Technically, an horologist is a watchmaker, but we’re expanding upon the term to include all watch lovers for our 2017 Christmas Gift Guide. Speaking of watch lovers, odds are you know someone who has a drawer full of watches the way Mariah Carey has a closet full of shoes. Thankfully for him, 2017 provided no shortage of horological stunners from new and established brands alike. However, the watch lover in your life won’t just want any timepiece taking up space in his arsenal. Don’t hop online and wing it–scope our list of the latest and greatest instead. Trust us when we say he’ll be happy you did. Read below for our 2017 Christmas Gift Guide – The Horologist.
Waxed Canvas Watch Roll
Give all your crafty timepieces an artisanal home of their own with the Waxed Canvas Watch Roll. Created by Cool Material in partnership with Bradley Mountain, the custom roll will keep up to 6 horological beauties in pristine, scratch-free condition. Each waxed roll is handmade in the USA and built to last basically forever. Also included is an oiled leather strap, which both literally and figuratively wraps everything up nicely.
Baume and Mercier Clifton Club Range
Touted as horology for the “Gentlesportsman”, the Clifton Club Range from Baume and Mercier combines sportiness and sophistication with impeccable precision. Thoroughly tested for shock resistance and equipped with Swiss-made mechanical self-winding movement, each multi-purpose watch in the line targets men who refuse to rest on their luxurious laurels. Form meets function, indeed.
A Man & His Watch by Matt Hranek
Another terrific book that’s guaranteed to please, A Man & His Watch explores the intense bond that forms between…well, a man and his watch. Expect to see iconic names like Paul Newman, Andy Warhol, and Joseph Stalin, along with iconic brands like Rolex, Tiffany and Omega. In addition to covering the loyalty between each owner and his cherished timepiece, the book dives into historical events where the gifting of watches played a significant role. It’s all brought to life by author Matt Hranek, a passionate collector himself who conducted scores of interviews and put in tons of research to make the book happen.
IWC Pilot’s Mark XVIII
An instant classic if there ever was one, the IWC Pilot’s Mark XVIII takes design cues from cockpit instruments used by the Royal Air Force in their 1930s Junkers JU-52 planes. Suffice to say, the watch is a vintage masterpiece of powerful simplicity. Everything from the silver-plated dial to the Arabic numerals to the stainless steel case to the leather strap emanates with aesthetic intent.
IWC Portugieser Chronograph
IWC has been operating out of Schaffausen, Switzerland for just under 150 years. It’s therefore no wonder that their watches are so consistently stunning and functional. The IWC Portugieser Chronograph is naturally no exception. It packs a calibre 79350 mechanical chronograph movement with a 44-hour power reserve under a brilliant stainless steel case. Throw in a silver-plated dial with striking blue indices, and a navy alligator strap, and you’ve got yourself a watch that no enthusiast can refuse.
TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45
TAG Heuer’s foray into the smartwatch arena doesn’t just go big on intelligence, but delivers a virtually unprecedented amount of customisation. Powered by Android Wear and an Intel Atom processor, the TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45 serves up a dizzying array of colours, accessories, designs and materials to choose from. That’s joined by steadfast features like water resistance to 50M, GPS location tracking, a slew of apps, voice response and so much more. Put simply, this watch will downright spoil you.
TAG Heuer Heritage Calibre Heuer 02
If the TAG Heuer smartwatch is a little too forward-thinking, by all means keep it classic with the TAG Heuer Heritage Calibre Heuer 02 instead. The watch is a highlight reel of dependable specs, including three chronograph counters on the dial, waterproof capability, and a 42mm steel polished case. Under the hood are 168 components, 33 jewels and a 75 hour power reserve. A trusty bracelet of polished steel comes in to finish the job.
Alpina Startimer Pilot Quartz
When it comes to shopping for horologists during the holidays, one might quickly discover that quality mechanical watches cost a lot of money. Delivering the same tier of aesthetics while putting a battery under the skin is the Alpina Startimer Pilot Quartz series. Alpina has been in the game since forever and each model in their line up is accordingly rife with minimalist beauty and even some vintage charm. Choose among a variety of colourways, and between nylon straps or steel bracelets. As these terrific watches go to show, you can still slap dependable style around the wrist of a friend or loved one without having to break the bank.
