Ok. You have six days until Christmas and you need to get something for the watch lover in your life. Let’s do this.

Let’s start with three very simple choices. Any one of the following are exactly what the watch doctor ordered when it comes to collectable and wearable pieces and none of them are very expensive. We recommend, in order of price, the Orange Monster, the Tissot Le Locle, or, if you’re splashing out, the Omega Speedmaster. These are three can’t-miss pieces for longtime fans and beginners alike and they work for both men and women. If you know your target doesn’t own any of these then you’re done. If you’re looking for something smaller we’d recommend anything from Mondaine or Tissot and men and women alike love pieces from the Swatch Sistem51 line, Swatch’s first foray into automatic movements in years.

Perhaps, however, you’re looking for something more interesting? Here are our recommendations based on our reviews of our favorite pieces this year. As of this writing all of these pieces are in stock and available for rush shipping.

Oris Big Crown Pro Pilot GMT – $1,426 (msrp = $2,300)

Our own Patrick Kansa loved this beefy GMT from Oris. “For my first foray into the offerings from Oris, this was a watch that left quite a favorable impression on me,” he wrote. “Not just in terms of functionality and wearability, but also in how the aviation design cues are worked into the watch, without beating you over the head that, yeah, this is an aviation watch. All plusses in my book, for sure. So, while you might think of the classic Flieger when it comes to a plane-related watch, I think something more like the Oris Big Crown ProPilot GMT is what will stick in my mind.”

Archimede Pilot 42 GMT – $1,000

We have been consistently pleased by watches coming from Archimede, and this one is no exception. The addition of a GMT complication is not something one would call daring, but it is a very welcome – and logical – addition to this well-known look. If you’re on the hunt for a watch that’s just slightly different from the norm, and appreciate a well-designed case, the Archimede Pilot 42 GMT is a solid choice to consider. It’s a great way to enter into the complications world without breaking the bank.

Alpina GMT 4 Business Hours – $849

This year we did enjoy our time spent with the Alpina GMT 4 Business Hours. It is perhaps a touch larger than we might prefer for regular wear (both in diameter and thickness), but it’s not like we’re talking dive watch dimensions. Ok, yes, the diameter is like a dive watch, but with the small bezel and those twisted lugs, it wears smaller than the 44mm might suggest. And, yes, it is going to look a good sight better with a suit (particularly if you are partial to French Cuffs, as I am) than your sport watch-based GMTs. Yes, they work, but the Alpina GMT 4 Business Hour ups the game. If you’re on the hunt for a great travel (and everyday) watch, you certainly should consider the $1,995 Alpina GMT 4 Business Hours.

Seiko Presage “Cocktail Time” SRPB43 collection – $300

Any watch from the new Presage “Cocktail Time” collection would make a great gift. Jim Manley recently added the new blue sunray dial SRPB43 to my collection. The SRPB43 is reminiscent of the original SARB065 cocktail time, but with new complications in the mix and a range of new dial and bracelet options there is now a cocktail for every taste. The 4R35 movement (4R57 for the power reserve models) is a slight downgrade from the SARB065’s 6R15, but the 4R35 has a good reputation for durability and the price difference of about $200 is a welcome change.

By John Biggs

John lives in Brooklyn and has loved watches since he got his first Swatch Irony automatic in 1998. He is the editor of WristWatchReview.

One thought on “Last minute can’t-miss pieces for the watch lover on your list”
  1. John, you knocked it out of the park with every choice here. However, with three GMTs on the list, I’d guess Patrick was sitting next to you handing you 20s! LOL

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