Good things, as the saying goes, come in small packages. And, during this prime present-giving season, the greatest possible gifts stick to that maxim. Wristwatches – from pilot’s chronographs to dressier models – are pricey options when it comes to seeking out something to put under the tree, but there are few better choices if you’re looking to give a lasting, practical token of appreciation.
This year, we’ve curated a collection of twelve timepieces, and, whether your chosen friend or relative would appreciate a nature-inspired design from Grand Seiko, a vintage-tinged classic from Rolex, or even a pared-down, artfully designed piece from Ressence, we’ve sought out something for every giftee to buckle up by Boxing Day.
A steel sports watch is an on-trend option
With every decade, the watch industry shifts its design focus. In the past, manufacturers jostled to outdo each other with professional-grade dive watches, ultra-thin dress models, and even high-tech quartz creations. Currently, the focus is luxury steel sports watches. So, to show the watch enthusiast in your life that you truly care, why not tap into this trend, and gift them the best of the bunch?
We’re starting off our suggestions with Tudor’s Black Bay, which is exceedingly precise, equipped with a 70-hour power reserve, and encircled by a bezel in a fitting festive red. It’s brilliant value, and the perfect entry-level luxury piece. Chopard’s Alpine Eagle 41 is similarly snow-dusted, inspired as it is by the watchmaker’s iconic St Moritz model of the 1980s. And, although Grand Seiko’s ‘Shunbun’ watch is inspired by the autumnal equinox, its crisp, frosty blue looks are wintry enough for a festive gift.
Tudor Black Bay
Chopard Alpine Eagle 41
Grand Seiko Hi-Beat ‘Shubun’ Autumn Moonlight
Gift a dashing dress watch to see out party season
In the Christmas spirit of going all out, then, we’ve got some handsome suggestions to make, and the first comes from the king of watchmaking, Vacheron Constantin. The jewel of the Patrimony collection, this sophisticated moonphase only needs adjusting once every 122 years. Breguet, too, another world-renowned heritage house, offers this ultra-slim, self-winding model, which is defined by its silvered gold dial, sapphire caseback and delicate, blued hands. Alternatively, for a gift that lives up to its esteemed brand name, this new 1908 from Rolex is as classic as wristwatches come, with a polished yellow-gold case, brown-leather buckle, and a bright-white, crisply legible dial.
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Moon Phase Retrograde Date
Breguet Classique Automatic Ultra Slim
Rolex Perpetual 1908
A chronograph is the ideal gift for a true aficionado
The three round baubles that decorate a chronograph’s dial are key to the style’s enduring appeal. Originally developed to record the fly-by timings of early planes, such watches have become more and more accurate over the years – and, today, they make perfect presents for those whose pastimes or jobs rely on tight-ticking accuracy.
Top of the offerings is Audemars Piguet’s slick, steel Royal Oak. Enhanced by its ‘Grande Tapisserie’, dial, it’s a timepiece of many textures. Breitling’s Navitimer B01 is our next pick (you’ll even receive an exclusive gift with online watch orders placed by 20 December, 12pm). Or, for a traditional pilot’s watch, look to IWC and its bold, blue and utterly reliable chronograph.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph
Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph
IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph
Strip things back by wrapping up a minimalist model
Of course, that trio of subdials – as useful as it may prove – isn’t for everyone. Some of your friends and family members may prefer to receive something a little cleaner and more minimal. And, the key to getting those gifts right is to find a model that pairs its simple-appearing aesthetics with a high-performance movement.
Ressence is the industry leader here, and the Belgian brand’s Type 8 is its most understated, unadorned model yet, thanks to the eye-catching, groundbreaking ‘Ressence Orbital Convex System’. NOMOS Glashütte’s Reference 759 is equally sleek, but adds a little more depth to its dial with a soft sunburst finish. Or, for a cushion-cased option, what better piece to gift than a Panerai? With its hand-wound mechanical movement and three-day power reserve, it’ll prove a perfect companion to take into the new year ahead.
Ressence Type 8
NOMOS Glashütte Reference 759
Panerai Radiomir Officine
Want more gifting ideas? These are the best Champagnes to give (and drink) this Christmas…
Become a Gentleman’s Journal Member?
Like the Gentleman’s Journal? Why not join the Clubhouse, a special kind of private club where members receive offers and experiences from hand-picked, premium brands. You will also receive invites to exclusive events, the quarterly print magazine delivered directly to your door and your own membership card.