While the team at Cool Hunting shares plenty of interests, individually we offer different know-how and embody distinct tastes. Through our research and curiosity, we cross the paths of many products and experiences—and oftentimes some really stick. From digital cameras to sweet treats, turntables to watches, the following items are on the CH team’s collective list this holiday season. Dream gifts aside (and it’s a pretty varied list), our one shared wish is plenty of time with family and friends—but if somebody wants to give us a tropical island (or a loved one that might also like it), nobody would say no.
DxO One Digital Camera
The DxO One digital camera ($599) sits somewhere between a point-and-shoot and a smartphone camera. The powerful, portable attachment snaps into iPhones via lighting connection, transforming them into sharp, capable shooters thanks to a 1″ BSI-CMOS sensor, 11.9mm f/1.8 lens and a dedicated mobile app interface. So if you—or someone you know—is looking to attract more Instagram followers, the DxO One is here to help.
The Year of Indigo Bandana
Dedicated to the centuries-old practice of Sukumo indigo-dyeing, this bandana by Japan-based brand Buaisou ($65) depicts the very process by which it’s made. Each of the 100% cotton bandanas are hand-sewn and hand-dyed by Bouaisou, who promises ethical farming practices. If you wish to make your own bandana, Buaisou also offers indigo dyeing classes at their workshops.
Josh Rubin, Founder and Editor-in-Chief
Horween Stan Smith Sneakers
The marriage of two of our favorite things—adidas Stan Smith sneakers and Horween leather ($150)—is a match made in heaven. Made from a single-piece of leather that’s tanned to get even better with age, these sneakers are true classics.
We have lots of crushes on chocolate, but our deep romance with these New York-made Crunchmallows chocolate confections ($29) is as strong as it was when we first wrote about them 10 years ago. Crunchy toffee topped with a marshmallow and dipped in dark or milk chocolate makes for a ridiculously tasty sweet treat.
Evan Orensten, co-Founder and Executive Editor
“Sundown, A Compilation of Mellow Hits” Painting
NYC-based Todd “REAS” James’ oil on canvas “Sundown, A Compilation of Mellow Hits” (2015) (price on application) encompasses all that we love about the artist’s current work. His sexy subject, bright color palette and sparing use of black lines makes this painting look like a postcard from another world. Plus, the girl’s tenderly painted tan-line is the perfect bonus on the already sublime scene.
Made by These Are Things, this red embroidered iron-on love-heart “Nope” patch ($5) is made for Mondays and introverts. Measuring two inches by two inches, it’s a sweet and salty way to wear your heart on your sleeve.
Katie Olsen, Managing Editor
Edition No. 1 Single Malt Scotch
The latest single malt Scotch wonder from The Macallan, The Edition No. 1 ($130) is the inaugural product in what will become an annual limited edition release. Containing portions of whisky matured across eight unique, hand-selected European and American oak cask styles (and sizes), the resulting flavor profile yields light vanilla and caramel notes up front, with spice to the finish and a hint of something delightfully sour.
Grande Seconde Quantieme Silver Côtes de Genève
In many ways, Swiss watchmaker Jaquet Droz’s Grande Seconde Quantieme Silver Côtes de Genève ($9300) epitomizes the brand. At the watch’s core, there’s a proprietary Jaquet Droz 2660Q2, self-winding mechanical movement powering an off-center hours and minutes dial, and a large seconds subdial (fashioned in the brand’s signature figure eight). On the surface, however, there are refined flourishes aplenty: from the Côtes de Genève finish of the face to the brilliant blue hands.
David Graver, Senior Associate Editor
Stackable Wooden Cats
Whether you pile them higher and higher Jenga-style, or just have them roaming on your office desk, these wooden cats ($16) require no feeding—just regular play. Each set comes with six curious kittens in realistic poses: yawning, stretching, reaching, walking, you name it. Note that the pieces are pretty tiny—so it’s for the older feline lovers who won’t accidentally swallow one.
As an alternative to the bulky size and cheap plastic of many entry-level turntables, Austria-based Pro-Ject Audio Systems’s Elemental ($229) is a simple record player especially fit for vinyl newbies that’s as easy on the wallet as it is on the ears. With counterweight and anti-skating already pre-adjusted, it’s easy plug and play. While it doesn’t yet come with a dust cover, Pro-Ject is planning to release one specifically for the Elemental this fall.
Nara Shin, Associate Editor
Ear Tote Backpack
Centered around the simple concept of “make happy,” Buddy crafts effortless products for everyday use—and their Ear Tote Backpack ($130) is a prime example. It’s as basic as a backpack can get, yet there’s something about the Ear Tote’s design that elevates it to the next level—whether that be its slate grey hue, velour suede bottom paneling or Togichi vegetable-tanned leather detailing. The Japan-made bag’s unique stout shape and top tote handles add extra portability.
Brassing Ballpoint Pen
Taiwan-based design studio Ystudio builds minimalist pens and pencils from sturdy metals like copper and brass. Their Brassing Series ballpoint pen ($75) is coated with a black paint that wears down with use, eventually revealing an underlying luster in a patina that’s unique to each writer. Purposely scraping it off can even add instant personalization. It’s a beautiful and clever process that’ll make you want to swear off keyboards forever.
Kevin Serai, Social Media Manager
Images courtesy of respective brands and artists, lead image also by Todd James