Still seeking the right gift for the watch aficionados and other men of discerning taste on your shopping list? Check out WatchTime’s lineup of luxurious items and accessories for some last-minute ideas.
Orbita’s elegant Avanti 3 watch winder ($2,995) sports a redesign this year. In addition to its three rotators, it now includes three built-in storage drawers, perfect for stashing pens, cuff links, jewelry, and other watches not mounted on the rotators above. The veneers are constructed of fine Brazilian Rosewood (replacing the original’s Macassar) and the panels have real carbon-fiber trim. The three winder modules are self-programming and powered by five-year Lithium batteries. And, of course, the modules use Orbita’s patented Rotorwind system, which gently rotates the watches in a rocking, oscillating motion once every ten minutes. This motion ensures constant mainspring torque by replenishing the tension that the mainspring lost in the previous 10 minutes. www.orbita.com.
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Released as a companion accessory to its Répétition Minutes TriRetrograde watch, Milus’s cleverly designed key holder chimes the correct time — in the same distinctive tones as the watch — at the press of a button. The Milus Répétition Minutes Key Holder ($580) is available in either black anodized or silver-colored, glossed aluminum and includes a logo-engraved watch-movement rotor that is visible through a round, sapphire viewing window. Simply press the button (engraved with a Milus logo) to activate the chiming of hours (deep tone), minutes (high tone), and quarter hours (double-strike of high and deep tone). The sound, which is operated by a button-cell battery, is amplified to an ideal level by a built-in, integrated loudspeaker. The device also includes a USB socket on the side, and comes with a 50-cm USV cable, so the owner can synchronize the time by interfacing it with a computer. www.milus.com.
This year, Romain Jerome introduced its Moon Invader watch, which incorporated metal from the Apollo 11 moon-landing vehicle. It extends the lunar theme with this high-end writing instrument, the Moon Fighter fountain pen (price on request). The pen is made of Romain Jerome’s proprietary Moon Silver, an alloy of silver and officially certified moon dust, and also includes authentic traces of Apollo 11 metal. The sleek, curved barrel has 48 tiny rivets, and is topped by a cap with three small blades, giving the pen the look of a fighter aircraft or a rocket ship. Its tip is made of lightweight titanium. The aerodynamic look is enhanced by the pen’s docking station, which stands on fighter-plane-inspired curved wings. The Moon Fighter is a limited edition, with 888 pieces offered in all of its three versions: Black Metal, Vintage, and Heavy Metal. www.romainjerome.com.
Tequilas have joined Scotches and Cognacs as sophisticated sipping spirits. Among the worthy choices are Avión, distilled from blue Weber agave, grown in the highest elevations of Mexico’s Jalisco region and slow roasted in brick ovens to achieve a distinct richness of flavor. The Avión Añejo ($60, www.tequilaavion.com) is aged for two years and delivers a smooth, woody flavor interlaced with pepper, spice and hints of sweetness. Casa Noble is a certified-organic tequila produced on a family-owned distillery that dates to 1776. Its Casa Noble Crystal ($39.99, www.casanoble.com), bottled straight from the still with no additional aging, offers a clean, citrusy taste that leaves a buttery finish along with the sweet aroma of the agave from which it is distilled. Epsolón, a cult-favorite in its native Mexico, celebrates 200 years of Mexican independence with its artistic packaging, inspired by historical events and featuring the iconic rooster that symbolizes the country. Epsolón Reposado ($24.95, www.tequilaepsolon.com), aged six months in American oak barrels, is a bold-full-bodied, amber-colored spirit with pepper and spice overtones.
Sold at high-end jewelers and its own boutiques, Vertu creates luxury mobile phones aimed squarely at watch connoisseurs. This year it introduced its first smart phone, the Vertu Constellation Quest. Each phone is made by one technician and tailored specifically to the user’s needs. The uncluttered home screen displays essentials chosen by the customer (e-mail notifications, calendar, news feeds) plus the brand’s signature analog clock display. The Constellation supports multiple mailboxes and also includes the new vertu.me system, which offers the user a Vertu e-mail account. It features the Vertu Concierge service, a global network providing lifestyle assistance, in the user’s chosen language, 24 hours a day at the push of a button; and Vertu City Brief, a bank of information on 140 cities worldwide, offering advice, tips, and recommendations for world travelers. It’s got 40 GB of memory for plenty of document and image storage and works with multi-band GSM, 3G and HSPA coverage. Watch lovers will appreciate the sapphire crystal used in the high-resolution screen and keys, and the engine-turned pattern on the interior casing. Like a fine luxury watch, the Constellation is available in either surgical stainless steel ($7,900) or 18K yellow gold ($23,900) versions. www.vertu.com.
