The Top 10 Best Watches to Buy Him: 2018 Holiday Watch Guide

1. Oris Big Crown Pointer Date

There are so many reasons to love Oris watches, from their all-Swiss in-house production to their cool vintage-inspired designs, and the Big Crown Pointer Date is a fantastic example of the quality, style, and craftsmanship that gives Oris its cult following. This versatile watch made it to the 2018 Holiday Watch Guide because it transitions easily between casual sporty wear and dressy occasions.

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In a lovely array of dial colors, strap and bracelet options, and case sizes, each of these original watches features subtle old-school details like a coin-bezel, curved crystal, and the unmistakable pointer date, enumerating the day of the month on the outer diameter of the dial with a red moon-shaped pointer instead of a conventional date wheel window.

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This practical gift will take him from the board room to weekend relaxing for years, and will be a standout piece for its style regardless of whether his watch collection is already a healthy size or just in its infancy. With a beautiful automatic movement and prices starting at $1250 for the Oris Big Crown Original Pointer Date to $2000 for special limited edition models

2. Junghans Meister Chronoscope

The Junghans Meister Chronoscope is all about understated detail. We love this German-made automatic chronograph for its precision and subtle curves. With a convex dial and crystal and concave subdials, there is a palpable three-dimensionality to this timepiece. Junghans introduced this classic watch to their line in the 1930s, and over the decades, they have refined the mechanics to the elegant masterpiece it is today.

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With beautiful dial colors (we especially love the sunray brushed deep blue version) and a unique nine-link steel bracelet available, it’s easy to see how the Junghans Meister Chronoscope is a high-end accessory fitting for the most stylish holiday gift recipient (or even the one in most-need of style help). The in-house German-engineered J880.1 movement also makes this a must-have gift for gearheads.

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This boutique brand watchmaker has over 150 years of history delivering some of the most precise timepieces in the world. Even better, this master-crafted chronograph starts at $1895, making it an accessible luxury watch.

3. Hamilton Pan Europ

Hamilton’s retro-inspired Pan Europ, which first debuted in the early 1970s, has been an eye-catcher since its reboot in 2011 in silver and blue, but its newest iteration in bright kelly green takes it to another level. This watch is a perfect gift for a fashion-forward accessorizing man.

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This American Classic watch can be worn on a color-coordinated perforated leather band or a bright NATO strap. The vintage styling, cool Fedora-shaped case, in-house H30 automatic movement with an impressive 80-hour power reserve, and attainable price-point ($1195) make this a great choice for a gift, whether for a father, husband, brother, or best friend.

4. Vintage Omega

If you’re looking for a true classic, a vintage Omega watch could be just the elegant, beautiful, and refined choice. Whether the man on your Christmas list actually remembers the style of decades past or is just an old soul, Secrète recommends a timepiece of this iconic watchmaker.

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A gold Omega Seamaster from the 1960s is an amazing dress watch that belongs in every horologist’s collection. A funky 1970s Flightmaster makes a statement for the bold retro-lover. And a 1980s DeVille dress watch is an understated classic. These vintage Omegas are also a way to show you care by choosing a unique wristwatch that he’s unlikely to see on anyone else’s wrist, letting him know he’s one of a kind.

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5. Pre-owned Rolex

What man wouldn’t want to receive a Rolex for Christmas? No matter what style, era, or variation, a Rolex is a time-honored emblem of status and luxury. Because of its iconic, timeless style and the wide variety of colors and metals, you can find the perfect one for the man who deserves to be treated well this holiday season.

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Whether it’s a classic black Submariner or a dressy two-tone Datejust, a Rolex is a celebration. Consider conspiring with your siblings to choose the right Rolex for your father, or show your husband just how much you love him.

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It’s a smart and safe move to purchase a pre-owned Rolex from a trusted high-end jeweler who certifies and warranties every piece in a brick-and-mortar store. While most watches depreciate in value exponentially over time, a pre-owned Rolex purchased for a fair price is an investment sure to appreciate. While we hope your recipient will want to keep his gift forever, it’s always a good feeling to know you’ve made a smart financial move.

6. Oris Diver 65

The Oris Diver 65 is a perennial favorite on Secrète Fine Jewelry’s top-watches lists for good reason. This hit remake of their mid-1960s diving watch harkens from the golden age of diving, the Jacques Cousteau-era of diving. Because Oris is one of only a handful of truly independent watchmakers left in Switzerland, their ability to replicate the styles of the past doesn’t stop at superficial features-- they’re still making their watches the good old-fashioned way, in-house, all-Swiss, fully in control of quality standards, and as a family-run company.

