Tis the season. And by now you’ve probably been walloped over the head by 82,000 gift guides. So what’s a few more? 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 guys who suit up a lot. Or the rugged type. Or the guy who’s really into shoes. Etc. We’ll cover all those, and hopefully a few more in the coming days.
Toddy Gear Smart Cloths – $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 and more substantial. 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.
Longitude – $12.75
Solving the Longitude Problem was one of the greatest achievements of human kind… yet most of us have never heard the story and/or don’t understand quite what the issue used to be. Y’know how fancy mechanical watches that have been certified to be accurate within a few seconds a day get to carry the word “chronometer” on them? Right. The first one of those was invented by a guy named John Harrison, and his invention changed the world. Because up until then, even the most experience sailors had no way of telling their longitude at sea. To do that, you’d need an accurate time keeping device. And just try putting an old pendulum based, grandfather clock on a rolling ship, and see what happens. That lack of knowing where they were at sea killed a ton of people, and it slowed the spread of exploration and commerce. It’s a story of discovery, utter nonsensical drama, and political intrigue (and stupid infighting). It’s short, it’s punchy, and it’s a great read for anyone who loves timepieces.
Watch Repair Kit – $15.99
Maybe not jewelry shop quality in terms of the tools, but still, not bad either for the minimal price. Comes with spring bars too, and those tiny jewelers screw drivers also come in handy when it comes to sunglasses.
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. Great for the guy who doesn’t like stainless steel bands, but wants something that can handle sweat and water and… whatever else you can throw at it. Two sizes (20mm and 22mm) and a few colors in each to pick from.
Watch Box / Watch Organizer – $33.97
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 Man and his Watch – $20.55
Multiple things can be true. This book is, at times, insufferably silly (they’re just wristwatches), yet it’s also incredibly cool. It’s a coffee table book that explores individual time pieces, their owners, and the stories behind them. Came out last year and still quite popular.
A nice “Beater” Watch
- Casio Diver – $39.99 w/ After Market NATO Strap – $17.49
- Seiko SNK809 – $80ish (note that water resistance is not good on this line of Seikos)
- Invicta Automatic Pro Diver – $81.98
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.
Retro Walnut Bluetooth Speaker – $59.99
Look, if he’s wearing an antiquated bit of technology on his wrist, he probably likes mixing the old with the new. So, this will do the trick. Not huge. Just over five inches long by 3 inches tall. Comes with an AM/FM radio. Puts off a nice warm glow from the dial when in use. Great for listening to podcasts or the shipping forecast pre falling asleep.
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 $75.
- Worn & Wound Exclusive Canvas and Leather Watch Roll – $75.00
- 3 Watch Leatherette Roll – $15.60
- Single Watch “Watchpod” – $12.98
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 Rugged, Dependable, Automatic watch
- Seiko 007 or 009 – $195 – $220
- Maratac SR-35 Diver Auto – $339
- Seiko Samurai – $309
- Orient Mako USA – $267.75 w/ HOLIDAY18 ($315)
- Hamilton Automatic Field Watch – $369
Usually a diver or a field style, these get worn a LOT in our current smart-casual to more casual culture. 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
- Brass Block Calendar – $80
- French Style Grasshoper Clock – $299 FINAL ($495) winds and keeps time, it’s just not super accurate
- Best Made Co Brass Weather Station – $148
Clocks. Thermometers. Barometers. Calendars. 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.
Bluetooth Gramaphone – $279.99
Same theory as that little walnut bluetooth speaker, only $220 more expensive. But you get a big metal horn on top! Yeah, they’re stupid pricey. But they’re also pretty cool looking.
A trip to the Prime Meridian & the Royal Observatory and National Maritime Museum in Greenwich
Prices obviously vary on this one depending on how far you have to go and how long you’re gonna stay. London is not a cheap place to stay either. But John Harrison and his Marine Chronometer(s) changed the world. The H4 is a must see (if it’s currently on display?) for the true fan of time pieces.
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?