The Worn & Wound Holiday Gift Guide for the Whole Family

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With the holidays drawing ever closer, we thought it would be fun to break down some horological gift ideas for the whole family. Regardless of one’s level of horological experience, or their budget, everyone can get in on some great watch related gift giving. Without further ado, please enjoy our family gift guide.

For Dad

Seiko 5 Sports — The Perfect Daddy-Duty Watch


Seiko reintroduced their Seiko 5 line to American audiences this year with the Seiko 5 Sports line, a series of budget-friendly, dive-inspired watches in an impressive array of styles. Whether your dad’s taste veers more toward a traditional “Pepsi” bezel or a slightly more modern “Avocado” textured dial, there’s something here for everyone. These watches make for a great inexpensive daily wear and come with a ton of Seiko quality for the money.

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Nomos Tangente – For the (mostly) Refined Dad

If a dress watch is more in line with your dad’s style, we love the Nomos Tangente. Over the years, the Tangente family has grown to include dozens of watches in various sizes, colors, and complications, but the original 35mm version with that great silver dial is as classic as it gets. As a bonus, you can get this version with a closed caseback, suitable for engraving, which is sure to make this a gift dad won’t forget. 

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Tudor Pelagos – Big Hunk of Titanium > Big Hunk of Coal

Tudor deservedly gets a lot of love for their vintage-inspired releases in the Black Bay family. But for the modern dad after something on the entry level side of luxury, why not go for Tudor’s most modern tool watch — the unapologetically over-engineered Pelagos. The titanium case and bracelet are not only beautifully finished, but impossibly lightweight for comfortable all day wear. The bezel is ceramic, but is also matte finished, which is a great touch that more brands need to make use of on their tooly divers (ditto for the lumed elements in the bezel itself). Although the Pelagos was clearly designed with the most technical of diving in mind (it does, after all, include a helium escape valve), it functions just as well as a great everyday watch with its impressive legibility and one of the best micro-adjustable bracelets on the market.

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The Wristwatch Handbook by Ryan Schmidt


Ryan Schmidt’s The Wristwatch Handbook has been around for a few years now, but it’s still the king of the all-purpose watch related coffee table books. What makes this one special is that not only does it have fantastic watch photography, but the text explains a lot of the nuance behind watchmaking (an inherently complex topic) in easy-to-digest layman’s terms. Not a lot of coffee table books are a pleasure to look at and read, but we think The Wristwatch Handbook easily falls into that category.

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For the Kids

Timex X Peanuts – Everyone’s Favorite Beagle, and a Watch for Everyone

When it comes to buying watches for the kids in your life, it can become a bit of an accidentally enormous responsibility. After all, if it’s a first watch, it could be the one that leads down that rabbit hole we love talking about so much. And you, as the gift giver, will be forever remembered as starting the gifted down this path, one that no doubt will lead to lots of watch forum browsing during business hours, and questionable decisions to wire large sums of money to internet strangers.

Before we get to that point, however, we think Timex’s range of Peanuts-themed watches are great gifts for kids of all ages (and, let’s face it, lots of adults love this stuff too). Virtually every Peanuts character gets their own watch in a range of styles and price points. The 34mm Weekenders featuring Snoopy on the dial in a variety of bright colors are great options for younger children, while the mechanical Marlins offer a dressier and slightly more mature vibe for older kids. Timex has been overachieving all year with fun and high quality watches, and they truly deliver something for everyone in the family at an affordable price.

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Swatch Sistem51 – Made by Robots, Great for Kids

The Sistem51 makes a great gift for kids, whether it’s a first watch, or a gift for a budding enthusiast who might be looking for their first mechanical timepiece. Swatch has always been a great entry-point into horology, and the huge range of styles available in the Sistem51 line mean that’s still the case today. Basic models are plastic and tend to be colorful, but stepping up to the “Irony” line gets you stainless steel cases with some pretty interesting dial designs.

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G-Shock GWM5610-1 – Finally, Something they Can’t Break

For pure utility, it’s tough to beat a G-Shock Tough Solar. They never need a battery, can take a beating like nothing else, and many also use atomic timekeeping to keep the watch accurate to the second all the time, automatically. Giving this to a child as a first watch may or may not lead to watch enthusiasm as a full throated hobby, but it could easily be the gateway to a collection of impressive G-Shocks, which as a brand currently boasts one of the most active and obsessive collecting communities in the greater watch world. You’ve been warned.

