It’s very typical for people who love cars to also love watches. If you think about it, philosophically, the two are extremely similar to one another. They both have primary functions, but it’s what is in the details and what makes them run that makes different people gravitate towards them.
Watches and cars both typically have extensive histories, and it’s a common belief for some that choosing a watch can influence what others think of you. So choose wisely!
If you’re just getting into watches, it can be tough to know where to start. Here’s a handy gift guide that covers a range of prices, styles, and uh, tastes.
The Omega Seamaster doesn’t strictly have any automotive ties, but it’s the watch that James Bond has been sporting in recent movies. It’s a classically styled watch that dresses up or down easily—whatever the occasion calls for.
Size-wise, the Seamaster is ideal for men or women: it’s not terribly large that it dominates your wrist, nor is it terribly small that you need to squint at it in a dark restaurant. That blue face is just lovely, too.
Fans of Omega include NASA. It was the first watch on the Moon.
If you could get a murdered-out watch, this would be it.
Stocky and utilitarian-looking, the AMG Ingenieur comes from the IWC and Mercedes-Benz partnership, where certain new cars come with an IWC dash clock. The case is made out of zirconium ceramic, inspired by those big ceramic disc brakes you think of when you think of an AMG.
It’s built to be reliable and hard-wearing. If you don’t like the all-black look, a brown one is available as well: a little less tuxedo and more business casual.
It’s a LaFerrari tribute watch, so it’s going to be cheap, right? Wrong!
The first Hublot LaFerrari watch came out in 2013. It was for peasants. This Sapphire version adds a sapphire case. Sapphire. As in the precious stone.
Pick your jaw up off the floor and stop freaking out: that price also includes a big Italian man armed with a Kalashnikov whose sole purpose in life is to protect the wearer of that watch. Worth it now?
When Jaguar decided to build six new-old E-Types last year, it teamed up with British watchmaker Bremont to commemorate the occasion. The six limited edition watches were beautifully retro, taking design cues from the dashboard of the E-Types. The were produced exclusively for each new E-Type and even had matching VINs. They didn’t come with the car, but the cars’ customers would have the right to buy the watches before anyone else laid claim to them.
Bremont now has three non-limited edition Jaguar watches: the MkI, MkII and MkIII. Of the three, the MkIII is the cheapest one, while still maintaining the limited edition’s fabulous looks.
I can’t say no to that blue band, either. I don’t even care that they don’t make a ladies’ version, I’ll wear the men’s watch and love it just as much.
The Seiko 5 Sports is a family of automatic watches that proves you do not have to spend obscene amounts of money to get something well-built, attractive and interesting. They have long been heralded as a great entry point for mechanical watches—even among the most liquid of watch snobs. They look great, run reliably and will get you almost instant cred as someone who knows the smart ways to spend money on timepieces.
This “Sea Urchin” is one popular model, a “desk diver” watch that goes great with casual clothes or a suit. Another one is the smaller SNK809, which our editor-in-chief Patrick George swears by as his usual daily wearer. He says that if you get that one, swap out the black nylon band for a nicer NATO strap, because the stock one is garbage. It looks nice with a leather band too.
Here is another example of how you don’t have to spend top dollar to get a decent timepiece! Timex makes this great little analog quartz and it can be had on Amazon for a hair over $50.
It’s not fancy, and it won’t dazzle anyone—don’t pair this one with a nice suit—but it’s a great watch to wear for pretty much any activity. From the little date window to the Indiglo button to the chronograph, the Weekender does everything you need, on the cheap.
Plus, you’ll have plenty of room left over in your watch budget to pair it with a fun NATO strap.
Inspired by 1980s rally cars, the Group B is made of aluminum and comes with four race livery straps. The Evoluzione is a limited series of the Group B, with 200 units with a larger case.
The watch chassis is made from machined aluminum and the case from titanium, making it extremely light. The watches themselves have a machined look, which Autodromo believes makes them look more industrial. I have to say that I agree.
The four straps are a good idea because they let you change up your watch without having to buy a new one.
Typically, I am not a fan of square-faced watches, but I think with a nicely cut suit most guys would be able to pull this one off. Also, blue face.
Best known for sitting on the wrist of Steve McQueen during the filming of LeMans, the iconic Monaco hasn’t changed much in design since them. The geometric lines on the face give it a very flat appearance. It’s handsome.
Feeling like going a little bolder on your watch strap? The BluShark Nylon watch strap is there as an extremely affordable option for when you tire of the basic metal, leather or rubber watch bands. It comes in a bunch of colors and I imagine it’s also very easy to wash if it ever gets dirty. Buy one or buy four, and keep swapping them out indefinitely.
Just please don’t pair it with a Submariner or something. That would be tacky.
Of course, you should not get the nylon strap without also buying a way to put it on or take it off of your watch. The Spring Bar Tool Set is the cheap answer to that.
It’s small and slim and would fit perfectly in any drawer.
If you’ve ever sat in a Range Rover and thought, Marvelous! I wish I could get this seat leather as a watch strap, then this Zenith is the answer.
The Range Rover Special Edition has an aluminum case because Range Rovers have aluminum chassis. There are two strap options: the greenish ivory one that you see above, or a darker blue one. Personally, I like the darker blue one because it won’t appear dirty as easily and I think it looks better against the brushed slate-gray face.
The styling is a bit more modern in its minimalist feel, with the date located in the six o’clock position instead of the three o’clock position.