Spaceships: Abstract Photographs of European Architecture Portrayed as Spacecraft by Lars Stieger

Berlin-based photographer Lars Stieger travels around Europe to photograph architectural structures, but instead of capturing a building in its entirety he opts to isolate only the most unusual aspects, recasting each as a figment of science fiction. For his new series titled Spaceships he pushes this concept to the extreme by applying an otherwordly color scheme that places these real-life buildings onto alien worlds or sends them hurtling through space. You can see more from the series on Behance.

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Auction Report: Jacob & Co. Astronomia Sky Unique Piece Sold At Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Benefit In St. Tropez (For An Undisclosed Amount)

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This is the third year in a row that the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation has held its annual gala in St. Tropez. The highlight of the event is a fundraising auction to benefit the foundation, which was held on July 26. The Foundation exists to raise awareness of the dangers of climate change and to help protect endangered wildlife. The fundraising auction typically features a combination of very high end experiences, access to events, luxury goods and objets d’art. Items up for auction this year included a large assortment of artworks donated for the event. In all, over $30 million was raised.

Presentation of the Astronomia Sky at the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation benefit in St. Tropez.

Presentation of the Astronomia Sky at the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation benefit in St. Tropez.

Vanity Fair reports, "The majority of the sum came from a multi-lot auction that included gifted art works from Richard Prince, Damien Hirst, Jonas Wood, Cecily Brown, and Rudolf Stingel. A large work by Urs Fischer, who was in the crowd, sold for more than $2.5 million. A brief bidding war ensued between Harvey Weinstein and DiCaprio over a large portrait of the actor in paint and crushed-up plates by Julian Schnabel. DiCaprio, who was on stage and teasing the producer to stop putting his hand up, finally banged the gavel on his winning bid of $400,000."

Watches were featured as well. For the past three years, DiCaprio has auctioned one of his own personal Rolexes, but this year Jacob & Co. also donated a unique piece version of the Astronomia Tourbillon for the event.

The Astronomia Sky is a new version of the Astronomia Tourbillon, and it shares the latter’s four-armed carrier system. On one arm is a double tourbillon (including the rotation of the entire carrier, the Astronomia Tourbillon and Astronomia Sky are actually triple-axis tourbillons). On the other three, in the Astronomia Tourbillon, are the hour and minute hands (arranged on a gear system that keeps 12:00 at the top of the display, irrespective of the rotation of the carrier) a rotating globe cut from an orange sapphire; and a rotating running seconds indicator. I went hands-on with the Astronomia Sky earlier this year, and there’s really nothing else like it out there.

Jacob & Co. Astronomia Sky
Astronomia Sky star chart

The Astronomia Sky is also distinct from the original Astronomia Tourbillon in having, as part of the dial, a star chart with a moving ellipse that shows the portion of the sky visible overhead, day or night. The ellipse rotates once per sidereal day, acting as a sidereal time indication as well. For the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, Jacob & Co. donated a version of the Astronomia Sky inscribed with DiCaprio’s signature, and the words, "Generosity Is The Key To Our Future."  

Leonardo DiCaprio on stage with the Astronomia Sky.

Leonardo DiCaprio on stage with the Astronomia Sky.

The exact figure reached by the watch is confidential, however Jacob & Co. reports it was well over the $580,000 retail price of the standard model. For more info about how the Astronomia Tourbillon came to be, check out our video interview with Jacob Arabo and watchmaker Luca Soprano, who discuss some of the technical challenges involved in creating the watch; and find out more about the environmental initiatives of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation at leonardodicaprio.org.

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Seven Dive Watch Myths Deep-Sixed

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There may be no more misunderstood type of timepiece than the dive watch, which is strange because it is arguably also the most popular kind. Dive watches are loved for their ruggedness, their sporty good looks, and their perceived ability to make almost anyone wearing one a little more like Dirk Pitt or James Bond. Much of this perception comes from the images and hyperbolic copy we see in watch company marketing, that depicts a stubbled, black-clad diver emerging from the sea wearing his 2,000-meter oversized watch. But the realities of dive watches are often much different from those many of us have come to believe. And the less dives watches are used for their original purpose, the more pervasive the myths become. Here are some of the most common dive watch misperceptions and the reality hiding behind them.

The rotating bezel helps you keep track of how much oxygen you have left.

There are a few things wrong with this statement, which I’ve taken verbatim from a recent dive watch press release, and you don’t have to be a diver to know that. First of all, the timing bezel, while versatile, is fairly dumb. It does one simple thing—track the passage of time, up to an hour. You could stare at your bezel for an entire dive and still accidentally suck your tank dry if you don’t also check your submersible pressure gauge regularly. Now, you could approximate how much air you’ve got left if you know your air consumption rate; i.e., how much you breathe in a given amount of time, but that’s more useful for creating a dive plan than it is reason to ignore your pressure gauge.

