June 18, 2024

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Specialists in technology

From watches to bags, this stylish gear will stop you feeling blue

Kate Bush apparently spent a lot of the 70s looking at blue, “the colour of my room and my mood”. We’re inclined to follow the singer’s example when it comes to aesthetics, at least, which brings us to this list: our edit of true blue-hued accessories from cobalt telecasters to cerulean light panels. Just something to look at.

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Fender American Ultra Telecaster

It looks every inch a classic Telecaster, this Cobra Blue beauty is part of Fender’s most advanced range to date, featuring Ultra Noiseless pickups for vintage sound without the hum, and the new Modern D neck, with its compound-radius fingerboard and heavily rolled edges. They’ve also re-shaped the back so players can noodle for hours in greater comfort, while the electronics have also had a tweak, and now use a treble-bleed circuit to preserve high-end response, whatever the volume.

Price: From £1,749 | Andertons | Fender

IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition Blue Angels

IWC has form when it comes to pilot watches – the brand’s first dedicated pilot’s watch landed back in 1936. Keeping this lineage alive, the new Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition Blue Angels has been designed in collaboration with the US Navy’s Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron – the equivalent to our Red Arrows. The deep blue dial with outer minute ring and inner hour ring is inspired by early military observer’s watches, while the 44.5mm black ceramic case brings some 21st-century tech. Inside, an in-house calibre 89361 flyback chronograph offers 68 hours of power reserve, which is protected from precision-impairing magnetic fields by an inner cage made from soft iron. Damage to the front glass due to sudden drops in air pressure has also been mitigated thanks to a special securing mechanism, which ensures it stays in place no matter how extreme your aerial stunts.

Price: £10,090 | IWC

Filson Duffle Pack

A perennial favourite with Gear editor Jeremy White, Filson’s heritage heavy duffle, typically made from tough tin cloth and bridle leather, has had a thoroughly modern makeover. Maintaining the bombproof design, but now in 600 denier all-weather tear-resistant nylon, this multipurpose pack is light and rugged, with reinforced zips and padded laptop sleeves. You can tout it as a duffle or a compact rucksack.

Price: £265 | Filson | Wildbounds

Patagonia Women’s Macro Puff

The perfect mid-layer for when the temperature plummets and you crave duvet warmth, but need to maintain mobility. At just 315g the warmth to weight ratio here is exceptional, meaning you can easily carry it and wear under a shell for unrivalled toastiness. And while it isn’t designed to be waterproof, it has been treated with a water repellency, so showers will bounce off, and even if it does get soaked, the synthetic fibres will dry fast and maintain warmth for longer.

Price: £380 | Patagonia | Alpine Trek

Snow Peak x New Balance R_C4

Our headline choice from the Snow Peak x Tokyo Design Studio New Balance capsule collection, the R_C4 is a brave sneaker design that’s brimming with outdoor tech, including a waterproof but breathable Gore-Tex membrane with Cordura rip-stop upper, a magnetic Fidlock buckle (more typically found on a chin strap), and New Balance’s tried and tested Encap Reveal and Abzorb midsole and cushioning. A Vibram outsole makes mincemeat of icy pavements and off-road hikes alike.

Price: £270 | Snow Peak | End Clothing

Nanoleaf Canvas

When Nanoleaf’s modular lightshow-cum-artwork offering first appeared, we thought it was a bit of a smart home gimmick. But after a few tweaks and some great innovations, we’re sold on the design’s inventiveness and flexibility. Plug-and-play right from the box, you can design your dream light wall that uses voice controls (HomeKit) and touch to change colours and patterns (there are 16.4 million hues available for all you CMYK fans). Party animals can even have it pulse in time with their music.

Price: From £180 | Nanoleaf | Amazon

Japanese Hanten Jacket

We’re more than a little obsessed with our performance fabrics at WIRED, but sometimes the traditional ways remain just as effective, which is why we’re wrapping up in this 200-year-old Japanese jacket design. The outer is made using 100 percent Japanese cotton, while the heavy fill is a mix of cotton and polyester that keeps out the chill in style.

Price: $198 | Best Made

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