The holidays are upon us and that means that most people are busy trying to figure out what to buy the loved ones in their lives. When that loved one is a watch lover, it may be even harder to decide. After all, It’s hard to buy him or her a watch. However, there are some great non-watch gifts that could get you on their good side forever, no matter how frugal or extravagant you want to be. Here we take a look at seven sensational ideas.
For the Gamer Watch Lover: How About an NFT?
These purely digital nonfungible token watches are popping up everywhere and some people are paying top dollar for them so that they can run around virtual reality wearing a one-of-a-kind watch. Offerings and prices vary. Earlier this year, a Hublot Bigger Bang All Black Tourbillon Chronograph special NFT was offered for sale by Jean-Claude Biver, an industry giant. It was followed by a Jacob & Co. SF24 Tourbillon NFT. Keep your eyes open, this is just the start of something big.
For the world-traveler: A trip to Switzerland to visit some of the world’s finest watch museums.
Of course, they can also pick up some Swiss cheese and chocolate while there, but a trip to these museums will delight any watch lover. Start off in Geneva at the Patek Philippe Museum where one can easily spend almost an entire day pouring over centuries-worth of timepieces from a host of brands, not just Patek Philippe.
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Then, just a train ride away in Zurich is the famed Beyer Clock and Watch Museum, which showcases pieces from all over the world and dates back to clepsydras (water clocks), oil clocks, hourglasses, sundials, longcase clocks, and scientific/navigational instruments. In La Chaux-de-Fonds, the birthplace of watchmaking, one can visit the Musée International d’Horlogerie for a close-up look at time measurement from the beginning to the modern-day. The building is also historically significant in that it was originally a watchmaking workshop.
Don’t forget to tack on a visit to nearby Le Locle to visit the smaller but also intriguing Musee d’Horlogerie du Locle. This type of trip has particular appeal to those interested in saving the world’s historic sites and crafts, and mechanical watchmaking is on the UNESCO list.
For the perennial self-educator: Watchmaking Courses
There are a host of different types of watchmaking classes available to the collector that can be taken digitally or in person. The Horological Society of New York, for instance, offers different classes in watchmaking and craftsmanship. The HSNY course is offered virtually and in-person in a variety of cities. Tutorials include topics such as Movement Theory, Gear Train theory, and more.
Price: from $200 to $500
For those who want to learn about the industry and about what ticks inside the watch, consider the new masterclasses being offered online by the well-known Peter Speake-Marin via his website, The Naked Watchmaker. The first module, which covers everything from watches being dismantled, explanations into watchmaking, and interviews with horological folk is part of the free trial.
Price: $600 for the course Understanding Watchmaking, the beginning of a journey
For the watch lover who likes art and sculpture: A Sculpture made using watch parts.
Berd Vaye has taken tiny mechanical watch parts such as gears, wheels, and pinions and forever ensconced them inside a host of different sculptures. The most coveted is the simple Lucite cube known as Time Squared, where the parts seem to be floating in space. The sculptures come in two sizes.
Price: from $3,500 to $6,900.
For the Star Wars™ watch lover: A Star Wars™ Watch Roll.
Buy a favorite character like Darth Vader™ or Chewy™ or collect them all. These single-watch Star Wars™ rolls from Kross Studio, which teamed with Lucasfilm, are incredibly distinctive and fun. They range in color choices and feature six iconic characters from the movie series: Darth Vader™, Stormtrooper™, Boba Fett™, C-3POTM, R2-D2™, and Chewbacca™. Purchase all six as a set and receive a special bonus watch roll featuring Yoda™. The watch rolls are made of vegetable leather and retail for $250 each.
For the watch lover who likes to show off (just a little): A multi-watch winder display case
This Orbita Tourbillon watch winder does the winding work for you – and looks great in the process. It offers revolutionary digital technology that displays the exact time and the number of turns per day (TPD) of the winder and is equipped with a unique photo-optic system that tracks each cylinder’s rotation and automatically advances the resting position by 30 degrees after every rotation. By shifting the resting position, adverse timing errors caused by gravity are negated. The visually appealing Tourbillon winder is housed in a glass crystal box for full viewing. It has a triple watch capacity.
For the female watch lover: Jewels of Time – The World of Women’s Watches book.
Beautiful and timeless, this book, written by me a few years ago, is a confirmation of the evolution of women’s watches. The carefully curated timepieces selected for this book tell a variety of stories from complicated watches to high-jeweled masterpieces and more.