It’s Valentine’s Day again, and while we at HODINKEE certainly hope you remembered and maybe even treated a special someone to (at minimum!) a handsome chocolate sampler, we’d be remiss in our duties if we didn’t suggest a gift that’s slightly less caloric and slightly more…permanent.
Our partners patiently tolerate our watch obsessions, but they have tastes all their own. So this year, rather than guess what they might like, we straight-up asked our boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, and significant others which horological wonder they might hypothetically want to receive as a token of our endless love and gratitude.
And while their picks are quite varied – up to and including a seriously complicated piece that costs more than many houses – the heart wants what the heart wants. Even when it comes to watches.
Available in the Shop
Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic In Titanium With Bracelet
I love the presence and matte texture this watch has despite its incredible thinness. It reminds me of a clean, sharp piece of slate. It’s not busy. There is a Zen quality to it. I could see myself wearing it easily with jeans and a T-shirt. But if I wanted to don a beige boho dress, well, I think this watch would add a touch of masculinity to the ensemble. I wear a lot of neutral colors, and it would look good with pretty much everything I have in my closet. Its display is easy on the eyes and legible. There is a digital quality to it, but in a good way, like a Kindle Paperwhite. I had a chance to get up close to another matte titanium version of the Octo Finissimo when Jon had it for A Week On The Wrist, and I remember being drawn to it. I kept begging him to let me try it on.
– Jasmine (valentine of senior editor Jon Bues)
Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical White Dial
If I told you I like this watch because it’s simple and has a white, legible dial, I wouldn’t be lying. But since I am sharing my perfect Valentine’s Day watch in front of the whole watch community, I feel I should say a little bit more.
So I told Danny I’d like a watch with a white dial, and he’s shown me a lot of options, but I like this one the most. I am from Europe, so I love that this watch features “European”-style 24-hour time.
I imagine looking at this and having no trouble reading the time. I also see myself wearing this watch daily, while traveling and even matching it with casual outfits. To me, it gives off this super cool, Scandinavian style (I know…it’s a military design). While it’s simple, the yellow accents prevent it from being boring. Understand what I’m trying to say, Danny?
– Kasia (valentine of editor Danny Milton)
Swatch Sistem51 HODINKEE Generation 1990
I love my wife. My wife works at HODINKEE. By the transitive property, I love HODINKEE. So to commemorate Valentine’s Day, I wanted the most HODINKEE-esque watch possible (but nothing too fancy, since I am a clumsy giant doofus who can’t stop breaking expensive things). This watch is durable and never stops working, just like [Borat voice] MY WIFE, and I’m happy she has one, too, so we can match.
– Ben (valentine of audience engagement manager Daisy Alioto)
1945 Universal Genève Tri-Compax Chronograph Ref. 22279
My first thought was to jump back to the Timex Indiglo Ironman that I had in second grade, but I don’t want to give the impression that I’m in shape. So, I decided to poke through the HODINKEE Vintage section and landed on a Universal Genève Tri-Compax that sold a while back. I love studying maps – you can look at them for hours and still not notice every detail. When I saw this watch, that’s immediately where my mind went. It has a lot of small details that I like: the moon-phase, the hashes at the 20th of a second, and the dial that’s faded just enough to give it that old-map look. A metal bracelet can feel a little heavy, so I also appreciate the leather strap.
– Josh (valentine of shop editor Cait Bazemore)
Available in the Wild
Cartier Tank Américaine (Steel, Medium Size)
There’s just something so romantic about a classic Tank. It’s a quintessentially French design, from one of Paris’ golden ages, and it looks every bit as chic today as it did over 100 years ago. As an American who has lived in Paris on-and-off over the last 10 years (while getting a Ph.D. in French Literature), it’s always felt like a perfect watch for capturing how I feel when I hop off the plane at Charles de Gaulle and make my way toward the Place Vosges. I love that I could pass it down to either a daughter or a son, and it would be a perfect fit.
And, if Stephen’s nice, I just might let him borrow it from time to time…
– Laura (valentine of manager of editorial operations Stephen Pulvirent)
Jacob & Co. Astronomia Solar
This watch is cheesy and cool at the same time. Of course you can also see the hour, but that’s secondary for me. What I care about is what’s happening surrounding that. You have the planets turning around the surface, and you have the universe in the background, and each planet has a different gem – which I love. The watch has a tri-dimensional quality; it’s more like a fun bracelet mixed with a watch. I also love the movement inside, and how you can see all the small pieces moving slowly. It’s like a Galileo thing for me. That’s what I see when I see this piece – an early intent of measuring time.
– Silvia (valentine of senior vice president of content Nick Marino, who is currently rummaging the couch for $ 280,000)
Rolex Daytona Cosmograph in 18-carat Everose Gold
With Valentine’s Day approaching this weekend, I couldn’t help but wonder…which watch would make the perfect gift for me? When it really comes down to it, nothing says Happy Valentine’s Day like a rose-gold Daytona. That is, of course, if I had to pick just one. It’s the Oyster bracelet and the black sub-dials that really do it for me. Did I mention the chocolate dial? It’s the perfect complement to a box of Lindt truffles.
In a world with so many gorgeous watches to choose from, you may be asking: Why this one? And to that, my answer is, why not request rose gold on Valentine’s Day when you can always ask for that yellow-gold Day-Date for your birthday?
– Marissa (valentine of manager of vintage watches Brandon Frazin)