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ROLEX BLOG

Luxury Watches for Men – The Ultimate Holiday Gift Buying Guide

December 4, 2020

BY Paul Altieri

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It’s a well-known fact that the evolution of electronics and modern technology is expanding; however, no invention (regardless of the convenience it brings to our lives) will ever eradicate the need for a luxury watch. You can always check the time on your cell phone, but there is something authentic and intrinsically valuable about being gifted a luxury watch for a birthday or at Christmas – something that a cell phone or tablet simply can’t replace.

Luxury watches make the perfect gift whether they’re being given to mark a special milestone achieved in life or to celebrate a wedding or anniversary. Buying a watch as a gift for a loved one is a great investment, and since watches can often tell others a lot about their owners, giving that special person the perfect watch can really show how well you know them. This guide on the best mens luxury watches for gifts covers everything from Omega’s robust diving watches to Rolex’s classic dress watches and everything in between. Let’s get started…

Gift Watches for Men

For the Jet-Setter

Gift Watches for Men

Rolex GMT-Master II 126710BLRO Key Features:

Case Size: 40mm

Materials: Stainless Steel

Features: Time w/ Running Seconds, Date Display, GMT Functionality

Dial: Black w/ Luminous Hour Markers

Bezel: Bidirectional, Red and Blue Ceramic Insert w/ 24-Hour Scale

Crystal: Sapphire w/ Cyclops Lens

Movement: Caliber 3285

Water Resistance: 100 Meters / 330 Feet

Strap/Bracelet: Jubilee Bracelet

Click here for our ultimate buying guide on the Rolex GMT-Master.

Gift Watches for Men

The fact that the Rolex GMT-Master II ref. 126710BLRO “Pepsi” is fitted with a Jubilee bracelet (rather than the former Oyster bracelet) means that Rolex’s popular multi-time zone sports watch for pilots frequent travelers now offers a slightly dressier aesthetic while still remaining a rugged and highly practical tool watch. Despite this major difference, Rolex equips the bracelet with the Oysterlock safety clasp and Easylink comfort extension system which ensures both a secure hold on the wrist and the ability to expand or contract the bracelet by 5mm without the use of any tools.

The GMT-Master II ref. 126710 is also fitted with Rolex’s newest generation of GMT movement – the Caliber 3285, which features Rolex’s Chronergy escapement and offers improved efficiency of approximately 15% compared to the traditional Swiss lever escapement. If that wasn’t enough, the movement makes good use of Rolex’s Paraflex shock absorbers, offering superior impact resistance and enabling the wearer to use the watch with confidence during more extreme outdoor activities like hiking, rock climbing, sailing, and white-water rafting. Additionally, its ability to simultaneously display two time zones (plus an additional third by rotating the bezel) makes the ref Rolex GMT-Master II ref. 126710 the ideal travel companion.

What makes this Rolex GMT-Master II even more desirable is the fact that it represents the first time that the highly-coveted red and blue Cerachrom ceramic bezel was ever available on a stainless steel Rolex GMT watch. More elegant and refined than previous ceramic bezel Rolex GMT models, yet still featuring the same broader crown guards and larger Triplock winding crown, the ceramic Pepsi GMT-Master II is the perfect travel watch for the modern jet-setter.

For the Diver

Gift Watches for Men

Rolex Submariner 124060 Key Features:

Case Size: 41mm

Materials: Stainless Steel

Features: Time w/ Running Seconds

Dial: Black w/ Luminous Hour Markers

Bezel: Unidirectional, Black Ceramic Insert w/ 60-Minute Scale

Crystal: Sapphire (flat)

Movement: Caliber 3230

Water Resistance: 300 Meters / 1,000 Feet

Strap/Bracelet: Oyster Bracelet

Click here for our ultimate buying guide on the Rolex Submariner. 

Gift Watches for Men

The Rolex Submariner 124060 marked a significant update to the brand’s iconic dive watch collection when it launched in September 2020. Aside from offering all the hallmarks of a highly capable diving watch for professionals and amateurs alike, what makes the ref. 124060 even more appealing is the fact that it is the first Rolex Submariner to ever feature a 41mm case size and represents a new generation of Rolex’s iconic dive watch.

