Do you have a watch enthusiast or collector in your family? Or perhaps you’re looking to treat yourself after a new raise, promotion, or bonus? Whatever the situation, RESCAPEMENT has you covered with our 2018 Holiday Gift Guide. From accessories and books to the finest time pieces a grown up could put on Santa’s list, there’s something for everyone. The only rule we set: No vintage timepieces. While everyone would undoubtedly love to receive the perfect Heuer Carrera 2447 for Christmas, it’s just not an actionable gift recommendation. If you’re anything like us, we wait until the last minute to go shopping, so everything on this list is new (and some of it is even on Amazon)!
For the Enthusiast Who Loves to Learn
A Man and His Watch: Iconic Watches and Stories from the Men Who Wore Them
This book, by a noted vintage watch collector, gives the story of 76 famous watches and the men who wore them. From Paul Newman’s Daytona to the timepieces of Stalin and Churchill, watch lovers will appreciate the manner in which this book connects iconic timepieces to moments in history. Original photography of all the watches covered provides a visual cherry on top of the fascinating stories.
The Watch, Thoroughly Revised
Just released in November 2018, this brick of a book is an update of Gene Stone’s 2006 The Watch. This time, Hodinkee’s Stephen Pulvirent joins Stone to survey the lastest in all things vintage and modern. It’s 272 pages of color photos and writeups, proving it’s not just great coffee-table decor, but something beginners and expert enthusiasts alike can dig into.
For the World-Travelling, GMT-Wearing Enthusiast
WatchPOD Travel Case
If you’re looking for a simple, single-watch travel case, this is the solution. You can’t go wrong with this nylon hardshell case from Watchpod, which also offers a padded interior and cone inside to support the watch while it’s getting tossed around in your bag.
Convoy Watch Roll
This Convoy Watch roll is a fan favorite for its ability to carry 4 watches, plus an added large pocket to carry extra straps and other accessories. What’s more, it’s made from a beautiful Italian leather designed to patina and grow darker with age.
Crown & Buckle Edmond Roll
Crown & Buckle’s Edmond Roll comes in 4-slot and 6-slot options, both made of a durable distressed leather exterior and plush suede interior. There’s brass and wood hardware on the closure, giving the roll a classic feel. If you’re looking for a simple one-watch carrier, the leather Edmond Pouch ($50) is a great alternative.
Oak & Oscar Watch Wallet
Microbrand Oak & Oscar doesn’t just make watches. Its Oak & Oscar Watch Wallet is styled a bit differently: it’s got three detachable suede pouches, giving you the flexibility that travel so often demands. There’s also some attached leather pockets for non-watch items (the gal!), meaning this is actually a great do-everything companion. With leather sourced from Horween Leather Company in Chicago, you know this is a wallet built to last that will develop a unique patina over time.
Smythson Leather Watch Roll
Looking for a real luxury travel companion? This Smythson leather watch roll will do the trick. It’s a hard case with a conical shape running through the middle to support your watches. Of course, this won’t squeeze into your bag like some of the other soft cases or pouches, if you’ve got a vintage Rolex or Patek in tow, you might not want that.
For the Enthusiast with a Growing Collection
WOLF Watch Boxes
Britain-based Wolf makes a variety of watch boxes for collections of all sizes. The basic 5-watch box with lock will cost you $100, while a box with space for 15 timepieces runs at $200. There are a number of sizes and configurations in between, so rest assured they’ve got whatever you’re looking for.
FOR THE Budding Enthusiast
Todd Snyder x Timex Mod Watch
Okay, it’s a quartz Timex, and at $138, it’s not a cheap one at that. But everyone remember their first Timex fondly, and if you’re looking to buy someone their first watch, why not this collaboration watch from Todd Snyder and Timex. As the story goes, it’s based on a dial design Todd Snyder found in the Timex archives and brought back to life. It’s a classic looking, military inspired timepiece, if not a little big with its 40mm case diameter.
Timex shocked everyone with the recent release of its Marlin collection — a line of automatic watches inspired by vintage Timex of the 1960s. Since its introduction, the line has grown to include a variety of case and dial combinations, even offering something explicitly for the ladies (though we’ve never subscribed to the idea of “men’s” and “women’s” watches. There’s just watches, okay?!)
