It's no secret that American menswear giant J. Crew needs some new ingredients in its recipe in order to ensure its long-term survival. Despite past luminaries such as Todd Snyder helming its menswear division, declining sales, a worldwide pandemic and the rise of streetwear haven't been kind to the iconic purveyor of prep. However, the appointment of Brendon Babenzien — the former design director of Supreme and co-owner of Noah — to the post of creative director for menswear certainly bodes well, as does a new foray into the world of watches.
That's right, watches. But wait! you may be saying: We millennials have always been buying our Timex Weekenders at J. Crew for $29.95. There's probably even a meme about this somewhere on the Internet. (And if there isn't yet, there should be.) But I'm talking about watches, watches — "timepieces," if you will. The good shit.
We're pleased to report that J. Crew has partnered with our friends at Analog/Shift in the curation of a selection of such vintage watches, ranging in price from $950 to $9,650. There are old American military watches, fine Swiss pieces from Rolex and Omega, wacky, small-batch dive watches...the whole nine yards.
That prices run the gamut is welcome: J. Crew's still clearly speaking to its vaguely post-collegiate American base — and, by the way, you can also buy a brand new watch from the likes of MWC or Marathon for a couple hundred bucks if you like — but they also seem to be hinting that the brand is perhaps no longer going to be relegated to the entry point of high fashion. (I'm not suggesting we're going to be seeing full-canvassed suits any time suit, but maybe a Ludlow jacket that doesn't develop a hole in it after the first wear? I'm actually one to talk. I own too many Ludlow suits and jackets to effectively complain.)
So what's on offer at the moment? Quite a few watches — 18 vintage pieces, it looks like, plus these dope ball caps in three colors:
As the watches out, it seems James Lamdin and his crew at A/S will add new pieces to the lineup. ("Keep an eye out for a rotating curation of their rare and unique finds," the website says.) Though of course we die-hards can always shop for vintage watches directly through Analog/Shift's website, we've no objection to the partnership bringing new folks into the vintage watch collecting door via a popular, favorite brand like J. Crew.