Underwood of London has been renowned for the high-quality craftsmanship of its Italian leather goods since its founding in Florence in 1926. In the 1990s, the company began making watch winders outfitted with its own “Underwood Modular Winding System.” The system uses patented motors from the Swiss company Maxon Motor AG, one of the world leaders in that type of motor technology, which ensure low noise and high-efficiency power consumption. Underwood’s Rotobox is available in briarwood, maple wood or leather finishes and has rotating modules for a single watch or two, three, six, eight, or 12 watches, depending on the model desired. Various models also include additional jewelry cases or drawers for additional watches. The model pictured, the Rotobox Six Module Unit, is 12 5/8 x 11 1/4 x 6 1/8 and retails for $6,750 ($5,750 in leather). www.underwood-london.com.
There’s nothing like a vintage Scotch whisky to warm the winter nights. Just in time for the holidays, the Glenrothes has released its latest single-vintage edition, the Glenrothes Vintage 1994 ($79.99, www.theglenrothes.com), blended from carefully chosen casks by malt master John Ramsay. It has an attractive golden-amber color, and combines the trademark Glenrothes flavors of vanilla, spice, and ripe fruits with soft, toffee notes and a zesty citrus hint on the finish. As with all the vintage releases of this Speyside malt whisky, it is bottled when it reaches its optimum maturity in the cask, and its well-balanced flavors make it ideal for after dinner. Another well-aged Highland malt, the Dalmore Clan McKenzie ($175, www.thedalmore.com), which is limited to just 200 bottles in the U.S.A., was distilled back in 1992 and rested in American oak barrels for 12 years before maturing an additional six years in port wine butts. The result is a rich, mahogany color and palate-warming flavors of almond, honey, and dried fruits, topped off by a hint of smoke and citrus and a long, plummy finish.
Linley, the British maker of luxury bespoke furniture founded by master cabinet-maker David Linley, son of the late Princess Margaret, has produced a series of cigar humidors sold exclusively by Nat Sherman, the famous midtown Manhattan-based tobacconist. The Linley Stars and Stripes Humidor for Nat Sherman not only displays patriotic pride; it’s also an ideal place to store and age between 50 and 100 of your best cigars. It uses ripple sycamore, satin walnut, santos rosewood and walnut woods to elegantly create the light and dark areas of the American flag motif on the lid. The humidor is available in both flat ($4,200) and wavy ($9,100) versions. For more information on the company: www.davidlinley.com.
Hublot has extended the design philosophy of its Big Bang All-Black watches — sleek, monochromatic black color scheme and the fusion of unorthodox, innovative materials — to its Hublot All Black Skis. The company has collaborated with Zai, a ski manufacturer based in the village of Disentis in the Swiss canton of Grabunden, to produce this limited edition of 111 pairs, priced at $8,900 a pair. The skis combine steel, carbon fiber, rubber and fiberglass with gneiss stone native to Grabunden, and are designed for fluid movement and easy handling. Their upper coating is made from the same soft rubber as the straps on Hublot watches. Each pair is accompanied by bindings, poles and a special ski bag. www.hublot.com.
If your friend’s vast watch collection doesn’t make him feel enough like James Bond, the aptly named X-007 Collector ($151,455) from Austria’s Buben & Zorweg provides the perfect high-tech luxury storage for his treasured timepieces. It incorporates a sophisticated electronic elevating system that, at the push of a button, opens the lid of the high-security safe (which uses the same Paxos security locking system used in bank vaults) and brings the elegant, interior presentation case holding your collection to the top. The interior holds 25 watches on the “TimeMover” modules and also includes two side drawers to present an additional 16 watches and a front drawer for other valuables. The case has Italian leather appointments, state-of-the-art LED lighting, and lockable doors made of shatterproof glass. Finishes available include maccasar and stainless steel exterior, with interior in cognac leather; and deer leather, macassar and stainless steel exterior with diabolo leather interior. www.buben-zorweg.com.