Everyday Carry: Chiaroscuro

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In art, chiaroscuro — Italian for “light-dark” — is the strong contrast between dark and light; the relationship between the presence and absence of light, which often produces a beautiful gray as a byproduct. Artists have been using this technique since the Renaissance Era to make their subjects pop off the canvas and look more three-dimensional. In recent times, chiaroscuro has become understandably popular with photographers such as Ansel Adams and directors with their black and white films such as Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal and, more recently, Joel Coen’s The Tragedy of Macbeth. This highbrow art lesson may seem like an odd jumping-off point for an EDC loadout, but we think the stellar collection of light and dark gear we’ve gathered below will make you into a believer.

QSP Otter Knife

Before opening up a folding knife, the first part you see is the handle. QSP’s Otter flipper sports an eye-catching topo aesthetic, evoking the aqueous habitat of the knife’s namesake mammal thanks to the aluminum foil carbon fiber scales melding with black steel liners on the handle. The 2.75″ modified sheepsfoot blade is made from CPM S35VN steel that’s satin-finished and secured with a liner lock. Equipped with a flipper tab opener and a reversible tip-up pocket clip, this minimalist knife blends EDC utility with a healthy dose of sophistication.

Purchase: $115

The Ridge Half Dome Cardholder

Perhaps none of Ansel Adams photographs are more famous than 1927’s Monolith, the Face of Half Dome. For many, the mountain’s visage has stood out as both the defining image of Yosemite National Park and as a paragon of landscape photography. Known for his black and white images, Adams produced evocative chiaroscuro through his camera lens. This cardholder from The Ridge is named after the famous rock and is a minimalist RFID-blocking wallet, capable of holding up to 12 cards without stretching. Made from 6061-T6 aluminum, this handy cardholder also comes with a cash strap for those with a little extra.

Purchase: $125

Olight Warrior X Turbo Tactical Light

You don’t want to get stranded somewhere at night with no power. That’s why Olight, one of the industry leaders in EDC torches, has the end all be all for dire scenarios with its Warrior X Turbo Tactical Light, capable of shooting its 1,100 lumens up to 1,000m away. With two light modes and a maximum usage of over 12 hours on its rechargeable battery, this aluminum flashlight has a length of 6.25″ and comes with a MOLLE-compatible carrying case. The black, white, and silver shell has stylish versatility that goes with most anything you’ll stow in your pockets.

Purchase: $150

Unimatic UC4

Becoming one of the most popular microbrands in the watch industry, Unimatic gets by on its vintage-inspired designs and durable construction. The Italian company’s UC4 is a unique take on a field watch with a minimalist, yet elegant aesthetic. The automatic timepiece boasts a dive watch-like water-resistance of 300m and has excellent visibility on its black dial, with hands and indices illuminated clearly with C3 pale green Super-LumiNova. The case is made from brushed 316 stainless steel and features a statement-making circular-brushed steel bezel, pairing well with the included nylon NATO strap.

Purchase: $575