Shopping for a holiday gift can be stressful as it is, and if you are looking to gift a special watch to an afficionado, the prospect can be even more daunting. Here is our step-by-step guide on to how to navigate the waters of buying the right timepiece.
Go with a known brand.
Chances are, you’ve heard of some of the top brands, including Rolex, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet. It’s best to choose a watch from a tried-and-true brand and not risk a lesser-known brand, however cool its design might be. Generally, go for a Swiss or German brand that has a solid history (usually spanning decades if not centuries) of making quality timepieces. Watches made in other countries generally don’t measure up to the European brands both in quality and desirability for the true connoisseur.
Rolex Daytona; Rolex Day-Date; Rolex Submariner
Assess the condition of the watch.
Before buying a pre-owned watch, it is important to consider its condition. Make sure the watch you are choosing for that special someone is in good shape and wrist-ready. At The RealReal, we take the guesswork away with a rating system for every watch we sell, ranging from 1 to 4. A watch that is rated 1 or 2 is in nearly-new condition and a rating of 4 is given to a watch that needs some TLC before wearing. Other factors considered for condition are scratches on the watch case or bracelet, a replacement (non-original) strap and buckle, and other signs of wear and tear. The better condition, the higher the price will be, so it may be wise to consider a level 2 or even level 3 for a gift, depending on how discerning your recipient is.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak; Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore; Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Equation Of Time
Pair the watch with his personal style.
For the classic guy, Patek Philippe is the ultimate brand for watch collectors. Patek Philippe is known for the finest in mechanical watches from simple time-only styles to high complications. Their enduring value and desirability is evidenced in their high resale value. A Patek Philippe watch is a good investment. If your watch snob does not own a Patek, a gift of this watch will be sure to please and will be at the top of his collection. Jaeger-LeCoultre and Audemars Piguet are other classic brands with enduring style that look great, are sure to impress in the office and retain value.
Patek Philippe 3425J Calatrava; Patek Philippe 3802G Calatrava; Patek Philippe 5039J Perpetual Calendar
Will your man put his watch to the test physically? For the adventurous, sports-minded type, we suggest Rolex, Omega and Tag Heuer, all of which are constructed to withstand shocks caused by activity (within reason). Rolex’s robust watch cases and bracelets feature timeless designs that are water-resistant and made to endure vigorous activities. A highly water-resistant watch is ideal for a watersports enthusiast. Consider a Rolex Submariner, Omega Planet Ocean, or Tag Heuer Aquaracer for your sportsman.
Cartier Santons Dumont; Panerai Radiomir Black Seal; Omega Speedmaster
For the non-conformist watch snob, consider a timepiece with a larger or a rectangular case. Cartier’s Santos rectangular watch features a mechanical movement and its hefty presence on the wrist is sure to be a conversation-starter. Panerai’s oversized watches were originally made for divers in the Italian navy, feature mechanical movements and are available with a variety of additional functions. Breitling’s Superavenger and Navitimer watches incorporate mechanical functions for calculating speed and timing underwater adventures.
Ready to find the perfect timepiece? Shop our fully authenticated, collector-worthy selection here.