Tis the season. It’s early, but by now you’ve probably been walloped over the head by 82,000 gift guides. So what’s a few more? This year, we’re departing from our past reluctance to do full blown gift guides. You guys ask for em’, so, we’re giving the people what they want. But instead of doing a highly generalized, throw-everything-against-the-digital-wall gift guide, we’ll be breaking it up by category. Gifts for the guy who likes watches. Or the rugged type. Or the guy who’s really into shoes. Or the guy who’s just getting into style. We’ll cover all those, and hopefully a few more in the coming weeks. As a note, know that the gifts listed will be in ascending order, starting with gifts for those who have been kinda sorta naughty, and finishing up with gifts for those who have been extra nice.
Toddy Gear SmartCloths – $5.99 – $9.99
Microfiber cleaning cloths that can, depending on the pattern, also double as a pocket square. Smudges on watch crystals happen, and a Toddy Gear cloth is a great way to clean your watch face. Unlike thinner cleaning cloths (like the ones that come with some sunglasses), these are thicker. One side is for cleaning, the other is for polishing. Much easier to use and makes the job much faster. Their true intended purpose is for smartphones/tablets/laptops, but they work just fine on watch crystals too. Also available on Amazon. Looks like they might be moving away from the pocket square designs… but all the same, they’re terrific cleaning cloths.
Watch Repair Kit – $15.99
Spring bars. So many spring bars! Through personal experience I can tell you that the only thing I’ve ever used from this kit is the spring bar tool (nice and stable/hefty/not flimsy) and the many spring bars, of various widths, that come inside. There’s a bunch of other stuff in there, but for $16, hey… you never know what you might need. Boring? Yeah, kinda. But we’re still in semi-naughty territory here.
Maratac Silicone Watch Strap w/ Deployant Buckle – $18
Perfect for putting on an old, somewhat forgotten sport watch. Flexible Silicone strap that you cut to the desired length, and connects with a satisfying snap thanks to its deployant (or deployment, whatever you want to call it, I don’t care) clasp. Multiple colors available for 2omm. Great for the guy who doesn’t like stainless steel bands, but wants something that can handle sweat and water and blood and… wait, blood? Meanwhile, Huckberry has just dropped the price on some of their silicone Maratac straps. Final sale there. Thanks to Neil V. for the tip!
Watch Box / Watch Organizer – $28.70
Give that watch collection a home, as opposed to having timepieces strewn about, loose, ready to be knocked onto the floor. This particular model is solid wood with a felt bottom, so even if it does slide around a little, it won’t go scratching up whatever it sits on. There are tons of options out there. Just read the reviews before you dive in.
A nice “Beater” Watch
- Casio Diver – $41.99 w/ After Market NATO Strap – $17.49
- Seiko SNK809 – $55.45 (note that water resistance is not good on this line of Seikos)
- Timex Brass Case Field Expedition Chrono – $44.94
Dependable, good looking enough, and the type of thing you take with you on a quick trip or wear on the weekends when you’re knocking about, and don’t want to risk damage to a prized timepiece. If this thing does get a scratch in the crystal or somehow gets dropped in a lake and goes to hell? It won’t cause the tears to flow. Suggested picks above should cover most price points.
A nice Leather Strap (NATO style especially)
There are leather NATO straps, and then there are leather NATO straps. You’re looking for the latter. The fun thing about a really nice leather NATO, is that if you’ve got more than one, they can be super easy to swap out. (No spring bar tool needed!) Shown above (and image credit to them) is the Horween Color #8 Military Strap from Worn & Wound. Made in the USA. Cost is $65.
- worn&wound USA Made 2-Watch Horween Leather & Waxed Canvas Pouch – $60.00
- 3 Watch Leatherette Roll – $15.60
- Single Watch “Shockcase” – $14.95
Y’know what also works? Shoving your watch down into a shoe and then stuffing extra socks on top of it. But… there is a risk of leather to leather stink transfer. And then it might rattle about, fall out, etc. But neither of those are really likely scenarios. So, watch luggage is inherently a bit fussy. But some guys don’t want to take the risk.
A nicer, Quartz, rugged Watch
- Standard Issue Instruments Pilot Countdown Timer – $134.98 ($250)
- Seiko Prospex Solar Chrono – $179.99
- Bertucci ‘A-4T Aero’ 44mm Watch – $137.98 ($230)
Here’s a dirty secret. A lot of watch lovers/collectors have enough automatic or mechanical watches that most of their collection sits long enough to go dead before they get worn again. So having a quartz watch clicking away with the right time, in the case, really does come in handy. Make it a rugged, go-anywhere, do-anything watch, and it can double as a nicer alternative to the “beater” watches already suggested.
A Cool Clock, or, Some other Clock-like Instrument
- Best Made Co Brass Weather Station – $178
- Dual Time Dashboard-Style Table or Wall Clock – $94.95
- 1950s Flight Dial Inspired Desk Clock – $59 FINAL ($79)
- 18th Century American Tri-Dial Clock Reproduction – $1179 ($1495)
So the above isn’t a clock. But it’s in the same ballpark. Clocks. Thermometers. Barometers. All items that provide us information of which we could easily find on our phone. But your phone also tells the time. So… if he’s a watch wearer, perhaps he pursues other avenues than smartphones to get this kind of info.
His “Grail” Watch
For the extra, extra nice. Chances are he’s mentioned what he has his eye on. Also, get it insured. This takes some planning. Maybe this is a few years down the line and saving/smart decisions will have to be made. But, well, for the ladies… how much did that engagement ring cost again?