Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 16, and if your busy schedule has left you struggling at this late date to come up with a gift idea for your dad, granddad, brother or son, WatchTime is here to assist. Obviously, we feel that our extensive watch coverage on this website, our print magazine, and our social media offers more than enough info and insight for anyone looking to pull the trigger on a timepiece purchase. But what if you’re looking for something a little different, or something to supplement that timepiece gift? Here we offer a variety of choices from some of our favorite luxury purveyors.
If dad is a watch aficionado like yourself, you may want to consider one of these top-notch winders to keep his automatic timekeepers ticking during extended periods off the wrist. From Italy’s Scatola de Tempo comes the revamped version of its innovative Rotor-One model, designed by brand founder Sandro Colarieti. The single-watch rotator has a rounded frame of leather-coated ABS polymer and is offered in a choice of seven leather covers and eight colorful bezel options (including two-tone “Batman” and “Pepsi” color schemes à la the popular Rolex GMT-Master watches), while inside is 100% Swiss-made micromotor that operates without magnetism and in virtual silence. The motor makes 1,800 rotations per day, 900 in both directions, to optimally charge the timepiece, and boasts three years of battery life from 2 alkaline c-cell batteries. (www.scatoladeltempo.com, $550) If you’d rather go square than round, you could opt for the stylish Startbox from SwissKubik, from the Fribourg-based inventor of the Swiss motor now housed in the Scatola del Tempo. It offers the same programmable functionality as the Rotor-One, in a cube (a variety of colors are, of course, available) that not only keeps the watch running in its downtime but also looks great on a shelf. (www.swisskubik.com, $470)
For the liquor cabinet:
Summer is nearly here, but chillier autumn temps will be coming sooner than you think, so we’ve picked out five brown spirits, spanning the world and a variety of styles, for dad. From the bourbon heartland of Kentucky comes Four Roses Small Batch Select, the distillery’s first new permanent expression in 12 years. Aged six to seven years, non chill-filtered, and bottled at 104 proof, this tantalizing bourbon brings an intense yet balanced array of flavors to the palate, with vanilla, toasty oak, and honey, and finishing with notes of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg; great for mixing, sublime neat or on the rocks. (www.fourrosesbourbon.com, $50-$60) Fans of Scotland’s smokiest whiskies may be intrigued by Ardbeg Drum, the first Islay scotch to be finished in ex-rum casks from the Americas to draw out subtle tropical flavor notes, like ripe banana and pineapple, from the heavy woodsmoke, resin, and sea-salt character of the spirit. (www.ardbeg.com, $109.99) Irish MMA champ Conor McGregor is the driving force behind Proper No. Twelve, a whiskey that’s just about as Irish as it can get: made in the country’s oldest distillery, using limestone-laced waters from the famed Saint Columb’s Rill, by a former Guinness malt master. Proper No. 12 (the name comes from the area McGregor grew up in, Dublin District 12, known for its “proper” values of “hard work, loyalty, and family”) blends single malts with golden grains, triple distills the resulting spirit and ages it in oak barrels for smoothness, producing a top-notch pour displaying notes of green apple, vanilla, honey, and a hint of smoke. (www.properwhiskey.com, $24.95) From even farther afield, Starward Nova, an Australian single-malt whisky that made its U.S. debut this year, offers an easy-drinking, food-friendly character imparted by its aging in specially sourced barrels from Australian wineries that once held Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir. The whisky has won numerous awards since its 2016 debut for its ochre red color, its vanilla, berry, and mild spice notes on the palate and its fresh, fruity finish with just a hint of tartness. (www.starward.com.au, $55) Circling back to Kentucky, we find Dad’s ideal base spirit for Manhattans and Old Fashioneds: Rabbit Hole Rye, from the young, energetic, Louisville-based brand founded in 2012 by clinical psychotherapist and former university professor Kaveh Zamanian. One of four signature spirits produced by the fledgling distillery, along with two bourbons and a rye-barrel-finish London Dry Gin, Rabbit Hole’s Straight Rye Whiskey uses a mashbill of 95% rye and 5% malted barley, alll locally sourced and aged in flame-charred barrels for at least two years for a pleasantly honeyed, spicy flavor with notes of brown sugar and cloves. (www.rabbitholedistillery.com, $56.99)
For the humidor:
