Nantucket is defined by the callused hands of the fishermen, and the pen strokes of the artists and writers who all call it home. Like the sport watches seen in this section, the island is functional beauty.
As Executive Director of the Nantucket Conservation Foundation, James Lentowski runs the nearly 50-year-old member-supported organization that oversees the protection and management of more than 8,585 acres of the island. Lentowski came to Nantucket in 1971, fresh out of graduate school and looking for a job, “It seemed as good a place as any,” he says. That job turned into a career, and the island turned into a home. Thirty-nine years later, Lentowski shows no sign that he’s eager to leave. “Maybe [I’ll leave] in a pine box,” he says. “But probably not even then.” For more on the Nantucket Conservation Foundation, visit www.nantucketconservation.org. Lentowski wears the Cartier Roadster S ($4,200) in steel with rubber strap, featuring a silvered opaline dial with black Roman numerals, luminescent black oxidized-steel hands, and water resistance to 330 feet. Cartier, (800) 227-8437; www.cartier.com
Time Stands Still
The Ulysse Nardin Diver Perpetual Limited Edition ($26,800)—one of a limited series of 500—features a stainless steel, unidirectional-rotating bezel, a titanium case and carbon-fiber dial, and is water resistant to 200 meters. Ulysse Nardin, (561) 988-8600; www.ulysse-nardin.ch
The Panerai Radiomir Regatta 1/8 second Titanio ($17,900), also from a limited-edition with only 500 pieces being released, has a 47 mm diameter brushed-titanium case, with an anti-reflective crystal that houses a black dial with Arabic numerals. Panerai, (212) 888-8788; www.panerai.com
The Luminox F-22 Raptor Chronograph ($625) features a titanium case with an anti-reflective sapphire crystal, water resistance to 200 meters, and a titanium rotating bezel. Luminox, (415) 455-9500; www.luminox.com
The BR02 Chronograph steel finish ($6,500) from Bell & Ross is water-resistant to 500 meters, and has photo-luminescent hands and indices for better legibility while diving. Bell & Ross, (786) 454-9730; www.bellross.com
Photographer Cary Hazlegrove moved to Nantucket from Virginia in 1978. “I was an itchy Southerner and New England just spoke to me,” she says. In 1980 she began slideshows of her Nantucket photography, set to music, in the upstairs room of the United Methodist Church, where thousands of visitors saw her work, building her popularity and leading to the publication of her first book in the late ’80s. Thirteen books and 32 years later, Hazlegrove continues to draw inspiration from the island. For more on Hazlegrove and her work, visit www.hazlegrove.com. Hazlegrove wears the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Lady Yacht-Master ($8,200), with a 29 mm, stainless-steel case, 18-karat yellow-gold time-lapse bezel, 31-jewel chronometer movement, and an Oysterlock bracelet. Rolex, (800) 367- 6539; www.rolex.com
Nantucket Fire Chief Mark McDougall was two years old when his family moved to the island. For 20 years he has worked in the Nantucket fire department, four of which he has served as chief. And yes, we know what you’re thinking: It’s Nantucket, how busy could he be? “We get about 3,200 emergency calls a year between us and the ambulance,” he says. But still, he finds time for the water, heading out on his 20-foot Maritime skiff whenever he can, diving for scallops and lobsters, and spear fishing. McDougall wears the limited edition (only 500 pieces worldwide) Corum Admiral’s Cup Deep Hull 48 ($7,800), which features water resistance to 1,000 meters, a 48 mm diameter case with a unidirectional, rotating bezel, and Superluminova coating on the index and hands for better readability at dark depths. Corum, (949) 788-6200; www.corum.ch
