Not Another Watch: Our Anything But Watches Valentine’s Day Gift Guide
Like a good watch, these heart felt gifts for watch enthusiasts will show your loved ones a good time.
Watch collecting is just part of a well-balanced lifestyle. Here at Watchonista, we like to bring our passion for timepieces to every aspect of our lives — be it food, wine, culture, or clothes.
And we would like to share that spirit with watch enthusiasts this Valentine’s Day. Here are some of our favorite non-watch gift ideas. Some have a horological connection, others don’t. But they all will help your love live a wonderful life.
ON A ROLL
It seems fitting to begin our Anything But Watches gift guide with this watch roll from a new company called Everything But Watches. EBW’s goal was to produce a perfect traveling companion. Made with Italian Saffiano leather, giving it a cross-hatched texture that makes it scratch-resistant and easy to clean, this fairly compact roll holds three watches. Inside, it has suede-lined, snap-in cushioned dividers to make swapping out timepieces a cinch.
Now out in paperback, Lake Success is Shteyngart’s rollicking tale of a deluded hedge fund manager who heads off on a cross country trip on a Greyhound bus. Traveling without his cellphone or credit cards, just a suitcase of expensive watches (including a Universal Geneve Tri-Compax, a Patek Phillipe Calatrava, and several NOMOS Glashüttes) Lake Success is a must-read.
PUT A RING ON IT
A collaboration between Swedish designer, The Black Badger, and South African jewelry and watch designer, Mark Gold, this is the third iteration in the BLKGLD ring series. It’s part fidget spinner (this stainless-steel ring has eight moving parts), part conversation piece (the patented Badgerite lume is lit), and it's an all-around attention grabber.
What better way to deepen one’s appreciation of time than with a membership to the Horological Society of New York? Founded in 1866, the HSNY is America’s oldest watchmaking guild. Its mission is to advance the art and science of horology through education. Consequently, the HSNY offers all kinds of giftables, such as memberships for $100 or evening classes in NYC, ranging from $200 to $500. Plus, you don’t even need to be in NYC to enjoy these events because the HSNY also holds weekend classes abroad.
ART OF TIME
Julie Kraulis is a Toronto-based illustrator who has found a niche making intricate graphite drawings of iconic timepieces. While they are obsessively detailed, the monochromatic palette of her compositions makes them the perfect fit for both maximalist and minimalist décor. There are many different prints available in her shop, but we are drawn to this 99-piece limited edition A. Lange & Söhne Datograph. It took Kraulis 450 hours to capture both sides of this historic timepiece, and the result is pure poetry.
Plus, $75 from each print will be donated to Pencils of Promise, helping to provide educational opportunities for students in need.
You know from all of those everyday carry Instagram posts that watch collectors like their knives. But you can stay in and still look sharp with this gorgeous Beechwood knife block. The key to this deluxe cutlery set is balance. The silhouette is simply elegant, and it comes with six separate purpose-driven forged utensils from the Swiss brand’s Grand Maître collection. These knives just sit so effortlessly in the hand that they make food prep a joy.
Watch people tend to be analog people. They appreciate the eccentricities of a mechanical movement, even though they know that a $25 digital watch will keep time just as accurately. Likewise, stereo snobs are old school. They are willing to trade a few snaps and crackles on a vinyl LP in return for warmth and a feeling of authenticity. With cult audio brand McIntosh, you can get both. The MTI100 Integrated Turntable bridges the gap between analog and future-fi better than any sound system out there. It’s a belt-driven turntable with a vacuum tube pre-amp, but it also has all the newfangled inputs and outputs you need to transmit music throughout your home.
McIntosh has been in business since 1949, so you know they have solid engineering skills. And generally, an all-in-one set up can be a scary commitment, but in this case, having everything housed in one box actually reduces outside noise. And one last watch tie-in… Wouldn’t this look great with an HYT H5?
(Images provided by the brands)