Watchonista Gift Guide For Design Minded

Gift Guide: Six Ideas For The Design Minded

Are you struggling to find a gift for the design enthusiast in your life? Here are six gift ideas that take design to a whole new level.

By Marco Gabella
Chairman & Executive Publisher

Finding the perfect gift for the design minded can be a tricky needle to thread. Whether you're looking to inspire their next project or just looking for something they'll admire, we've teamed up with our friends Girard-Perregaux to present you with six gift ideas that any design enthusiast will love.

The Girard-Perregaux Free Bridge

During the Paris Universal Exposition in 1889, the world discovered the Girard-Perregaux La Esmeralda Tourbillon. Created in the 1860s, the La Esmeralda pocket watch won a gold medal at the world's fair in recognition of its masterful design. This legendary piece that is the basis for the modern-day Girard-Perregaux tourbillon movement and its signature “Three Bridges” architecture.

Introduced early this year at Geneva Watch Days, the Girard-Perregaux Free Bridge brings the brand’s aesthetical codes to another level. The classic presentation of the three gold bridges is not on display, but the Free Bridge was not intended to be a carbon copy of the original.

The 2020 Free Bridge is a reinterpretation of the brand’s design fundamentals but in a contemporary way. As Girard-Perregaux CEO Patrick Pruniaux commented at the time of its release, "With these models, our master watchmakers have reimagined the company's famous Bridges." 

The result brings to mind the famous quote by the eminent French chemist Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier: “Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed."

The architecture of the Free Bridge is immediately recognizable as the descendant of the “Trois Ponts d’Or” with its black arrow-shaped “Neo Bridge” bridge spanning the base of the mainplate at 6 o’clock in the dial. At 12 o’clock, the barrel of this unusual inverted movement is displayed dial-side.

Acting as the link between the illustrious past, the celebrated present, and the limitless future of the esteemed La Chaux-de-Fonds-based manufacture, the Girard-Perregaux Free Bridge is one of the purest expressions of what the approach to design should be.

Available from Girard-Perregaux for $17,400

The Gebrüder Thonet Vienna N.200 Lounge Chair

It has many nicknames: the "Bentwood Chair," the "Bistro Chair," the "Vienna Coffee House Chair," and the "Chair of Chairs." But when German-Austrian cabinetmaker Michael Thonet launched his design in 1859, he called it the N.14.

The now-legendary N.14 chair consists of six pieces of beechwood that are heated with steam, pressed into curves, and then dried in its desired shape. Cheaper than a bottle of wine at the time of its debut, the iconic chair became the world’s first mass-produced piece of furniture and, to date, more than 80 million N.14 chairs have been produced.

To celebrate the essence of the N.14 design, designer Michael Anastassiades created the spectacular N.200 lounge chair for Gebrüder Thonet Vienna. And just like the N.14, the N.200 is a masterclass in style and proportion. Its timeless design gives the N.200 the true potential of becoming a modern classic that can span ages and withstand passing trends.

For more information and to find a local dealer, visit Gebrüder Thonet Vienna’s website

Villeroy & Boch MetroChic White Wine Set

Releasing a collection of unconventionally designed wine glasses is always a risky business as experimental wine glass shapes tend not to be compatible with the primary function of drinkware: the delivery of liquid to the mouth without a mess. I don’t think there is one among us who has not ended up with a shirt stained with wine due to an unusually designed wine glass.

With the MetroChic collection from Villeroy & Boch, designer Iris Grey has achieved the feat of offering a form that is as original as it is functional. There is an undeniable sensation of elegance and refinement that exudes from these hand-made crystal glasses. Expertly designed, the large goblet and conic shape allow the bouquet of the wine to develop and linger.

Available from Villeroy & Boch for $59.99

Acerbis Maestro Table

Designed by Gianfranco Frattini for Italian furniture design house Acerbis, the Maestro Table is the unbelievable result in the quest for perfection.

Massive yet airy, this Japanese architecture-inspired table, made with black ash wood and stained walnut, almost demands to host an extravagant dinner party. The openworked slats at its base allow for a hypnotic play of light and transparency that we expect to see in architecture more than in functionalist design.

Previously issued in the late 1990s, the Maestro Table was only available in an ultra-wide size. But starting in 2020, new versions that are available in 2.5, 3, and 3.5 meters in length are more compatible with modern living spaces.

The price is given upon request.

Pantheone Audio's Pantheone I Speaker

Some audio purists will tell you that conventional acoustic speakers with a gold cable link are the height of sound quality. But this point of view ignores the almost certain fact that this type of audio system is nearly impossible to integrate into your home’s interior design aesthetic seamlessly.

Inspired by the oculus of the Pantheon in Rome, the new Pantheone I speaker is an ode to organic design. It is a pleasure to view at any angle, and finding a place for this speaker in your home is like deciding where to place a statue like the Venus de Milo.

Available from Pantheone in white or black for $2,190

Alessi’s Multi-Use Doraff Chair for Children

Taking advantage of the expertise he gained as a parent who had trouble getting his children to sit when he needed, designer Ben van Berkel created a polymorphic, multi-functional seat for children called the Doraff.

Made in Italy with 100% recyclable thermoplastic resin, the Doraff children’s chair can function as a formal chair, a work surface with a surface for drawing, or an imagination stimulating toy that can be anything from a giraffe to a dog or stylized carousel horse. The Doraff chair is also a well-designed furnishing object for children that parents can unabashedly position in their living room without feeling like their home resembles a daycare.

Available from Alessi in red, light blue, and yellow for $250

(Girard-Perregaux Photography by Pierre Vogel)

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Girard-Perregaux - Free Bridge - Bridges collection