Profiles in Light: James Stacey

Presenting ‘Profiles in Light’ by Muyshondt – a new collection of conversations with the luminaries, creators, and adventurers who endeavor to explore and inspire the world of Muyshondt Electric Torches.

Feature photo by HODINKEE: ‘ Week on the Wrist .’ Portrait by Bret Curry for  HODINKEE .

Feature photo by HODINKEE: ‘Week on the Wrist.’ Portrait by Bret Curry for HODINKEE.

Perennially curious, cultured, and a noted connoisseur of quality gear and gummy bears alike, James Stacey is not exactly a man known for sitting still. Rather, he’s better recognized for his far-flung travels throughout the world of watchmaking as HODINKEE’s Senior Writer, fast-driving escapades as a contributing editor for Nuvo Magazine, and his thorough exploration of all the stories, gear and adventure, tied to the aforementioned realms as co-founder of the excellent Grey Nato Podcast.

We recently had a chance to chat with the avid film shooter (and recent Leica convert), and longtime Muyshondt Aeon Mk. III owner to discuss travel, torches, and the age-old quandary: if you were dropped on a desert island, what do you hope you have with you? Read on – and don’t forget to give James a follow on Instagram when you’re done.

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“Currently Monaco, but the dream is Japan…”

- James Stacey on travel in 2019

Muyshondt: Most anticipated passport stamp for 2019?

James Stacey: Currently, Monaco for a certain annual automotive event, but the dream is Japan.

MS: Have a morning routine ‘hack’ you’re keen to share?

JS: If you can do it, a walk. But mostly, know your phases and when it's best to do tasks like emails vs creative process work. You can force an email or bookkeeping, but it's harder to force wider bandwidth work.

MS: Build your perfect watch, but you can only do it using parts of watches you’ve once owned or photographed.

JS: A solid yellow gold A-Series Royal Oak with a thin 24-hour rehaut and the 3186 from a Rolex GMT-Master or EXPII.

MS: Have a cultural mentor or idol who has helped define the types of stories you love telling most?

JS: Not directly, but I am inspired by people who seem to create from a place of mastery and enthusiasm. That can be a tech vlogger like MKBHD, a more traditional writer like Jon Krakauer, or a visual artist like Chris Burkhard, Alex Strohl, or Jimmy Chin.

MS: Which Muyshondt torch in your carry gets the most travel time and why?

JS: No question, the Aeon MKIII. It's just right for me and never leaves whatever bag I have at hand. I use it daily and very much regret leaving my first one in a NYC Uber.

MS: Cortado or Flat White?

JS: Bottomless diner coffee with a splash of cream.

MS: What aspect of shooting with film appeals most to your creative process?

JS: Both the act and the result is non-digital. I've really appreciated integrating film as a way of drawing a line between photos I take for work and photos I take for life, love, and fascination.

MS: Finish this sentence: “The best things in life are __________.”

JS: Either intensely scary or incredibly comforting – sometimes both.

MS: What were the hardest set of keys to return after a media event?

JS: 2019 Aston Martin Superleggera DBS - 715hp in the Alps of Bavaria.

MS: Defender or 911?

JS: 911

MS: Favorite city for a ‘microadventure’? (leave your desk on Friday afternoon, gotta be back in front of it Monday morning)

JS: Vancouver, BC, Canada. Great food, easy transit, expensive but not crazy, city, mountains, and ocean in one view. You could hike in the morning, have amazing sushi for lunch, visit a brewery, sit on the beach, and have a great dinner all within walking distance. Bring good shoes – and if you already live in Vancouver, just go to Squamish.

MS: You’ve just crash-landed on a desert island, and your carry-on survived unscathed. What is (hopefully!) in it?

JS: A Patagonia nano puff jacket, a couple cliff bars, a lighter, a knife that the TSA didn’t find, maybe a bandana. I keep the batteries charged on my Leica Q, so even if rescue should outpace my eventual demise, there will be enough on the memory card for a decent photo essay.

-M-

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AEON MK. III

James never leaves home without his trusty Aeon – learn more about this powerful, but ultra-portable torch cast in solid titanium right here:

Once again, many thanks to James Stacey for taking the time to sit for the Muyshondt Observatory. As many of his longtime followers already know though, James is not one to sit still for long, so be sure to follow his adventures on Instagram right here. We’ll see you out there.

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