The year 2015 is almost at a close, and we’d like to help wrap it up with an aBlogtoWatch watch buying gift guide – done, once again, a little bit differently. As a publication that tends to help consumers make choices about watches they want to purchase, we dislike the idea of arbitrarily limiting your buying options to a few timepieces that we feel just narrowly beat out others in any given list. So for that reason, we try to stay away from more randomly assorted gift guides that, frankly, also bore us to create.
What we’ve done for this holiday season’s gift guide idea was to ask various members of the aBlogtoWatch team to mention the first watch that comes to mind when presented with a particular question. For example, we asked the question, “What watch would you wear to impress Vladimir Putin?” (a known watch buff and all-around leader of Russia). Each of the questions we asked called for a different type of watch, and we included some of our favorite responses from the aBlogtoWatch team. It’s just a little way of getting into our watch nerd heads and having fun during the holiday season (where, apparently, rest and relaxation is but a myth).
Whether your budget for watch buying is modest or prodigious, you’ll find some interesting timepieces here in each (perhaps unexpected) category that the aBlogtoWatch team feels are worth mentioning – from those suitable for very ordinary occasions to those which might only occur in our fantasies. Please offer your own choices in the comments below if you feel you have some watch choice responses to compliment our own.
Beater Watch Worth Wearing
Let’s start with the trusty everyday watch, something you can knock around and not worry too much about because it isn’t that expensive. With that in mind, it’s also got to be designed well, reliable, and say something about the wearer. Here are our top picks for the “beater watch” category.
Ariel Adams: Magrette Manoa Pacific Professional (Reviewed here)
Matt Smith-Johnson: Seiko Spirit Smart SCED035 ‘Aliens Ripley’ Watch (Reviewed here)
With the Astronomia Solar, Jacob & Co. desired to make a model of our solar system in a watch. In the middle of this dial is a large 1.5 carat Citrine crystal at a Jacob Cut that symbolizes sunlight. Jacob & Co. also uses three additional stone in amethyst, garnet, and smoked quartz to represent other planets. All these planets rotate together with the motion, which makes one rotation of the dial once every 10 minutes. The end result of all of these rotating elements is magnificent to behold and it will seem as if you have a miniature solar system spinning in your wrist.The movement that enables this is in-house caliber JCAM19. Comprising of 444 parts, the motion is exceptional since it is mostly constructed out of titanium. Since the mainspring has to induce so many rotating parts, titanium is used to decrease the load on the mainspring. The tourbillon defeats at 4Hz, and the JCAM19 has a power reserve of 48 hours. On the wrist, the watch cries “Look at me!” And the watch offers a lot to look at and admire. Admittedly, it is a modest over-the-top and purists will argue that the watch doesn’t have any real practical use. For instance, the positions of the planets are not true, unlike, say, Van Cleef & Arpel’s Midnight Planetarium view, but in contrast to the Midnight Planetarium, the Astronomia Solar presents instant gratification in the way of its rapid turning bi-axial tourbillon and its own dial, which is continuously shifting positions and in motion. For a fun watch that lets people around you instantly know how much you are worth, I will think of few watches more satisfactory for the job compared to Jacob & Co.. This limited generation Jacob & Co.. Astronomia Solar watch is priced at $280,000.
Victor Marks: Orient Symphony (Feature article “Orient Dress Watches: The Best Budget Option?” Hands-on here)
David Bredan: Casio G-Shock Rangeman Camo
Watch That Would Impress Vladimir Putin
Moving on from an everyday beater watch, we take a look at 4 picks for watches that even a massively wealthy oligarch would give a second look. Vlad’s a well-known watch collector, and we think he would happily add these to his shiny, fabulously ornate watch safe.
Ariel Adams: Jacob & Co. Astronomia (Hands-on here)
James Stacey: MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual Calendar Watch (Hands-on here)
Patrick Kansa: Greubel Forsey GMT Watch In Platinum (Hands-on here)
David Bredan: Montblanc Collection Villeret Tourbillon Cylindrique Geosphères Vasco Da Gama Watch (Hands-on here)
Flamboyantly Designed “Grandly Complicated” Timepiece
There is no shortage of flashy watches and there’s no shortage of highly complicated watches out there. What if you want both, though? Well, we decided to think up 4 watches that we think will get you both attention and horological admiration.
Ariel Adams: HYT H3 (Hands-on here)
David Bredan: Richard Mille RM 26-02 Evil Eye (Hands-on here)
Bilal Khan: Antoine Preziuso “Tourbillon of Tourbillons” Triple Tourbillon (Hands-on here)
Mark Carson: Ulysse Nardin Freaklab (Hands-on here)