Keaton was born and raised in the heart of the beautiful Pacific Northwest and was taught watchmaking in the horologically rich Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. Before beginning his watchmaking education he worked for MKII Watch Company, gaining invaluable experience in the industry. Keaton then attended the Lititz Watch Technicum, graduating in 2007, gaining his WOSTEP certification, AWCI certification and the coveted LWT Diploma. Keaton learned the art of traditional watchmaking and was instrumental in helping his class build a precision pendulum clock as a class project rarely seen in watchmaking schools today. Upon graduation, Keaton worked for Rolex USA in one of its service centers learning from industry leaders how to service some of the world’s finest timepieces. Today he works from his workshop in Sisters, Oregon making fine watches by hand, one at a time.

Why Do Watches Cost So Much?

This is a question that has been asked many times, and the answer is relative to what the buyer wants from a watch. Is it just a time piece, do they need it for a specific sport or for its visual appearance. Appearance can again be either as a costume piece or a highly decorated piece made from gold and fitted with diamonds and other stones.

Another way that buyers look at watches is from an investment point of view. Now we are looking at brands that retain their value and more often than not increase in value substantially. Names like Rolex, Patek Philippe and Omega immediately comes to mind. The initial investment can run into thousands of dollars. The next question is why are these special watches so expensive? Is it a marketing ploy or is there real value into the watch. Watches in this category are called Icon watches or cult watches.

rolexLet’s take Rolex as a perfect example.  The Rolex Company was founded in London by Alfred Davis and Hans Wilsdorf in 1905 and in 1919 moved their operation to Geneva, Switzerland. This Swiss based company has been the best known brand for decades. It is still a leading brand sponsoring many popular sporting events throughout the world. The company operated its own foundry to produce and melt gold for producing their cases. The company is a vertical integrated company that produce all the components for their watches under their control. This assists them to improve and maintain their extremely tough standards and reputation as the best watch in the world. They test their watches under extreme conditions, in water to depths beyond which humans can dive. Rolex is involved in many sporting events such as tennis, golf and aviation. Even with their current high selling price and marketing strategy Rolex watches fall into a mid price range. There are more extreme watches available for the discerning investor or buyer.

Patek Philippe is another exclusive brand where many models are never displayed as stock in a jewellery store. They have to be ordered specifically for the client. This is particularly true for the Patek Philippe Nautilus. The slogan for Patek Philippe explains it all. “You never own a Patek Philippe, instead you preserve it for future generations” The Company is 175 years old and is the last family owned watch manufacturer in Geneva. It was founded in 1839 by Antoine Norbert de Patek and Adrien Philippe. It currently holds 80 watch patents.Patek-Philippe-300x300

Having looked at some of the famous brands, people often raise an important question. How can new brands compete in this luxury market? This will require a lot of marketing and innovation over many years to establish themselves in an already established market. Can they oust these market leaders? I don’t think that will be possible. However we have seen many new products enter a market with established manufacturers with smart technology and succeed. However luxury and class is not that easy to convince. People are image conscious and nothing says that as well as Rolex and Patek Philippe.

The Ultimate Man Cave

When my wife and I found out that our third child was indeed another girl, I made the executive decision to turn my garage into a man cave. One guy stuck in a house with four women is enough to drive any man insane. I needed to be able to escape the mood swings and tears and gossip sessions and relish in all of my manly hobbies. I figured the project itself would give me an escape itself. Surprisingly though, it was a fairly simple project and didn’t take nearly as long as I thought (or hoped) it would.


The first thing I did was clear out the crap. I didn’t want all of my junk lying about, reminding me that I should be working and not relaxing in my humble abode. I wanted my room to be a place I could relax, watch football and play poker with the guys when we managed to squeeze in a guy’s night. That was one project I had put off for a long time so it felt good to finally clean the garage out. I made a promise to never again let my garage become a room that just accumulates junk.