Eterna diver chronometer

A dive bezel can be used for a lot of things, but tracking remaining oxygen is not one of them.

The other thing wrong in this statement is the use of the word, “oxygen” which I see misused far too often with reference to diving in general. Most recreational divers breathe compressed air—21% oxygen, 79% nitrogen and trace amounts of other gases—but to breathe pure oxygen below 20 feet of water depth is toxic and can cause convulsions, and usually an unpleasant death by drowning. 

A dive bezel can be used for a lot of things—timing total dive time, decompression stops, swim distances and surface intervals. But until watchmakers figure out how to sandwich a pressure gauge inside a watch case, your dive watch is never going to tell you how much oxygen—or air—you have left.

An orange (or bright) dial enhances underwater visibility.

Bright dial colors have become a bit of a calling card for dive watches and we can trace that lasting trend back to 1967 and one brand—Doxa. As legend has it, Urs Eschle, the designer of the now-famous Doxa SUB 300, decided to test a variety of dial colors in murky Lake Neuchâtel and found that orange was best for underwater visibility. But while orange made the Doxa an icon and found its way onto countless other watch dials from Breitling to Seiko, it isn’t the best.

The orange dial made Doxa dive watches famous but it fades quickly at depth, unless illuminated by artificial light, as in this photo.

Water absorbs the colors of the light spectrum one at a time as a diver descends. Reds tend to disappear first at a mere 15 feet, followed by orange, and so on.These colors simply turn to a dull grey, unless they are fluorescent, in which case they all glow to great depths. It turns out that the colors that stay visible the longest underwater are yellow and blue, but this is all a moot point because the legibility of a dive watch really has nothing to do with the dial color, but rather the amount of contrast between hands and the dial. And for that, nothing really is better than a black dial with big fat white hands, specifically the minute hand.

A vented strap helps your wrist breathe.

This isn’t so much a myth as it is a specific design feature whose use is unappreciated (or misunderstood) by those who don’t experience it firsthand. That rippled rubber strap found on Citizens, Seikos, Panerais and IWCs is one of the most ingenious innovations in dive watch history and it doesn’t even have to do with the watch itself. 

IWC Aquatimer Deep Three.

The vented rubber strap on the IWC Aquatimer Deep Three.

Water pressure exerts a force equivalent to the entire weight of the atmosphere above us for every 10 meters a diver descends. This has the effect of squeezing anything compressible in its way, from eardrums to soda cans. Thus, a neoprene wetsuit sleeve slowly gets compressed against a diver’s arm as he goes deeper. A conventional watch strap, such as a NATO or flat rubber, will simply then get looser and looser, causing the watch head to flop on the wrist. In 1975, Seiko was the first to introduce the accordion “vented” rubber strap on its groundbreaking 600-meter Professional dive watch, which introduced a slew of other innovations like L-shaped shaped gaskets and a protective bezel shroud.

Seiko Pro Diver

Seiko pioneered the use of vented rubber straps in the 1970s.

To counteract the effects of water pressure, a diver needs to “over-tighten” the vented strap, essentially pulling the ripples out flat, before entering the water. As the wetsuit compresses and the wrist circumference shrinks, those ripples slowly take up the slack and the watch stays tight. It’s a delightfully simple solution and a design feature of a dive watch as recognizable as a rotating bezel. But it is essentially useless on dry land and if you want your wrist to breathe, it’s better to just get a strap that has holes in it.

A helium release valve will let you dive deeper.

I’ve made my feelings clear before about helium release valves, but I’m setting personal opinion aside here to address the oft-cited, and erroneous notion that these valves somehow allows a watch, and its owner, to venture deeper into the sea. While it may be true that the tiny percentage of commercial or military divers who do make use of a watch’s “burp valve” often go deeper than the rest of us, that’s more a function of their work environment than it is their watch’s prowess. 

Rolex Sea Dweller

The helium escape valve on a Rolex Sea-Dweller.

Helium release valves merely relieve an overpressure of helium inside a watch case that is most often experienced while working out of a pressurized habitat. You can read Jack’s excellent synopsis of saturation diving for more detail. The reality is, many commercial saturation divers leave their watches behind inside the habitat when they exit to work, since it is of little use on a long shift and potentially a liability. So while the watch is exposed to high pressure, it often isn’t even water pressure, so the meters of water resistance don’t matter a whole lot. And the helium that gets into the watch doesn’t come from the water, but from the gas inside the habitat. Regardless, most commercial divers don’t work at depths much deeper than 200 meters and often much less.

