Christmas Gift Guide: Watches for your nearest and dearest


by John Wallis

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November 15. 2018 - by John Wallis

The Christmas season is here already, and with that comes also the season of giving. Nothing expresses love like a good watch. Not sure which one to get? From Rolex Submariners to Cartier Tanks, here are the timepieces you should consider.


The days are short, dark and freezing, the shops are full of tinsel and minced pies, and everyone is exchanging their pumpkin spice for mulled wine. It seems to come sooner every year, but Christmas is upon us again, and with it the obligation - sorry, the opportunity - to find presents for our nearest and dearest. If you have any horophiles in your life, or even if you don't, a good watch is a lasting and meaningful gift. But which watch exactly will they want? There are plenty of great options, but let us recommend some of the most promising.

Men's Watches

TAG Heuer Formula 1

Watches have gone hand in hand with motor sports for decades, and most watch lovers are likely to appreciate a good racing watch. No brand is more closely associated with this section of the market than TAG Heuer, and the Formula 1 is a perennial best seller. It's also on the more affordable end of the luxury spectrum.

SHOP TAG HEUER FORMULA 1

Rolex Submariner

If you want to be absolutely certain that your watch gift will not disappoint, you can always get the Rolex Submariner. It's one of the most iconic models in the history of watchmaking, and both modern and vintage versions are sure to please any collector. If not, it holds its value on the pre-owned market, so you almost certainly won't make a loss. 

SHOP ROLEX SUBMARINER

Rolex GMT-Master II

Another very famous Rolex timepiece, the GMT-Master II boasts a similar cachet in the watch community. There is somewhat more choice of model type - you can get a trendy variant like a Batman or a Root Beer, or just stick with the traditional and beloved red and blue Pepsi models (each is named for the colour of its bezel). The holy grail is the brand new steel Pepsi with ceramic inserts, but these are very hard to acquire because of their popularity. 

SHOP ROLEX GMT-MASTER II

Omega Moonwatch

Another stone cold classic among mainstream watches, the Omega Speedmaster is sure to impress as a gift. The most familiar and highly sought version is the Moonwatch, based on the timepieces that NASA astronauts wore on the Moon in the 60s and 70s

SHOP OMEGA MOONWATCH

TAG Heuer Aquaracer

Aimed at adventurers and sportsmen, the Aquaracer is a great diving watch from a well-known brand that won't break the bank. Its design has been constantly evolving, and there are lots of different models to choose from, allowing you to tailor the exact feel and specifications of the watch to your intended recipient.

SHOP TAG HEUER AQUA RACER

Omega Seamaster 300m

While all the watches on this list are very popular, it is the Omega Seamaster that was the number one bestseller among watches for men at CHRONEXT last year. Hailing from the 1950s golden age of tool watches, the Seamaster has a legendary heritage and enjoys a well-earned reputation for its use of innovative technology.

SHOP OMEGA SEAMASTER 300M

Women's Watches

Rolex Lady Datejust

Where the gents are obsessed with sports and toys, the most popular Rolex for women is the comparatively humble Datejust. But make no mistake, this watch has been lavished all the same manufacturing quality and attention to detail as any tool watch, and its superb, understated design is one of the most enduring in all of Swiss horology. In terms of Christmas gifts, it's a guaranteed winner.

SHOP ROLEX LADY DATEJUST

Cartier Tank Solo

The oldest and most historic watch on this list, the Tank was born in the glamorous age of Art Deco, and has been a beloved fashion icon ever since. Originally inspired by a real tank, the elegant square-cased design has captivated women for close to a century, and is sure to be well-received as a present.

SHOP CARTIER TANK

Cartier Ballon Bleu

A newer but no less delightful offering from Cartier, the Ballon Bleu blends stunning, traditional elegance with organic, modern design. All of the Parisian jeweller's peerless style and prestige is on display here, and the effect is truly delightful, making this watch a huge success in its comparatively short life.

SHOP CARTIER BALLON BLEU

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra

While it is the standard 300M Professional model that is the most popular Seamaster among men, it is the Aqua Terra version that has sold best among women. Its stripped down aesthetic, without the oversized diving bezel, makes this version more graceful, without sacrificing the classic look and sporty appeal.

SHOP OMEGA SEAMASTER AQUA TERRA

TAG Heuer Aquaracer

As well as being a popular water-themed watch from a leading brand, the Aquaracer is notable for its appeal to both genders. The women's versions are really excellent, as stylish as they are sporty, as glamorous as they are cool, and worn by the likes of Cameron Diaz and Maria Sharapova - as well as Bo Derek in a legendary 80s photoshoot.

SHOP TAG HEUER AQUA RACER
John Wallis

by John Wallis

Living and working in London, John has been writing about watches since graduating university. He got his start at SalonQP, London's finest watch show, where he was inspired by the breadth and creativity of the modern industry. His fascination with mechanical horology has only grown from there.

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