12 Men’s Watches That Would Make the Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift for Her
Because let's be honest: women's watches are kinda terrible.
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Giving a timepiece to your lady is a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday and your love. The fundamental problem, though, is that many “ladies” designs are tiny, quartz and frequently bedazzled, and those styles don’t necessarily fit the tastes of women today. That’s why we see a trend of women wearing watches that were intended for the wrists of men.
“The primary draws for a men’s design over a ladies’ would be size and options,” says Travis Hines, head watchmaker at Crown and Caliber. Designs for women tend to skew towards smaller and dressier pieces, according to Hines. “Conversely, as the Swiss watch industry is predominantly focused on men’s designs, there are plenty more options to choose from, and it becomes much easier to find a design that looks good but also comes with some of the nicer features.”
There are numerous horologically more-relevant time pieces designed for men that look great on a woman’s wrist. If you’re choosing a watch this V-Day for your love, the first consideration should be how she’s going to wear it? Is it a casual, everyday piece or is it for special occasions? “You don’t need to pay a premium for a world timer if you’re not traveling around the world actively,” says Hines. “Instead, focus on how the watch looks and how it will be used.”
Damian Otwinowski, vice president of Watches of Switzerland USA, notes that his female customers tend to prefer simpler faces rather than complications, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want a bit of “wow” factor. “Women tend to be more adventurous when it comes to color,” Otwinowski says. And while straps wear a little easier on the wrist, bracelets shouldn’t be ruled out either. “Women who are becoming collectors may want a bracelet,” he says. “It’s a powerful look that exudes confidence.”
In the end, they’re just beautiful timepieces. “Who says they’re meant to be men’s?” wonders Otwinowski.
So here are 12 watches that were designed with men in mind but will look great on her as well.
Timex Marlin Automatic Day-Date
Timex has seen a bit of a nostalgic resurgence in the last few years. That success is well deserved and thanks in large part to the brand’s dedication to revisiting its past designs. Their Marlin Automatic Day-Date is an homage to watches of the ‘60s, and the mid-century look is crisp, clean and highly functional — perfect for a woman with a classic aesthetic.
Baltic HMS 002
A sporty crosshair motif pops off this Baltic’s blue gilt dial. Assembled in France using a Miyota 821A movement, the watch comes on an Italian calf-leather strap in a variety of colors. The case is 38mm in diameter and clocks in at 47mm lug to lug, which is a nice size for most folks. We’d opt for a matching blue or accenting green to give it a little extra panache.
Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical
We’d call a Swiss made mechanical watch from an iconic brand for under $500 a total steal. Hamilton’s Khaki Field watch features a hand-wound movement with an epic 80-hour power reserve, so it can keep time even on its days spent off the wrist. The hands and triangular indexes are coated in an old radium color Super-LumiNova that makes the watch legible in the dark and lends it a cool vintage quality that makes it a great casual watch.
The Zodiac Super Sea Wolf GMT is a great multi-purpose watch with a rugged yet sophisticated allure. Featuring 200 meters of water resistance and a GMT complication for tracking a second time zone, it’s a 40mm timekeeper that your loved one can easily make a part of their everyday carry.
Oris Big Crown Pointer Date
It is always “wine o’clock” on this Burgundy red Oris Big Crown Pointer Date. The watch features a coin-edged bezel, 50 meters of water resistance and, as its name implies, a large-and-in-charge screw-down crown. This is an Oris that exudes a subtle sophistication with a clever, colorful flourish.
Nomos Metro Date Power Reserve
When most consumers shop for fine timepieces, the tendency is to focus on Swiss brands, but no serious buyer should ignore the Germans. The neighbors across the border make some truly wonderful watches as well. Nomos, in particular, makes some of uber cool wrist candy and the Metro Date is a brilliant example. The simplicity of the Mark Braun design is arresting on any wrist and is anchored with a power reserve window that reminds the wearer to recharge the watch’s hand-wound, in-house movement.
Breitling SuperOcean Heritage ’57
The Breitling SuperOcean Heritage ’57 launched last year and the Swiss brand has already dropped a few special and capsule editions that sold out in short order. This version is a collaboration with Outerknown, Kelly Slater’s surf-wear brand, and comes on a NATO strap made from recycled plastic sourced from waste found in the ocean. The 42mm automatic diver is waterproof to 100 meters, and while it’s on the larger size in terms of diameter, it wears much smaller as it’s a mere 10mm tall and 45mm lug to lug.
Grand Seiko SBGA442
No longer an under the radar brand here in the USA, Grand Seiko has become a popular call for watch aficionados both stateside and around the globe. The Japanese icon’s groundbreaking, hyper-accurate spring drive and to-die-for finishing have burnished its reputation as a luxury maker. The design of the SBGA42 appears crisp and simple. But a deeper gaze reveals green accents and a vertically textured dial that’s meant to evoke a Kyoto bamboo forest.
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra
The Omega Aqua Terra is a beautifully understated piece. Its quiet elegance may be less attention-grabbing than the rugged good looks of the 300 or the 300M, but it’s every bit as bulletproof as its Seamaster siblings. A flourish of the brand’s Sedna shade of gold gives this watch a sophistication sure to beguile your Valentine, while its METAS certified Master Chronometer calibre 8900 will warm the heart of even the most hardened watch snob.
Sure, Paul Newman, archetype of mid-century masculinity, wore a Daytona as his one watch for so long he became inextricably associated with the model. But today, you’re equally as likely to spot on on the wrists of Ellen DeGeneres, Bethenny Frankel and Elle McPherson as you are John Mayer, Michael Jordan or Jonah Hill. It’s become a totem of high-style, gender-neutral chic. It’s almost impossible to believe that the Daytona was once quite unpopular in the Rolex catalogue. Today, the waitlist hovers around 12 months at many authorized dealers. So if you want to give one for Valentine’s day, sign up now for 2022 … or buy a vintage one.
Hublot Classic Fusion
The case of this Hublot Classic Fusion is made with the brand’s own King Gold alloy, which incorporates platinum. It’s a sleek and restrained design that allows the precious metal to shine. The self-winding watch comes with both a traditional black rubber Hublot strap as well as one in green alligator that accentuates the lustrous face, giving it swagger in spades.
Audemars Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin
The original 1972 Gerald Genta-designed Royal Oak was 39mm in diameter, but in recent years the classic was beefed up to 41mm. The “Jumbo” Extra-Thin, reverts back to that 39mm size but is a scant 8mm thick, so it glides effortlessly under shirt sleeves. The case and integrated bracelet are made from 18 carat white gold, and the dial pink gold-toned “Petite Tapisserie” dial is a highly-coveted rarity. Sure this watch retails for as much as a nice car, but can you really put a price on love?
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