Violent Mystic, Pure Instinct, Poison Dagger, Sonic Madness, Tribal Muscle, Midnight Absinthe.
These are not the names of Monster Energy’s barely legal line-up of Corona virus-killing energy drinks. Nor are they in reference to whatever designer drug Sigfried might’ve scored for you at Burning Man—and before you guess it, no, they’re not the names of the mutant vehicles you’d expect to find there either. As abstract to the eye as they are by name, these words are the conceptual vessels meant to capture the spirit, might, and tour-de-force that had plagued lifestyle branding of the mid-2000s. I speak of none other than the Affliction Clothing Company, and the outrageous names of their barb wire-laden tee shirts.
It is my sincere hope that many of you have never heard of this label. To those fortunate enough to have been naive to the trendy mash-up of angel wings, skulls, roses, crosses, and swords, lemme me get you up to speed.
In 2005, Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell were fraternity house-hold names in every college campus across the United States. Why? Because handicapped by mouthguards, they relied solely by speaking with their fists every time they entered the mixed martial arts Octagon and they did it very, very well. Regardless of whomever won or lost, both would be wearing an Affliction tee shirt within seconds of the fight’s end so that whatever camera might be present to capture the moment, the crowned victor would be a broad-chested billboard for Spike TV.
Something about this resonated among young men, but none more so than in fashionistas searching for a shortcut to be cultured, feared, or respected. Rest assured, if anybody flirted with slapping down $80 for one of these tees, you could bet that there was some chandelier-on-the-ass jeans to go with them… maybe an Ed Hardy-labeled hat to boot and some Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses with a chin strap beard for good measure. Last, but certainly not least, we can’t forget about the watches. “But which are the best pairings” you might ask? Don’t worry bro, this Broke Watch Snob’s got your back with the sommelier skills to set you up with sickest of stunners. Here’re twelve timepieces any slampiece’d get wet for if she saw on the wrist.
1) Bell & Ross’ BR 01 Skull Burn Limited Edition (of 500)
- Case: Stainless Steel, 46mm (100m)
- Movement: calibre BR-CAL.302/Sellita SW300-1 automatic, 38 hrs
- MSRP: $7,700
“Question: What do you get when you combine flaming tribal print, Pirate skulls, pirate daggers, and sweet crocodile-print leather? Answer: Sexual napalm. Partially inspired by Airborne Special Forces of World 2, yet straight from the streets, whenever somebody asks you what time it is, you’ll be like, “Time to rage.”’
Haters will get hung up on how the screw heads don’t line up in the same direction, but I’ll bet you they don’t even know who Jack Sparrow is. Losers!
- Case: Stainless steel with PVD Rose gold and Titanic debris, 50mm
- Movement: Calibre RJ001-CS automatic, 42 hrs
- MSRP: $29,900
Can we all just take a beat to appreciate the fact that Steampunk trends are dead? While it would seem sensical to integrate the aesthetics of gear-related anything into watch design, RJ managed to incorporate debris from the ill-fated ship for their “Titanic-DNA” collection of watches… promptly dating their theme with the timely release of comic book Steampunk Palin. Never before had we seen a “why not” angle spiral so out of control.
My hope is that one day we’ll see a watch pieced together from the now defunct RJ brand, the ultimate meta-take on art imitating art.
3) Zenith’s Defy Xtreme Open (Limited Edition of 100)
- Ref. 95.0527.4021/02.M530
- Case: Titanium, 47mm x 20mm (1,000m)
- Movement: El Primero 4021 SX, automatic, chronograph
- MSRP $30,000
An actual review taken from Amazon:
“(5) Stars: Anytime I am in a public urinal the guy next to me says “wow is that a Zenith Men’s 95.0527.4021/02.M530 Defy Xtreme Tourbillon Titanium Chronograph Watch? I always reply “you know it baby!” then they always ask to see the face of the watch. “
Incidentally, 95.0527.4021/02.M530 is also the exact coordinates of Chuck Norris’ bunker.
