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Father Fixtures: The Gear We Stole from Our Dads

Exceptional watches, jackets and packs are among the haul we call out in honor of Father's Day.

eric yangs hamilton watch
Eric Yang

The term recommerce is very much en vogue these days. It refers to the notion of keeping products in circulation longer by passing them along — even selling them back to their makers, so that they can refurbish and resell at a discount — and we are all for it. Better for your wallet and better for the planet.

But as new as this trend may seem, the truth is that we've kinda been doing it for generations. Because any time you took a liking to an item owned by, say, your dad, and he — warmly or begrudgingly — said "g'head, keep it," he was unwittingly supporting the circular economy.

In doing so, he was sharing his own particular knowledge and taste, fostering a kid curator just figuring out what good gear was all about. That's what happened with plenty of GP staffers anyway, as we continue to rely on well-worn items pried away — or outright stolen — from fathers and father figures who understood and appreciated quality craftsmanship.

So, in honor of Father's Day, we bring you this latest edition of The Gear We Stole from Our Dads. You just might find the perfect gift here — for the old man or for yourself.

Technics DC-Servo SL-BD20 Automatic Turntable

a balck record player overlayed on a photo of blue records
Matthew Pastorius, Getty Images

My Dad has no idea where this came from. He said, “possibly your grandma's old ballet studio,” which sounds perfect to me. It probably sat in his garage for 30 years before he dug it out and gave it to me to refurbish. That gesture, in and of itself, meant a lot to me, because my Dad is a pro when it comes to refurbishment. Beyond that, we have always connected via music; the warmth of the sound, plus the simplicity and reliability of this turntable always reminds me of him. I hope that I have it forever. — Matthew Pastorius, Business Development Manager

Price: $140.25 (used)

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Stanley Classic Vacuum Insulated Wide Mouth Bottle

a green stanley coffee coffee thermos overlayed on a photo of a table spread with coffee cups, donuts and spoons
Ryan Brower, Getty Images

I fondly remember this being my dad's work thermos when I was a kid. He'd fill it up with cold water in the summer and even soup my mom would make in the winter and bring it with him. He eventually stopped using it, and when I moved to California, I needed a thermos and he obliged. These days I'll use it a lot when I'm surfing all day — in the winter I'll fill it up with boiling water to warm up and in the summer it'll be cold water for keeping me cool. It's got a nice patina to it, and anytime I use it I recognize that a thermos being still usable 30 years later is pretty awesome. — Ryan Brower, Senior Commerce Editor

Price: $24.97

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Hamilton Intra-matic Panda Chronograph

a silver hamilton intramatic panda chronograph watch with a brown leather strap overlayed on a background of biscuits
Eric Yang, Getty Images

I can still picture every last crease and wrinkle that formed on my dad's face when I gave him this watch over some cheddar bay biscuits at Red Lobster for his 70th birthday. To be fair, he might have been equally excited about eating Red Lobster (his favorite spot). Alas, too soon after that day we learned that he had cancer and I would eventually "steal" the Hamilton back from his wrist on the day he passed. I'll probably never wear it, but it's a beautiful watch that's stood the test of time just as my father was a beautiful man whose wisdom has stood the test of time. — Eric Yang, Founder

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Lagavulin 16 Year

a bottle of lagavulin 16 overlayed on a photo of a vintage pool table
Tyler Duffy, Getty Images

It's hard to enumerate one thing I've inherited from my father. Growing into a full-fledged adult you recognize the jokes, the groans and the overall physique and realize that — when you inherit 50 percent of someone's DNA — genetics is undefeated. But one quality we share has been a lifelong curiosity and a passion for learning about new topics. I haven't stolen Scotch from my dad — at least as an adult. But exploring new single malts has been a hobby we've shared as he has branched out from Johnny Walker Red and I have required, well, more time to decompress with two young kids. — Tyler Duffy, Associate Editor

Price: $79.99

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Patagonia Atom Sling 8L

a black patagonia side bag overlayed on a photo of a forrest with trees and a road
Emma Cranston, Getty Images

I hike Red Rock every time I return to Las Vegas to visit my family. On my last trip I snagged this bag from my dad, and after that first comfortable, hands-free trek I haven't looked back. My dad has always been a sling, one-shoulder backpack fan; toting different versions to every World Cup for the past 30 years or so. Now, back in NYC, I’ve become an Atom Sling convert myself. I even ran into another friend with the same backpack, who first snagged it — I’m not kidding — from his own dad. So dad, thanks for securing the bag. — Emma Cranston, Associate Editor

Price: $59

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Ryobi One+ 18V 1/2-Inch Cordless Drill/Driver

a lime green ryobi drill overlayed on a photo of a work bench
Jack Seemer, Getty Images

When you move from a one-bedroom apartment to a house, as I did last year, you quickly realize the need for dependable tools. Here is one that I quite literally stole from my dad: the Ryobi One+ 18V 1/2-Inch Cordless Drill/Driver. Joke’s on me. Its battery is compatible with tons of other cordless Ryobi tools — an impact driver, orbital sander, angle grinder — which I’ve convinced myself aren't just nice-to-haves but absolutely essential to life outside New York City. Naturally, I’ve since purchased half of Ryobi's catalog, including some of its more powerful 40V yard equipment. — Jack Seemer, Executive Editor

Price: $79

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Vintage Belt Buckles

two belt buckles depicting agriculture clubs overlayed on a photo of a rancher with cattle
Steve Mazzucchi, Getty Images

Can the story of a man’s life be told in two belt buckles? Probably not, but these items my mother’s father left behind say a lot. Before fighting across Central Europe with the 90th Infantry Division in World War II, he was a cattle-judging champion at the University of Missouri. After he retired from the Army with the rank of Colonel, he purchased a farm in rural Pennsylvania, where he could make anything grow — and anyone laugh with lovingly embellished tales of days gone by. Like these (damn sturdy) buckles, the memories will always be with me. — Steve Mazzucchi, Senior Editor

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REI Synthetic Jacket

a grey rei jacket with front left chest pocket overlayed on a photo of a lake with trees and a mountain
Zen Love, Getty Images

"Stole?" Not exactly. I'd just returned to the States after living in tropical Thailand and had zero warm clothing. I had to drive my stepdad to the airport one morning and it was chilly so I borrowed this REI jacket that he had in his car. When I remarked that it was nice, he said I could keep it. Now, he realizes just how nice it is, swears he never said that and wants it back. Not gonna happen, and I'm sticking to my story. — Zen Love, Associate Editor

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Rolex Oysterdate Precision Ref 6694

a silver rolex oysterdate precision overlayed on a photo of a house with a pool in the backyard
Tyler Chin, Getty Images

My grandpa rarely wore a watch. When he did, it was for special occasions, and it was his Rolex Oysterdate, the little-known cousin to the more well-known Datejust. He bought the watch sometime around when he first came to America in the '60s or '70s. Like most Chinese immigrants at the time, a Rolex buy was like a way to signify you made it in the U.S. I'm not sure what exactly sparked the purchase, but at the time he was a great husband and an excellent father — and later, to me, the perfect grandfather. He gave his watches to me not long before he passed away. I wear the Oysterdate the most, almost every day, not only because it's an excellent timepiece, but for my grandpa. I guess we both made it. — Tyler Chin, Associate Editor

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