Cohiba Connecticut, offered in four sizes in handsome 20-count or 10-count boxes, is the first Cohiba cigar to be wrapped in a lustrous, golden Connecticut shade wrapper. The seeds for the wrapper leaf are grown in rich, volcanic soil under the thick natural cloud cover by the shores of Ecuador’s Vinces River, yielding a leaf with barely perceptible veins that maximizes the flavor qualities of the filler blend within: Dominican Olor and Pilot Cubano, Nicaraguan Jalapa, Brazilian Mata Fina, all complemented by a Mexican San Andrean binder. The multi-nation blend culminates in a slow-burning, exceptionally smooth smoke, medium to full in body, with hints of caramel, roasted nuts, and spice. (www.cohiba.com, $19.99 – $22.99 per cigar) Another legendary name in the cigar world, H. Upmann, turns 175 this year and the brand has enlisted master blender A.J. Fernandez to create a very special limited edition, offered only in a 7 x 50 Churchill size, packaged in either 14,750 10-count boxes or 50 ultra-exclusive special-edition humidors of 50 cigars. For the wrapper of this Nicaraguan puro, Fernandez used a rare “medio tiempo” leaf, which is grown on only 1 out of every 12 tobacco plants, harvested with extreme care and fermented over three years to bring out its best qualities. The H. Upmann 175 Anniversary Limited Edition is the full-flavored expression of Fernandez’s meticulous approach, with a well-balanced, creamy and velvety smoke and dark cocoa and coffee notes left on the palate. (www.altadisusa.com, $18 per cigar, $1,250 per 50-count humidor)
For the wardrobe:
Johnston & Murphy has been making footwear since 1850, when it was founded in Newark, NJ, and has supplied shoes to U.S. presidents from Lincoln to Reagan, from JFK to Obama — every POTUS, in fact, since Millard Fillmore. Dad will feel a presidential pride in his step when he wears J&M’s Cormac Woven Cap Toe lace-up Oxfords, handcrafted in Italy from vegetable-tanned mahogany-colored Italian calfksin and each pair subtly unique due to the individualized staining and burnishing processes. (www.johnstonmurphy.com, $299) If Dad’s a stylish Anglophile, or an actual homesick Brit, suit him up with a stylish shirt-and-tie combo from legendary London shirtmaker Thomas Pink, whose “cut no corners” approach to manufacturing apparel is evident in every shirt, tie, jacket, and cuff link. Pink applies no less than 10 “iconic features” that make each shirt stand out from the pack, including floating interlining in the collars for greater durability, split yokes, cross-stitched shell buttons, and always 18 stitches per square inch. (www.thomaspink.com) We at WatchTime have been so enthused lately about the watches coming from our friends at Porsche Design that we often forget that Ludwigsburg, Germany-based design atelier also makes a well-rounded array of stylish accessories and apparel, including the ruggedly fashionable Garment Dye Field Jacket below, a tribute to classic military jackets of old but enhanced with contemporary details like polished, rubber-finished buttons, magnetized fasteners on the flap pockets and adjustable waist and cuffs. Made from a blend of Italian cotton and linen and distressed for a casual look, it pulls together just about any outfit from outdoorsy to business casual. (www.porschedesign.com, 414 euros)
For the coffee table and bookshelf:
The artistic duo collectively known as Berd Vay’e, has carved out a niche for itself among both connoisseurs of fine art as well as antique horology with their eye-catching sculptural works, which collect vintage watch parts culled from antique clocks, pocketwatches, and wristwatches from around the globe and encase them in Lucite, a virtually shatterproof precious resin. New this year is “Passage Through Time,” featuring up to 2,000 antique gears, barrels, wheels, springs, escapement bridges, pinions and hands virtually floating in a captivating hourglass shape. The smaller version weighs 4.2 lbs and is 10″ high, while the larger piece weighs 13.4 lbs and 15″ high; both are limited to 999 pieces. (www.berdvaye.com, $2,900 – $5,900) For those who would rather have an objet d’art that actually tells the time — and one way more avant garde than a traditional table clock — our friends at MB&F have teamed up with the clockmaking maestros at L’Epée 1839 to create the Medusa, a dual-configuration clock, housed in colored, hand-blown Murano glass, which can be either stood on a table or mounted to hang from the ceiling. The bell-shaped glass body is designed to resemble a jellyfish; inside are two rotating rings displaying the hour and minute, with the numerals lining up under a fixed indicator to show the current time. Three shades of glass are available — green, pink, and blue, reflecting the natural hues of a jellyfish — each of them with a Super-LumiNova coating that makes them glow in the dark. Each of the three options is limited to 50 pieces. (www.mbandf.com, $26,000) Finally, who couldn’t use another set of beautifully bound historical tomes in their home library? The Classics of History set from “custom libraries” curator Juniper Books collects seven important, unabridged, nonfiction works that have had a lasting impact on our world, including Machiavelli’s The Prince, Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, and Solomon Northrup’s 12 Years a Slave, as well as impactful writings by Frederick Douglass, Henry David Thoreau, and the founding fathers of the United States. (www.juniperbooks.com, $150)
