Father’s day arrives this Sunday and at The Watch Gallery we have compiled a few gift ideas for a present that’s truly timeless. It may be that like me, your father has reached the age of retirement and after 45 working years and 4 kids the usual bottle of red just isn’t sufficient as a sign of your appreciation. Men’s sports watches symbolise longevity and an active lifestyle, making them an ideal early summer gift that will retain its value for years to come.
Sports watches are becoming increasingly popular amongst men as brands combine traditional functionality with contemporary design. Materials vary from steel to ceramic, rubber to leather with pieces tough enough to survive the most extreme conditions whilst looking good enough to wear to dinner. This blend of style and utility means a sports watch is now an essential everyday item. We’ve picked out 5 highlights to you inspire you this Father’s Day…
The Royal Oak Offshore collection was created in 1993 and at 42mm in diameter the size is tame by today’s standards, but believe it or not the Offshore was the world’s first over-sized watch. The Navy Chronograph is a genuine instrument for those who like to spend as much time in the water as they do on dry land, with the chronograph function and tachymeter scale catering for all your sporting needs. This model does not come cheap, but the price is justified by high level construction. The movement is made fully in-house, and while the white gold hands and 22-carat gold oscillating weight may seem like excessive design features, the quality of materials reduces wear and tear thus protecting your investment for years to come.
Hublot has been making big moves in the sports world in recent years. The brand have dedicated a watch to fastest man alive Usain Bolt, and you may also have seen the Hublot boards go up to signal added time at Euro 2012. Audacity is a key principle in the design of every Hublot and they were the first luxury brand to fuse high end materials in the making of their sports watches. The Big Bang Black Magic is constructed using a ceramic case and rubber strap. Ceramic is one of the most hard-wearing materials in the world and ensures that the shape and functionality of this watch will not deteriorate. The brand is in the midst of a meteoric rise so this is an opportunity to own a genuine piece of history.
This model is a tribute to former British Army officer, explorer and author Colonel John Bashford-Snell. The Stratos Flyback is powered by Zenith’s El Primero movement which is regarded by many as the worlds finest and most accurate series produced movement. The chronograph features a flyback hand, which upon compression of the second chronograph pushpiece will ‘flyback’ to zero and begin measuring time again. This was designed as a time saving feature for pilot’s and is very useful for measuring time in intervals. Visibility is key to the design, the uni-directional rotating bezel is made of high tech ceramic that is highly luminous as well as tough. All things considered this watch provides excellent value for money.
Breitling for Bentley is a phenomenal partnership between two of the worlds most highly sought after luxury brands. The Barnato 42 is a tribute to the famous ‘Bentley Boys’ that dominated the Le Mans 24 hour endurance race in the 1920s. Endurance is clearly a shared principle between the two; all Breitling watches are fully C.O.S.C certified meaning they have passed the most stringent tests at the most extreme conditions without any loss of time or physical deterioration. This is highly reassuring to anyone looking to invest in a watch. Aesthetically the smooth polished curves are everything you would expect from a Bentley, with dashboard inspired counters and a knurled bezel reminiscent of a Bentley wheel arch.
The most affordable watch in our guide, the Longines Conquest Chronograph matches up technically with the best of men’s sports watches. This watch is built to last with an automatic chronograph movement that is protected by a screw-down caseback and crown and a water resistance of 300 metres. The design is also striking with the black dial and ceramic bezel contrasting nicely with the polished steel case. Longines is an iconic sports watch brand; they were the official timekeeper of the first modern Olympics in 1892, have kept time at no less than 31 Tour de France, and since 2007 have been the official sponsor of the French Open.
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