After I cleared my room out, it was time to decorate it. In order for it to really be a man cave, you need light up beer signs and “gone fishin’” posters right? I decided to hit up some local yard sales and see what kind of treasures I could find without spending much money. Turns out, a lot of people’s trash really is another’s treasure. I managed to fill up my man cave with just a day’s worth of yard sale hopping. I picked up a Miller Lite neon light, some old crab traps to go on the wall, some quintessential man cave posters, and even a nice table that would come in handy later.

The most expensive part of building my man cave came down to the electronics. Isn’t that always how it works? I wanted a big screen TV so that I could invite the guys over for football and Nascar races. However, I wasn’t keen on spending over $1,000 (my wife wasn’t either). I decided to wait until Black Friday in hopes of getting a good deal. While I will never ever show up to Walmart at midnight on Black Friday again, it was worth it just the one time for a killer deal on a TV. However, a TV is really worthless without some great speakers. Lucky for me, I have an amazing wife and kids and they surprised me with some Bose outdoor speakers for Christmas, which really made my life complete. Not only do they sound amazing with music or the game, but I never have to worry about the elements damaging them. It was just what I need and I didn’t even know it.

Are you still wondering what my plans were for that table I picked up at the yard sale? Well, that was my last big project to complete my man cave. It was the last piece of the puzzle to create my own little oasis in my very own home. With the very inexpensive table I picked up at the yard sale, I built my very own poker table for guy’s nights. It was a fun project that I managed to complete over the course of a weekend. I found step-by-step instructions on YouTube and it cost me nearly nothing.

I get tons of compliments on my man cave and even my married friends now look for an escape to come join me and watch the game. We have our monthly poker nights the first Saturday of every month which also gives the women their time to shop or take the kids out for the day. My wife has even become a big proponent of the man cave. Sometimes I think she prefers for me to hang out there. I always come back much more relaxed and ready to tackle life’s obstacles.

Do you have a room in your house that never gets used? Do you have a room that has just become a “junk drawer” where you throw everything you no longer have use for and don’t want to look at anymore? Consider turning it into your own man cave. I have to admit it was a fun project to work on, but enjoying the results are even better. And to top it off, I spent under $1000 to get it just the way I wanted.

Hot New Artists To Watch in 2015

samsmithSam Smith: A Soulful Lover

Stay with Me, Lay Me Down, I’m Not the Only One. These are just some of the songs which are making Same Smith the fastest rising star for 2014. Samuel Frederick “Sam” Smith is a British soul singer-songwriter who was born in May 19, 1992. He became famous with his breakthrough single Latch. Instantly it peaked to number 11 in the UK Singles Charts. Now, it still is being played all over the world and a lot more people are getting to love Sam Smith with his soulful songs.

He was nominated last December 2014 for the BRIT Critics’ Choice Award and won. He was also nominated in BBC’s Sound of Poll and again won.

In the Lonely Hour 

Sam Smith debuted his “In the Lonely Hour” album.  It was released in the UK last May 2014 under Capitol Records. It has 10 songs which included hits like “Money on My Mind”, “Stay with Me”, “I’m Not the Only One”, and “Lay Me Down”. The deluxe edition of the album included 5 bonus tracks which included “Latch” which was the song heard on your best bluetooth speakers with subwoofer around the world.

In the US, the album sold 166,000 copies in the first week of sales and gained a number 2 spot in the Billboard Charts. On May 2014, he outsold Coldplay’s “Ghost Stories”. He is taking the world by storm.

The album received critical reception upon release but generally got positive reviews as seen on Audio Speaker Guide.

For those who have never been in love

Sam Smith wanted to write an album and dedicate it to people who have never been in love.  Why? Because he himself have never experienced love. With this experience, he rose to the challenge of making who he is and what he feels felt all over the world. He is full of emotion. “Feeling close enough, wanting to latch in your love.” Latching on to each of his world wide audience’s heart.

A lot of people were able to relate to his song because they not only felt the words but also the sincerity of the singer song writer.

