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)
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)
Even Omega’s innovative stopwatches did not eliminate Olympic controversy. In five distinct races, the winner and runner-up were listed as the same moment. The most famous controversy involved the 100-meter dash and the duel involving Ralph Metcalfe and Thomas Edward “Eddie” Tolan. To the spectators, it seemed that Metcalfe won the race, and also the timekeepers’ hand-held stopwatches listed three occasions of 10.3 minutes for Metcalfe and two times of 10.3 and one of 10.4 seconds for Tolan. Yet Tolan was declared the winner, in an ancient Olympic “photo finish.” A “Chronocinema” camera filmed the end of every race, and it had been utilized to document occasions to the nearest 1/100th of a second. The rules at that time stated that the winner was the first runner whose chest fully crossed the finish line, not the one whose torso attained the line first. After reviewing the movie, the judges ruled the Tolan had won, entirely crossing the line 5/100ths of a second before Metcalfe.This controversy presaged the need for more precise timers, and methods of determining winners. Omega says that today, timing an Olympics takes a few hundred professional timekeepers and data handlers, supported by around a thousand specially trained local volunteers, all with some 400 tons of gear, such as scoreboards, miles of wires and optical fiber, and advanced timekeeping and data-handling technology, developed by Omega and adapted to the needs of each sport.Over the years, James Bond has worn out a few watch manufacturers, but now, none is more closely connected to the storied franchise compared to Omega.
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)