Dive watch fans tend to appreciate over-engineering, and while the backstory of the helium release valve and its early development is fascinating, it won’t help you dive any deeper.

100 meters of water resistance is not enough for diving.

Overkill is a good thing when it comes to gear that gets used in harsh environments, but let’s consider the numbers. PADI, the largest professional dive instructor organization, states that 60 feet, or about 20 meters, is the depth to which basic Open Water certification cardholders should dive. Get your Advanced Open Water certification and PADI divemasters will take you to 130 feet, or 40 meters. A 100-meter watch is more than double that depth, and so will be just fine. It also will likely be slimmer, lighter, and less expensive than one rated to the absurd depths we see nowadays on many divers. In fact, I’ve seen more than a few divers wearing plastic 50-meter water resistant Timex Ironman watches as a backup timer.

Rado Captain Cook

The Rado Captain Cook is only rated to 100 meters of water resistance, but that should be plenty.

The earliest dive watches had relatively modest depth ratings, and that was in the 1950s – an era when watches were worn regularly as necessary underwater instruments. The first Rolex Submariner was rated to 100 meters and the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms was so named because it was thought that the maximum depth to which a diver could safely descend was 50 fathoms, or 300 feet (a little less than 100 meters). In actuality, deeper than 187 feet, the partial pressure of the oxygen in compressed air becomes dangerously high and can become toxic. 

But don’t take my word for it. ISO 6425 – the international standard that lays down specifications for what can be called a “dive watch”– states that the minimum water resistance should be no less than 100 meters. So while we all appreciate a 1,220-meter dive watch for its impressive engineering, let’s not pretend that an Oris Diver 65 or Rado Captain Cook won’t time a dive as well as a Sea-Dweller. Even if you flail your arms underwater (read on).

Flailing your arms underwater adds to the water pressure on the watch.

Ah, this old chestnut: the notion that swimming or swinging your arms underwater adds an additional measure of extreme water pressure acting on a wristwatch. So those who want to wear their watches for water aerobics or re-enacting Thunderball fight scenes should think twice about their choice of dive watch. But it’s simply not true.

The author and friend reenact a Thunderball fight scene.

The author and friend reenact a Thunderball fight scene.

The fact is, there is no discernible increase in water pressure on a watch’s gaskets no matter how hard you swing your arms. I’m no physicist, but according to someone who’s done a lot more research than me, you’d have to be moving your arm 32 miles per hour in order to raise the pressure by one atmosphere (the equivalent of an additional 33 feet or 10 meters of depth) and that’s only if the pressure hits the gasket at a right angle, which it doesn’t. You see where I’m going with this—swimming with a watch that has almost any measure of water resistance is a non-issue. Anyway, you’ll notice that seasoned divers don’t use their arms much, since swinging them around decreases hydrodynamics and increases effort, which in turn depletes a tank’s air supply more quickly.

You’d have to move your arm 32 miles per hour in order to raise the pressure on your watch by one atmosphere of pressure.

Divers wear dive watches.

If you only looked at press releases, watch brand websites and promotional photos, you might assume that a dive watch is an essential piece of gear for a scuba diver. But step foot on a dive boat anywhere in the world, and you’re not apt to find a single watch on a wrist that’s not a digital dive computer. The truth is, in the evolution of the dive watch, by the early 1990s, dive computers became state of the art, due to their ability to dynamically track depth and calculate nitrogen tissue loading, no-decompression limits, and decompression stops. No longer did a diver need to carry a laminated set of tables with them, or do math in their head underwater. 

There are still plenty of good reasons to dive with a dive watch.

That said, there are still plenty of good reasons to dive with a watch, and I never backroll into the blue without one opposite my dive computer. First off, short of carrying a second dive computer, it’s a handy backup bottom timer that, in tandem with a mechanical depth gauge, can be used “old school” to time a safe dive in case your computer goes on the fritz. Secondly, there are other things that can be timed underwater for which a digital dive computer isn’t as well suited, such as swim distances for navigation, turnaround and rendezvous times, or safety stops. Topside, it’s also easy to spin the bezel to track surface intervals, boat ride times, and the all important post-dive happy hour. 

The author wears a dive computer but always has a dive watch on his opposite wrist.

All these purposes aside, to wear a dive watch diving is to celebrate the heritage of this most purpose-built timepiece ever devised. Wearing a dive watch ties you to the lineage of great watches in history and the explorers and adventurers who’ve worn them before. It also is a nice keeper of memories to which you can refer when you’re back at your desk. That scratch on the clasp? From a penetration dive on the Thistlegorm wreck. The scuff on the crystal? A brush on some coral while lionfish hunting in Curaçao. A dive watch is a tangible celebration of our adventurous spirit and an encouragement to go out and do cool stuff. And that may be the best reason of all.

