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Luxury Watches Holiday Wish List

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Paul Altieri

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! A time for celebrations, gathering with friends and family, and exchanging gifts. It’ll come as no surprise that we’re big fans of giving and receiving luxury watches, especially during the holiday season. Few gifts are as meaningful, personal, and enduring as a high-end watch. So with that in mind, we’ve asked some of the folks here at Bob’s Watches – watch experts who deal with dozens of fine timepieces on a daily basis – which watches they’d be happiest to receive as presents. Founder and CEO Paul Altieri

Welcome to this year’s edition of our Luxury Watches Holiday Wish List where Founder and CEO Paul Altieri, Co-Owner and COO Carol Altieri, and Director of Vintage Brandon Frazin reveal their top picks. 

Paul’s Top Three Picks 

Luxury Watches Holiday Wish List Pauls Top Three Picks

Double Red Sea-Dweller 1665

Luxury Watches Holiday Wish List Double Red Sea-Dweller 1665

Of all the Sea-Dweller saturation dive watches that Rolex has made over the last five decades, the Double Red reference 1665 is, in my opinion, the best of the bunch. Not only was the DRSD the very first Sea-Dweller model, debuting in 1967, but as its nickname suggests, it has two lines of vibrant red text on the dial that pops against the matte black background. 

Rolex made the Double Red Sea-Dweller 1665 for a decade then switched to white text for subsequent models, which I’m sure you’ll agree isn’t quite as eye-catching as a double red version. A fantastic vintage Rolex sports watch reference, I certainly had to include the highly-collectible Double Red Sea-Dweller 1665 on my wish list this year. 

Rolex Oyster Perpetual 124300

Luxury Watches Holiday Wish List Rolex Oyster Perpetual 124300

Switching gears for a moment to something modern, I think the Oyster Perpetual 41 ref. 124300 with the green dial is a superb Rolex for several reasons. First, the Oyster Perpetual is the purest expression of what a Rolex is – a waterproof automatic watch. Perfecting water-resistant Oyster cases and self-winding Perpetual movements has been the foundation of Rolex since 1931. 

Second, thanks to its steel construction and easy-to-read dial, the Oyster Perpetual is an ideal everyday watch. While there are several sizes to choose from, the 41mm version is perfectly suited for my wrist. Plus, I love that rich green dial, which is a color closely associated with Rolex and adds something extra special to this otherwise understated piece. I’d be more than happy to receive a green Rolex OP this holiday season. 

Rolex Daytona 16520

Luxury Watches Holiday Wish List Rolex Daytona 16520

I have a soft spot for Daytona chronographs, especially stainless steel ones. The Daytona 16520 is a particular favorite of mine since this is the reference that laid the groundwork for the immense popularity that the Daytona enjoys today. It was the first to feature a larger 40mm case, an updated dial design, and most importantly, an automatic movement. 

That movement was a self-winding Zenith El-Primero-based one, which is why the Rolex Daytona 16520 is nicknamed the “Zenith Daytona.” The white “Panda” dial variant of the Daytona 16520 is a stunner and this classic chronograph takes the remaining spot on my wish list. 

Carol’s Top Three Picks 

Luxury Watches Holiday Wish List Carols Top Three Picks

Gold Rolex Date 1500

Luxury Watches Holiday Wish List Gold Rolex Date 1500

The Rolex Date is the smaller and somewhat lesser-known sibling to the iconic Datejust, featuring a 34mm case instead of a 36mm one. I find this size to be just right for my wrist. Measurements aside, this full 14k yellow gold Rolex Date ref. 1500 is simply gorgeous. 

I especially love the textured champagne dial, which reminds me of luxurious linen. And that full gold bracelet is a dream to wear. With its beautiful mix of precious metal, an intriguing dial, and perfect proportions, the Date 1500 in yellow gold is going right at the top of my holiday wish list 

Air-King 5500

Luxury Watches Holiday Wish List Air-King 5500

Another super cool (but much more causal) 34mm Rolex that’s on my wish list is the Air-King 5500. It’s understated and effortlessly cool. I like that the time-only silver dial matches the steel case and bracelet for that sleek monochromatic look that’ll never go out of style. 

This classic and versatile Rolex Air-King is one that I’d wear often, whether I’m wearing something laid back or a little more put-together. And since it’s made entirely of stainless steel, I don’t have to be too precious about it even if it is a luxury watch by Rolex. 

Lady Datejust 278278

Luxury Watches Holiday Wish List Lady Datejust 278278

There’s so much to love about this fabulous Lady-Datejust ref. 278278. The petite proportions of the 28mm case would work well with a dressy outfit for a night out. 18k yellow gold is always a glamorous choice for a Rolex watch, especially when paired with this beautiful sunburst green dial. There are also the ten diamond hour markers on the dial for that added sparkle and of course, the date window at 3 o’clock that gives this particular Rolex model its name. 

The combination of gold, green, and diamonds is irresistible. Part jewelry piece, part timepiece, this Rolex Lady-Datejust is most definitely on my wish list this year. 

Brandon’s Top Three Picks

Luxury Watches Holiday Wish List Brandons Top Three Picks

Vintage Rolex GMT-Master 16750

Luxury Watches Holiday Wish List Vintage Rolex GMT-Master 16750

When it comes to instantly recognizable Rolex sports watches, it doesn’t get much better than a GMT-Master with the iconic blue and red “Pepsi” bezel that serves to display a second time zone. The GMT-Master 16750 was made in the 1980s and it offers an appealing mix of old and new. Cherished vintage attributes such as the classic case silhouette, matte dials, and acrylic crystals are present on the 16750 while also offering the convenience of the quickset date function. 

This particular GMT-Master 16750 from 1988 has that great vintage look, from the patina on the dial to the nicely faded bezel. It would make a great addition to any vintage Rolex watch collection and certainly makes the cut for my holiday gift wish list. 

Vintage Rolex Submariner 1680

Luxury Watches Holiday Wish List Vintage Rolex Submariner 1680

The 1680 was the first Submariner to feature a date window on the dial, which makes it an especially important vintage model in Rolex’s history. While most of the attention goes to the earlier “Red Submariner” 1680 examples, I appreciate the classic style of the variants with all-white text on matte black dials too. 

This is a great example of a “White Submariner” 1680 from 1978, complete with a “ghost” bezel that has morphed from its original black color to a lovely grey hue that can sometimes look blueish or lavender depending on how the light hits it. Adding this vintage beauty to my wish list is a no-brainer. 

Vintage Rolex Explorer 1016

Luxury Watches Holiday Wish List Vintage Rolex Explorer 1016

One of the longest-running references in Rolex’s archives, the Explorer 1016 was in production from the early-1960s until the late-1980s. As you can imagine, Rolex made several updates to the ref. 1016 during its lengthy run; I’m partial to the earlier versions with glossy dials and gilt text like this example from 1966. 

From its compact 36mm steel case to its characteristic stark black dial with Arabic numerals at 3, 6, and 9, the Explorer is simultaneously Rolex’s most understated sports model and its most charming. The vintage Explorer ref. 1016 is a collector’s favorite, myself included, which is why it’s always on my wish list. 

There you have it, all the Rolex watches Paul, Carol, and Brandon from Bob’s Watches have on their wish list. How about you? Which watches would you add to your holiday gift wish list? Share your picks with us in the comments below!

Paul Altieri

Paul is the company's Founder and CEO. He is responsible for all the day to day activities from purchasing, receiving, marketing and sales. Paul is a graduate of Boston College 1979 and resides in California with his family.

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