It’s a myth that finding Christmas gifts for him is an impossible task. But whether you’re buying for someone else or drawing up your own list for Santa, a little inspiration is always welcome.
And when it comes to gifts “Time is your most precious gift,” or so says every sickly-sweet inspirational quote on Facebook. But turns out there may be some truth to the cheese-on-toast adage. You just need to take the phrase literally.
A well-made watch is a gift that no man will fake-smile at. After all, some sweet wrist candy is usually the closest thing a man gets to jewelry and is often received with the same gusto as a new diamond ring or necklace (though the need to squeal is, usually, more restrained).
If you are looking for an excuse that your watched is spoiled by a long summer, or you have lower temperatures, and snow to deal with, this is just the perfect occasion. And Christmas around the corner is just like icing on your cake.
This sets the scenery for the upcoming holidays, and with that also for these watches, which go very well with a bit of winter wonderland!
So here we are picking for you the most fan-tastic watches (which he’ll actually like) you can buy this Christmas!
Whatever be it you’ll want to choose wisely. Luckily, you can’t go wrong with our top 28 picks.
Alpina recently launched a smartwatch (the AlpinerX) through Kickstarter, raising more than £1 million in just three weeks. But the main aim of the campaign was to provide a modern take on an inclusive design philosophy first used by the brand in 1903 when it sought the input of retailers before producing new models.
Designed for outdoor pursuits, the AlpinerX features an altimeter, barometer, temperature gauge, compass and UV sensor. Information can be toggled via the crown and when connected to the app, it can implement a “Dynamic Coach” feature to provide performance-improving tips.
No, we haven’t forgotten to finish the name. Baume is Richemont’s all-new watch brand that, we are assured, has absolutely nothing to do with Baume & Mercier. Its mission is to attract millennials with a range of affordable watches made from eco-friendly materials that can be customized to taste and ordered via the net.
The 41mm Small Second is both sleek and quirky, thanks to its top-mounted winding crown and stirrup lugs. Vegans will appreciate its animal-friendly cork strap.
Finally, the perception of Bulgari among serious horophiles is shifting from “jewelry brand that makes watches” to “luxury brand that makes jewelry and watches equally well”. It has now claimed four thinnest watch records in five years.
The 3.95mm Octo Finissimo Tourbillon automatic is not just the thinnest automatic tourbillon you can lay your hands on, but the thinnest automatic watch, period. One of the coolest things about Bulgari’s effort, however, is the sandblasted titanium case that sprang from the pen of genius designer Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani. Just 50 will be made.
Carl F Bucherer
We said it last year and we’ll say it again: Carl F Bucherer’s Manero Flyback watches, with their nifty peripheral rotors that allow a clear view of the self-winding movement, are among the best-looking, best-value chronographs on the market.
The COSC-certified Manero Tourbillon Double Peripheral’s “regulating organ” appears to float in thin air, but is actually supported around the edges by a trio of ceramic ball bearings. The caliber CFB T3000 movement it’s mounted in also gets a silicon pallet and escape wheels and, of course, the aforementioned peripheral rotor.
Christopher Ward has added to its popular range of motorsport-themed watches with a couple of limited editions – the 150-piece C7 Hornet and the 200-piece C7 Rosso Corsa, both of which carry COSC chronometer rating yet cost just £895 and £995 respectively. Value.
The concept of a “dressy” dive watch with a vintage aesthetic is new to us, but the hand-wound C65 Trident Diver, a 41mm number in marine-grade steel with “glass box” sapphire crystal, plus ten batons and hands filled with “old radium” Super-LumiNova, works on all counts. Choose from blue or black dials and “camel” or black straps.
The quirky Dior Chiffre Rouge dreamed up by erstwhile design chief Hedi Slimane almost 15 years ago is now starting to look as though it came from a completely different era of watchmaking – probably because it did. But that’s no bad thing, is it?
Not many changes on the men’s watch front at Dior, but the Chiffre Rouge CO5 GMT model remains a favorite and could even be on the way to becoming a “classic”.
The Italian fashion house is ramping up its range of connected smartwatches, which now extends to more than 20 different models and includes touchscreen digital and hybrid analog models.
An automatic dress watch with a stainless steel case and deep-blue “waffle” dial will appeal to the fashion-conscious who prefer to tell the time in the traditional manner.
Being among the most successful diamond dealers in the world enabled Laurence Graff and his son François to accumulate a collection of cars that any petrolhead would give their eyeteeth to own. Now, their auto-enthusiasm has manifested itself in a trio of timepieces.
Or should we say a (small) collection of watches? Three to be exact, each with a dial depicting cars being driven on a racetrack, in a cityscape, and on the open road, respectively. Two of the versions incorporate an exposed, double-axis tourbillon into the image as a stylised steering wheel with gloved hands.