Photos: Gishani Ratnayake

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How to Balance a Full-Time Job and a Part-Time Freelance Business

Starting a “side-hustle” has grown in popularity over the past few years, and it’s easy to understand why. 

Maintaining a full-time job while pursuing a passion project on the side offers the best of both worlds: a steady paycheck and benefits along with the opportunity to make a little extra money doing something you love.

And while there’s a lot to gain when starting a side-hustle, there’s also a lot of sacrifice.

Here at Elle & Company, we know a thing or two about balancing a full-time job and a “side hustle.”

I worked a few different 9-5 jobs while I worked to get my business up and running, and both of my assistants currently work full-time jobs while helping me with Elle & Company part-time.

All three of us understand the time and energy that goes into balancing a full-time job and a part-time passion project. 

So we rounded up some practical ways that we’ve been able to keep our heads above water and maintain our sanity in the process. 

How to Balance a Full-Time Job and a Part-Time Freelance Business | Elle & Company

1 | Consider your end goal

If we’re being honest here, does anyone really ever plan to start a side business? 

Many of us may have stumbled into it through a hobby-turned-business or a dissatisfaction with our day job.

That being said, it’s easy to jump into creative entrepreneurship without mapping out long-term goals on the frontend

It’s helpful to think through questions like:

  • What is your long-term vision for your business?
  • What do you want your business to look like 5 years from now? 10 years from now?
  • Do you want to take this business full-time?
  • If so, how long are you planning to stay at your current full-time job?

Questions like these can be a little overwhelming, but they’ll give you a goal to work toward and allow you to think through smaller action steps that will help you get there.

My team uses the SMART goal method for brainstorm sessions like this. 

Because our goals can often be vague, we follow the SMART acronym to make them more specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and time-bound.

When you think through exactly what you want to achieve and set a plan in place to actually reach your goals, you put yourself in a better position to achieve them.

We’ve found the SMART goal system so helpful that we created a worksheet for Elle & Company Library subscribers. 


How to Balance a Full-Time Job and a Part-Time Freelance Business | Elle & Company

However you go about it, make sure to set aside time to consider the end game. 

Not only will long-term goals give you a fresh perspective on your additional workload; they’ll also give you a little extra motivation when the stress and self-doubt of entrepreneurship inevitably creep in.
 

2 | Give yourself time to recharge

Working a full-time job by itself is exhausting.

You may have to commute a long distance, interface with co-workers who make your life less than pleasant, take direction from a boss whose leadership style you disagree with, adhere to rules you think are pointless, attend meetings that keep you from your gigantic to-do list, and meet deadlines you have no control over. And that’s all before lunch! 

Burnout is real, especially when you’re working 9-5 and starting a business during your off-hours. 

And when you’re exhausted and running on empty, your work will suffer. It’s important to make time to rest.

So once you get home from your full-time job, give yourself some time to recharge.

An hour to clear your head, grab a snack, and watch some TV (or another activity you enjoy) before you jump back into work can help maximize your time doing your “side hustle.”

3 | Create a schedule

Organization is key to maximizing your limited time as a full-time employee and part-time business owner. You have to be diligent by creating a schedule and sticking to it.

Creating a schedule for your “side hustle” can take on many forms. 

Maybe you offer branding or web design services and your package requires 30 hours of work. Consider the timeline you promised your client in order to determine how many hours per evening or on weekends you need to work  to complete the project within the timeline you promised. 

Watch this Ellechat webinar replay to see exactly how I estimate my project hours and map out my client calendar.

Or maybe you’re a virtual assistant and you work a set amount of hours per week for your client(s). Consider your other obligations throughout the week in order to determine how many hours per evening or on weekends you need to work to fulfill your time requirement each week.   

A helpful mindshift that may enable you to take advantage of your limited time is Parkinson’s Law

Parkinson’s Law is the idea that work expands to fill the time available for it’s completion. 

For example, if you have one hour to write a blog post, you will write it in one hour. But if you have eight  hours to write a blog post, it’s easy to stretch out the amount of time to write the post far past one hour.  

Stop thinking of your limited time as an excuse and use your limited time to your advantage to get more done! 

Here are some reader-favorites on scheduling and time management:

4 | Make a list

One of the downsides of a “side hustle” is the limited amount of hours you have to complete all of your work. 

If the schedule you created only allows for two hours of work per evening, you need to know exactly what you hope to accomplish during that work session before you even crack open your laptop. 

After researching and piecing together resources for scheduling my week, I created my own Work Week Scheduler workbook to help me stay on task and organize my work. 


