Gift Guide 2011 | Timekeeping: 10 Watches We Want
‘Tis the season for wishes and we bet that a lot of Gear Patrol readers have a new watch on their Christmas lists. We do, too, so we rounded up ten of the most exciting and gift-worthy timepieces of the year for you to add to yours. Whether you’ve been naughty or nice is between you and Santa.
Continues after the jump.
Aquadive NOS Diver
In the 1960s and ‘70s, Aquadive turned out a quiver of unmistakably chunky dive watches, including one of the first 1,000 meter water resistant cases and one that incorporated a Bourdon tube depth gauge. The Aquadive name has recently been raised from the deep with two new retro-styled models. But the one we want is the real deal: the limited edition NOS Diver, which features an original 1960s case and plastic crystal updated with a new Swiss automatic movement.
NOMOS Glashütte Zurich Weltzeit
Watch collectors know that some of the best timepieces in the world come from the small German town of Glashütte but frankly, not everyone can afford the five (or six) digit price tag of a Lange or Glashütte Original. NOMOS is literally right down the road from its better known and pricier compatriots but is markedly more affordable. Best of all, you still get innovative, handmade in-house movements. This year, NOMOS released its first watch with a world time complication and it’s a Bauhaus beauty.
IWC Ingenieur Titanium Double Chronograph
The International Watch Company, the only major watch company in the German-speaking part of Switzerland has always done things a little differently than its Francophone neighbors. It pioneered the use of titanium as a watch case material in the 1980s and perfected the rattrapante, or double chronograph complication (the ability to time two things at once — more on this) in several of its pieces. Now they’re offering both of these innovations in one of their most iconic references: the Ingenieur. Rugged and sporty on a rubber strap, the Inge “Doppelchrono” might just be the most capable sports watch available.
Rolex Explorer II
The Crown has been updating its legendary lineup over the past few years with larger cases, better bracelets and more modern aesthetics. While any Rolex development is met with scrutiny from the purists, we like the updates and this year’s update to the vaunted Explorer II is an unmitigated knockout. A bigger 42mm case, a great bracelet, bolder markers and hands and the return of the bright orange 24-hour hand makes this Rollie our favorite.
Tudor Heritage Advisor
Long in the shadow of its behemoth parent, Rolex, Tudor has recently been turning out some great pieces as part of its Heritage lineup. Last year’s Heritage Chronograph took the watch world’s breath away and this year’s Advisor continues the winning streak with just the right mix of vintage cues and modern boldness with the useful complication of a mechanical alarm function.
Breitling Transocean Chronograph
Breitling is back in a big way. After years of shiny, busy, overpriced “B’ling” the brand that pioneered the chronograph has returned to its roots with throwback timepieces like the Transocean. The Transocean is faithful to Breitling’s famous watch from the early days of the jet age but features the brand’s spectacular in-house chronograph movement, the B01. Welcome back, indeed.
Bell & Ross PW1
In an era of smartphones as pocketwatches, the PW1 is just the anachronistic slap in the face the watch world needs. Thoroughly impractical but impossibly beautiful in its simplicity, the PW-1 may be the pocketwatch that kicks off a renaissance for the long-lost mechanical pocketwatch.
Panerai Radiomir PAM 337
It’s a sign of the times when a 42mm Panerai is considered small but we welcome the return to sanity by the brand that started the big watch trend. The PAM 337 is a classically-styled Panerai with the brand’s trademark simple dial, retro lugs and crown and the new in-house P.999 handwound movement. Also available in titanium or gold, we think Panerai’s are best in good old stainless steel, the way God intended them.
This small Canadian brand has found the right formula for affordable watches that are reminiscent , but not copies, of the great dive watch designs of the 1970s. With minimal dial text, clean lines and a high quality Swiss automatic movement, the new 1000M, aka “The Puck” is a budget beater that will take a beating while still looking good. Due for release in mid-December, the 1000M comes just in time to make it under the tree.
Even if you drive a ten-year old Hyundai, you can still channel the great Italian sports cars of the 1960s wearing the Veloce. A new brand, Autodromo has released a trio of watches inspired by the gauges of countless Alfas, Lancias and Ferraris. Our favorite, the Veloce swings above its weight with a gorgeous brushed steel (or PVD) case, Swiss quartz movement, high quality perforated leather strap and style to burn. Driving gloves and scarf are up to you.