Hottest Rising Star

He is taking the world by storm. He is scheduled to have an “In the Lonely Hour” Spring Tour 2015 which is already on sale. Worldwide anticipation of this artist which makes sells tickets like hotcakes. Most of his UK shows are sold out and they had to add another date in London to accommodate more shows in the 02 Academy Brixton. His tour starts March 1, 2015 in Forest National, Brussels and ends on May 4 at the HBF Stadium in Perth, Australia.

Different Styles of Knives

Knives have been around since the beginning of man. In fact, the first cavemen utilized knives to survive.  The knife has survived thousands of years as we still use them today. It is amazing how an item as simple as the knife can be a staple in the human race from the beginning of time. Now of course, over those years knives have evolved and thus taking on many different shapes, sizes and utilitarian functions. Today we even have multi-tools; which are many different knives built into one tool, if only cavemen could see these beautifully crafted devices today. Some of the different types of knives that you can see on the market today are throwing knives, multi-tool knives, kitchen knives and survival knives.

First up is the throwing knife. Really, if you think about it, the throwing knife is a modification from the throwing spear or hunting spear which was used by early humans as well. The throwing spear would have been used for hunting in the early days which is a stark contrast to what our throwing knives of today are used for. I suppose throwing knives could be used as a weapon; however most people use throwing knives as a sport, much like throwing darts. There are even throwing knife competitions in which the elite knife throwing professionals compete. If you’ve never seen a throwing knife, they look a lot like a dagger; elongated with a prominent handle. Some of the best throwing knives are balanced and lightweight yet durable. They definitely need to be durable as you are likely to be throwing them into a wooden block of some sort and they will be striking hard surfaces repeatedly. Needless to say, the throwing knife has earned a category of its own in the world of knives.Throwingknives


As mentioned earlier, the multi-tool is really many knives in one. Most multi-tools even have screw drivers, scissors, files and many other useful hand tools all on board. The multi-tool is super useful to all the tradesmen out there which are working on various different pieces of equipment every day. Multi-tools also come in handy in many different recreational sports like fishing, cycling, and hunting. There has even been multi-tools which were developed specifically to assist in the every day operations of someone in the tactical field such as military personnel. As you’ll see while researching on the internet, the best multi-tool is the multi-tool which fits the needs of the user. In other words, a tactical person will want the multi-tool which has tools specifically for working on certain types of weaponry, whereas someone who is an avid fisherman will want a multi-tool which has a good set of pliers and a hook to cut through fishing line. The good news is, there is definitely a multi-tool for everyone regardless of what their interest may be.

It sounds strange to hear it today as kitchen knives are an everyday household item, but at one point in time no one had a kitchen knife; at least not in the sense that we know them today. The kitchen knife has come a long way to the point that they even carry a sort of prestige in the kitchen. You can definitely tell this as one of the most popular wedding gifts nowadays is a kitchen cutlery set. Some kitchen knifes aren’t even made out of the traditional stainless steel that most people are accustomed to, instead a ceramic which is said to keep its edge longer.

Last but not least is the many different types of knives today is the survival knife. Made much more popular by all the reality TV shows, the survival knife is relatively new on the knife scene. For example, Bear Grylls has his own line of survival knifes which are available for purchase at many big box shopping stores, all made possible via his reality TV survival program. Survival knives are a utilitarian knife built to offer many function, yet not quite a multi-tool. Most survival knives come with a dual blade to accommodate many different cutting situation you might encounter when out in the wilderness. However, most survival knives are rather bulky, not making them ideal for an every day carry knife. On the other hand, you will appreciate that bulkiness when you are trying to accomplish more “heavy duty” tasks out in the wilderness.

As you can see the knife of the early days has evolved quite a bit. Now available is countless different variations of that same item the first humans used to survive. From knives used solely in the kitchen to knives meant to conquer anything in the wild, the knife has undergone many transformations and likely will continue to undergo many more transformations in the coming years.