How to Balance a Full-Time Job and a Part-Time Freelance Business | Elle & Company

The section on identifying your top 3 priorities is one of my favorite features of this workbook, because no matter what happens during the day, I can aim to complete those top 3 tasks to keep me moving forward and working toward my quarterly goals.

How to Balance a Full-Time Job and a Part-Time Freelance Business | Elle & Company

You might also find it helpful to make a note on your phone or in Asana to keep up with to-do list items, random ideas, and resources you run across throughout the day at your full-time job so you don’t forget them when you sit down to crank out business tasks.

5 | Leverage your full-time job to get better at your freelance work

Most full-time jobs pay for professional development like conferences, courses, and trainings. 

So consider these opportunities to educate yourself — and potentially grow your side hustle with your new skills — while your company picks up the bill. 

On the other side of the coin, you will be developing skills that can help your “side hustle” as well, whether it’s blogging, SEO, design, or social media. 

Not only are you honing your professional skills for your business, but you can also bring these to your full-time job.

If you’re working a full-time job with no common connection to your part-time work, try to develop soft skills that have the potential to benefit both jobs, such as project management, strategic planning, batching tasks, adaptability, decisiveness, etc. 

Get creative and look for any overlap so you can maximize your time, education, and skills.

Starting a side-hustle while working full-time is no easy task. 

But creating long-term goals, making time to rest, creating a schedule, setting priorities, and leveraging your full-time job will help you make the most of your time during this season and get you to where you want to be.

Best wishes – we’re rooting for you!

Are you working or have worked a full-time job while pursuing a “side hustle”? What are some practical ways you keep your head above water by balancing two jobs? What direction is your “side hustle” heading – full-time freelance business or continue to be a part-time gig? 


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Weeds and Other Botanical Specimens Recast as Dark Subjects in Daniel Shipp’s Dramatic Images

In Daniel Shipp‘s series Botanical Inquiry, the Sydney-based photographer explores how plants and flowers found at the edges of urban infrastructure fit into our modern world. Shipp collects seemingly unremarkable plants and photographs the subjects in built dioramas, an environment that allows him to manipulate the relationship between foreground and background with a controlled precision. Through this process he is able to create dramatic photographs in-camera, shooting digitally but using old visual effects techniques developed for early cinema.

By highlighting botanical specimens we have culturally labeled “weeds,” Shipp attempts to shift the viewer’s perspective on flora that they might walk past each day. He recasts these marginal plants as the subject of each of his photographic stories, showcasing their knack for survival even in the face of pollution and harmful human intervention.

“There are some beautiful ‘weeds’ that we might walk past all the time,” Shipp explains to Colossal. “I knew that if I could present these often unnoticed plants in the right context that there was potential for storytelling. Next time you go for a walk make an effort to look for plants in places you wouldn’t normally—shopping center carparks, service stations etc.”

Shipp further explained that one of the most beautiful colors he has photographed for the series was found on the underside of the foliage of a plant common to industrial parks across Sydney. The hidden purple was one of the most incredible metallic shades he had ever seen, and it had been sneakily surrounding him for the majority of his life.

Shipp was recently announced as the winner of Magnum and LensCulture‘s 2017 Fine Art Photo Award. You can see more of his photographs on his website and Instagram, and take a behind-the-scenes look at his Botanical Inquiry series in the short video below. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

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Unbraided Rope Installations Branch Like Roots and Nervous Systems

Artist Janaina Mello Landini (previously) continues to produce dizzyingly complex installations and canvas-based sculptural works comprised of unbraided ropes that branch out like tree roots. The fractal-like artworks have developed over a period of six years as part of her “Ciclotrama” series, a word she coined that combines the root word “cycle” and the Latin word “trama” meaning warp, weaving, or cobweb. Via Zipper Galeria:

Janaina Mello Landini aggregates her knowledge of architecture, physics and mathematics and her perception on time to develop pieces that travel through different scales. The labyrinthine architecture has been the central axis of her research in the “Ciclotramas” series, made with ropes that break down into minimal threading, and “Labirintos Rizomáticos”, works in satin that result in the construction of multifocal perspectives, nullifying the traditional construction.

Landini has created numerous pieces for several shows and installations over the past year. You can see more of her recent work on Artsy and Zipper Galeria. (via Visual Fodder)

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Yokai Sushi and Other Imaginative Demons

These yokai sushi look they’re about to jump off your plate. A Japanese illustrator who goes by the pen-name Hanabiyori Tatami imagined these ghoulish creations, bringing various different types of sushi to life by imbuing them with yokai, a class of supernatural demons found in Japanese folklore.

sake yokai

There are innumerable yokai in Japanese folklore. And there is even a type of sushi that does derive its nomenclature from yokai. The kappamaki, a cucumber roll popular with children, gets its name from the kappa yokai, a river-dwelling imp that loves cucumbers.