The new 41mm size is accompanied by thinner lugs, a black Cerachrom bezel, a black ‘Maxi’ dial, and a brushed Oyster bracelet. More importantly, the 2020 Submariner ref. 124060 is equipped with the new Caliber 3230 movement, which features Rolex’s Chronergy escapement and an improved 70-hour power reserve. The slimmed-down lugs of this no-date version can be seen as Rolex’s response to the critics of the ‘Super Case’ in the previous 6-digit generation of the Submariner. These subtle dimensional changes enable Rolex to return to the classic proportions of the much-loved Submariner while offering a larger overall case size.

The Rolex Submariner ref. 124060 is dressed in classic steel and black tones, boasting a universally appealing design for any die-hard Rolex fan or dive watch collector. Its 300-meter water resistance can be enjoyed alongside Chromalight indices for easy timekeeping in dark conditions, plus its Glidelock clasp enables the Oystersteel bracelet to be expanded in 2mm increments up to a total of 20mm to enable it to fit over the sleeves of thick wetsuits.

For the Dressy Man

Gift Watches for Men

Rolex Datejust 16233 Key Features:

Case Size: 36mm

Materials: Stainless Steel w/ Yellow Gold

Features: Time w/ Running Seconds, Date Display

Dial: Multiple Options Available

Bezel: Fixed, 18k Yellow Gold, Fluted Style

Crystal: Sapphire w/ Cyclops Lens

Movement: Caliber 3135

Water Resistance: 100 Meters / 330 Feet

Strap/Bracelet: Oyster or Jubilee Bracelet

Click here for our ultimate buying guide on the Rolex Datejust. 

Gift Watches for Men

With its fluted bezel harking back to the original model launched in 1945 to celebrate the company’s 40th anniversary, the Rolex Datejust has remained a universally-loved design. Defined by its round Oyster case, Cyclops-magnified date window at 3 o’clock, reliable in-house automatic movement, and its screw-down Twinlock winding crown, the Rolex Datejust boasts a design that is as relevant today as it was when it was first released more than 70 years ago.

Rolex’s profound range of dial, case, and size options leaves plenty of options available, but this 36mm men’s Rolex Datejust ref. 16233 is the perfect case size for a wide range of different wrists. The classic 18k yellow gold and steel option combines a champagne dial, tritium hands, and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, with the core design language that has defined the collection since its initial debut.

The semi-circular design of the watch’s five-link Jubilee bracelet completes the dressy look of this Datejust model, although Oyster bracelets also exist as options for the reference. The watch is equipped with the Caliber 3135, which is a rock-solid movement with decades of proven performance. With its well-deserved reputation for being a classic watch that can keep up with the sports models, the Rolex Datejust 16233 retains its value remarkably well and thus makes an ideal gift for any luxury watch collector.

For the Driver

Gift Watches for Men

Rolex Daytona 116500LN Key Features:

Case Size: 40mm

Materials: Stainless Steel

Features: Time w/ Running Seconds, 12-Hour Chronograph

Dial: White or Black, Luminous Hour Markers

Bezel: Fixed. Black Ceramic w/ Tachymeter Scale

Crystal: Sapphire (flat)

Movement: Caliber 4130

Water Resistance: 100 Meters / 330 Feet

Strap/Bracelet: Oyster Bracelet

Click here for our ultimate buying guide on the Rolex Daytona. 

Gift Watches for Men

The stainless steel Rolex Daytona with ceramic bezel was a long-awaited model for many watch enthusiasts. However, the Rolex Daytona ref. 116500LN also has other appealing features that subsequently led to one of the longest waiting lists in Rolex’s history as a company. While not a massive redesign compared to the previous model, the engraved tachymeter bezel in black ceramic makes for a significant aesthetic difference. Perfect for car enthusiasts and watch collectors alike, the Rolex Daytona 116500 is ideal for both days spent at a desk and days spent at the racetrack.

