Catching Up with James Stacey

James Stacey is a writer, photographer, and podcast host from Vancouver, BC, Canada. I, Josh, was recently a guests on his podcast The Grey NATO and last year we were both on assignment together for Volume 5 of Hodinkee Mag.
James is obsessed with adventure, which you'll know if you follow any of his work or listen to his podcast. He's a dear friend and is always down for a good conversation. We thought it would be fun to introduce him to our audience. Enjoy the interview:


You work at Hodinkee, so it's no shock that you love watches. We do too, here at P&T. In fact, we styled our first shoot with Monta watches.

What are your favorites in the $1500-$2500 (ish) price point? 

Monta offers a lot at this price point, for sure. I also have a big love for Doxa, Oris, and some of the older generation Omega Seamasters like the 2254.50. 

What's something that everyone new to watches or starting to collect should know? 

The knowledge and perspective informed by other people's mistakes are largely free on the internet. Buy slow, read fast, go with that you love to see on your own wrist, and remember that Instagram is mostly a lie. 

Favorite bar you’ve ever visited? Dink of choice? 

Drink of choice is almost always bourbon, neat. As for the best bar I've ever visited, there is a pretty great Tiki bar called Trader Vic's in the basement of the Hotel Bayerischer Hof in Munich, Germany. It's a trip for sure. 

Advice on telling a good story?

Work to develop a defined expression of why you think the story is interesting. Be specific in sharing what made you feel drawn enough to the story in the first place. When in doubt, throw in an arcane pop-culture reference. 

Whats an accessory or two that you cannot leave the home without? 

1. The Big I Design TPC Titanium Pocket Clip (it's on my keys -

2. A simple pocket knife. I am partial to the Benchmade 319 Proper, the James Brand Elko, and I'm eagerly awaiting delivery for a new Finch Runtly.

3. A Muyshont flashlight of some sort. Generally, their Aeon as it is small, powerful, and has a pocket clip.

If you could spend a year living anywhere, where would it be? 

Italy, near the mountains. I once took part in a media drive from Kitzbuhel to Saruis via the Grossglockner pass. Anywhere around there. 

Do you style your outfits based on your watch that day, or choose your watch based on what you’re wearing?

Neither, most of my watches are pretty flexible and I mostly only wear blues and greens (aside from a bright orange Doxa, which really only matches with a deep tan). 

Go to music for writing and editing?

I don't typically listen to music when writing as I find it hits the same part of my brain as that which is attempting to form the sentences. If I really need to get a lot of work done I may put on Carpenter Brut. High pace, loud, no lyrics. Good for grinding. 

As for editing, it varies but follows a similar theme, could be anything from James Taylor to Lana Del Rey, Frank Ocean, Francis and the Lights, Vulfpeck, Yoke Lore, and Bon Iver. 

Oh yeah, cars, can’t finish this without a car question. If you could have a loaner for a year (any car, truck, or van), what would you choose?

That's a tough one. If just for me it'd be something fast with a stick, like an M2 Comp or a 911T. But I have two little kids that love a fast sedan so maybe split the difference with a new RS6 or (assuming someone would loan it to me) a really clean manual E39 M5. 

Any recommended reading, watching, listing?

For reading, check out Shadow Divers, it's an amazing story of two east coast wreck divers finding an unknown German U-Boat not far off of New Jersey and the incredible lengths they went to in identifying the wreck. 

For listening, Vulfpeck Live At Madison Square Garden is wild (Tidal if you've got decent speakers, Youtube the concert video if you're wanting the full effect). I've also been getting back into the most recent Fleet Foxes, 2017's Crack-Up. If you want a laugh, the "All Fantasy Everything" podcast is about as good as it gets. 

For watching, Alex Garland's "Devs" is entirely next level (like everything he does). 

Last thing, what’s your “work from home” setup looking like these days?

I've worked not-in-an-office for a long time, but usually with a ton of travel. With WFH being the new mode I've had to actually set up a working desk. It's nothing special, a decent chair and a big screen to edit photos. When I'm bored or tired of being at the desk, I'll hit the couch and let the Hi-Fi do its thing.

In a few sentences, how do you interpret A Life of Wonder? 

I think it's a call to curiosity. To finding the edge of what we already know. To actively expand one's own perspective by following passion with the hope of discovering new colors. 


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