The Kyushu-based Hanabiyori Tatami specializes in yokai illustrations, and has dreamed up other series of yokai as well like sake yokai, plant yokai, chochin lantern yokai and instant curry yokai.

You can follow Hanabiyori Tatami on Twitter and also on the Japanese illustration community site Pixiv.

plant yokai

instant curry yokai

chochin lantern yokai

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Introducing: The Carl F. Bucherer Patravi ScubaTec Manta Trust

Manta hero.jpg?ixlib=rails 1.1

The Patravi ScubaTec Manta Trust is the latest version of Carl F. Bucherer’s popular ScubaTec, which irrespective of variation all have in common a 500m water resistance rating and a helium release valve, as well as all the other features required in a professional diving watch (including of course a one-way rotating bezel with ceramic insert, something that’s become more or less de rigueur in modern, professional-level diver’s watches). The Manta Trust is being produced as a limited edition of 188 pieces, and it’s being produced in partnership with, and to benefit, the Manta Trust, which is a non-profit conservation organization based in the Maldives and the UK, and whose mission is to study and protect these giant fish.

Patravi ScubaTec Manta Trust

The Patravi ScubaTec Manta Trust is a limited edition of 188 pieces, benefitting the Manta Trust non-profit research institute.

Manta rays are one of the most instantly identifiable animals in the ocean; they’ve been around for over 20 million years, and there’s still much about their life cycle and behavior that’s not well understood. The largest specimens can reach sizes of up to 23 feet across, and they can live for over 50 years. A female manta ray gives birth to live young (called pups, rather endearingly) and pregnancy lasts more than a year.

Mantas are also sometimes called "devilfish" in reference to the two conspicuous cartilaginous horns on either side of the mouth, and yet despite the menacing nickname, they’re harmless to humans and also just about everything else – like many true giants of the ocean, they’re filter feeders, consuming nothing bigger than plankton. Areas where they congregate are very popular with tourists and recreational divers. Not only are they spectacular animals, they also exhibit fascinating behavior, including "breaching" in which the entire manta leaps out of the water and crashes back down (often mantas will do this in groups, one after the other; no one knows why). 

Researcher Using Stereo Camera to Measure Manta Rays, Hanifaru Bay, Baa Atoll, Maldives © Guy Stevens, Manta Trust 2012

Researcher Using Stereo Camera to Measure Manta Rays, Hanifaru Bay, Baa Atoll, Maldives © Guy Stevens, Manta Trust 2012

However, in recent years they’ve become vulnerable to extinction, with pressure from human activities ranging from overfishing (the horns are used in some forms of traditional medicine; the meat is consumed in some parts of the world; and the skin is used for leather) to pollution and habitat loss, all contributing to the manta’s dwindling numbers.

The fact that mantas reproduce so slowly means that various local manta populations can take a very long time to recover, and so the Manta Trust expends a great deal of effort identifying individual mantas (each has a unique pattern on its abdomen, which acts as a sort of fingerprint) and studying them both as specific animals, and as members of a larger group.

Reef Manta Ray, Manta alfredi, Dhiggaru Kandu, Ari Atoll, Maldives © Guy Stevens, Manta Trust 2015.JPG

Reef Manta Ray, Manta alfredi, Dhiggaru Kandu, Ari Atoll, Maldives © Guy Stevens, Manta Trust 2015.

Reef Manta Ray, Manta alfredi, Feeding Over Reef, D'Arros Island, Amirantes, Seychelles © Guy Stevens, Manta Trust 2016.JPG

Reef Manta Ray, Manta alfredi, feeding over reef, D’Arros Island, Amirantes, Seychelles © Guy Stevens, Manta Trust 2016.JPG

Carl F. Bucherer’s CEO, Sascha Moeri, explained the genesis of his company’s relationship with the Manta Trust:

"The Manta Ray Trust CEO, Guy Stevens, is based in the UK and Maldives…he’s a great guy, great personality, but they don’t have a lot of money to do what they want to do. We decided on a long-term collaboration four years ago, and our first project was helping them equip two mantas with sensors, that let us follow how they eat, how they move in the ocean…we named them Carl and Friedrich," he added.

Reef Manta Ray, Manta alfredi, Surface Feeding, D'Arros Island, Amirantes, Seychelles © Guy Stevens, Manta Trust 2016.JPG

Reef Manta Ray, Manta alfredi, surface feeding, D’Arros Island, Amirantes, Seychelles © Guy Stevens, Manta Trust 2016.

