Watches are a bit of a tradition in our household for the holidays. When the Tudor Heritage Black Bay with the deep red bezel first came out (I saw the watch in our magazine), I had to have it. My lovely wife moved heaven and earth to get me one (they were back-ordered) and it was there on Christmas morning. The next year, I managed to get her the Zenith she was longing for, so dreaming and thinking about what watches we want is nothing new.
I could go for “blue sky” watches, like the Braveheart from Bovet or the Astronomia from Jacob & Co., but I prefer to dream realistically, choosing watches that could conceivably, actually, be under the tree. Hopefully, my wife is reading this.
So here goes:
Bulgari Octo Solotempo with rose-gold bezel
I made the mistake of wearing this simple, yet strikingly beautiful watch during an event celebrating Nicola Bulgari’s love of vintage American cars. I didn’t want to take it off. The rose-gold bezel on top of the deep black case and dial combines perfectly; it definitely tops my list of must-have watches.
Sure, it’s simple, but it’s deceptive. There are details to discover, a mixture of finishing and the bold Roman-column motif of that stunning rose-gold bezel.
I’m completely head over heels in love with this watch. And there’s only one thing to do…
I am a huge fan of skeleton watches and I have had my eye on the Tradition collection from Breguet for a number of years.
It’s not a skeleton, really, but the watch is reduced to its bare essentials and the result is so eye-catching that I can’t help but lust after one.
The smaller dial at 12 o’clock helps reveal the entire mechanism of the watch and it reminds me that Abraham-Louis Breguet was a true pioneer of watchmaking.
The watch just makes me smile and I can’t take my eyes off it.
Rolex GMT-Master II
I wasn’t always a Rolex fan. In fact, at the beginning of my career in watches, I downplayed Rolex’s importance. Since Rolex watches were so popular, I focused on smaller brands and thought Rolex wearers lacked imagination.
I was wrong.
Rolex is a fantastic company with incredible watches that are nearly indestructible. And my favorite is the GMT-Master II, with its black and blue bezel and its very useful GMT display.
You can tell it’s a Rolex, but it’s not a Daytona or a Submariner, so it’s different from what most people are wearing.
I am happy with the stainless-steel version, though I do love the “Pepsi” bezel of the white-gold edition.
And, I’m not normally a bracelet person, preferring leather straps or rubber, but I will make an exception for this amazing timepiece.
The warrior in me loves Damascus steel, where the steel is fired, then folded over many times to make the real-world version of Valyrian steel.
Tougher than any other steel, and able to hold a sharper edge, Damascus steel is not only a fantastic material, but it’s also incredibly beautiful as the folds and the firings result in a unique patterned and multi-colored material perfect for a watch dial.
It’s not a treatment or a decorative art; it’s all-natural (think blued steel taken to the ultimate level). GoS is an independent Swedish brand, a specialist in using Damascus steel created by Johan Gustafsson, a metalsmith who makes swords and knives from the material.
The dial is so stunningly beautiful—this is a watch I truly must have.