Watch: Timex Metropolitan Plus
Niceness Level: Helped An Old Lady Cross The Road
Trust Timex’s entry to the smartwatch canon to be understated. Where other brands devote their faces to displaying everything from how much you’ve slept to your friends’ heartbeats, the Metropolitan Plus boasts only a pair of subdials – to track how much of your activity target you’ve ticked off – and the brand’s bombproof build.
Available at The Watch Shop, priced £129.99.
Watch: Triwa Loch Falken
Niceness Level: Rescued A Kitten From A River
Equally spartan is the Loch Falken from Swedish watchmaker Triwa. But in its minimalist design lies a whole lot of trends: the blue dial and champagne gold case ubiquitous at this year’s Baselworld; a seconds subdial so there are fewer hands whirling around; and a vegetable tanned leather strap that will age as you wear it, so yours grows more personal over time.
And all for a fraction of the price of the watches it takes those cues from.
Available at triwa.com, priced £149.
Larsson & Jennings Automatic
Niceness Level: Volunteered At A Foodbank
Triwa’s compatriot has spearheaded the trend for minimalist, affordable watches since its launch four years ago. But it’s now branching out, with the release of its first automatic.
On the surface, there’s little to distinguish the new model from the brand’s classic quartz watches. But flip it over and the clear caseback reveals an ETA movement – the same that IWC’s slotted into a few of their recent offerings. For such a young brand, it’s a stride into excellent company.
Available from larssonandjennings.com, priced £995.
Watch: Tudor Pelagos
Niceness Level: Founded A Foodbank
When Tudor relaunched in the UK in 2014, most expected this lesser-known face in the Rolex family to continue using other people’s movements to power its watches. But this year the brand revealed its debut in-house movement, first in the North Flag, and now in the impressive Pelagos.
As well as upgraded guts the new version comes in matte blue – a nod to Tudor’s diving watches from the 1960s. It’s a very modern piece of heritage.
Available from iconicwatches.co.uk, priced £2,800.
Watch: Raymond Weil Piper Freelancer
Niceness Level: Performed Groundbreaking Cancer Research
Raymond Weil’s watches all embody the eponymous founder’s love of music – hence model names like Maestro, Nabucco and Toccata. But Raymond also had a thing for planes – he was a qualified pilot and had a Piper in his personal hangar. Hence this collaboration between the two brands for Raymond Weil’s first pilot watch.
The aircraft DNA emerges in hands that emulate propellers and a chronograph styled like a Piper’s altimeter. All of which helps you get closer to the personal plane dream, on considerably less outlay.
Available at The Watch Shop, priced £2,895.
Watch: Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days Chrono
Niceness Level: Discovered The Cure For Cancer
Panerai’s watches are designed for making a statement. And not just about the size of this year’s bonus. The new Luminor’s design isn’t groundbreaking, but then you don’t create a classic by fixing what ain’t broke.
There are some novel details, like the cobalt, flyback chronograph, which is fired with buttons on the left of the case, rather than the right – a position that means you can operate them with your thumb, rather than forefinger. As we say, not exactly groundbreaking. But expect a lot of glances directed at your new wrist trophy, nonetheless.
Available at thewatchgallery.com.
Watch: Linde Werdelin Oktopus Moonlite
Niceness Level: Cured Cancer While Rescuing A Baby From The River Behind Your Foodbank
In theory, Linde Werdelin’s Oktopus Moonlite blends in. Taking cues from its namesake, the bespoke alloy it’s built from reflects what’s around it, helping it stay hidden. In reality, something that chunky is as obvious as a squid in a bathtub, camouflaged or not.
Peer beyond the case and you’ll spot a moonphase circling the dial, with each of the the 28 images hand-drawn by the brand’s creative director, Morten Linde.
Only 59, individually numbered pieces have been made. So you’d best start dropping hints if you want to see one under this year’s tree.
Available at lindewerdelin.com, priced £12,000.