Christmas Gift Time

A watch is the ideal Holiday gift for your loved ones, but what to buy for whom? We pick a few personalities and match them to their perfect timepiece

Baume & Mercier Classima
Who for: The Urban Adventurer

When the city is your jungle, you want something that can withstand any knocks you might take navigating your way through it, and this Classima from Baume & Mercier is the quintessential wrist accessory for any urban adventurer. It has a stainless steel case that won’t sustain scratches whether the wearer is at the boardroom table or at the bar, and its all-black palette and slimline dimensions mean it has the advantage of being able to slip discreetly under a shirt cuff.

Piaget Possession
Who for: The Gem Lover

For some, you can never wear too much jewellery. And, generally speaking, if the mere notion of minimalism is alien, then the only thing left to do is add more. And this Piaget certainly isn’t a timepiece for someone who likes to keep things pared back. The case and strap may be relatively sedate, but glittering on the dial in place of numerals are 11 brilliant-cut diamonds. As any jewellery junkie worth her tennis bracelet knows, brilliants deliver the most sparkle. So it will stand up to whatever else they decide to layer it with.

Junghans Meister Terrassenbau
Who for: The Design Doyen

If you know someone who loves minimalist architecture, has an affinity for roll necks and glasses with interesting frames, then this is the watch for them. While Junghans has a reputation for Bauhaus brilliance, this is the first time it has based a watch on its HQ in Schramberg, which was designed to resemble a staircase. It’s not immediately obvious to the aesthetically challenged but a closer look reveals a minute track inspired by the wall decorations in the building and markers that reference its stairways. It’s a bit obscure, but isn’t that what every design geek lives for?

Cartier Santos
Who for: The High Flyer

This is the watch for those in the know. Forget the chunky, oversized, onion-crowned watches that are thought to be for pilots, it was this cool customer’s ancestor that was the first timepiece to be worn by an aviator. Designed by Louis Cartier at the turn of the 19th century for his friend the dashing Brazilian pilot Alberto Santos-Dumont, it was precise, elegant and the ultimate partner for a life of risk and daring-do. Today’s Santos wearer might not be a pilot but he certainly has a taste for the high life.

Rolex GMT Master II
Who for: The Globetrotter

When every week is a new country and every day brings a new deal, then the only way to keep track of what time it is at home or at the office is with a GMT. Cynics may say you could just use your phone, but a real globetrotter knows that having the time in 38 time zones at a flick of the wrist is how a true gentleman travels. The added bonus about a Rolex GMT is it is so simple to set the time, you could even manage it jetlagged and sleep deprived.

Longines Record
Who for: The Elegant Entertainer

If he fancies himself as a modern-day incarnation of Cary Grant’s John Robie in To Catch a Thief – suave, sophisticated and with an effortless charm and talent for wearing cravats – then this Longines timepiece is a must buy. The combination of Roman numerals, steel case and brown leather exudes old-school attitude, while the benefit of a COSC-certified movement means it will always keep perfect time. Essential if you want to make a punctual getaway.

Rado Coupole Classic
Who for: The Style Setter

Whether sorting the must-haves from the must-nots or knowing just the right place to find the perfect piece to hang on a wall, a style maven has a keenly developed aesthetic sense and isn’t afraid to deploy it. Which is why Rado should be her go-to brand. The principles of good design are in its DNA and, as with this beautifully restrained moonphase with its luminescent mother-of-pearl dial and rose-gold plate case, it is a brand that also has knack for creating a classic.

Panerai Luminor
Who for: The Vintage Aficionado

He knows the Ford Mustang first debuted in 1974, that James Bond’s first drink in Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale was actually an Americano not a martini, and that a 1967 pressing of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band fetched around £227,000 at auction in 2013. So he’ll love that the Panerai Luminor hasn’t changed since 1949. And why would you alter something like this? With its cushion case, complete with winding crown protected by a bridge device with lever patented by Panerai in 1956, it has become an iconic slice of vintage style. Perfect for those who think we did things better back then.

words: Laura McReddie-Doak
illustration: Giacomo Bagnara