This article has been published in partnership with TAG Heuer
Let’s face it. The art of Swiss watch acquisition is often a perplexing process filled with big expectations and daunting price tags.
The job is hard enough when picking one for yourself, but when the time comes to gift a timepiece for that special someone, it’s an entirely different game. One name in the industry is looking to change that is TAG Heuer.
As the purveyor of Swiss Avant-Garde watchmaking since 1860, the manufacturer has produced some of the most exciting and pioneering pieces to date to suit the most discerning wearer.
Whilst options and a thorough knowledge of the chosen watch is a given, there also needs to be consideration as to how well you know this deserving being. Considerate gifter, meet the intrinsic human tendencies known as taste, preferences and social status.
Product research can only take you so far, so today we’re making sure you have the right tools and steely intuition to pick the perfect timepiece as the ultimate gift – with the help of one of the best names in the industry of course.
Watch and learn.
Figure Out Your Budget
One of the fundamental questions that Swiss watches often field is: why are they so expensive?
The pricing structure of a Swiss timepiece commonly reflects the range of materials used (from stainless steel to more exotic titanium, ceramic or carbon fibre), the process of manufacture and the brand’s heritage.
The last one is a factor that plays a significant part in Swiss watch pricing so it’s important to know your budget from the outset. This will allow you to cull the range down to watches that are within your budget.
TAG Heuer’s iconic Carrera line is not only the backbone of the name but also a watch that became one of the first models to introduce the world to accessible luxury.
Inspired by the racetrack, the watch would eventually evolve into a simple, elegant and readable timepiece which spans across 150 different variations.
Paired with TAG Heuer’s track record for reliability, the heritage derived Carrera is today one of the watchmaker’s best selling timepieces that will ensure anyone’s journey into Swiss watchmaking without breaking the bank.
Know Your Watch Movements
Quartz movements are often found in the cheapest variations of Swiss watches these days. From there they begin to move into more distinguished territory with automatic and mechanical movements and that’s the sweet gifting spot you want to be in.
A watch’s movement is essentially the heart of the timepiece so it’s vital to have an idea about how each one works when selecting your gift of time.
Mechanical watches do not require batteries to operate and instead rely on a hand-wound mainspring to keep the time ticking over. The only real downside of the mechanical watch is the need to wind it once every day or two in order to keep the mechanism moving.
Most watchmakers also recommend giving mechanical watches extra duty of care due to the internal components’ susceptibility to moisture, shock, dust and magnetic fields.
Automatic watches follow the same design blueprint as mechanical watches with one exception – they don’t require batteries or manual winding since the mainspring relies solely on the wearer’s physical movement to wind the mechanism.
Whilst automatic watches are essentially known as self-winding watches, when they’re not being worn and moved around naturally, they need to be placed in a watch winder. This is a device which rotates the watch in a circular motion whilst it’s off your wrist so that when you do wear it, the watch is fully wound and no time re-adjustment is required.
As with the mechanical watch, the automatic is also susceptible to harsh environmental factors so extra duty of care is required in order to maintain its integrity and longevity.
Smart watches were pioneered by the tech companies in recent years but refinement came solely at the hands of the Swiss.
With the demand for connectivity amongst wearable devices higher than ever, smart watches ditched the mechanical movements entirely and replaced them with battery-powered computer chips. The result?
Futuristic timepieces which are capable of satisfying the most fickle of today’s lifestyle demands – receiving messages and emails, listening to music, communication, ordering pizza and naturally, telling the time.
TAG Heuer once again embraced its avant-garde persona to become the world’s Swiss watchmaker to create a bonafide smartwatch of their own.
The TAG Heuer Connected was widely applauded and the second iteration of the model naturally followed with the Connected Modular 45 – a true hybrid watch like no other.
The extensive list of features includes contactless payments, fitness tracking and 50 metres of water resistance in a robust and equally attractive unit. There’s also changeable faces to suit any style of wearer so opting for this type of watch is usually a safe bet if mechanical timing is not a requisite.
