OK. It’s 10 days until the big day. You have a few options for your favorite watch lover: you can give up, buy them a gift card, and call it a day or you can hook them up with one of our favorites. Before we begin, let’s offer a little buying advice.
Do’s and Don’ts
Do look for used watches. Consignment sites like Chrono24 and Crown and Caliber have excellent deals. Getting a lightly used deal is better than getting a brand new beast.
Don’t buy a pocket watch, especially a quartz one. I know it seems like a nice gift but modern pocket watches are junk and classic ones are usually broken. Avoid.
Do shop around. We think the prices we’ve found are fair but if you click around a little we’re sure you’ll find something good.
Don’t buy a fashion watch. Please. Fashion watches like CK, Burberry, and whatever else – including that “skeletonized” Fossil you’re looking at – are usually junk. Pick up something classic and classy.
Do buy what you like. Buy your watch lover something you’d like them to wear daily. We’re offering a list of pieces that will stand up to abuse and years of fond wrist time.
Low-Cost, High Value
We’re really going to focus on this section as much as possible this year because it makes the most sense. If you want to make your favorite watch hound happy, any one of these will make a great addition to their collection.
Seiko Prospex “Turtle” Diver’s 200M SRPC95K1 – This reissue of a classic diver is one of the most unique Seiko’s on the market. We personally love the new cyclops over the date and day and the bold size and face.
Tissot T-Touch Expert – $449 – The T-Touch might be the only quartz piece your watch lover wants. This watch melds the best of Swiss design and engineering with enough cool tech to tide you over. It can tell the temperature, barometric pressure, and the compass feature has to be seen to be believed.
Seiko Men’s SRPA21 Prospex X Padi – $319 – Seiko makes a great watch and if you’re looking for something staider this piece fits the bill.
That’s a whole lotta Seiko and one Swiss quartz Tissot. What if you think your favorite watch lover wants something classic, Swiss made, and mechanical, but still somewhat affordable?
Look no further than the Squale 1545. For $595, you’ll be getting that special person in your life a classic dive watch style, military-inspired sword hands, and an ETA 2824-2 movement, all Swiss-made, at a price that’s very reasonable for what you get.
That’s a lot of dive watches. What of something a little more refined, more dressy?
Hamtun Nanok Day Date is a watch you can wear both dressed up, or dressed down casual. It will look as good with a suit as it will with jeans. Running a Swiss-made Sellita 240-1 automatic movement with day and date complications and a 39mm case, it’s an easy non-dive watch choice. It could be the one for the watch lover in your life, for about $488 USD.
Have a few thousand to spend? These pieces won’t break the bank and they’re beautiful.
Omega Speedmaster Professional – $5,106 – If you’re going to buy a Speedmaster, this is the one you want. There are plenty of cheaper versions out there and you can easily pick up a used model on C&C or Chrono24. Someone with a burgeoning collector will love you for getting them this.
Frederique Constant Worldtimer – About $3,500 – FC is a storied brand that makes beautiful watches. We love this model and we think your jet-setter will, as well. It’s a little harder to find but it’s worth looking for.
The ORIS Divers 65 remains one of our personal favorites – classic in style, fantastic execution, and priced at $1505 (or about 700 less than retail). The ORIS is a good Swiss watch we’d feel comfortable wearing anywhere. Even at its approachable pricing (relatively speaking), this is a contender for that one-watch-for-life, if your watch-loving person likes a good dive watch.
Bonus Just Came In
Rolex Explorer II – $6,800 – Rolex is wildly overpriced but one place you can occasionally find a good deal is in the Explorer II line. We recommend this line because it offers amazing design, amazing quality, and definite value. The GMT hand – a hand that shows another timezone – is definitely useful and the classic face and hands are a real treat. This is the only reasonably-priced Rolex we’d recommend and that’s saying a lot.
Bell&Ross BR 01-93 GMT – $5,000 – B&R makes some classic pieces and this is our favorite. All of us at WWR love GMT watches and this one is like wearing an airplane instrument on your wrist. This watch is big – 46mm big – so be sure your intended has big wrists or loves chunky watches. Again, the GMT function is a nice-to-have and this thing will last for decades as the entire thing is sealed and designed for rough treatment. Our recommendation? Hunt for an authorized dealer near you and check out the size before you buy.