"This animal is…well, it’s such an experience to see them; they’re such special creatures and I thought, we can combine them with the product as well. We had a very special idea. All these mantas have a skin with a unique pattern of spots on the underside. The Manta Trust photographed all these mantas for many years – around 240 different animals. Each watch will be unique as the pattern for an individual manta – a different one for every watch – is engraved on the back of the watch; every one has one specific animal. It’s super cool; you can actually go on the Manta Trust website and find and name ‘your’ manta."

patravi scuba tec manta trust, caseback

The pattern of spots on the ventral surface of a specific manta is reproduced on the back of each watch.

"The rest of the watch," Moeri said,"is similar to the standard ScubaTec – automatic movement, 500 meter water resistant, COSC certified; it has luminescent indexes, distinctive hands, it’s easily readable underwater and has a fantastic diver’s folding clasp that can fit over a wet suit."

"I think the key for us is that we’re helping to preserve manta populations for generations to come, as we find out more about what they eat, what habitat they need to flourish … there is still so much unknown about this animal. We’re looking forward to continuing to support the Manta Trust, and finding out more about these really special animals…moving forward, we are going to find a way to support a specific project."

Reef Manta Ray, Manta alfredi, Hanifaru Bay, Baa Atoll, Maldives © Guy Stevens Manta Trust 2014

Reef Manta Ray, Manta alfredi, Hanifaru Bay, Baa Atoll, Maldives © Guy Stevens, Manta Trust 2014

Part of the proceeds of the sale of the Patravi ScubaTec Manta Trust will go to fund a study coming up this august, in which a team of Manta Trust researchers will spend two weeks at sea studying the manta population in the Maldives – specifically, analyzing habitat use and the varieties of plankton the animals consume. The Patravi ScubaTec Manta Trust will retail for $6,057.

The Patravi ScubaTec Manta Trust: movement, ETA base caliber/CFB 1950.1, chronometer certified, 26.2mm x 4.6mm, automatic, 38-hour power reserve. Stainless steel case, 44.6mm x 13.45mm, water resistance 500m, helium escape valve; unique manta ray engraving on the caseback. Sapphire crystal, stainless steel bezel with ceramic insert. Rubber strap with adjustable diving folding clasp in stainless steel. More info on the watch, and on the Manta Trust, at carl-f-bucherer.com.

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Introducing: The Carl F. Bucherer Patravi ScubaTec Manta Trust

Manta hero.jpg?ixlib=rails 1.1

The Patravi ScubaTec Manta Trust is the latest version of Carl F. Bucherer’s popular ScubaTec, which irrespective of variation all have in common a 500m water resistance rating and a helium release valve, as well as all the other features required in a professional diving watch (including of course a one-way rotating bezel with ceramic insert, something that’s become more or less de rigueur in modern, professional-level diver’s watches). The Manta Trust is being produced as a limited edition of 188 pieces, and it’s being produced in partnership with, and to benefit, the Manta Trust, which is a non-profit conservation organization based in the Maldives and the UK, and whose mission is to study and protect these giant fish.

Patravi ScubaTec Manta Trust

The Patravi ScubaTec Manta Trust is a limited edition of 188 pieces, benefitting the Manta Trust non-profit research institute.

Manta rays are one of the most instantly identifiable animals in the ocean; they’ve been around for over 20 million years, and there’s still much about their life cycle and behavior that’s not well understood. The largest specimens can reach sizes of up to 23 feet across, and they can live for over 50 years. A female manta ray gives birth to live young (called pups, rather endearingly) and pregnancy lasts more than a year.

Mantas are also sometimes called "devilfish" in reference to the two conspicuous cartilaginous horns on either side of the mouth, and yet despite the menacing nickname, they’re harmless to humans and also just about everything else – like many true giants of the ocean, they’re filter feeders, consuming nothing bigger than plankton. Areas where they congregate are very popular with tourists and recreational divers. Not only are they spectacular animals, they also exhibit fascinating behavior, including "breaching" in which the entire manta leaps out of the water and crashes back down (often mantas will do this in groups, one after the other; no one knows why). 

Researcher Using Stereo Camera to Measure Manta Rays, Hanifaru Bay, Baa Atoll, Maldives © Guy Stevens, Manta Trust 2012

Researcher Using Stereo Camera to Measure Manta Rays, Hanifaru Bay, Baa Atoll, Maldives © Guy Stevens, Manta Trust 2012

However, in recent years they’ve become vulnerable to extinction, with pressure from human activities ranging from overfishing (the horns are used in some forms of traditional medicine; the meat is consumed in some parts of the world; and the skin is used for leather) to pollution and habitat loss, all contributing to the manta’s dwindling numbers.

The fact that mantas reproduce so slowly means that various local manta populations can take a very long time to recover, and so the Manta Trust expends a great deal of effort identifying individual mantas (each has a unique pattern on its abdomen, which acts as a sort of fingerprint) and studying them both as specific animals, and as members of a larger group.