And if it is? TAG Heuer have forward engineered the Modular 45 with the option to switch out the 45mm smartwatch case, strap and lugs for a traditional mechanical movement. This means the Modular 45 is essentially two watches in one package, leaving it up to the wearer to decide the style of watch to suit the occasion.
With materials such as matte black ceramic, titanium, 18K rose gold, aluminium, capped gold and diamond to choose from on the bezel alone, the level of personalisation on a Swiss-made smartwatch such as the Modular 45 is simply unprecedented.
Have An Idea About The Person's Tastes
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to the taste of your giftee. Take inspiration from the current possessions in their home, their choice in car, clothes and other telltale signs to get a better idea of what they like.
For men who prefer a more showy aesthetic, there are watch finishes such as yellow gold or rose gold to think about, whilst the minimalist fiend will usually go for something more muted – think stainless steel with basic details on the dial.
Additionally, a tactical and more sport-oriented man will be looking for something packed with features like chronometer functions and world time.
And then we have the vintage aficionado. This category usually reflects a taste in watches that hark back to an older era. Think classic designs that comprise of moon phase indicators and roman numerals on the dial.
There’s a lot more to consider but the basic rule here is to find a watch to match their current dress sense and personal aesthetic.
Consider How It Will Be Worn
Another aspect that is just as important as taste is figuring out the watch’s intended purpose.
Will the gift be worn daily with a suit? Will it be a special occasion timepiece only? Will it be used in more active environments with casual clothes where it’s prone to damage from shock or being submerged?
Figure these answers out and you’ll be able to scale down your search amongst five of Swiss watchmaking’s most basic categories: dress, diving, field, aviator and motor racing.
For many watch wearers out there staying active will be a priority in life. In these circumstances, TAG Heuer have produced the perfect timepiece capable of taking it from the boardroom to the deepest dive in a striking design.
Inspired by the deepest seas of the world, the Aquaracer Calibre 5 is the quintessential sports watch from TAG Heuer which comes with a solid build and a 300m waterproof rating.
Affordable, capable and subtle enough to traverse the fine line between everyday life and adventure, the Aquaracer Calibre 5 is the perfect companion for the modern day sartorialist.
Know The Occasions It Will Be Bought For
Swiss timepieces can be worn numerous ways depending on the occasion. It’s all about matching the style of the watch to the lifestyle of the wearer.
If the giftee is a frequent starter at cocktail events then his best bet is a classic dress watch which he’ll get the most out of with little chance of damage. Likewise if the person you were buying for was heavily into watersports then a mechanical dress watch is something you’d avoid in favour of a robust diving piece.
Keep in mind milestone events such as birthdays, graduations, job promotions and anniversaries in order to pick the right timepiece as age can also play a defining factor in a man’s watch.
Size It Up For The Right Look
Wrists come in all shapes and sizes so not every watch will suit the person you’re buying for.
The average watch size ranges from about 34-44mm in case diameter and the guide to getting the right one is simple.
For men with thinner wrists, a 34-40mm case will suit best whilst more masculine and bigger men can often get away with case diameters of up to 46mm.
Of course there’s also a need to look at the thickness of the watch material when picking the right one as a gift. A watch case with a thickness of 5mm will sit under a suit cuff better than one that’s 15mm.
Strap It Up For The Right Style
One of the most overlooked aspects when buying a watch as a gift is the accompanying strap.
It’s important to consider this in your quest as it can change the way a watch can be worn whilst appealing to different types of tastes.
A metal bracelet can be paired to masculine and chunky watches like the Aquaracer Calibre 5 whilst leather alligator straps tend to go well with more classic dress watches like the Carrera. NATO straps are also a popular option as they often come as an extra in Swiss timepieces these days.
This level of flexibility is paramount to big name watchmakers like TAG Heuer. Their Connected Modular 45 brings up to eleven standard models to the table with fifty-six different versions and an extra forty-five upon request.
With that many designs to play with, it’s only fitting to offer a range of premium straps in leather, titanium and rubber to allow a further 4,000 variations of the watch to be created.
Choose A Model For Your Favourite Human
Remember you can see the entire TAG Heuer collection online and have it shipped to your home or office.