Chinese actor Hu Ge wearing the Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Automatic timepiece
Image courtesy of Piaget
Find out what makes him tick and give your man the best surprise he deserves this holiday season
A lowdown on the best watches to give your man this festive season
Christmas is just around the corner and, of course, it’s about time to think of the best gift to give your man. There are plenty of choices out there, but if perfumes, shavers, and neckties seem tiresome and unimaginative, why not go all out and give him a luxury timepiece?
Our top picks, however, are not your average stocking stuffers. These are all technical masterpieces in their own right, which only appeal to special people —your man included. Find out what makes him tick and give him the best surprise he deserves this holiday season.
FOR THE AVID DIVER
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Grande Date
If your partner is a diver, then he would be pleased with the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms 2018 Edition. The watch now features a 45mm satin-brushed titanium case and an instant-change large date complication displayed in two windows located at 6 o’clock, powered by the in-house Calibre 6918B. This date balances nicely with the 12 o’clock numeral and hour markers. The large sized luminous hands and indices offer excellent readability, while the black dial and matching strap provide a good contrast. It also has a 60-minute diver unidirectional bezel with sapphire crystal insert and 300m water-resistance.
FOR THE CLASSIC WATCH LOVER
Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Automatic
One of the thinnest watches in the world, the Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Automatic only measures 4.30mm — both case and movement. With the caseback also serving as the mainplate, the result is an ultra-thin masterpiece. The entire mechanism and hand-fitting are contained within the thickness of the balance wheel, while the oscillating weight in gold with black PVD coating is positioned on the movement periphery. The hours and minutes are also integrated within the thickness of the calibre instead of being placed on top. The 41mm timepiece comes in either 18K rose or white gold along with a black alligator leather strap.
FOR THE TECHIE SPORTSMAN
Franck Muller Vanguard Yachting Gravity Skeleton
Your man is someone who loves to go beyond the surface and find out how things work. A skeleton watch would allow him to admire the inner workings of a mechanical movement. The Franck Muller Vanguard Yachting Gravity Skeleton features a wholly in-house-designed and -manufactured manual movement, with bridges and pillars of the tourbillon being entirely skeletonised and completely reinvented into an elliptical circle with a diameter of 21.2mm and height of 7.7mm. Nautical details are sported throughout the timepiece, including the wind rose cage of the tourbillon and deep blue colours inspired by the ocean. The sporty ‘Vanguard’ case houses an openwork dial with similarly-coloured numerals.
FOR THE GLOBE TROTTER
Patek Philippe 5531R-001 World Time Minute Repeater
Once a limited edition piece, the Patek Philippe 5531R-001 World Time Minute Repeater is now available as part of the brand’s regular collection. Instead of the Manhattan skyline, it now stars a grand feu enamel dial of the Lavaux vineyard terraces on the shores of Lake Geneva, a UNESCO world heritage site. It boasts the same innovations — a minute repeater capable of chiming the local time, in any of the 24 reference time zones. You also get to hear the time at the end of strike, not when it starts. The 40.2mm rose gold case with skeletonised lugs houses the mechanical automatic movement Calibre R 27 HU.
FOR THE AVANT GARDE
MB&F Horological Machine N°9
This watch is perfect for someone who always thinks out of the box. This timepiece ticks to the beat of a different drum (or rather, calibre) with its unusual curves reminiscent of a jet engine. The complex in-house manual winding movement features twin balance wheels beating independently, while the central body reveals the hours and minutes on a vertical dial display. It is housed in a titanium case and is available in two editions. The Road Edition features a rose gold-plated movement and speedometer-type dial, while the Air Edition has a darkened NAC movement and aviation-style dial.
FOR THE NATURE LOVER
Jaquet Droz Tropical Bird Repeater
There’s a lot more to Jaquet Droz’s Tropical Bird Repeater than the riot of colours and creatures on the dial. At a glance, one sees a peacock, a hummingbird, a toucan, and dragonflies — all living in an exotic tropical landscape. But this 47mm watch features a minute repeater that can chime the hours, quarter hours, and minutes. Thanks to the hand-wound mechanical movement, its inhabitants come to life on demand as they spread their wings and flit around. Even the waterfall appears to flow in the background. Time is told on either a white mother-of-pearl or a black onyx subdial, housed in an 18K red gold or white gold case with a dark green alligator strap.
FOR THE FASHION FORWARD
Rado Tradition 1965 XL Auto
The Rado Tradition 1965 XL Auto limited edition watch offers instant watch-envy with its distinctive rectangular design, inspired by the Manhattan skyline. Its retro 1960’s look, which should go perfectly with your guy’s dapper outfit, features a brushed blue dial, angular hour and minute markers and hands, and day-date complication windows. This retro aesthetic continues with a brown vintage-looking leather strap fitted onto its facetted lugs. Its grade 5 titanium case measures 44m across and houses an automatic movement.