GIFT GUIDE: The Money-Is-No-Object Guide To Giving Fancy Watches

Let's pretend that you invested a crazy amount in Bitcoin (back when it cost less than P500) and now are rolling in a seven-figure sum. What should you do? Reinvest it? Put it in bonds? Nope. Get a very fancy watch for your family (or yourself), and not the expected grail-worthy watches from Patek or Vacheron, but these lovely tickers from venerable jewelry and luxury fashion houses.

1| For Your Son Who Has Been Mostly Good This Year 

If you ask who created the modern men's wristwatch, in the closest form that we see today, the Cartier Tank would be among the strongest contenders. Louis Cartier designed the Tank during World War I, and you can very well see in its shape and details that he was inspired by tanks of the military kind. This watch, celebrated for being both timeless and timely (the lines are modern; the feel Art Deco), was a favorite of Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Clark Gable, Jackie Onassis, and Goop—basically all the greats.



Ring up The Tank, of course, which you should know celebrates its centenary this year. That means new versions of the Tank Américaine, Louis Cartier, and Française. The Tank Louis Cartier feels the most eternal—perfect for passing on for generations. But if your Bitcoin booty is not that crazy, steel versions are available across the collections, including, for the first time, the Américaines. 

Also consider The Ballon Bleu de Cartier, which we love for its roundness and that hidden cabochon. Greenbelt 4


2| For Your Dad Who Has A Lot Of Time On His Hands 

Who says time moves in a linear fashion? Certainly not Hermès, who has created several watches that seem to disrupt the seriousness of haute horology by stopping time (best for when you're enjoying a first date), as seen in the Le Temps Suspendu, or hiding time (the hour hand hides under the minute hand), as seen in the Dressage L’Heure Masquée. These unusual and poetic complications take mastery to create. The Suspendu, in fact, was awarded Watch of the Year by Montres Passion in 2011.  

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Ring up Its newest masterpiece, the Slim d'Hermes L'Heure Impatiente, which highlights an alarm function that builds anticipation for an upcoming occasion like, say, an anniversary. One window counts down the 12 hours to the specified moment and then another whittles away the final hour. A distinct chime releases you from the suspense.  


Also consider The Cape Cod. This very large edition with the green alligator cuff strap to be exact. Because your dad deserves something awesome. Greenbelt 3


3| For You Who Deserves A New Toy 

We already discussed the amazing things that Roman jewelers Bulgari have been doing in the service of men's timekeeping, including the Octo Finnisimo line, which can be considered as their must-have for men. Your wife can have the sparkle of snake and gemstone, while you can enjoy a dress watch whose elegance is derived from its coin-like thinness and an inimitable combination of shapes.


Ring up This winner. The Octo Finissimo Automatic follows in the footsteps of its brothers, the Finissimo Tourbillon (thinnest tourbillon) and Finissimo Minute Repeater (thinnest minute repeater) as the world's thinnest self-winding watch. The watch clocks in at a sliver: an overall thickness of 5.15mm. Sandblasted titanium gives this a modern look. With a metal band, it feels futuristic—but we also like the black 'gator strap, which is classic.

Consider also The Octo Roma. If you like your watches sans bells and whistles, this is it. Greenbelt 4


4| For Your Wife Who Is Very Pregnant 

Watchheads are always wary when fashion houses venture into timepieces. Can they do it? Will this be another ticker with a luxury logo slapped on it? Fortunately, Louis Vuitton has built a strong watch game that exhibits profound design and innovation. The French fashion house surprises with, for example, the Spin Time, a movement that features spinning cubes instead of boring markers to convey the hour. The most iconic are the Tambours. There's something about a drum-shaped case on your wrist. It feels substabtial and looks good.


Ring up The Tambour Moon Star, which updates the classic case with an inward curve, a swerve that gives this ladies watch an appropriately crescent-shaped profile. The ice-white version with a Star Monogram flower acting as a seconds counter is romantic. If the white case plus white strap combo does not excite your wife, don't worry! The Tambours now come with over 30 interchangeable straps, from fabric to rubber—and these can be changed without visiting the store. 

Also consider The cool wife will appreciate the Tambour Horizon, a smartwatch that does not look like a smartwatch, because it's made by the French. Greenbelt 4

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Clifford Olanday
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