- Case: Stainless steel, 42mm
- Movement: manual wind, 46 hrs
- MSRP: (Price on Request)
Is there any real way of reading “Kudoke” without thinking “bukkake?” Regardless, what we’re seeing is just as unfortunate of a mess, only with the addition of perlage, diamonds, and little gold bones scattered about. What you don’t know is that inside are the trapped souls from every single “lovely assistant’s” disappearing act performed by Criss Angel.
It’s a skeleton-themed skeleton watch. This may be nothing more than simple novelty for some but for a guy like Jeff Lowe, this thing’s probably worth three… maybe four tiger cubs easy.
5) Graham’s Chronofighter Oversize Overlord Mark III (Limited Edition of 50)
- Ref. 2OVAS.G01A
- Case: Titanium, 46mm x 20mm, (3,300 ft)
- Movement: Calibre 1732 automatic
- MSRP $11,300
“Oversize” my ass—It’s only 46mm but that doesn’t include the badass crown on left side. My buddy’s dad’s got three of these (one for each arm and a back-up in case shit goes down)—he says they remind him of the P-51’s he used to fly back in Vietnam. Pairing it with a sweet Livestrong bracelet will really make that yellow pop.”
Kudos to Graham for the decision to place the gas pump crown on the left side to allow for maximum range of movement whilst fist pumping.
6) Artya’a Son of a Gun – Russian Roulette, Glasnost 1 (Limited Edition of 9)
- Case: ITR2 and bullets 46mm
- Movement: Swiss manual wind, 52h
- MSRP: $18,875
Where to begin… Artya, the “Manufacture of Emotions,” is probably the closest thing to the spitting image of Affliction’s ethos, but appears to have be managed by the same marketing person who was in charge of your MySpace page back in 2002. Poignant loaded words that deal with the macabre dominate the website splash page. Their pun-based “Son of a Gun” Collection’s concept is, “Guns don’t always kill people, time always does.”
Does grammar or word choice matter when trying to establish a brand’s image? The experiment is tested at every opportunity. The case material here is ITR2: Innovative, Techincal, Resin, and Revolutionary (or just Resin for short). Gun aficionados would cringe over “fast spinning dial with handset real bullet.” Maybe a “bullet” is synonymous with “primer casing,” “brass cartridge,” or “round?” Nobody really knows and that’s part of the adventure here.
“It’s kind of like life when you think about it, bruh.”
7) Zenith’s Type 20 GMT Automatic Tribute to the Rolling Stones (Limited Edition of 200)
- Case: Black DLC Titanium, 48mm x 14mm (100m)
- Movement: Calibre Elite 693 Automatic Movement, GMT function, small seconds, 50 hr
- MSRP: $7,500
I see an eye sore and I want to paint it black. No cartoon lips on dials, just turn the whole thing black. With sharpie. Or nail polish. Or whatever the fuck you got— ‘cause anything would be an improvement over this abomination of a cash grab. Put them together side by side, and this would make the Domino’s Pizza Air King look like the Pieta of horological collaborations.
And yet… if you happened to be into black pilot watches with black bund straps and you were such a die-hard fan of the Stones that it was more important to you to own a truck stop-special version of their paraphernalia as opposed to any other number of other iconic watches actually owned by their members (or ones even made by them), then rock on, bruh. You’ve found your jam.
8) Romain Jerome’s Pinup DNA Red Gold WWII Gina Fan Chronograph (Limited Edition of 99)
- Case: Red Gold and Stainless steel black PVD, 46mm x 15mm (30m)
- Movement: Valjoux Chronograph Movement, Rj001-Ch Caliber, 27 Jewels, 28,800 V/H
- MSRP: $13,360
A sexist camouflage chronograph can come in handy for all sorts of things…
“You can use it to time how long it takes for your girlfriend to make you a sandwich. Or you can hold her accountable for timing whether or not she’s on her mark for losing that weight she’d vowed by the end of the year. Best part? You can be discreet about it and be patriotic at the same time! Camouflage America on the front, World War 2 pin-up art on the back. Don’t knock it, bro. That’s a freedom strap-on for the wrist right there.”
