Horological Gift Giving

Horological Gift Giving

How to give the perfect gift watch for the holidays

To gift or to be gifted a watch during the holidays is one of the most special gifts anyone can give or receive.  But with the sheer number of kinds and styles of watches readily available out there the task of choosing just the “right” watch for your special loved one may seem a little daunting.  We’re here to tell you that it’s easier than it looks.

The fact that you’re even considering such a special gift to a loved one, it’s safe to assume that that person is particularly special, and that you would know that person particularly well.  Then it’s safe to assume that you would know that particularly special person’s personality, as well that special person’s most passionate likes or dislikes.  With that in mind it will be an easy process to choose the right watch for that person.

First things first: identify the correct style.  This is probably the easiest step because everyone, and we mean EVERYONE has his or her own personal style and preferences.  This is important and can almost always observed from the kind of clothes that special person chooses to wear on a daily basis and the kind of lifestyle that special person leads.  

If your loved one tends to be the active and outdoorsy type a rugged and durable sports watch might be best for them.  But if they’re often in the office, or in a corporate boardroom, then a more refined and subtle design would be a better fit, especially if they’re also the type that is somehow always invited to black tie events.

As we’ve said, everyone has his or hew own style and preferences.  Some are inclined towards classic and elegant styles, while others prefer the minimalist route.  Others on the other hand lean towards bold and sporty designs.  You’re best clue?  Take a look at what you’re already wearing and go from there.

Also consider the the size and shape of the watch case.  This is connected to your daily activities and lifestyle: larger cases tend to make bolder statements but because of their larger size may not as comfortable as cases with smaller dimensions.  The latter, on the other hand, slips easily inside shirt cuffs and business suits.  Whatever the case (pardon the pun), the correct case size that best complements your wrist and feels most comfortable for you is what is important.


Another aspect that can also represent your loved one’s singular style is the dial color of the watch.  Neutral colors are versatile and go well with most outfits, while bolder colors make a bolder statement and are best when the user is the type who wants to get noticed, and when matched with the proper strap can make for a watch custom made for you.  Which brings us to the piece that connects the watch directly to the wrist: the strap… or the bracelet, which is directly connected to the daily activities and lifestyle of your loved one.  Whether a strap made of leather, rubber or nylon, or a metal bracelet, this seemingly innocuous piece can significantly influence the watch’s appearance and comfort, and is a significant indicator of a person’s personality.

Finally, set a budget for yourself.  Watches come in a wide range of prices, so knowing your budget can help you narrow down your options.  If money is a concern, have no fear there are dozens of entry level brands out there that will not only do the trick, they are arguably better buys than many, more “ultra-luxury” watch brands out there.  Brands like Hamilton and Tissot are long-established Swiss brands that take significant advantage of their long history while offering the much-needed assurance of trusted Swiss quality and a very reasonable price range.  

Then there is the “basic” luxury watch category where brands such as Ball, Maurice LaCroix, Alpina and Tudor rule.  This category ups the stakes in price category and while you will be asked to shell out a few more dollar bills you also get not only the better finishing and better materials that brands like Oris, or TAG Heuer bring to the table, you also get that all-important better “perceived” quality that this price range also brings.


Going up another rung in the ladder brings you to the premium luxury watch category.  For most people the buck literally stops here, and is the category where watch brands such as Zenith, Breitling, and Panerai rule.  Most importantly, the premium, luxury watch category not only has the largest array of premium watchmakers to choose from, it is also the category any husband, spouse or partner (aka your significant loved one) will be more than happy to live in for the rest of their days.  But while giving him or her a Rolex is a no brainer, there’s just something else from the rest of the outstanding watchbrands in this category that are capable of providing that little something extra.  These include Omega, IWC Schaffhausen, Chopard, and (of course) Cartier.

Going further into the price-is-no-object category may be a bit superflous.  You are giving this watch as gift, after all, and not keeping it for yourself.  But if you’re the type that is particularly well-heeled and the person you’re gifting the watch to is equally as well off then the high-end “ultra-luxury” category is taylor made just for you.  Here, ultra-high-end watchbrands such as Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, A. Lange & Söhne, Jaeger-LeCoultre, and Roger Dubuis reign supreme.  One CANNOT go wrong with this category and anyone gifted with a watch from ANY of these brands will be a fool not to be completely enchanted by you.