A watch is so much more than an object. The right one can be a gift that generates happy memories for years to come. Watch expert Norman Burns lists his six timepiece choices to put under the tree this year.
Bruno Sohnle Lago GMT
Hailing from renowned German watchmakers Glashuette, this brand produces a great range of affordable high-quality timepieces. I like the quirky offset look of this quartz movement Lago GMT which features a second timezone in the sub-dial and a striking blue sunburst dial. At 42mm it makes a statement on the wrist but the sleek, classy, design means it isn’t too bulky. The blue calf leather strap is a nice touch too.
Luminox Tough Viking
Switzerland’s Luminox isn’t just paying lip service by calling this military-themed model a “Tough” Viking. The case is made from super strong carbon compound, the crown is shielded by a double-security gasket, the watch is water-resistant to 200m, the dial is protected by a hardened mineral crystal and the strap is made from extra-rugged webbing. In short, the quartz powered, 45mm diameter piece can handle pretty much everything you put it through.
Raymond Weil Tango 30mm
It takes two to tango, and this range includes men’s and women’s models. For the ladies is this 30mm steel case, steel bracelet and silver patterned dial with a quartz movement making it a timepiece that’s tougher than many women’s watches on the market (100m water resistant for a start) but no less elegant. There are eight variants in the Tango women’s range, including ones with diamonds around the bezel if bling is your thing.
Swatch Sistem51 Corrida
Swatch has cannily morphed into quite a collectable — and certainly fun — brand, especially with its Sistem51 range. Incredibly, there is a mechanical movement behind the groovy microstructure dial of this fire engine red Corrida. Unlike the ultra-complicated mechanical movements of most of its far more expensive rivals, there are just 51 parts in a Sistem51 movement, hence the name. A silicone strap and buckle add to the fun feel.
TW Steel Red Bull Holden Racing Team Special Edition
TW Steel has carved a niche out of big but not bulky (48mm) timepieces. This special edition has a Japanese (Miyota) chronograph movement housed in a 316L steel case, carbon dial, PVD coated bezel and screwed-in crown. That’s a lot of bang for your buck, and sporting the Red Bull Holden colours, this is a snazzy watch — especially for the rev-head.
Victorinox I.N.O.X. Carbon
This watch is pretty close to indestructible. To prove it, Victorinox had the Swiss Army drive a tank over one — it ticked on like nothing had happened. Quartz powered, the 43mm watch has another trick up its sleeve: the paracord bracelet is made from parachute cord material with a breaking strain of 250kg. If you’re ever in a jam, the strap can be unwound and used for all manner of things, from an improvised fishing line to a luggage strap, or super-tough shoelaces when you’re in a pinch.