Throwback Sundays: Six Christmas Gift Recommendations for a Watch Collector, from Our Archives

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Christmas is around the corner once again, and as usual many people (us included!) are probably cracking their heads to find suitable gifts for their friends and loved ones. 

So, if you have not done your Christmas shopping yet, we have complied some gift ideas for watch collectors. Actually, some of the products are not necessarily meant for watch collectors alone – it can be given to any gentlemen (ladies as well), or simply to friends who may or may not be remotely obsessed with watches.

Our selections today are mostly priced below S$1,000, and they are definitely presentable for the occasion. Well, without any further ado, let’s go!


Apple Watch


The new Apple Watch 2, featuring Mickey on the dial.


We begin the article with one of the hottest gadgets in recent times: the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch is a smartwatch, and one that is gaining popularity thanks to its aesthetics and functions. The new Apple Watch 2 was launched earlier this year, as an upgrade to its predecessor. It offers many great features, such as the ability to communicate through quick touch, health tracking functions, as well as the capabilities to host certain applications. On top of that, it is 50m water-resistant, and it is fitted with a GPS-tracker.

The Apple Watch 2 is priced from S$ 269 for the Aluminium case and from S$ 549 for the Stainless Steel case. It comes with a variety of strap options, allowing users to mix-and-match accordingly to their style. The only drawback, we reckon, is the short 18-hour battery life. However, we still think that this is an interesting gift, and one that will appeal to Apple fans and gadget fanatics.


Swatch Sistem51 Irony


The Sistem51 Arrow – based on the designs of Flieger Watches.


Next, we have the Sistem51 Irony. The collection was recently added a few months back, as an extension to the Sistem51 collection.

In this series, Swatch had combined the steel cases from the Irony collection with the proprietary Sistem51 movement. This is a first, since its predecessors are all cased in plastic. A total of 7 new designs are offered this series, each with a different dial. Our personal favourite is the Arrow, which is the piece that is pictured above. We like the simple “Flieger” inspired aesthetics, and the comfortable rubber strap that is fitted on the watch.

The watches retail between S$ 279 to S$ 330, based on its strap options and dial designs. It is certainly an excellent gift idea, especially for someone who has a keen interest in watches.


Seiko PADI Edition Automatic Diver SRPA21


The Seiko Automatic Divers PADI SRPA21.


When it comes to tool watches, Seiko is probably one of the names that will come to mind. Over the years, the Japanese watch manufacturer have consistently produced solid timepiece, with an affordable price tag to match.

One of the pieces that got rather popular recently is the PADI Edition Diver, based on the “Turtle” Divers’ watch. The PADI edition was launched this year, to commemorate the organisation’s long-standing relationship and support PADI’s “Project Aware”. The watch is fitted with a stunning blue sunburst dial, and complemented with a “Pepsi” style blue and red bezel. In fact, the red and blue theme is used extensively throughout the watch as well, to represent the colours of PADI. We think the combination works rather well here.

The watch is powered by Seiko’s Caliber 4R36, an automatic movement that boasts a power reserve of around 41 hours. It comes with a day and date indicator. And as the automatic movement is a higher spec than the common (at this price level) Seiko 5, it hacks and can be wound manually. The special edition timepiece is priced at S$ 667.70, and it comes fitted with a stainless steel bracelet.


TACS Limited Edition Automatic Vintage Lens Watch


The TACS Vintage Lens on top of the Hasselblad HCD 4/28mm lens. The sapphire crystal of the watch face mimics the impression of looking through the barrel of the lens. Interestingly, the watch will retail for US$ 500, the lens retails for US$ 5,000.


The rise of crowdfunding sites has seen aspiring watchmakers launching watches with a variety of styles and designs. TACS – which stands for Taste, Attractive, Creative, Sense – is one these manufacturers that offers collectors something different from the usual.

The Vintage Lens is one of TACS latest creations, inspired by camera lenses. In fact, we think that every aesthetical component of the watch is designed with the different elements of the lenses in mind. For instance, the centre of the dial reminds us of the lens aperture, and markings on the dial is similar to those that are found on the camera lenses. In addition, the bezel is rotatable, and the sapphire crystal is domed. It is rather interesting to see how these different components are integrated into the timepiece.

Powered by the automatic Miyota 82S0, the Vintage Lens is a rather simple but novel timepiece. The 47mm watch is priced at US$ 550 (approximately S$ 795), and it will certainly be a gift that will delight any camera enthusiasts. We ran a giveaway on this watch, and just presented the watch to its new owner: Instagram @ineverysense.


Luminox Carbon Seal 3800 Series


The lume on the Carbon Seal 3800 Series.


If you are thinking of buying a gift for someone who is in the military or an adventure junkie, then perhaps the new Luminox Carbon Seal 3800 Series might just be the timepiece that you should be looking for. Often known for its robustness and its military association with the US Navy SEALS, Luminox has been the trusted brand for many soldiers and adventurers alike.

The latest offering from Luminox is a rather interesting piece indeed. The 46mm watch is fitted with a carbon case, and featuring its signature non-nonsense aesthetics. The case is three times lighter than titanium, yet still highly durable, scratch resistant and chemical and heat resistant – all thanks to a new manufacturing process. It is water-resistant of up to 300m, and a battery life of around 8 years. In addition, the dial is fitted with micro gas tubes filled with tritium; a radioactive substance, that can provide illumination for up to 25 years. A rather utilitarian piece indeed.

The Carbon Seal 3800 Series retails at S$1,060.


Tissot PRS516 Small Triple Seconds


The Tissot PRS516 Small Triple Seconds. Simple, fun, and a decently manufactured timepiece.


We round up this week’s article with a rather intriguing and fun timepiece: the Tissot PRS516 Small Triple Seconds.

Tissot is a brand that most collectors are probably familiar with. They produce some nice and solid timepieces, with a relatively reasonable price tag. The PRS516, for instance, is one timepiece that encapsulates these values with an element of fun in it. Powered by the workhorse ETA2824 movement, the highlight of the timepiece is the seconds dial. The dials are split into three different portions, with each of the sectors responsible for indicting the seconds that it displays. While it is not a ground-breaking complication, but the concept is certainly one that is refreshing.

Besides the complication, the timepiece is rather good-looking too. This is perhaps attributed to the symmetrical dial, as well as the contrasting colours that were used. The PRS516 Small Triple Seconds is the priciest watch in the list – at S$1,620. However, it is something that is rather unique, and we reckon it is a timepiece that any watch collectors will adore and appreciate.


Concluding Thoughts


In today’s article, we have covered six different watches that we think will be perfect gifts for a watch collector. These watches are mainly priced below S$1,000, except for both the Luminox and the Tissot. They offer collectors something different, in terms of either functions, design, and perhaps even price point. We are sure that these gifts will be adored and appreciated. Just a word of caution though – make sure you don’t buy them something that they already have in their collection!

So, what are some of the best watches or watch-related presents that you have received during Christmas? Let us know, and here’s wishing you a Merry Christmas in advance!


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