Are you looking for a last-minute gift guide to assist you in selecting a watch for a friend or loved one? Then continue walking, since this isn’t it. This post contains watches and “gifts,” but it is not a “gift guide” in which we simply show you some of this year’s watch stars and tell you what we believe you should buy. That doesn’t seem fully realistic to us, and it’s rarely useful in real life. Instead, we decided that it would be fun to conduct a “Fantasy” Secret Santa with all of our team members this year, and do a real-life, real-watches (meaning pretty accessible), real people (with fantasy money), watch “gifting” exchange, and see what happens. We intend to provide some anecdotal insight into the thought process, as well as some watch wisdom (and gifts) and possibly some entertainment.
We’ve all been in that situation. We want to share the same delight we get from a favourite watch with a loved one. We want that individual to feel the same way we do about something we both enjoy and then share that joy with them as a positive link. More than the “object” itself, it’s the sensation we wish to convey. Most genuine gift-giving appears to be motivated by this. The task at hand is to choose something that has a reasonable chance of achieving watch bonding nirvana. Message in Advertising Message At The End Of Advertising
We thought we’d try something new. Watches are delicate and elicit an emotional response, so selecting one to wear is a very personal experience. Choosing one for someone else, on the other hand, adds a layer of complication and potential hazards. Is it just a 50/50 hit-or-miss coin-toss-crap-shoot in the end, or can you really be confident you’re giving them something they’ll appreciate even if you know them well?
Let’s have a look!
I randomly chose names from a huge fluffy Santa hat (well, a randomizer I got online) to link each aBlogtoWatch team member with another for whom they would anonymously choose a watch from 2014. I then told each participant who they were “shopping” for and gave them a deadline to pick a “present” and write a letter explaining why they chose that particular watch for that person. I then told each recipient what watch they had received and set a deadline for them to write about their “gift.” And then there was hilarity. Message in Advertising Message At The End Of Advertising
No one knows their Secret Santa’s identity or the reasoning for their Santa’s pick at the time of publication. I’m undecided about bribing, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be carrying these Secret Santa identities with me to the cemetery. Will it be a good opportunity to bond as a group? Or will it drive us even further apart than our ancestral homelands have already separated us?
So, in no particular sequence, here is the unvarnished truth. Many of the options were excellent. In other cases, it appears that superb timepieces are re-given rather being gifted.
Original 1969 Zenith El Primero
Secret Santa’s Message:
The Zenith El Primero Original 1969 was my choice. While an antique watch would be the obvious choice for James, we’re sticking to more modern fare, so I think the El Primero Original 1969 is perfect. If you read analogshift.com every day as I do, you know James favours steel sport watches (typically chronographs) with remarkable movements, timeless appeal, and a dash of colour (who doesn’t?).
All of these and more may be found in the Zenith El Primero Original 1969. The Original 1969 has the chops to back up its serious yet sporty style, thanks to a classic Zenith El Primero 400 automatic chronograph movement that works at a silky smooth 36,000 vph. I went with the Original 1969 version, which has a 38 mm case and the iconic Zenith tri-color dial, as a reference to James’ vintage sensibilities. Although it isn’t vintage, I believe it is the next best thing.
James Lamdin had this to say:
My status as ABTW’s resident “vintage guy” appears to be well-known among my coworkers! Although I relish the opportunity to experiment with novel timepieces, the majority of the watches in my personal collection date from the past. Fortunately for me, there are some fantastic modern watches on the market that are not only inspired by historical models, but are also true reissues of the originals, as demonstrated by the magnificent Zenith El Primero Original 1969 that my Secret Santa gave me this year.
The first El Primero (reference A386) was one of the world’s earliest automated chronographs, and possibly the most advanced. It was introduced in – you got it – 1969. The world’s first El Primero has gone on to become a really collectible watch, and is the historical foundation for an entire range of modern chronographs for Zenith. It features a hi-beat movement with 36,000 vph and a striking tri-color scheme on the subsidiary registers.
This current version, in my opinion, is just as good as the original from over five decades ago, and it has the same case proportions and dial design as the 1969 model. Zenith is, in my opinion, one of today’s most misunderstood manufacturers, offering a superior product for a low price. A386s are notoriously difficult to get by (trust me, I’ve looked), thus the Original 1969 is a terrific option that I’d be pleased to buy and wear. Thank you so much, Secret Santa!
