Throwback Sundays: Six Watches as Gifts this Christmas, from Our Archives

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Christmas is around the corner, and it is the time of the year to shower our loved ones with gifts to show our affection and appreciation for the love and support that they have given us throughout the years.

As watch collectors, some of us (the WIS, or known as Watch Idiot Savants) might want to consider buying watches as gifts during this festive period. After all, watches make a good and meaningful. Besides, it is also a good time to get people in watch collecting, especially for those who have yet to start this hobby.

So, what are some of the watches that we reckon are good options as gifts? Let’s find out!

For the Young Ones: Swatch Sistem51

We begin the article with an interesting collection from Swatch: Sistem51.

The Sistem51 is one of the most interesting breakthroughs in the horological world over the last few years. What is interesting about this self-winding watch lies in its movement – its 51 components are completely put together by machines, and the movement is held by a single screw. It is also funky in its design, which allows collectors to enjoy Swatch watches with the option of a mechanical movement.

Priced at CHF 150 (approximately S$207), the Sistem51 is decently priced for a fun and casual mechanical watch. We think that it will be a wonderful gift for a young teenager who is starting to get into watch collecting.

For the Young Adults: Citizen Promaster NY008 “Fugu”

The Citizen Promaster NY008, or more frequently known as the “Fugu”, is the entry-level divers’ watch from the Japanese watch manufacturer. But do not let that fool you. The Fugu is a well-established timepiece, and it is a damn good one at its job.

First launched in 1959, the “Fugu” became a staple in Citizen’s product line-up. It was notably used by the Italian Navy Seals Comando Subacqueo Incursori as well. The collection was recently revamped this year, with 7 new models. The 42mm watch features a crown that is placed at the 8 o’clock position, and the entire case construction feels rather robust. It is also powered by the in-house Calibre 8203, which is a 40 hour power reserve movement that can trace its roots back by four decades.

The Fugu is a no-frills timepiece. It is a darn solid watch, and one that is able to perform when it is being called upon to do so. Prices begin at S$435, and it is certainly good value for a new collector who wants an excellent tool watch that can be used for intensive sports/outdoor activities.

For the Budding Professional: NOMOS Tangente “Red Dot” 2018

Next up, we have the NOMOS Tangente “Red Dot” 2018.

NOMOS is a brand that we have often waxed lyrical about. The
Glashütte-based watch manufacturer is a perennial favourite of ours for two simple reasons – they product well-priced in-house manufactured timepieces, and the Bauhaus-inspired watches are clean and simple in its aesthetics. It might be minimalistic, but the watches are surely much more than what meets the eye.

The 37.5mm Tangente “Red Dot” 2018 is a collaboration between NOMOS and The Hour Glass, a Singapore watch retailer. It is a three-hand timepiece, fitted with an in-house Calibre Alpha. The movement is adequately finished, with notable traits such as perlage, Glashütte stopwork, and Glashütte three-quarter plate.

The watch retails at S$3,200, and it is available in two dial variants. It will be limited to a production of 100 pieces for each model.

For Her: Cartier Santos

The Cartier Santos is an icon for many. It features a simple but instantly recognisable squarish case, coupled with a series of exposed screws. However, unknown to many, it is also one of the original Pilot’s watches back in the early 20th century.

The latest iteration, launched in 2018, is an update to the legendary collection. The new timepieces now comes with a slimmer case profile, a new in-house movement, as well as a new quick release strap change mechanism. The features actually make the new Santos a rather tantalising timepiece, as compared to its predecessor.

Our favourite piece in the collection is the Large model, in stainless steel. We think that it provides a nice wrist presence, and it is sleek and classy in a modern setting. Prices begin at S$8,600 for the entry-level model, and we think that this is probably one of the most iconic square case watch that one can get in the market right now.

For Him: Breitling Premier Automatic 40

Breitling is a brand that is often synonymous with aviation, but there is much more to that for the watch manufacturer that is based in Saint-Imier. This is the philosophy behind one of the brand’s new collection: Premier.

The Premier collection focuses on the theme of “Everyday Elegance”. It was based on the same collection that was launched in the 1940s, which embodies the spirit of elegance and quality. One of the highlights of the collection is the graceful Automatic 40, which features a clean but stunning blue dial. It is also available in anthracite or silver, although we do admit that we are suckers for watches with a blue dial.

Powering the Premier Automatic 40 is the Breitling Calibre 37. The self-winding movement is based on the standard ETA 2895-2, which beats at 28,800 bph and a decent power reserve of 42 hours. The watch is priced at S$5,750, and it is a compelling option for someone who yearns for a slightly dressier timepiece in his collection.

For the Parents: Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso

Finally, we round up the article with a significant watch for a significant group of people. We recommend the Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso as the perfect Christmas gift for our parents.

The Reverso is one of our favourite collections of all time. It fits into our criteria of what a great timepiece should be: simple, well-made, and elegant simultaneously. There are also many variations of the Reverso, which means that there is certainly something for everyone. On top of that, the pièce de résistance is the solid case back (for most of the Reversos) – allowing us to engrave our heartfelt messages to the recipient of the stunning watch. It does not get any more beautiful than this.

The price of the Reverso begins at US$4,150 (approximately S$5,705), and we think that this might just be the perfect gift if you are looking to splurge on a luxury watch for an important person in your life.

Concluding Thoughts

Gifts are a nice thought during this festive season, and buying a watch for someone is certainly a beautiful gesture. But we reckon what is more important is to give your time to your loved ones – that is certainly the best and most valuable gift that anyone can received. No amount of money can buy you additional time in this world. So, treasure that.

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s column. Here’s wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in advance!


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