Having trouble figuring out what wristwatch might fare well with pops this holiday season? It can be pretty daunting to face down the constant advertisements and “top 10 watches to buy…” during a time that’s meant to be cathartic and full of cheer. So, as a watch and clock business, we’re going to make a few suggestions that we’ve pulled from the internet and from our collective experience—hopefully as a no-pressure guide to buying on whatever budget you have.
We’ve decided to kick things off with some heavy hitters. These timepieces are definitely for a larger pocket book but may be a dream watch that someone has vied for their entire life. Or, if there’s a recent come-up in the family, a great way to assimilate into an upper-crust lifestyle. The two we’ve selected for this category are the Rolex “Presidential” Day/Date and the IWC Poruguese.
-Rolex Day/Date: Originally
released in 1956 this wristwatch is a staple for world leaders and big-wigs
worldwide. We’ve covered this one quite a bit for good reason—it’s a status
symbol that’s existed for over half a century. Surely pops will recognize this
one from print and television advertisements from back in the day (depending on
his age). It was the first automatic mechanical watch to feature an automatically
updating day and date window. If
you’ve got the budget for it, these ones start out at $29,000 and can go up to
around $62,000 (for the “Platinum” version).
-IWC Portuguese: This watch line has been around since the 1930s—when wristwatches were first becoming a thing. Celebrity endorsers of this brand (namely, more recently, Bradley Cooper) are seen wearing leather jackets, driving sports cars, and navigating the skies with this brand. It’s with really good reason. IWC makes a clean traditional men’s watch with a pocket-watch-esque Swiss mechanical movement that has a solid power reserve. They’re rugged and fashionable. IWC being one of the oldest brands in Swiss watchmaking, you get a similar calibre to Rolex with less of a price tag. Some of the IWC Portuguese watches start around $5-$6,000. However, a particular favorite for us is the “Portofino” moon-phase—which retails around $13,000.
Not all of us can afford luxury timepieces—that’s just a fact of life. This is why a lot of us go shopping in what’s referred to as the “mid-range” of timepieces. Here is where you’ll find brands like Seiko, Tag Heuer, Bulova, Tommy Bahama, etc…These watches are going to be more quartz than mechanical, but still have some quality builds. Here are two standouts for us at TimesTicking.
-Bulova Precisionist: Here’s a piece for the patriarch in your life with a penchant for precision. Being an HAQ (high accuracy quartz) wristwatch, it only loses or gains 10 seconds a year. Where a lot of watches lose or gain that much time in a month—the Precisionist holds strong all year. These watches are a bit bulkier than a traditional men’s piece, but they accommodate a wonderful movement and are built with quality steel (and sometimes carbon fiber in the dial). Bulova is a brand that began in America that’s reinforced by the innovations of Japanese engineering. These precision watches are the pinnacle of their efforts. They start at $575 and go up to about $2,000 (if pop loves diamonds)
-Citizen Eco-Drive Avion: Aviation timepieces are clean looking pieces with their chronograph flair. With Citizen, their Eco-Drive line is affordable and runs all on its own—all it needs is plenty of light! While anyone with a Costco membership can pick up a one-off older model of an Eco-Drive, Citizen’s official site is doing a sale on their finer watches. The Avion stands out due to its classic men’s leather-strapped style. It also contains Citizen’s most up-to-date Eco-Drive movement. At just $260 (on sale), it’s a clean looking mid-range that’ll take a licking no matter the context. View the most popular Citizen watches, for men, here.
Is your dad a fan of watches but just wants a simple workhorse to get the job done? Well, we’d surely suggest Casio and Timex as a gift choice. Less horologically minded men with a history of wearing watches tend to enjoy these two brands. Here are the final two style suggestions for Holiday gifting: Timex’s Expedition watches and Casio’s Databank series.
-Timex Expedition: Timex is a juggernaut is mass-production watchmaking. Their watches gained a pretty solid reputation during the 20th century as a “takes a licking and keeps on ticking” brand. Though their standards aren’t as high as they used to be, they’ll get the job done. Timex’s Expedition watches are a particular standout in their massive catalog. Each one has an almost outdoorsy vibe—with olive drab and brown in a lot of their styles. Folks from all over tout their Timex Expedition watches as having utility and sweetly simple style. At around $50-60 you can’t beat it (especially if it has Timex’s “Indiglo” tech built in).
-Casio Databank: Here’s one for
any cinematically (or mathematically) inclined older gentleman. Made popular by
the film Back to the Future, this
hip-to-be-square watch is an 80s classic. Being farther away from a traditional
piece, it’s a calculator watch that can also store phone numbers, calendar
info, and more! If you’re looking for a wristwatch alternative to the latest
“smart” tech but still digital, this throwback can’t go wrong. Casio currently
has a few styles for their Databank series available—starting at just around
$20. Even if it’s just a gag gift, they’re a great way to get something unique
on a budget.
Whether your old man has luxury tastes or just wants to have something on while working on his latest project (or both) there’s something out there for every father. Hopefully this list gets you pointed in the right direction. Otherwise, use this list as a guide toward similar timepieces to lock in that just-right time-teller. Happy holidays!
Times Ticking has been in operation for more than 30 years, since 1982. We have performed watch repair for customers both locally and internationally. If it Ticks! We KNOW it! Our team of watch repair technicians have a combined experience in watchmaking of over 120 years.