.) As Paul McCartney can be heard saying after a particularly spirited take of Helter Skelter, of this new album we can definitely say: "Keep that one. Mark it fab." Find it here.
Anything from Hodinkee's Holiday Gift Guide —$38 to $35,000
If you're a watch guy (or gal), there is a very good chance you're already well acquainted with Hodinkee - the ultimate watch site and resource for all things beloved by watch geeks (also called watch idiot savants, or WISs). The Hodinkee gift guide this year is, as usual, sinfully fraught with temptations both large and small. For thirty eight bucks, you can get volume three of the exquisite Hodinkee Magazine. For 35 large, you're looking at stepping up to a nice 1948 vintage Vacheron Constantin Historiques Triple Calendrier. Lots of neat stuff for the watch lover in between those two price points. Find it here.
Everybody Digs Bill Evans —$16 on vinyl
This is one of those jazz albums that many aficionados would put on their top 10 or 20 jazz albums of all time lists. Bill Evans took some time out from touring with Miles Davis to record this uber classic album. Yes, that Bill Evans. The guy you hear playing tasty piano on Miles Davis's Kind of Blue, and the guy who wrote some of the greatest music (uncredited) on that immortal album. Evans is said to have softened Miles' style and to have also turned him onto classical music. We really dig this album, but then, doesn't everybody? Find it here.
Billy Reid Bond Peacoat —$695
Here at VCH, we love Southern designer and general all-around tastemaker-cum-badass Billy Reid. He's a great designer as well as being a true mensch and member of his community. He does good deeds like preserving authentic Southern culture by sponsoring the Southern Foodways Alliance, which 'documents, studies, and explores the diverse food cultures of the changing American South'. We first saw his peacoat when it was worn by Daniel Craig aka James Bond in Skyfall, and like dapper Dans everywhere, we were instantly smitten. Today, unless you have the guts and stamina to find a nice 40s vintage kersey wool navy issue peacoat, Billy Reid's peacoat is the only way to fly. Find it here.
Fisher Space Pen Bullet —$18
This is the constant companion and a standard issue item for all VCH staff. It resides safely nestled in our back pockets and other out of the way places, ever ready to spring into action and sign a restaurant check or stand in for a more favored pen that is (of course) MIA. It benefits from the same high speed tech that is found in the NASA issue AG-7 pen, in a much smaller package. We can't recommend this one enough. We love it. Find it here.
A Man & His Watch by Matt Hranek —$21
It has become a tradition here at VCH to recycle one item on our gift guide from years past. This year that re-tread is from our 2017 Holiday Gift Guide: A Man and His watch. It is still highly recommended...and a little cheaper this year on Amazon.
This book is amazing. It’s the watch book I always wanted to write. Unfortunately, Matt Hranek beat me to it. Damn him.
But, I must say reading it is an incredible experience. Too many watch books tell you—too much—about the watch collector stuff, the minutiae, and not enough about how that relates to or affects the people who collect or even, um, wear the watches. This book doesn’t fall into that trap. It’s all about the stories. Ralph Lauren describes a favorite watch that once belonged to Andy Warhol. One of Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytonas is artfully photographed and described, the one his daughter still wears everyday while working in the garden. JFK’s Omega is pulled out of Omega’s vaults for a photo shoot. Sly Stallone tells us why he still loves his yellow gold Rolex Submariner from the mid-seventies and who inspired him to buy it. If you love watches, you must own this book. I don't think I have ever said that before on VCH, but it applies in this case. Buy it. Find it here