Panerai Luminor Base 8 Days Acciaio
Known for combining extreme ruggedness with breathtaking design, Panerai maintains its legendary reputation one brilliant watch at a time. Accordingly, the Luminor Base 8 Days Acciaio is yet another steadfast stunner from the brand. It hosts a remarkable P.5000 calibre movement with a whopping 8 day power reserve. That’s joined by a corrosion-resistant 44mm stainless steel case and Super-LumiNova dial, which illuminates in the dark. Affixed to the watch is a premium black leather strap, lending the piece an extra touch of smooth elegance.
NOMOS Glashutte Tangente Datum
For a quintessential timepiece that makes a grand statement without resorting to flashy gestures, look no further than the Tangente Datum from German label NOMOS Glashutte. This baby is clean, crafty and beautiful. Powered by a manually wound DUW 4101 movement built entirely in house by the brand, the piece touts an eye-catching white dial with blue hands, and a sleek black Horween leather strap. So spectacular is this timepiece that the makers themselves dubbed it “the epitome of NOMOS Glashutte”. Needless to say, your horology-inclined companion will agree.
The Wristwatch Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Mechanical Wristwatches by Ryan Schmidt
It can be a challenge buying a watch for an enthusiast with particular taste. If you’d rather get him something you know he’ll enjoy, buy him The Wristwatch Handbook instead. Authored by Ryan Schmidt, the acclaimed book is a supremely resourceful guide on mechanical wristwatches, complete with epic colour photography and backstories on timepieces from over 90 manufacturers.
Melbourne Watch Company The Carlton
Australia’s own Melbourne Watch Company kickstarted in 2013 with the admirable goal of selling absolutely sophisticated timepieces at absolutely affordable prices. All we can say to that is: mission accomplished. Indeed, just one look at The Carlton range tells you the brand is making good on its promise of high quality at low cost. Powered by Seiko VK64 ‘mecha quartz’ chronograph movement, and featuring a cushion-shaped 42mm case with round dial, each model emanates with elegance. Luxury timepieces simply don’t get more cost effective than this.
Melbourne Watch Company Portsea
At the higher end of the MWC spectrum is The Portsea. Built in Melbourne and inspired by classic marine chronographs, each watch in the range is masterfully executed and big on detail. Heck, the multi-layered dial alone is enough to make your friend or loved one’s jaw drop the moment he unboxes this stunning timepiece. Witness with relish as his eyes gaze over the extraordinary dial, the surgical grade stainless case and the anti-reflective crystal sapphire glass, or as his hands caress the nappa lined leather strap. To say Melbourne Watch Company does Australia proud would be putting it mildly.
Hublot Classic Fusion Titanium Opalin
Hublot is another legendary name in watchmaking and their Classic Fusion Titanium Opalin 33mm Watch is one tight and sturdy knockout. Flaunting a satin-finish titanium case and bezel, the watch was hand assembled with the prominent screws to show for it. The piece is water resistant to 5 ATM, powered by HUB2912 calibre quartz movement, and paired with a lined rubber strap. This is minimalism at its finest.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
For those truly aiming to impress this holiday season, Audemars Piguet has a timepiece just for you. Their Royal Oak self-winding watch is a thing of spectacular beauty, awash with 18 karat rose gold and further distinguished by a ‘Grande Tapisserie’ pattern on the silver-tone dial. The glorious piece will unquestionably draw eyeballs from across the room, as it should given its price tag. Like most products off the tippy top shelf, expect the value of this luxurious jaw-dropper to go up over time, making it as much a sound investment as it is a prime slab of haute horlogerie.
Windsor Single Watch Winder
To own a mechanical watch is to wind a mechanical watch, and now you can do that with style and ease by using the Windsor Single Watch Winder. Taking inspiration from similar mid-century products, and available in a small range of colours, the single winding module features chrome finished hardware, pebble faux leather and a silk faceplate. Get one for yourself and one for the fellow watch winder in your life. Classic!
Omega Seamaster Railmaster
Originally released in 1957 for people who worked on railroads, or anywhere that had large electromagnetic fields which could mess with regular watches, the Railmaster boasted a clean, classic design and superlative magnetic resistance, at 1,000 gauss. The new model has only been updated slightly in the looks department, retaining its elegance and simplicity, but can now withstand up to 15,000 gauss.