Nathan Palmer, dock supervisor at the Nantucket Boat Basin, got his first taste of Nantucket in 1991 while crewing on the 150-foot Feadship Enterprise IV, which used to summer on the island. After several years aboard Enterprise IV, and later aboard Enterprise V, Palmer returned to his home in Daytona, though he tired of the hot Florida summers, “I really liked the seasons in Nantucket,” Palmer says, “and Daytona was on fire.” He returned to Nantucket in 1999, taking a job at the Boat Basin. He was only a seasonal resident at first, but was seduced by the charm of Nantucket, and has lived on the island year-round for the last three years. He expects a busy 2010 summer, as the Boat Basin celebrates 40 years of operation by lowering transient slip fees to what they were in 1970 for the month of June! For more information on the Nantucket Boat Basin, and their 2010 summer deals, visit www. nantucketboatbasin.com. Palmer wears the I.W.C. Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph ($12,600), which features a stainless steel case, a sapphire, convex glass with anti-reflective coating for easy legibility, and a see-through sapphire-glass back that lets you glimpse the watch’s meticulous engineering. I.W.C., (800) 432-9330; www.iwc.com
Captain James Genthner has been running charter sails aboard his 37-foot Friendship sloop Endeavor for 30 years, making his the oldest charter-sailing program on Nantucket. “I built her in my backyard in Fairhaven, Massachusetts,” Genthner says of the Endeavor, sounding like a proud father, “It took me two summers and a winter.” After a winter of sailing in Florida, Genthner headed to Nantucket in 1982 to start a day-charter-sailing business. To book a charter aboard Endeavor, contact Captain Genthner at (508) 228-5585, or visit www.endeavorsailing.com. Genthner wears the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Dual Time ($13,900), in stainless steel, with a titanium bezel and 31-jewel movement. Vacheron Constantin, (872) 862-7555; www.vacheron-constantin.com
Captain Jeffrey Heyer opened Cross Rip Outfitters with his wife, Captain Lynne, in 1996. Originally from New Jersey, Heyer made his first step toward the island during the 1992 Nantucket Anglers Club Billfish Tournament, when he proposed to Lynne in the cockpit, “I think that was probably my best day of fishing on the island,” he says. As for the fish? “Mid September provides the largest variety of species,” he suggests. “With striped bass, bluefish, false albacore, bonito, and possibly bluefin tuna or Spanish mackerel mixed in.” He moved to Nantucket in 1994, and now, in addition to running the shop with Captain Lynne, they also run Cross Rip fishing charters, where they take anglers fishing aboard their 22-foot Pathfinder, or guide them to the beaches for morning and evening surfcasting. For more information on Cross Rip Outfitters, or to book a fishing trip, visit www.crossrip.com. Heyer wears the TAG Heuer Link Calibre S Chronograph ($3,300), which features a 42 mm satin-finished steel case with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal—and a double-sided, anti-reflective coating—which is water-resistant to 200 meters. TAG Heuer, (866) 675-2080; www.tagheuer.com
An insider’s guide to enjoying the grey lady.
Island Fare: Breakfast: Go to the Hen House for a good, laid-back meal in a traditional New England setting.
Lunch: Sit outside at Slip 14, located on the docks of Old South Wharf, and watch the boats in the harbor. Try the fish taco and, if the mood strikes, the Berry Sexy cocktail.
Dinner: The Boardinghouse Restaurant is a relaxing place for dinner with friends. The ambiance is signature Nantucket, the food is delicious (try the grilled prime skirt steak), and the wine list makes it an evening.
The Time is Always Right: If you want to stroll on secluded beaches, off-season is the time to visit. But, if you want to be on the island for action on the water, go during Nantucket Race Week, August 7 to 15. There are regattas of all kinds, including the 38th annual Opera House Cup, a race for wooden (mostly classic, and staggeringly beautiful) sailboats. For more, visit www.nantucketraceweek.com.
Get Out of Town: Book your stay at The Wauwinet, a postcard-perfect New England resort near Great Point. With the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Sound on the other, it’s a sublime location. And, getting there is half the fun—hop aboard the Wauwinet Lady for a lunch or dinner cocktail cruise from the White Elephant downtown to The Wauwinet’s Topper’s restaurant. www.wauwinet.com