- Case: 45mm, 18k King Gold (100m)
- Movement: Calibre HUB1242 UNICO, automatic, calendar, flyback chronograph, 72 hours
- MSRP: $42,000
Thine eyes don’t deceive you. This is a pink gold poker-themed watch flanked by pink gold crocodile leather.
“True Story. One time when I was outside Exchange LA, the line was pretty much backed up to Wilshire Blvd. I was like, “Fuck that.” I walked up to bouncer, flashed my ‘blot, and he went, “Damn son!” He pulled back the velvet rope just like that and I got free bottle service all night, I shit you not, bruh.”’
For forty-two thousand dollars, this thing better come with several free shots of penicillin. Better yet, have Hublot engrave phone numbers for your local STD clinics on the backside of the case.
10) Devon’s Tread 1A
- Case: Stainless Steel, 50mm x 15mm
- Movement: Analog Quartz and rechargeable battery with digital display
- MSRP: $18,450
If James Bond ever had a camera built into his watch with perpetually rotating microfilm tracking seconds between Yaeger Bombs, it would probably look a little something like this.
“Does it fit under the cuff? Bruh, roll up your sleeves and show of the guns. If you’re packing heat like this you best be peacocking. Get ready to fly.”
Despite every temptation you might have for watch fasting with this guy, it’s got more conveyor belts than an Amazon warehouse… which means the longest it can be worn is for two weeks at a time before it needs a recharge.
11) Artya’s Son of Sound Skull – Catacomb (Limited 1/1)
- Case: Stainless steel, 57mm
- Movement: modified A17, automatic, 52 hrs
- MSRP: $22,050
“Wait, wait. I’m worried what you just heard was, ‘Give me a watch with a bunch of skulls.’ What I said was, “Give me a watch with all the skulls you have.’”
Holy Hot Topic, Batman. This… (sigh) this “watch” is everything the thirteen year-old me felt when he was convinced that Korn was the voice of his generation. In fact, imagine you’re at their concert and the dude tearing your ticket’s got a tattoo on his hand; what would it be? Bet you that whatever it is, you’d find on this watch bezel. Barbed wire, shamrocks, skulls, petunias, fleur de lis, anchors, Egyptian onchs, biohazard symbols, crossed bones, crossed revolvers, crossed guitars, crossed Celtic crosses…
Its case size is 57 millimeters across, which means this thing can double as a melee weapon on the fly for when you need to back up Pauly D if he ever gets a little too rowdy downtown. Pray that you never get stuck behind a dude wearing this thing in a TSA line, because you know there’s no way this is the only chunk of metal they’re wearing on the body.
- Case: Titanium, 43m. (50m)
- Movement: Manual wind, Tourbillion, with Oracle (Erotic Phrase Generator)
The Erotic RM69 is a real watch. It’s really real. The sexual madlib complication is really part of the selling angle. “I long to taste your pussy,” or any other number of sweet nothings really do take up half of the dial. All of this is really real. It also features a tourbillon. Yep. A mother fucking tourbillon.
I’ll take two please.
And so there you have it, bruh. Timeless, heirloom-worthy, testaments of power sure to impress your long, illustrious line of fist pumping posterity.* Personally, I’ve swiped right to all these but my advice is don’t be caught with the same one two days in a row. Nobody wants to look clingy, you know.
*Axe body spray not included.
Damon is based out of the Bay Area, where he’s a black sheep among Apple Watch loyalists. Having served as a Combat Engineer with the USMC, he believes a true field watch’s success is measured by how closely it compares to a “G-Shock.” Nonsensically, a background in design has guided his preference toward higher craft, as he struggles to become the lifestyle his watch tastes more closely reflect.