How to Properly Winterize Your Lawn

For the boat, pool and spa owners out there, the term winterization may be common, but others may be unfamiliar with what exactly winterization is all about. Winterization is the term coined for preparing items for the winter season. For example, boats must have fluids drained in order to prevent freezing and ultimately bursting fluid lines. Pools may have to drain a certain amount of water as well as have pumps properly prepared for the freezing temperatures that will soon ensue. The owners of these items are all aware of the necessary steps and prepare accordingly, or should be anyways. However, one area of almost all homeowners which is overlooked is the winterization of the backyard. Backyards often contain lawn furniture, trampolines, shrubs and bushes, lawn watering systems and countless other items which when exposed to harsh winter time environments can be ruined.

Often time’s lawn furniture will be left on decks and patios all winter long. After one heavy snowfall all of this outdoor furniture can be ruined. Snow is very heavy and when piled on top of a glass table it doesn’t take much to crack into a million pieces. The worst part of this is that outdoor furniture is often very pricey. Simply bringing the outdoor furniture inside before winter is in full swing can prevent a pricey mistake. Many times though, people do not have room to store bulky outdoor furniture. Thus, outdoor furniture covers have been designed to prevent the piles up of snow. These covers usually have braces which will deflect snow onto the ground. This is an excellent preventive measure to be taken assuming room indoors is not available.

Trampolines, although durable, are among the many items which are often overlooked when preparing for the winter months. Snow can quickly accumulate on the jumping surface of a trampoline. The weight of the snow will cause the jumping surface to sag and can ultimately ruin springs or worse yet spring free fiberglass rods.  I think most would agree that dismantling and reassembling a trampoline every year is not an option. Assembling a trampoline is often times the biggest complaint of owning one. Therefore, completing this task every year is highly unlikely to happen. This leaves the owner of a trampoline which is getting ready to experience the winter months few options. If there was no room indoor for outdoor furniture, surely there is no room for an even bigger and bulkier trampoline. However, by setting the trampoline on its side up against a fence, shed or even on the side of the house will prevent massive snow accumulation on the jumping surface. Many of the higher end models of trampoline, including spring free trampolines, have winter covers available to prevent this very issue. A quick read through a few springfree trampoline reviews, will help assist in picking the trampoline which is right for you and your winter months.

Shrubs, bushes and flowers are items that are unfortunately not easy to relocate. Those items which are planted in pots of course can be moved closer to the house, or better yet indoors. Because many people desire exotic plants and trees, caring for these plants during the harsh winter months is of utmost importance. The next best thing to moving the plants indoors is to cover the plats with a blanket before nights experiencing hard freezes. This is much more common in southern states such as South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Alabama. Although these states rarely receive snow, they do on numerous occasions per winter month experience below freezing temperature. These below freezing temperatures will kill an exotic plant such as a croatan, palm and orange tree. By covering the plant with a blanket for the night time hours, it will allow the plant to maintain a higher temperature making it less likely to develop frost on its leaves which is what will destroy a plant.

There seems to be a trend in neighborhoods whereby individuals are competing for the “best lawn.” With that comes many hours of work, bags of fertilizer and watering. To make the maintenance of these fancy yards more tolerable, many people are turning to in ground watering systems, or sprinklers as they are more commonly referred to. The in ground watering system is fantastic during the spring and summer months, but come fall and winter these systems can be a disaster. Most in ground sprinkler systems are installed only 6-8 inches below the surface. Therefore, they are exposed to freezing temperatures more easily than the actual waterline to the house. Because these lines are more easily exposed to freezing temperatures, they are then more susceptible to bursting. Water in a confined area that freezes, expands, and then can burst a pipe. Once a pipe has burst, there is no remedy aside from digging up the cracked area, removing it, and replacing it with new pipe. Although, this sounds very doable, the biggest issue is locating the area of the leak 8 inches below ground. Therefore, preparing these pipes by draining the system or applying a anti-freezing chemical is of utmost importance to ensuring in ground sprinkler system longevity.

Preparing boats, pools and spas for winter seems to be common sense however where people are almost every day, at home, looking out their back window is far too often overlooked. If not properly cared for many outdoor items can be ruined and awfully costly to replace. By following the few steps outlined above you can avoid these mistakes. A few hours of preparation can save thousands of dollars in mistakes down the road.