This is a snapshot of the version we introduced earlier this year as a tribute to the Rolling Stones.
2. Omega Seamaster 300 Co-Axial (Omega Seamaster 300 Co-Axial)
Secret Santa’s Message:
Kenny’s analogue tastes mirror mine, so I chose the Omega Seamaster 300 for him. We both respect history and form-follows-function design, and our possessions are true reflections of our interests. Kenny would like the heritage-inspired design of the Seamaster 300, a properly modernised version of the renowned professional diver from Omega, as a man who prefers three pedals to two, and mechanical movements with analogue displays to flashy digital displays. The Seamaster 300, in addition to its fantastic antique appearance, has a number of contemporary design aspects, like as the ceramic outer bezel and the excellent Co-Axial movement, which I believe would appeal to Kenny’s interest in both modern technical gadgetry and horology.
Kenny Yeo’s Opinion:
Because the Omega Seamster 300 Co-Axial is my favourite watch from Omega this year, I was pleasantly delighted that it was chosen for me. The vintage-inspired design is stunning, and there’s also a sophisticated Master Co-Axial movement with silicon components that improves timekeeping and reliability. There’s also the exquisitely designed bracelet with the micro-adjustment functionality. Overall, I think the Seamaster Co-Axial is a fantastic watch, and I’m thrilled to have received it as a gift.
3. Richard Lange Perpetual Calendar “Terraluna” by A. Lange & Sohne
Secret Santa’s Message:
The A.Lange & Sohne Richard Lange Perpetual Calendar is the coolest offering from the German powerhouse this year, so I chose it for David. It not only looks beautiful, but it also has some pretty cool capabilities, such as the ability to detect which area of the world is receiving light by looking at the back of the watch. These are characteristics I believe he would value in a timepiece.
David Bredan has this to say:
The Lange Terraluna is a fantastic choice that I enjoy for a variety of reasons: to put it simply, it is arguably the most complicated watch ever manufactured by one of the most prestigious watch brands in the world. I’d probably wear it “inside out,” with the movement and that fantastic moon phase facing up.
4. Rolex Day Date, Tiffany Blue Dial, 1987
Yes, the rules state that the watch must be from this year, but this Secret Santa is due to give birth any day now, so I granted him a break because he’s temporarily half insane and a little dangerous right now. I adore you, guy. Everything is fine. Everything will turn out alright. It was a wise decision.
Secret Santa’s Message:
Why did I pick this watch?
Victor is a father of two, and he deserves a solid gold Rolex Day Date for all of his hard work!
I picked this watch (pictured) from a recent auction because it looks wonderful on a NATO strap (which I believe Victor prefers) and the Tiffany dial is a unique Rolex feature.
It’s got substance and flair, yet it’s neither ostentatious or vulgar.
Victor Marks had this to say:
Man, you have to respect the classics. The Tiffany & Co. dial is the pinnacle of all Day-Dates, while the Rolex Day-Date is the pinnacle of all Rolex dials. It goes from gaudy to whispering, “I’m wearing the best and don’t give a damn,” when worn on a NATO bracelet rather than a solid gold bracelet. I’d never considered myself a gold watch wearer previously, but after seeing this combination, I’d happily wear it every day. This is fantastic for a go-go-80s man like me. To the nth degree.
5. Batman-DNA Watch by Romain Jerome
Secret Santa’s Message:
Why did I choose this Romain Jerome Batman-DNA for Patrick Kansa? Because underneath the surface of the family-man-tech-geek-watch-nerd lurks the superhero who protects his hometown of Gotham (i.e., Chicago)…. Seriously, this is a man with a computer background who prefers his issues to be handled impeccably while remaining undetected. What better to go with Batman’s rubber underwear than his radar manipulation? And, honestly, this watch appeals to the inner child in all of us while remaining mature, stylish, and horologically insane. Now, if he’s a really nice lad in 2015 (i.e., completes all of his assignments on time), he’ll receive one of these: Memorigin Batman Tourbillon Watch.
Patrick Kansa’s Opinion:
I wasn’t startled when I found out what I’d chosen as a gift since, in some ways, I’m very predictable. If you take a peek at my author bio, you’ll notice that I’m a big admirer of Batman. So, when I found out that the Romain Jerome Batman DNA watch would be my choice, I was ecstatic.