It’s the end of November, which means Christmas will be arriving in two shakes of a holly sprig. And it’s not just the halls we’ll be decking this December. In fact, with the festive party season ready to rear its jingle bells for another year, we’re spending our days searching for stylish ways to stand out from the Christmassy crowd.
That might mean buttoning up a velvet dinner jacket — this year’s black-tie must-have. It may mean splashing on a classic evening fragrance for the seasonal office soirée. Or it may mean strapping on one of the most timeless, sophisticated dress watches money can buy.
The power of a traditional timepiece cannot be underestimated at this time of year. A statement piece, it’ll catch eyes from the moment you walk in under the mistletoe to your last glass of eggnog. We’ve rounded up our five favourites below; from a self-winding Vacheron Constantin that features in the new issue of Gentleman’s Journal to a classic design from Jaeger LeCoultre.
For a big, bold Christmas bash: The Vacheron Constantin FiftySix Self-Winding
We can always rely on Vacheron Constantin to put on a show. This latest FiftySix, with its stainless steel case and 40mm diameter, puts a blue spin on black tie — and features a rich navy dial and alligator strap. With those 18K gold minute and hour markers, it’s got a luxurious festive feel about it — and the automatic movement’s 48 hour power reserve is reliable enough to keep up with even the wildest Christmas party.
Vacheron Constantin FiftySix Self-Winding
For a refined festive reception: Patek Philippe Calatrava 5196G
Patek Philippe is renowned for making extremely elegant watches. But, even by its supreme standards, this silvery-grey-dialled Calatrava is something special. One of the Swiss brand’s finest symbols, it is understated, calmly beautiful and ticks away with a mechanically wound Calibre 215 PS movement. But the touch that’ll really get you noticed as you sip your mulled wine is that dial; those gold applied hour markers guaranteed to glint out from the white gold case.
Patek Philippe Calatrava 5196G
For the spur-of-the-moment seasonal soirée: Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso Classic Large Duoface Small Seconds
Ever the innovators, our favourite of Jaeger LeCoultre’s Reverso range is like a Christmas present you can open over and over again. One side features a day-to-day, easily legible silver dial with Arabic numerals; the other a jet-black contrasting face complete with silver hour-markers delicately applied to a “Clous de Paris” guilloché background. It’s the perfect piece this season if you’re heading straight from the office to a black tie bash.
Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso Classic Large Duoface Small Seconds
For a traditional formal function: IWC Portofino Automatic
Now here’s a classic. You can’t go wrong with a Portofino, and IWC’s automatic offering is the most Portofino of Portofinos. With a simple black leather strap and silver-plated dial, this stainless steel dress watch is the height of classic luxury. There’s one unexpected touch, however; those striking gold hands and markers shining out from among the silver. It’s slim, it’s seasonal and it’s one of our favourite timepieces to strap on this December.
IWC Portofino Automatic
For an edgier Christmas celebration: Chopard L.U.C XPS Twist QF
For a twist on the traditional, turn to Chopard this December. The Swiss brand’s XPS Twist QF is one of the most rakish, radical dress watches of the season. Crafted from ethically certified “Fairmined” white gold — and issued in a 250-piece limited edition — the timepiece is a masterclass in controlled eccentricity and elegant asymmetry. Humbly extravagant, it’s respectful of tradition — while still putting a fresh spin on your eveningwear.
Chopard L.U.C XPS Twist QF
More of a frequent flyer than a festive partygoer? Take a look at the best world timers instead…