Not wanting to sound like the Grinch, but Christmas sucks. That's about as emphatic a statement as one can make, but to be frank there isn't enough room here to outline all the reasons why Christmas sucks. No, it doesn't have anything to do with the fact that I didn't get anything last year. Well, only partly. OK, that is the major reason. Inspired by Ebenezer Scrooge, however, I hope to change my views and I implore everyone out there who has a special guy in their life to get him something nice, preferably a watch, so they don't turn out like me. To help spread a little Yuletide cheer, here are my Christmas picks.
Buying a watch as a Christmas present can be done on autopilot - just walk into any boutique in Central and purchase one of the big brands. However, if your loved one is more discerning and keener on a brand that's less ubiquitous, then a Chronoswiss Perpetual Calendar (below right) might be an idea. Coming in a steel or rose-gold 40mm case, the Perpetual Calendar is inspired by watchmaking of old, with a dial design that wouldn't have looked out of place in The Christmas Carol. The dial is busy, featuring day, date and month indicators as well as lunar phases. There's a lot there but it all seems to come together and work. The movement is a top-class, in-house Chronoswiss Calibre C.127 so as well as looking the part the insides are rather nifty, too. The Chronoswiss Perpetual Calendar in steel with a white or black dial is priced at HK$235,500; the rose-gold version is priced at HK$350,000.
Failing that trip to the Hamptons, you could always get him a Baume & Mercier Clifton 10054 (top right). From the newly launched Clifton range - which, interestingly, made its debut on the mainland - the 10054 is a classically styled watch that does all it's asked to do with elegance. Coming in a 41mm, polished-steel case, the dial has a retro feel and ties in nicely with the windswept beach aesthetic of which Baume & Mercier is so fond. Features are kept simple, with a small seconds hand at the six o'clock position and a lovely brown alligator leather strap. And it's water resistant to 50 metres. The Baume & Mercier Clifton 10054 is priced at HK$23,800.
Finally, we have the curiously named Girard-Perregaux ww.tc Chronograph (below left). The "ww.tc" stands for "world wide time control", which, let's be honest, is a bit ungainly but lends the timepiece a bit of eccentric charm. As the name suggests, this is a world time watch and the time zones are neatly laid out. The steel case is sized at a chunky 43mm, which gives ample room for the three sub dials, namely seconds and two chronograph dials. There's also room for a date window in the unorthodox position of two o'clock. A rather clever day/night indicator sits just below the time-zone rings. As you would expect from Girard-Perregaux, the GP033CO-FV1U movement is solid and more than up to the task of powering this feature-rich watch, with 48 hours of power reserve. Water resistant up to 30 metres, this watch comes with a black alligator leather strap. The Girard-Perregaux ww.tc Chronograph is priced at HK$133,000.