The heritage of the Rolex Daytona is inextricably linked to the Daytona Speedway in Florida, and it is this historic racing capital that lends its name to the watch. First announced in 2016 and sold-out at retailers around the world ever since, the ref. 116500LN is virtually impossible to purchase at a retail lever without spending a significant amount of time on a lengthy waiting list. With that in mind, due to a shortage in supply, used examples of this stainless steel Rolex sports watch trade hands at approximately twice their retail prices on the secondary market.

The watch features a 904L stainless steel case, an Oyster bracelet with Oysterlock safety clasp, and it is powered by the Caliber 4130. When the movement came to the market in 2000, it was Rolex’s first fully in-house built chronograph caliber. Equipped with a column wheel and a vertical clutch, the Cal. 4130 offers exceptional reliability and performance, and it is widely considered to be one of the best mechanical chronograph movements ever created. As a gift idea for the diver that has his sights on the finish line, you can’t go wrong with the Rolex Daytona ref. 116500LN.

Gift Watches for Men

For the Classic Man

Gift Watches for Men

Rolex Oyster Perpetual 124300 Key Features:

Case Size: 41mm

Materials: Stainless Steel

Features: Time w/ Running Seconds

Dial: Multiple Options Available

Bezel: Fixed, Stainless Steel, Smooth Style

Crystal: Sapphire (flat)

Movement: Caliber 3230

Water Resistance: 100 Meters / 330 Feet

Strap/Bracelet: Oyster Bracelet

Click here to learn more about the latest Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches.

Gift Watches for Men

The Oyster Perpetual is Rolex’s most affordable collection; however, it is also one of the brand’s most versatile lines of wristwatches. Similar to the Datejust in its overall aesthetic, the stripped-down design of the Rolex Oyster Perpetual foregoes the date window and Cyclops magnification lens and instead gains a perfectly symmetrical dial. Simple and classic, its widely appealing design is perfect for those in need of a no-nonsense everyday watch for all eventualities.

The long history of the collection has resulted in a number of different cases sizes (the Oyster Perpetual 41 ref. 124300 being the largest), and although the collection was previously offered in a range of different metals, Rolex now currently only offers it exclusively in 904L stainless steel (which Rolex calls Oystersteel).

In addition to its larger size, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 41 ref. 124300 is also powered by the brand-new Caliber 3230 movement, offering self-winding technology and a blue Parachrom hairspring for accuracy of up to -2/+2 seconds per day. Chromalight baton indexes make it easy to reference the time in the dark, and like all modern Rolex Oyster Perpetual models, the watch is fitted on the brand’s timeless Oyster bracelet and durable fold-over Oysterclasp.

For the Executive

Gift Watches for Men

Rolex Day-Date President 228238 Key Features:

Case Size: 40mm

Materials: 18k Yellow Gold

Features: Time w/ Running Seconds, Date Display, Day Display

Dial: Multiple Options Available

Bezel: Fixed, 18k Yellow Gold, Fluted Style

Crystal: Sapphire w/ Cyclops Lens

Movement: Caliber 3255

Water Resistance: 100 Meters / 330 Feet

Strap/Bracelet: President Bracelet

Click here for our ultimate buying guide on the Rolex Day-Date.

Gift Watches for Men

If the person you’re shopping for this year likes to keep things simple and elegant, then the Rolex Day-Date President ref. 228238 is the perfect watch, as it epitomizes refined luxury with its solid 18k yellow gold case. A Twinlock winding crown and the brand’s iconic fluted bezel help to uphold the watch’s 100 meters of water resistance, while the dial and hands are protected by a flat scratch-resistant sapphire crystal.

The ceramic inserts inside the links of the latest-generation Rolex President bracelet help prevent it from stretching out over time, plus being further integrated into the case, it creates a sharper and more sophisticated look compared to previous generations. However, the biggest appeal of the Rolex Day-Date President ref. 228238 is its new-generation movement. The Caliber 3255 offers a power reserve of 70 hours and represents the latest and most advanced rendition of Rolex’s dual calendar movement. The combination of the watch’s classic lines and solid 18k yellow gold case and President bracelet make for the perfect ultra-luxurious gift.

