Exploring the world of watches on a budget

2019 Holiday Gift Guide

It's that time of the year again. The holidays are upon us and everyone is heading to the stores to buy gifts. But what to buy? What with all the crowds and the stuff crowding the shelves, it's all a bit overwhelming, isn't it? Well, that is where I come in. The Time Bum is here to make your life easier by giving you some excellent gift ideas that you can purchase right from the comfort of your keyboard.



Tracey Trainor Jewellery

When it comes to gifts, it's hard to go wrong with jewelry (or "Jewellery" if you hail from across the pond). Tracey Trainor creates some amazing pieces in her Dublin, Ireland studio. Her bracelets, pendants, rings, and earrings are unique, dynamic, and very reasonably priced. Buying for a man? Might I suggest some awesome 200€ ($221 US) cufflinks like the ones I reviewed here. If you are here in the States and buying for Christmas, I strongly recommend you opt for express shipping.


Vario Watches

You didn't think I'd do a gift guide without any watches, did you? Vario makes a couple of dress watches that are outstanding and quite giftable for both the men and the women on your list. The Empire we reviewed here was one of the best new watches of 2019. It pairs a stunning Art Deco dial with a dressy 38mm case and vintage styled Italian leather strap for $368 (Miyota 6T33 hand-wound) or $348 (Seiko NH38 automatic).

Need another option? Then how about the sleek 38mm sunray Eclipse reviewed here? You can get the limited edition SunStone Champagne 6T33 mechanical version for $328, or a greater variety of colors with a Seiko VH31 hi-beat quartz for $218.

Order by December 12 and take 10% off an Empire with code EMPIRE10, or 20% off an Eclipse with code ECLIPSE20 and use your savings to pick up some straps or cases while you're at it.


Paper Girls Vol. 1 - 6

Paper Girls is a comic book about 12-year old girls delivering newspapers in Cleveland in 1988 who get sucked into a thousand-year war between two factions of time travelers. This six-volume graphic novel was written by Brian K. Vaughn, author of the outstanding Saga series so you can expect complex characters and a well-developed, thought-provoking storyline. Cliff Chaing's artwork perfectly captures the juxtaposition between these down-to-earth characters and the trippy situation in which they find themselves. Unlike the decidedly adult-themed Saga, Paper Girls stays to the PG-13 side of things, making it a safe bet for the young teens on your list. I'd recommend you buy the six consolidated volumes rather than the individual comics (too cumbersome) or the hardcover Deluxe Editions (final book not yet released). You can find it on Amazon for about $9.00 per book, as well as just about any other decent book store or comic shop.


Undone Basecamp Cali

Undone Watches has been hard at work this year, turning out novel collaboration watches like the UNDONE x Monopoly, UNDONE x Peanuts ACES, and UNDONE x Batman chronographs, which would make great gifts for both watch lovers and fans of the game, cartoon, hero. For those friends and family who just like neatly styled, non-themed watches, they offer the Aqua diver, Urban chronograph, and my current favorite, the Basecamp field watch that I reviewed here. This last one has a 40mm case, tall domed Lexan crystal, 100m water resistance, a Seiko NH35 automatic, and a sharp retro vibe. The Cali starts at just $295 and you can option it up from there. Order by December 15 to get free express shipping in time for Christmas.


JB Gloves

If you see my cold weather Instagram posts, you will glimpse plenty of gloves in my wrist shots. While I'm not quite ready to launch "The Glove Bum," I do love me some well-made leather gloves. Quite a few in my collection have come from JB Gloves in Venice, Italy. They have several styles available for men and women, but I'm partial to their Classic goatskin with cashmere lining (59€ or $65 US). It's a trim, tailored glove with no bulk and it holds up quite well, in fact, I'm still wearing the first pair I purchased from them 13 years ago.


Tsao Baltimore Torsk Diver

If you have a fan of big dive watches on your "nice" list, might I suggest you treat them to a Torsk-Diver by Tsao Baltimore. Named for the sub parked in Baltimore's Inner Harbor, this 43mm beauty is available in stainless steel or bronze cases and a variety of colors, all brimming with bright SuperLuminova in every conceivable space. it is rated for 300m water resistance and runs the smooth and reliable Miyota 9015 automatic. You can read my full review here, but the short version is that it is awesome. Order the Torsk-Diver for $650 direct from Tsao Baltimore. ⬩



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