For Dad’s business travel kit:
Unless you’ve actually been on the moon yourself for the past six months, you’re probably aware that 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Writing-instrument specialist Montblanc is commemorating the milestone as only it can, with the release of the new Starwalker collection. Available in a fountain, ballpoint, or fineliner style, Starwalker pens are distinguished by their black precious resin bodies representing the dark expanse of outer space; blue translucent domes evoking the view of the earth as seen from the moon; angled clip covers resembling the shape of a rocket; and a cap-screw mechanism with a forepart and cone that cleverly recalls the means in which an astronaut secures his or her helmet to the spacesuit before a spacewalk. (www.montblanc.com, $340 – $800) Muyshondt Electric Torches have become the definitive light-enhancing companion for watch enthusiasts across the United States. While the term might conjure up images of marketing ballyhoo for your standard flashlight, Muyshondt’s creations stretch the terminology to the limit and are built to light the luminescent details on your watch’s dial on fire for as long as possible. Based out of Austin, TX, these functional devices are machine-cut and go through multiple rounds of finishing before finally being hand assembled. Powering each Muyshondt Electric Torch is Lumicron, a proprietary design that incorporates “specialized electronic components, optical design, and coatings that allow [the] Electric Torches to produce beautiful, well-formed beams with a color that mimics sunlight.” Currently, there are three different lineups of Muyshondt creations that all deserve to be checked out in detail. Whether your father is a watch hobbyist or an outdoor enthusiast, Muyshondt deserves a spot in his go-to EDC rotation. (Prices start at $175 for the Maus MK.1 and go up from there. Learn more here. — Logan R. Baker) And what’s the point of traveling, even on a short business jaunt, if you can’t do it in style? Fortunately, and as per usual, Gucci has you covered, with its GG Supreme Briefcase, made of a special low-environmental impact canvas with the distinctive GG pattern in black and gray and featuring a double-zipper closure and an adjustable, detachable blue-and-red-striped web strap. Made in Italy, this thin carry-all has all the meticulously luxurious details one expects from the maison, including palladium-toned hardware, interior pockets for phone, iPad, and other devices, black cotton linen lining. (www.gucci.com, $1,690)
East Coast-based watch enthusiasts are likely aware of the Horological Society of New York’s standing in the local collecting community. For those passionate consumers of watch media that live beyond driving distance to the HSNY’s home base in Midtown Manhattan, it might be worth understanding how a HSNY membership can benefit you even if you’ve never been to — and don’t plan on going to — New York City in your life. For starters, the Horological Society of New York is America’s premier, and first (since 1866), watchmaking guild dedicating to increasing the knowledge of watch lovers everywhere. Meetings occur on the first Monday of each month and the speakers that attend each gathering vary from living horological legends like François-Paul Journe, Roger W. Smith, and Romain Gauthier, to watch industry authorities like Jeff Kingston and William Massena. Each lecture is recorded and available online to member accounts only. In addition to the HSNY’s activities in New York, the group travels across the country — and sometimes across continents — to bring its Traveling Educational seminars to a city near you. A membership to the Horological Society of New York costs $100 a year and it makes the ideal last-minute gift for the horological-leaning father figure with a desire to learn more about horology as a whole. Click here to find out more.
Happy Father’s Day to all, and we’d be remiss if we were not to mention that a WatchTime subscription, and/or a ticket to our blowout collectors’ event, WatchTime New York in October, also make some pretty cool gifts for horophile dads.