For the Icon collector

Gift Watches for Men

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Key Features:

Case Size: 42mm

Materials: Stainless Steel

Features: Time w/ Running Seconds, 12-Hour Chronograph

Dial: Black w/ Luminous Hour Markers

Bezel: Fixed, Aluminum Insert w/ Tachymeter Scale

Crystal: Hesalite (domed)

Movement: Caliber 1861 (manual-wind)

Water Resistance: 50 Meters / 167 Feet

Strap/Bracelet: Stainless Steel Bracelet; Leather Strap; NATO Strap; Velcro Strap

Click here for our ultimate buying guide on the Omega Speedmaster.

Gift Watches for Men

Easily among the most famous Omega watches ever created, the Speedmaster holds the title of being the first watch worn on the moon. The Omega Speedmaster collection itself is hugely diverse but despite its range, the core design of its classic manually-wound model has remained largely unaltered and Omega still produces a version of the classic moonwatch that is near-identical to the models that first landed on the moon more than fifty years ago.

The Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch ref. 311.30.42.30.01.005 is the most faithful recreation of the ones that went to the moon, complete with Hesalite crystal, and it even retains its NASA-certification. Inside its 42mm case is the Caliber 1861 movement, which replaced the previous Caliber 861 in 1996, getting rid of its copper-plated components and exchanging them for rhodium-plated parts.

This Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch is about as close as you can get to a vintage timepiece while still wearing a modern watch. Its twisted lugs, Hesalite crystal, manually-wound movement, black dial, and white hands combine to create an overall appearance that is decidedly rooted in the Speedmaster’s roots; however, this is a modern timepiece and lacks the years of wear and year that can often accompany vintage references. The classic Omega Speedmaster ticks all the right boxes and it is guaranteed to appeal to any space enthusiast or luxury watch collector.

Gift Watches for Men

For the James Bond Fan

Gift Watches for Men

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Key Features:

Case Size: 42mm

Materials: Stainless Steel

Features: Time w/ Running Seconds, Date Display

Dial: Ceramic w/ Wave Pattern, Black; White; Blue; Silver

Bezel: Unidirectional, Black or Blue Ceramic Insert w/ 60-Minute Scale

Crystal: Sapphire (domed)

Movement: Caliber 8800

Water Resistance: 300 Meters / 1,000 Feet

Strap/Bracelet: Stainless Steel Bracelet or Rubber Strap

Click here for our ultimate buying guide on the Omega Seamaster.

Gift Watches for Men

The Omega Seamaster Diver 300M was first launched in 1993 and came in GMT, chronograph, and time-and-date variants. It was also the first Omega diver to feature a helium escape valve (with the exception of the GMT model) appearing as a manually operated crown at the 10 o’clock location. Styled on the wrist of Agent 007 during the Brosnan-era James Bond films, the watch was instantly transformed into a must-have cultural accessory.

Arguably more than any other model in the Seamaster collection, it is the Seamaster Diver 300M that is most emblematic of the company’s dive watches, and while it has constantly evolved over the years, its core design has endured, and it truly represents one of the cornerstone offerings of Omega’s modern catalog. The ref. 210.30.42.20.03.001 keeps its scalloped bezel, skeletonized handset, and its unique bracelet, plus it is powered by the in-house Caliber 8800 movement, which boasts METAS-certification and features a free-sprung balance with a silicon hairspring, granting it a magnetic resistance of up to 15,000 gauss along with a55-hour power reserve.

Make no mistake, the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M ref. 210.30.42.20.03.001 is a highly competent professional dive watch, despite its elegant styling and decorated in-house movement. A ceramic bezel insert and domed sapphire crystal provide a durable and highly scratch-resistant exterior. Inside, skeletonized hands and bright luminous plots on the dial assist with timekeeping at night or in low-light conditions, while a blue ceramic engraved wave dial provides plenty of depth and visual intrigue when viewing it under natural daylight. Whether or not the watch will ever venture underwater depths of 300 meters, the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M is a versatile luxury timepiece that looks as good with a wetsuit as it does a three-piece suit.