Price: $250 and under
For the Enthusiast Building a Collection
Tudor Black Bay GMT or Rolex GMT-Master II
Every good collection needs a serviceable GMT watch, and we’ve got two of the best here. Since the release of the first GMT-Master in the 1950s, Rolex has been, well, the master of the GMT complication. The modern GMT-Master II is no exception, and while it’s offered in a number of bezel color options, the original red-and-blue Pepsi is still our favorite. Unfortunately, the hardest part of acquiring a GMT (or any stainless steel Rolex sports watch, for that matter) is finding an authorized dealer willing to sell you one.
Perhaps the only thing more welcome than the new Rolex GMT-Master II was Tudor’s 2018 release of its Black Bay GMT. The watch has an in-house, chronometer-certified movement, and is every bit the workhorse the Rolex is, but at a fraction of the cost. It lets you throw down with the best watch guys out there, save the five-figure price tag.
Rolex GMT-Master II: $9,250
Tudor Black Bay GMT: $3,900
Oris Big Crown Pointer Date (Bronze)
Oris’ Big Crown Pointer collection offers a variety of everyday watch options, but its newest release, in a bronze case and green dial might be the best yet. While they already offered a bronze version in 36mm, the new 40mm version provides a larger option more in the mold of a traditional pilot’s watch. Bronze is a fairly unusual metal to use for a watch case, as it tends to patina and age very quickly. Gifting a bronze watch will give the collector an opportunity to see a watch quickly take on a character of its own, a process that can otherwise take decades.
Omega Seamaster 1948
First released in 1948, the Omega Seamaster quickly became a horology icon and is a collection that lives on to this day. To commemorate its 70th anniversary, Omega this year released the Seamater 1948, a limited series of watches inspired by the original Seamaster. The watch features a stainless steel case and opaline silvery domed dial, creating a cohesive timepiece that anyone would feel nostalgic wearing. It comes in two varieties: the first with a a small seconds placed at 6 o’clock (pictured), and the other with a central, sweeping seconds hand.
Price: starting at $5,700
For the Enthusiast In Search of a Grail
Nomos Tangente NEOMATIK SilverCut
While Nomos brands its new midnight blue dial Orion with gold hands and accents as the perfect “festive” timepiece, the Nomos Tangente Neomatik Silvercut is more “man for all seasons” grail status. It’s got Nomos super-thin automatic movement inside, and the silver dial adds a level of intrigue to Nomos’ classic Tangente design. At typically Nomos accessible price point, it’s a worthy grail for the collector who can’t justify dropping five figures on a watch.
Vacheron Constantin TRIPLE CALENDAR 1942
At this point, we’re looking for watches for the collector who seemingly has it all. Short of finding a rare vintage watch, we’ve identified a couple new watches that even the most hardcore collector could be smitten by. First is the Vacheron Constantin Triple Calendar, which took home a GPHG prize this year for “Revival Prize”, meaning it was essentially the best heritage timepiece of the year. It’s an in-house caliber with 65 hours of power reserve, with a modest price for such a complicated watch. A true grail indeed.
Akrivia Chronometre Contemporain
Akrivia and its leader, Rexhap Rexhepi, have very much taken the watch world by storm this year. We featured a profile of the wunderkid watchmaker just a few weeks ago after his Chronometre Contemporain took home the prize in the Men’s category at GPHG 2018. At just 31 years old, he’s very much the future of watchmaking. So why not buy the collector who has everything the latest timepiece from one of horology’s most skilled hands?
Price: CHF 55,000 (gold), CHF 58,000 (platinum)
Patek Phillipe Ref. 5270P
A Patek Phillipe perpetual calendar chronograph in platinum is perhaps the ultimate grail watch, and nowhere is it more perfectly executed than in this newly released Reference 5270P with salmon dial. There’s not much more to be said about this timepiece. It will be worth more in 50 years than its worth today, so if you have $200,000 to spend, it’s not the ugliest investment in the world.