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This versatile style of watch is growing even more varied as Oris continues to add new case diameters, dial colors, metal combinations, and strap options to this fan-favorite model. Even as the options grow, you can count one Diver 65s to feature some classic details. First, like every Oris, it features a Swiss automatic movement (Oris doesn’t do quartz) in a fully in-house made Swiss Oris case (Oris doesn’t do outsourcing or foreign-made parts either). Next, the vintage details like dramatically tapered metal bracelets, mid-century dials, and domed sapphire crystals are to be found on every iteration of this amazing diving watch.

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The Oris Diver 65 is the perfect casual watch. It has a funky vintage style without being outrageous. It has serious Swiss mechanics without an attitude. It has a timelessness in its vintage-inspired details that will suit him for a lifetime. And the price is right, starting at around $1850, to treat your man to something well made and special at a fair and reasonable price.

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7. Junghans Max Bill

Junghans Max Bill line is the original Mid-Century Modern minimalist watch. While many watch brands have put a Bauhaus-inspired minimalist Modern aesthetic in production, Junghans’ Max Bill collection was where it all started. t’s the first, the original, and still the best. Bauhaus-educated designer and artist, Max Bill, who founded the Ulm School of Design and whose works defined an era, produced amazing clocks and other designs with Junghans during his lifetime which have been recognized by exhibits in MoMA and countless other influential institutions of modern design.

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A Junghans Max Bill watch, whether it be automatic, handaufzug (mechanical), or quartz, is a great holiday gift for him in 2018 because it’s cool. This is the perfect gift for the architecture-buff, the man who cares about typeface, the one who always has tickets to the cool exhibits at the Hirshorn, the man who appreciates the elegance of what’s simple and functional.

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Ranging from around $600 to $1100, these watches have real style. What better Christmas or Hanukkah gift for the intellectually-stylish than this pioneer of minimalism in watchmaking?

8. Nixon Sentry

It is not hard to find beautiful watches when your budget is in the thousands, but not everyone wants to dish that much out on a holiday gift. You may be trying to approach the holidays frugally, or maybe the recipient you have in mind simply needs something well-made, stylish, and functional, and that’s why the Nixon Sentry has made our list.

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Nixons are great watches. They are well made, offer very good water-resistance, have very precise movements, and come in styles and sizes that appeal to a wide range of the population. Their Sentry collection offers slick analog dials with and without chronographs, in 38mm and 42mm sizes, in a wide selection of dial and metal color combinations (including beautiful “gunmetal” gray cases and bracelets), or bracelets or leather. There’s truly something for everyone in this collection.

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While there are no shortage of reasonably-priced “fashion” watches for men on the market, they’re not all created equally. Nixon offers great quality for the price, starting at $150 and going up to $350 for the larger chronograph models. We love this price range for so many gift-recipients, for husbands, brothers, cousins, uncles, friends, and nephews.

9. Kronaby Sekel

There are a lot of wearable tech-gadgets that will tell him the time, but not man wants to walk around talking into a plastic rectangle on his wrist. At Secrète, we appreciate the elegance of a traditional timepiece, but we also enjoy the features of this hybrid smartwatch. The Sekel model offers beautiful dial colors, sizes ranging from 38mm to 43mm, and amazing functionality. 

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With 15 easy-to-navigate features including call notifications, GPS features, fitness tracking, and music and camera controls, it’s a breeze to set-up and use right away. With its free IFTTT (“if this, then that”) software, he can actually connect his Kronaby to just about any connected product he owns-- allowing him to dim the lights, open the garage door, brew a pot of coffee, or browse music, all from his wrist.

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We also love the price-point. Kronaby watches fall in the $400-$700 range, pricing them similarly to other luxury quartz watches that don't even have all the cool features!

10. Hamilton Jazzmaster

Hamilton watches are steeped in American tradition, blending Swiss precision with red-white-and-blue heritage. Their Jazzmaster line offers several beautiful watches for him, with classic enough styles to wear with a suit and enough edge to rock on the weekends.

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We love the semi-skeletonized Jazzmaster Open Heart Auto, the versatile Viewmatic Auto, and the sporty Jazzmaster Auto Chrono for their clean lines and  impressive 80 hour power reserve. We also love the quartz models like the Jazzmaster Gent for the value and anything-but-basic pared-down details.

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At Secrète, we’ve helped clients choose a Hamilton Jazzmaster for a graduation gift as many times as we have for a retirement gift, proving that this timepiece is as appealing to an 18 year old as it is to a man in his 60s.

This affordable line starts just over $500 for quartz men’s models and goes up to around $1900 for automatic models with chronograph complications.


Interested in any of these watches or still need a little guidance to find just the right gift? Contact us today, or visit us our DuPont Circle store in Washington, DC. Our expert staff of horology-geeks can help you find the perfect gift for him this holiday season, whether you live in the DC area, in another state, or abroad. Mention this blog for a special discount!

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