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Hugo (Family Movie with Watchmaking Themes)

If you’ve just watched The Irishman, Martin Scorsese’s latest mob epic, and haven’t had enough of one of the greatest of all American filmmakers, may we suggest something on the opposite end of the spectrum. Hugo, released in 2011, is the rare Scorsese film that’s appropriate for the whole family. The film follows the adventures of a young boy living in the walls of a Parisian train station in the 1930s. While it’s not about watches, per se, there’s a critical plot point involving a watchmaker, and his elaborate automatons. Hugo might not only get your son or daughter interested in watches, but could inspire a real love of film as well. So years from now, when it’s appropriate to sit down and watch The Irishman as a family, it won’t be strange at all when you pause it to discuss the gold Mathey-Tissot on Robert De Niro’s wrist.

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For Mom

Cartier Santos Dumont (Quartz, Small) – The Iconic Red Box is Sure to Make Her Smile

Cartier watches are synonymous with elegance and beautiful craft. While they aren’t inexpensive by any means, we couldn’t resist including a watch from the most recent Santos-Dumont collection in this guide. A square watch coming in at 27.5mm per side, the smaller version of the Santos-Dumont is an ideal size for a woman, and not bad on a man’s wrist either (assuming mom would be willing to share). At $3,650 (with a quartz movement) this is an extravagant gift, but there’s value here as well, as you lose nothing of the great Cartier workmanship that the brand has become renowned for in the watch and jewelry space.

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Apple Watch Series 5 – Completely Ubiquitous, but for a Good Reason

It would actually be a little silly to not mention the most popular watch in the world in this gift guide. No, it’s not high horology, but it’s every bit as functional (often moreso) than many of the Casios and Garmins covered in these pages. We think the latest iteration of the Apple Watch is a great gift for the well connected mom, or anyone who would benefit from having just a little more flexibility in the way they communicate with their loved ones and interact with their various devices.

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Camille Fournet Custom Strap

Camille Fournet can make you a strap out of almost any type of leather imaginable, to your exact specifications. If your mom has a watch that she loves but could maybe use a new way to wear it, consider gifting her a custom Camille Fournet strap. The customization tool on their website is endlessly entertaining, and allows the end user to get truly creative with their strap choices. Regardless of the materials used and options chosen, the end result is a luxurious, high end product.

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For the Grandparents

Vortic Pocket Watch Conversion – To Preserve America’s Watch Heritage

We’re big fans of what Vortic is doing, not just because the watches themselves are cool, but because of the way RT Custer and his team are teaching all of us a little bit about pocket watch history and the possibilities of modern American manufacturing. As a gift, we think their option to have your own personal pocket watch made into a wrist watch is a great idea for a grandparent, who might have an old pocket watch lying around, unused, but totally capable of being serviced and worn, again, on the wrist. Vortic of course returns the original pocket watch case with the newly converted wrist watch, so family heirlooms can continue to be passed from one generation to the next.

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Oris Big Crown Pointer Date – A Charming, Classic Complication

There’s something old fashioned that we love about the Oris Big Crown Pointer Date that makes it a great gift for a grandparent. The watch is available in gender neutral sizes, and the style is classic but uses modern manufacturing techniques so reliability isn’t an issue. Mostly though, we think the pointer date complication is a great throwback and incredibly useful, and gives this watch a sense of old school charm that not many at this price point possess.

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Muji Cuckoo Clock

The cuckoo clock is often derided as kitsch, and might be thought of by many as simply the punchline in one of the greatest movie quotes of all time, but we think this modern interpretation by MUJI, and available in the MoMA store, is nice looking, fun, and totally gift worthy. It’s a great shade of red, and sized right to fit on a shelf or a desk. The cuckoo is set to pop out every half hour, but the ingenious light detection mechanism on the front keeps the clock silent when the household is sleeping.   

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Ox and Bull Watch Movement Cufflinks

Similar to the way Vortic is making use of old pocket watch movements, the folks behind these cufflinks have repurposed old hand wound wrist watch movements from the 1950s as cufflinks. The use of watch movements for this purpose is fun on a couple of levels. First, it’s a great conversation starter, and allows the wearer to display their love of watches in a way that doesn’t involve wearing a watch at all. Secondly, it’s a reminder that watch movements of a previous generation were really, really small. In the era of exhibition casebacks and watches of 40mm and up, this kind of movement making is largely a thing of the past. These cufflinks are a fun reminder of another era, and, as cufflinks, have a visual interest that is hard to deny.

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.
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