GucciThe legendary Italian fashion house elicited gasps of delight from jaded horophiles at Baselworld this year thanks to its light-hearted use of holograms, animal imagery, quirky straps and plenty of bright colors. We can’t help but have a bit of a soft spot for the playful new Le Marché Des Merveilles 38mm model, featuring a green leather strap illustrated with a painted kingsnake – the head of which appears on the textured leather dial.
Hublot Big Bang Alps
When Hublot makes a limited edition, they always go all in! The Big Bang Alps is no exception and comes with a removable cuff bracelet in which shearling wool is used. This offers a pleasant contrast to the case, which is crafted from frosted carbon. It is fitted with caliber HUB1242, which Hublot makes in-house and which can not only be admired from the front thanks to the skeletonized dial, but also through the glass case back!
H MoserEdouard Meylan, the CEO of independent brand H Moser, likes to be controversial in his defense of “Swissness” in watchmaking, but a “Swiss Icons” pastiche watch he made using signature features from the country’s leading brands in a bid to “pay tribute” to them caused such consternation prior to this year’s SIHH show he was ordered not to display it. Meeow! There’s nothing controversial about the minimalist Venturer Concept Blue Lagoon, which features a dreamy, turquoise dial with a fumé finish. Just 20 will be made in red gold and 20 in white gold, with straps of brown leather or soft kudu.
LonginesNew this year is a chronograph version of the Conquest VHP, an ultra-accurate quartz watch that offers precision to plus/minus five seconds per year and automatically resets after a severe impact or exposure to magnetic fields. It’s clever, but we were more taken with the new models in the Heritage range, which includes a lovely black version of the Legend Diver.
If your grandfather gave you his Second World War watch, it might look like the new 38.5mm Longines Heritage Military. It’s a faithful re-creation of a Forties model down to its beautifully mottled beige dial and blued hands. Lovely.
If you’ve ever marveled at quite how successful the Michael Kors watch business has become, apparently it’s all down to volume and demographics. Judging by the number of wrists adorned with his timepieces it’s something he’s got right – and how.
The Slim Runway Gold-Tone features a lion’s head motif inspired by Michael’s star sign.
This newcomer was recently launched by Oliver Goffe and Gordon Fraser. They founded the Henley-on-Thames-based Marloe Watch Company three years ago to offer affordable, hand-wound models fitted with Chinese-made movements.
There is only one: the Horizon. Instead of a conventional dial-and-hand setup, it shows the time on a rotating disc marked with waypoints indicating whether it’s quarter past, half past or quarter to the hour. The disc turns 360 degrees once in 24 hours and is divided into light and dark sections to represent day and night.
Omega Speedmaster White Side Of The Moon
White as snow, that is the Speedmaster that Omega builds in reference to the heavenly body that stands closest to the earth.
The case is made out of white ceramic, and even the dial is crafted from this material. With a diameter of 44.25mm is it an imposing watch. Also, the back is beautiful because it is there that we can admire automatic chronograph caliber 9300 in all its glory, and with its stunning finish!
As carmaker/watchmaker partnerships go, the five-year link-up between Lamborghini and Roger Dubuis is a match made in heaven for those willing to spend more on a watch than an “entry-level” Lambo.
The Excalibur Aventador S Edition is powered by the special RD103SQ hand-wound movement with “jumping” seconds that’s been specially designed for the Lamborghini models. The 45mm case is made from the same carbon composite used by the carmaker, while the bridges that hold the mechanism in place are based on engine bay cross struts. Vrooooom...
The family-owned brand equipped its Baselworld show stand with sufficient amplifiers to broadcast to the whole of Switzerland. It turned out that there’s been a deal with Marshall resulting in a 1,000-piece limited-edition chronograph.
Raymond Weil has got together with hard-living Aussie rockers AC/DC to create a special edition of its “Freelancer” model. It sports the distinctive AC/DC logo at 12 o’clock “to reinforce the rock’n’roll attitude of the timepiece”. The watch will be supplied in a miniature version of the road case favored by touring musicians.
Timex has partnered with French firm SilMach, a pioneer in micro-electrical mechanical systems (MEMS), to create the first MEMS-powered watch movement. The nanotechnology offers the benefits of longer battery life, fewer components, and lower production costs. The first is set to go on sale next year.
For the time being, then, we’ll stick with the sporty new Command models, steel-cased, plastic-clad sports watches that offer everything from a stopwatch and countdown timer to hydration alerts, a vibration alarm, 100-metre water-resistance, and the famous “Indiglo” night light.
Urwerk watches are not for everyone, not least due to their decidedly unusual method of displaying the time – instead of boring old hands, they use a system of “satellite” hour markers that revolve around the movement beneath a spaceship-like canopy.
That said, the UR-210 could be the ultimate stealth watch – despite having a case made from expensive platinum, its DLC finish gives it a blackened look. Just 20 will be made.
Keep his Christmas list ticking over with these top timekeepers!