For the Ocean Explorer

Gift Watches for Men

Omega Planet Ocean GMT Key Features:

Case Size: 43.5mm

Materials: Stainless Steel

Features: Time w/ Running Seconds, Date Display, GMT Functionality

Dial: Blue w/ Luminous Hour Markers

Bezel: Bidirectional, Blue Ceramic Insert w/ 24-Hour Scale

Crystal: Sapphire (domed)

Movement: Caliber 8605

Water Resistance: 600 Meters / 2,000 Feet

Strap/Bracelet: Rubber Strap w/ Deployant Buckle

Click here to learn more about the Omega Planet Ocean.

Gift Watches for Men

Favored for both its functionality and its design, the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT 600M ref. 232.32.44.22.03.001 is the ultimate gift for any professional diver or ocean explorer. Defined as the ultra-modern diver’s watch, as its namesake suggests, the Planet Ocean 600M watch boasts a massive water-resistance of 600 meters (2,000 feet).

Super-LumiNova coated hands and hour markers under a domed sapphire crystal make this watch remarkably easy to reference the time while in the dark depths of the ocean. Meanwhile, its bidirectional rotating bezel with orange GMT scale pairs with a matching orange GMT hand on the dial to enable the simultaneous tracking of up to three separate time zones. It also features a manually-operated helium escape valve, a deep blue dial, and a date display at 3 o’clock. The Omega Planet Ocean GMT ref. 232.32.44.22.03.001 is powered by the in-house Caliber 8605, which features a Co-Axial escapement and independently adjustable hour hands that enable the user to jump the local hour hand backward or forwards in one-hour increments.

The reference 232.32.44.22.03.001 Planet Ocean GMT is an edition stemming from Omega’s partnership with the GoodPlanet Foundation, which combines traditional watchmaking with a strong commitment to environmental conservation. Fitted with a matching blue rubber strap, this unique take on a professional diver’s watch makes it a must-have timepiece for both the ocean explorer and frequent traveler with a love for being on the water.

For the Pilot

Gift Watches for Men

Oris Big Crown ProPilot GMT Key Features:

Case Size: 45mm

Materials: Stainless Steel

Features: Time w/ Running Seconds, Date Display, GMT Functionality

Dial: Black w/ Luminous Hour Markers

Bezel: Fixed, Stainless Steel w/ Gear-Turned Pattern

Crystal: Sapphire (domed)

Movement: Caliber 748 (base SW 220-1)

Water Resistance: 100 Meters / 330 Feet

Strap/Bracelet: Textile Strap or Leather Strap

Click here to learn more about the Oris Big Crown ProPilot.

Gift Watches for Men

If one Swiss luxury watch brand stands out for delivering top value for the money it’s Oris. The watchmaker’s collection of Big Crown ProPilot watches is extensive with over 100 different variations. However, one common theme running throughout the core of the collection is that each model promises legibility and precision – two key features of any serious pilot’s watch.

If you’re in search of an aviation-themed watch to give to a loved one this year, the Oris Big Crown ProPilot GMT ref. 01 748 7710 4164-07 5 22 14FC is a perfect choice. Combining bright white lume-filled detailing against a black dial, Arabic numeral hour markers styled in the popular 1930’s font, cross-hatching detail to the bezel, and a touch of color to the tip of the GMT hand, the Big Crown ProPilot offers all the hallmark features of a dual-time pilot’s watch at a highly attractive price point.

The 24-hour GMT hand on the dial of this Oris Big Crown ProPilot GMT works together with a 24-hour scale around the dial’s perimeter to grant intuitive and simultaneous reading of an additional time zone. Incredibly useful for the pilot or frequent traveler, but also highly convenient for monitoring a secondary time zone while being worn as a daily timekeeping companion.

Gift Watches for Men

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    Bob's Watches is an independent watch dealer and is not sponsored by, associated with and/or affiliated with Rolex, or any other brand listed. Bob's Watches only sells pre-owned watches and provides its own warranties on the watches it sells. Rolex Datejust, Rolex Day Date President, Submariner, Presidential, Explorer, Sea Dweller, Super President, GMT Master, GMT, YachtMaster, Prince, Milgauss, MasterPiece, Air King, Cosmograph Daytona, and PearlMaster, etc are all registered trademarks of the Rolex Corporation. All brands including Brequet, Cartier, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, Ulysse Nardin, Breitling and Omega, etc are trademarks of their respective owners.