Gifts for Watch Lovers

The holiday season can be a lonely time for the watch nerd. Sure, we are surrounded by family and friends, but not one of them understands our hobby. In a thoughtful, yet totally misguided way, they will try to play to our interests with watch themed t-shirts, ties, or cuff links. Worse yet, our well-meaning loved ones may decide to surprise us with a watch of their choosing, and... well... Let's just say they might benefit from some guidance in this area.  Fortunately, The Time Bum is here to help.

If you are a member of the watch nerd community, I suggest you subtly suggest your gift-seeking loved ones peruse this article before they begin their quest. If you are not a watch nerd, but are seeking a gift for a watch enthusiast, then congratulations! You have come to the right place. In addition to the watches and straps already featured in earlier reviews, The Bum now brings you new and affordable gift ideas for every watch collector, up to my completely arbitrary budget of $999. If you plan on spending more than that per present, you should really be reading Watch-Anish

Enjoy!

The Time Bum's Holiday Gift Guide


Nylon one-piece straps are the perfect watch accessory because they will change the look of a watch with almost zero effort. Swedish strap retailer Cheapest NATO Straps has these irresistible little numbers dirt cheap. They have a polished buckle and a single fabric keeper, in sizes 18-22mm. Don't know which one to get? Take advantage of the volume discount and $4 flat rate shipping and get a handful in different sizes and colors.

Timex Weekender on Grants Button Stud Strap
Everyone needs a Timex in their collection. The classic American watch has new styles and a new following, but it is still the same old fashioned value, ready to "take a licking and keep on ticking." It is also a healthy candidate for strap swaps, like... 

These handmade, hand dyed, leather pass-through straps are also available individually, but at this price, why not get two? Instead of a conventional buckle, they feature an uncommon stud fastener that eliminates any tail on the strap. With a choice of three widths, three lengths, five colors, and two stud options, you are sure find a suitable combination. Get free shipping with code FREESHIP.

Crown & Buckle / Logan Zane NATO, $60
Watch nerds love straps, strap nerds love NATOs, and everybody loves quality leather, so you can't go wrong with one of these. The CB/LZ editions are made from Italian or American leather with a funky patterns and textures. Winter offerings include the dark brown Walrus pattern, or a grey/white Snow Camo that will give you the advantage of stealth in your next snowball fight. The CB/LZ collaboration straps go quickly, so act fast.
It is possible to delight a watch nerd with a gift that is not watch related, particularly if it comes from a merchant in the watch community. Australian leather crafters Bas & Lokes make some beautiful watch straps, as well as a wide array of other leather accessories.  The Marlon is a handmade leather belt made of premium vegetable dyed leather in a rich chocolate brown with burgundy tone and a pull-up quality, lightening where bent or wrinkled.  The buckle and rivets are brass. If your watch nerd seems confused when he opens it, just tell him it is like a watch strap, but for his pants.

Orient watches have quite a following on the forums,with watches like the Bambino, Ray, and Mako (reviewed here) achieving cult status. Now you can add the Aviator to that list. This B-uhr style watch is available in four colors, measures 42mm with a 22mm strap, and is powered by an in-house 21 jewel automatic. The Aviator lists for $305 on the Orient site, but normally sells for $159 at Island Watch. Grab one on sale now for $135 and make a watch lover happy.
There are two kinds of watch nerds in this world: those who own a Seiko 007, and those who will own one shortly. This darling of the watch forums is a legitimate 200m dive watch with Seiko's solid 7s26 automatic movement, and no-nonsense good looks. It is a highly versatile, and frankly irresistible package at a very reasonable price. If you find the black dialed 007 to be insufficiently festive, then check out its blue and red sibling, the 009, pictured on the Original NATO Strap above. Both watches are available for just under $200 at Island Watch.

WotanCraft produces some mighty macho watch straps, and also these kick-ass camera bags. If your giftee is not a photographer, then they can function as a messenger bag or small briefcase. They are constructed of waxed canvas and vegetable tanned cowhide, with a removable waterproof inner pouch for protection, perfect for any urban or field adventure. Prices range from @$200-800.




If you are looking for an aviation watch and are ready to spend more than $90 on the Merlin, then have look at the Goshawk. It has a handsome, aircraft instrument style face, sapphire crystal, and a Miyota 8217 automatic movement. Paired with one of Techné's very appealing leather straps, it is hard to beat.


GJ Cleverley for HODINKEE Limited Edition Watch Strap, $495
HODINKEE has partnered with royal cobbler, GJ Cleverley to produce 35 straps made from 227 year old Russian reindeer leather salvaged from the shipwreck of the Metta Cartharena. Honestly, you can not make this stuff up. This is a truly unique gift. For maximum irony, pair it with a Timex Weekender. On Donner! On blitzen! On my wrist!
Is your watch lover also a gear head? Then consider this limited edition chronograph inspired by legendary racer Vic Elford. It features vintage style, a thoroughly modern Seiko VK63 hybrid meca-quartz movement, and a booklet signed by Vic himself.

Christopher Ward C60 Trident COSC Limited Edition $999
The C60 delivers a traditional Rolex-inspired diving watch in Christopher Ward's own unique and highly attractive style. The COSC Ltd. Ed. houses an ETA 2824 chronometer, certified for accuracy by the Control Officiel Suisse de Chronometers, and is limited to 500 pieces. While this is very cool, and conveniently tops my under-$1000 list, The Time Bum cannot help but note that is is but one of 45 variants in the C60/61 line up, including GMTs, ETA or Stelita movements, several colorways and strap options, and 38 or 42mm cases. My choice? A khaki 42mm on a Bond strap for only $605.


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