“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 jewellery, and is often received with the same gusto as a new diamond ring or necklace (though the need to squeal is, usually, more restrained). Clock our favourites for this Christmas below.
MVMT Midnight Silver
Crowdfunding has produced far better things than a remote-control fishbowl on wheels (yes, that did actually happen). MVMT – a watch brand that smashed its Indiegogo target by a whopping 1,500 per cent – has evolved into a bona fide manufacturer, melding high-quality minimalism with a price tag you can actually afford. Case in point, the Midnight Silver timepiece.
Bell & Ross BR V1-92 Bellytanker
Franco-Swiss brand Bell & Ross doesn’t only look skywards for inspiration, but backwards, too. The BR V1-92 Bellytanker – a watch inspired by the earliest military watches of the 1940s – takes its name from the emergency drop tank fitted within the bowels of fighter planes. History repeating itself can be a very good thing.
Ted Baker Samual Round Face Leather Watch
Is the man in your life is consistently rocking up late to social gatherings/family gatherings/just gatherings in general? Does he attempt to justify himself with excuses such as: “My watch is broken”, “I don’t have a watch”, or even “Well, actually time doesn’t exist and is merely a social construct”? Shut him up by gifting him this affordable but beautiful gold faced watch from Ted Baker. It may not stop him being a smart-arse, but at least he won’t have an excuse next time.
Tudor may be best known for sturdy masculine watches, but it does a good statement line too. This remixed 2017 Heritage Black Bay features a dual metal bracelet (something of an enduring trend in the watch world) and a fail-safe black and gold dial to help outshine more ludicrously priced arm cannons.
Seiko Men’s Chronograph
Seiko has its detractors amongst the old guard: it’s not Swiss enough, it’s not swish enough, and so on and so forth. Nobody can doubt the quality, though. For a stitch of Geneva price tags, the Japanese label that almost toppled the luxury watch industry boasts craftsmanship, technicality and brand recognition – three things wholly present in the Seiko Men’s Chronograph.
Apple Watch Series 3
Everyone knows an Applehead. And, understandably, most Appleheads want – sorry, need – the third incarnation of the Apple Watch. Surprisingly enough, the tech juggernaut’s horological update also lends itself well to non-techies too, with in-built GPS, an improved display and a faster OS – meaning you don’t have to be tied to your phone when using it.
Montblanc Heritage Spirit Orbis Terrarum
Montblanc’s Heritage Spirit Orbis Terrarum: sounds a lot like a Japanese anime, is actually a Swiss-German timepiece rich in function. The handsome dial packs a highly detailed world timer – a complex feature that charts the time in locales around the globe – with enough mechanical excellence to last a lifetime (and probably that of your offspring).
Raymond Weil Toccata
Swiss watches needn’t cost the earth. Especially if you go for something like Raymond Weil’s Toccata. What this classic watch lacks in price tag it makes up for in showmanship, with resilient PVD gold plating throughout and a sizeable 39mm diameter.
Farer Beagle Automatic
Lime green may seem an unusual choice for a pilot’s watch. Then again, Farer is a brand that’s gaining a reputation for rule breaking. In addition to debuting classic watches in unconventional colourways, the British label prices its line of automatics – the kind of watches that use kinetic momentum to keep ticking – far below its competitors.
IWC Portofino Automatic
Yes, an IWC watch may cost the same as four months’ rent, and yes, it lacks the brand recognition of, say, Rolex or Cartier. But that’s a good thing. The label counts the likes of John Mayer and Channing Tatum among its fanbase, and as a result, is the ultimate choice for men who want something watch collectors pine for.
Objest Hach Copper Watch
“Swiss made” needn’t mean stuffy. Fledgling London-based label Objest gives a playful spin to Geneva tradition, cloaking respectable movements with a thoroughly modern shell. No grand complications, no gold-plated cases, and no 70-year-old businessman vibes either.