How to cop a "we made it" watch (+ Far Side tee) the Lawrence Schlossman way
Throwing Fits' very own "Jawn Legend" drops a Swiss gem on us
Is Lawrence Schlossman the funniest man in menswear? He regularly shows up in the Top 2 of BLACKBIRD SPYPLANE’S WEEKLY JAWN-HUMOR POWER RANKINGS alongside James Harris, his co-host on Throwing Fits — the hit fashion-and-culture podcast that simultaneously embodies & satirizes the deranged depths of modern dudely garment-obsession.
So when we asked Larry to tell us about a rare possession near & dear to his heart, we didn’t know what to expect. After mulling it over a while, he sent us a question: “Would it be corny as fuck to talk watches? Since I’m not like a NERD? But emotionally speaking copping my Rolex Sea Dweller was important to me…”
We do try to maintain a NERD-FREE PERIMETER here at Blackbird Spyplane HQ, but we are also known to appreciate “life’s finer things” — so we were excited to chop it up w/ him about SWISS HOROLOGICAL EXCELLENCE. To spark off the conversation he texted us this photo of the Sea Dweller on wrist, styled with an excellent vintage Far Side tee to boot…
Blackbird Spyplane: How did this watch come into yr life?
Larry Schlossman: “I’m not actually a sentimental guy when it comes to clothes. When you pitched me on doing this I had to sit back and think about my emotional relationship to garments, or accessories, or pieces, or jawns because, yes, I own grails — like, I have pristine ‘85 Chicago Jordan 1s — but I don’t really give a shit about those, and I have a double-breasted Isaia suit that I remember stretching my wallet to cop, and no matter what I weigh and what style-phase I’m in it always fits and always looks good — but that’s not it either. But the Sea Dweller! Even though I just got it last year, it represents to me something that no other garment can....”
Larry, walking A+ doggo Pepper in og ‘85 Chicago Jordan 1s he doesn’t “really give a shit about”
Blackbird Spyplane: What’s different for you about the watch?
Larry: “When I started working in men’s fashion, as a total nobody — flying from North Carolina, where I was in school, to New Jersey, to stay at my parents’ house, to commute to New York, to like, live-blog a trade show at my laptop — I’d see dudes like Nick Wooster, Josh Peskowitz, all these accomplished guys I met and became close with, along with dudes I couldn’t even recognize, and everybody had beautiful Rolexes. And they all wore Submariners. It seemed so cool to me, and it represented the idea of the guy I could one day become if I continued to grind — and not just ‘I made it’ but ‘I made it on my terms.’ Because people in my life then didn’t understand: ‘Wait, you’re taking vacation days to do what?’ ‘Shirking responsibilities at work to do a blog?’
“Ever since those trade shows, when I close my eyes and think of a perfect watch, it’s always a steel diver watch with a black face. So the first thing I did, ‘cause I was young and dumb, was buy a Seiko diver watch and send it to this guy in China named The Yobokies — “Seiko Boy” backwards. I forgot how I found him, but most watch things in my life happen because Jeremy Kirkland or my buddy Dave Carr put me on.
“So I asked him, ‘Can you mod my Seiko to look like a Sub?’ He put a cyclops on it, a black mil-spec face on it — it wasn’t a fake Rolex, but I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t my way of faking it till I made it. That watch, all customized, ran me $250, which was substantial to the kid. I wore that watch for 10 years.
The “fake it till you make it” Seiko that Larry paid $250 to modify to his exacting broke-boy specifications
“Over the years I flirted with making purchases — you stumble into a bag and you think, ‘What’s the responsible way to spend it?’ but finally, when things were picking up with the podcast in 2019, I hit up Jeremy and Dave, because you never know what they have lines on — they know every seller, every distressed seller, every plug. And it turns out Dave had this beautiful Sea Dweller from 2003. The ref on it is 16600. It still had the box and papers, so I know it was purchased in August 2003 by a banker in Greenwich, Connecticut…”
Larry’s Sea Dweller — notably missing the magnifying bubble over the date, a.k.a. no “cyclops”
Blackbird Spyplane: I’m not super steeped in this s**t, but if I was just glancing at this across the room I’d think it was a Submariner…
Larry: “Yeah except the Sea Dweller has a thick-ass case, it goes twice as deep as the Sub — I like it because it’s substantial, it’s beefy, and I love having a date on my watch but this ref has a date with no cyclops, and it’s nice to have that cleaner face.”
Blackbird Spyplane: It’s cool that whereas the Submariner is pretty common, you found this lesser-known cousin...
Larry: “Dave told me his favorite thing about the Sea Dweller was that Sub wearers would come up to him who were greener, like, bankers who just got a lot of money, and say, ‘Yo! Sub guy!’ And he’d go ‘No, actually…’ — and he could do the If You Know You Know thing: The helium escape-valve on the side is how you know it’s a Sea-Dweller. So if I ever had to flex on a douche watch-guy I would double down on that stuff. But that’s not why it’s on my wrist — when I think about what’s emotional about this watch, it’s 10 years of doing things your own way, despite people along the way asking, Is this gonna pan out? Are you sure about this? So it doesn’t feel like me flexing the Rollie, it’s me flexing being myself, and that’s ill.”
Blackbird Spyplane: Shifting gears — what’s up with this Far Side t-shirt yr rocking in the picture you sent?
Larry: “OK I’m not a comedian but humor has made up for a lot of deficiencies I have in my professional and personal life, and that comes from my father who, like myself, considers himself to be the funniest person he knows — so in that sense it’s not just my sense of humor that I get from him but my relationship to it, which is I walk around thinking I’m the funniest motherfucker on earth.
“So I remember looking at Far Side collections with him in the waiting room of my dentist as a kid. I don’t need to talk about the genius of Gary Larson — he’s a satire god, one frame, hit it out of the park — he’s the definition of ‘He don’t miss.’ It’s like with The Far Side every meme was viral before we knew what ‘memes’ or ‘viral were.’
Gary Larson pondering his GOAT status in 1985; photographed by Paul Sakuma
“In the ‘90s they made these Far Side promotional tees, because cool hippie science teachers need stuff to wear on the weekends — they can’t just wear denim shirts to work every day. And a few months back we had Trey Kerby on Throwing Fits and at one point he mentioned old Far Side tees and incepted us. The next day Chuck sent around an Instagram post to the group chat for this XL ‘Midvale School for the Gifted’ tee from Fantasy Explosion — one of the best vintage resellers in the tri-state area. That’s my all-time favorite Far Side comic, so I immediately bought it — Apple Pay, no look, one take — and then James went in and said, ‘Yo what the fuck, someone copped it!’ And I sent him my confirmation. Every so often there’s a jawn that hits so spot-on in a chat that by sending it to your boys you’re only creating conflict!
“Anyway, so this shirt has that stupid story behind it, but it also makes me think about something I love about my father — and to tie it back to the Rolex, both of these really do remind me of things I love about myself, and when I wear them I feel good. That to me is what I love about getting dressed, man: the self-confidence and just personality that can come from it. There’s a lot of kids that might use a fit to avoid parts of themselves they don’t like, but for me your clothes need to be a representation of who you are — the right jawn can enable a superpower.”
-Larry is on Instagram & Twitter
-He runs the Four Pins (RIP) Twitter account, too
-Throwing Fits is on Patreon & you can subscribe at the major streamers
-Gary Larson’s site, where he recently posted his first new work in 25 years, is here
-Fantasy Explosion’s webstore is here