Reef Manta Ray, Manta alfredi, Dhiggaru Kandu, Ari Atoll, Maldives © Guy Stevens, Manta Trust 2015.JPG

Reef Manta Ray, Manta alfredi, Dhiggaru Kandu, Ari Atoll, Maldives © Guy Stevens, Manta Trust 2015.

Reef Manta Ray, Manta alfredi, Feeding Over Reef, D'Arros Island, Amirantes, Seychelles © Guy Stevens, Manta Trust 2016.JPG

Reef Manta Ray, Manta alfredi, feeding over reef, D’Arros Island, Amirantes, Seychelles © Guy Stevens, Manta Trust 2016.JPG

Carl F. Bucherer’s CEO, Sascha Moeri, explained the genesis of his company’s relationship with the Manta Trust:

"The Manta Ray Trust CEO, Guy Stevens, is based in the UK and Maldives…he’s a great guy, great personality, but they don’t have a lot of money to do what they want to do. We decided on a long-term collaboration four years ago, and our first project was helping them equip two mantas with sensors, that let us follow how they eat, how they move in the ocean…we named them Carl and Friedrich," he added.

Reef Manta Ray, Manta alfredi, Surface Feeding, D'Arros Island, Amirantes, Seychelles © Guy Stevens, Manta Trust 2016.JPG

Reef Manta Ray, Manta alfredi, surface feeding, D’Arros Island, Amirantes, Seychelles © Guy Stevens, Manta Trust 2016.

"This animal is…well, it’s such an experience to see them; they’re such special creatures and I thought, we can combine them with the product as well. We had a very special idea. All these mantas have a skin with a unique pattern of spots on the underside. The Manta Trust photographed all these mantas for many years – around 240 different animals. Each watch will be unique as the pattern for an individual manta – a different one for every watch – is engraved on the back of the watch; every one has one specific animal. It’s super cool; you can actually go on the Manta Trust website and find and name ‘your’ manta."

patravi scuba tec manta trust, caseback

The pattern of spots on the ventral surface of a specific manta is reproduced on the back of each watch.

"The rest of the watch," Moeri said,"is similar to the standard ScubaTec – automatic movement, 500 meter water resistant, COSC certified; it has luminescent indexes, distinctive hands, it’s easily readable underwater and has a fantastic diver’s folding clasp that can fit over a wet suit."

"I think the key for us is that we’re helping to preserve manta populations for generations to come, as we find out more about what they eat, what habitat they need to flourish … there is still so much unknown about this animal. We’re looking forward to continuing to support the Manta Trust, and finding out more about these really special animals…moving forward, we are going to find a way to support a specific project."

Reef Manta Ray, Manta alfredi, Hanifaru Bay, Baa Atoll, Maldives © Guy Stevens Manta Trust 2014

Reef Manta Ray, Manta alfredi, Hanifaru Bay, Baa Atoll, Maldives © Guy Stevens, Manta Trust 2014

Part of the proceeds of the sale of the Patravi ScubaTec Manta Trust will go to fund a study coming up this august, in which a team of Manta Trust researchers will spend two weeks at sea studying the manta population in the Maldives – specifically, analyzing habitat use and the varieties of plankton the animals consume. The Patravi ScubaTec Manta Trust will retail for $6,057.

The Patravi ScubaTec Manta Trust: movement, ETA base caliber/CFB 1950.1, chronometer certified, 26.2mm x 4.6mm, automatic, 38-hour power reserve. Stainless steel case, 44.6mm x 13.45mm, water resistance 500m, helium escape valve; unique manta ray engraving on the caseback. Sapphire crystal, stainless steel bezel with ceramic insert. Rubber strap with adjustable diving folding clasp in stainless steel. More info on the watch, and on the Manta Trust, at carl-f-bucherer.com.

Source: http://ift.tt/1IiKaDm

“Propagating machine” by NEVERCREW in Mannheim, Germany

Swiss artist duo NEVERCREW has been very active recently and here is their brand new piece called “Propagating machine” in Mannheim, Germany for Stadt.Wand.Kunsts project which has been decorating the streets of Mannheim since 2013.

This work is about the balance between the elements, about the relation between mankind an nature and about how, within this relation, each element could affect the system of which is part, both in a negative or in a positive way. It is about immediate effects and long term consequences that could seem not tangible, so about the importance of single acts or global attitudes towards the environment in which everyone live.

Check out more images below and a video on how this mural came together and stay tuned on StreetArtNews for more updates from Germany!

-Pictures by NEVERCREW and Alexander Krziwanie / MONTANA-CANS

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