He Said/She Said: An Unconventional Holiday Gift Guide for The Various Clock Wat

Holiday Gift Guide for The Various Clock Watchers in Your World

Barbara Palumbo and Special Guest Contributor Eric Wind offer their unique and lighthearted takes on the gifts of time for the most important people in your lives this holiday season.

By Barbara Palumbo
By Eric Wind
Special Contributor

For Your Technologically-Challenged Yet Still Adorable Father: The Rolex Explorer

He Said: The Rolex Explorer reference 214270 is a simple timepiece without a date window or a rotating bezel, which means that it doesn't get much cleaner or easier in terms of a Rolex. So all your dad really needs to do is keep the watch wound. Let me repeat: the watch has no bezel, no chronograph, and no date to confuse him in any way. It features the calibre 3132 with a power reserve of approximately 48 hours and an Oyster case and bracelet made of a tough 904L steel, with the case being topped off with a sapphire crystal. Honestly, it doesn't get much simpler for a mechanical watch and it should be low maintenance enough that your father won't need to call you for troubleshooting help.

She Said: For heaven’s sake, this is the man who coached your little league team when you were the worst player on it by far (and who kept coaching even after you quit), who stayed up for three days straight when you had the flu in 5th grade, and who drove you to band practice (while still in disbelief that you picked the tuba as your instrument) every weekend for four years in high school. Don’t you think he deserves a Rolex at this point? I mean, sure, we realize he has yet to figure out how to log into his Netflix account and he still has an AOL email address, but that’s what makes the Rolex Explorer the perfect choice. Like Eric said, the watch is no fuss, no muss, and it has a full two-day power reserve in case Pops forgets to put it on the watch winder (which you know is going to happen. Daily.) 

For Your Overachieving Engineer Brother-in-Law: The Montblanc Heritage Spirit Perpetual Calendar

He Said: While you could go for a watch sought by many engineers because of its magnetic resistance (watches like the Rolex Milgauss or the OMEGA Railmaster), odds are that your brother-in-law would be more impressed with a timepiece that contains a remarkable complication; maybe something like the Montblanc Heritage Spirit Perpetual Calendar. Upon its introduction in 2014, it became the most accessible perpetual calendar watch on the market, channeling the beauty of outstanding vintage perpetual calendar watches such as those from Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet. I guarantee you’ll earn major credibility with him when you explain that a perpetual calendar adds February 29th every fourth year and is one of the most difficult watch complications to make.

She Said: Honestly, you know deep down in your heart you just want to give the guy something that will keep him from talking about mathematical theories while in your company, and what better way to shut him the hell up than with a watch you won’t mind hearing him go on and on and on (and on and on and on) about.  The Montblanc Heritage Spirit Perpetual Calendar doesn’t just sound good in theory (see what I did there?) but it also looks good aesthetically, which might, you know, go over well with the ladies (or “lady,” technically) at his bi-monthly Settlers of Catan board game gathering. 

For Your Newly Single Friend Who's About to Discover the Art of Online Dating: The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Duoface

He said: Even if conventional wisdom implies that this sort of gentleman might choose for himself an oversized watch like an IWC Big Pilot, Rolex Deep Sea Sea-Dweller, or Panerai, I prefer to imagine that a guy like your friend would go the mature route by wanting to wear something a bit more elegant and warm; something like a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Duoface in pink gold. While it isn't the obvious choice for a guy who is back in the dating game after almost twenty years, that’s also kind of the point.

She Said: My buddy Eric is super diplomatic, isn’t he? Oh, we know, Eric. We women know all about that. In any case, I agree with Mr. Wind on this choice of gift for your friend, because if I were currently working on finding my next ex-husband, the first thing I’d look for would be to see what kind of watch he wears. And trust me, if a man wearing a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Duoface (in pink gold, no less!) sent me an 18-year single malt scotch while I was sitting at the bar with my Tuesday night Cougar Club, he’d head home two mornings later a very, very happy man.

For Your Rarely Satisfied and Often Contrary Mother-in-Law: The Vacheron Constantin Historiques 1921 Small

He Said: Your mother-in-law might be the kind of person who doesn't want a watch that’s popular with all of her friends, so the perfect gift for her may be the Vacheron Constantin Historiques 1921 Small (36.5mm), as it is both sophisticated and unusual, which the contrarian in her would love. This watch was recently introduced as a slight downsize of the popular 40mm model which came out in 2008, and it has a simple dial layout for your mother-in-law to be able to read the time. It comes with both a brown and red alligator strap and the movement is stamped with the Hallmark of Geneva; a sure sign of quality and tradition that hopefully your mother-in-law can appreciate.

She Said: I think the alligator strap is the true selling point on this watch since you already often think that your mother-in-law came from the swamp. OH, I KID. I KID. You do genuinely love the woman even though she complains about your cooking, reminds your husband daily that he could have married that member of the Dutch royal family he once dated, and has never given you a compliment nicer than the time she told you that your hair looked brushed. However, this is why gifting her a watch like the Vacheron Constantin Historiques 1921 is all the more special. You see, she can’t live forever (despite the fact that you believe she’s a vampire), and your husband is her only child, which means when she has gone on to that great big Neiman Marcus sale in the sky, you’ll be on Earth sporting one heck of a fine timepiece.

For Your Badass Feminist and Ridiculously Stylish Sister: The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Frosted Gold

He Said: The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Frosted Gold was one of the few watches that really captured my attention this year. World renowned jewelry designer Carolina Bucci collaborated with AP to add a Florentine finish to the case and bracelet of the Royal Oak, resulting in an already iconic piece becoming even more so through its shimmer and sparkle while still maintaining the recognizable lines of the recognizable Royal Oak design. It is a watch that looks absolutely killer (and yet still tough without a single diamond) on a woman’s wrist. 

She Said: I’m with Eric’s take on this one, too. Never really considering myself a huge fan of the Royal Oak, the Frosted Gold version changed the game for me entirely, which is why I’d highly recommend this watch for a woman as badass as that sister of yours. I mean, it’s a powerful looking watch, there’s no denying that, and while a woman like your sister is immediately noticed when she walks into the room (let’s face it, she’s 6 feet tall with shoulders like the yardarms of a merchant ship – she’s kind of tough to miss), adding a piece like the Royal Oak Frosted Gold to her ensemble would only solidify her badass look. 

For Your Midlife Crisis Mother Who Recently Discovered Tinder: The Chanel J12 Rétrograde Mystérieuse Tourbillon

He Said: The Chanel J12 Rétrograde Mystérieuse Tourbillon (RMT) is a unique watch that utilizes an extraordinary movement from Audemars Piguet, Renaud & Papi (APRP). Although designed for men, this seems like the kind of watch that could also be appropriately worn by a woman. It has a novel approach to a watch movement by having the crown at 3 o'clock on the dial, forcing the minute hand to skip from the 10-minute to 20-minute portion of the dial; something totally unusual and even a bit strange, but modern and interesting, nevertheless. 

She Said: You know it’s going to happen, right? You know that your mom and your best friend are going to swipe left (or is it right? I’m not on Tinder so I have no clue) and they’re going to find one another and start dating and you’re going to have to move to Botswana just to be far, far away from it all. But before you do, let’s just talk about how awesome this watch is and why your mom could totally benefit from it... actually, no. No, you can’t. You cannot get the idea out of your head of your mom and your friend making out on the couch on which you used to watch Bugs Bunny reruns. Forget it. I have nothing to say here. What Eric said is perfect and you should totally buy this watch for your mom before you vow never to speak to her again. It could even double as a going away present.

Happy shopping, everyone! And Merry Christmakwanzakah! 

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