A watch is forever, not just for Fathers’ Day. These classy, classic watches are heirlooms, investments, accessories and tokens of deep affection…
Whether hauling the family to the airport six hours ahead of the holiday flight, or making sure they don’t miss their tee time, dads are the undisputed kings of timekeeping. As Father’s Day rolls around and possible gifts-for-pop are bandied about the sibling group chat, it becomes obvious that dads really don’t care for the sentiment of silly tokens. Nor do dads wish for fuss, or to be the centre of attention, generally – they seek permanence, coolness, usefulness. Which is why a classic watch, perennially functional and stylish, is the perfect Father’s Day present. While a special watch is a considerable, needs-to-be considered, purchase for most of us – if you start saving now, by next Father’s Day, you might be able to afford the daddy of all presents.
Lucinda Andrews of Weir and Sons is still pinching herself after the recent Patek Philippe exhibition and customer event which Weirs hosted in Dublin was attended by a certain Mr Mark Wahlberg, a huge fan of Patek (and a longstanding Weirs customer). Patek watches are famously beautiful and expensive, with limited numbers produced every year making them ever more coveted. While Wahlberg showed up, he did so entirely under his own steam – Patek does not have any brand ambassadors, that is apart from those that appoint themselves, via true devotion to the brand. You’ll find a certain selection at Weirs (get in line behind Mark) among other gorgeous marques. www.weirs.ie.
The Patek Philippe Calatrava
Patek Philippe’s advertising tagline “You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation” says it all – Patek Philippe is about heirlooms – and is incidentally a family-owned business. Artistry and craftsmanship is at the heart of everything Patek does. Shop the Calatrava at Weir and Sons.
The Omega Seamaster
A sporty, sexy watch brand with precision timing and classic – can we say masculine? – design. If Omega is good enough for James Bond… Find the Seamaster at Weir and Sons.
The Cartier Santos-Dumont
In 1904, Louis Cartier made a watch for his friend Alberto Santos-Dumont, a Brazilian aviator who needed a timekeeper he could check without taking his hands off the controls of his early aircraft (he flew airships before getting into airplanes). Cartier obliged, making his pal a gold wristwatch with exposed screws and a square profile. Still wildly popular, still divine. Seek out the Santos-Dumont at Weir and Sons.
The Tudor Black Bay
Tudor watches are highly coveted among watch enthusiasts for their character and robust quality. Tudor was established by Hans Wilsdorf, founder of Rolex, who knew a thing or two about watches. An orphan at the age of twelve, with nothing other than his determination to help him overcome challenges, Wilsdorf invented the world’s first waterproof self-winding wristwatch, and the rest is history. Tudor design is very different to Rolex but you can expect the same quality and precision. Discover the Black Bay at Weir and Sons.
The Oris Diver
Oris has huge cult following and even its own fan club. As well as loving their bold designs, we applaud their efforts in sustainability – the company is now climate-neutral. A good choice for the environmentally conscious dad. Take the plunge with the Oris Diver at Weir and Sons.
Keanes Jewellers have three stores in Munster – in Cork, Limerick and Killarney. An amazing 72 years in business, the company is renowned for luxury timepieces and superb customer service. Keanes is also an Official Rolex Retailer and an agent for Patek Philippe. Here are some of their favourites and you can see more at www.keanes.ie.
Tudor Black Bay Fifty Eight Perhaps one for the Patient Dad, owning a Tudor is a hard-won experience, since worldwide demand is high, the range is in very limited supply. The Black Bay is the most sought-after model at the moment. Find the Fifty Eight at Keanes.
Rolex Datejust 41mm Steel
Rolex have always been the world’s most recognisable high-end luxury watch brand. The watches, in particular the Datejust 41 are a smart investment, says the team at Keane’s, as they have consistently held value throughout the decades. Shop the Datejust at Keanes.
Patek Philippe Complications
Owning a Patek has always represented making a significant investment. The watches, including the World Time, are an extremely limited production pieces and there are a very limited network of retailers who are privileged to sell the brand. Unsurprisingly, the brand holds records at the most renowned auction houses. Shop the Complications at Keanes.
Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon Apollo 8 Chronograph
The Speedmaster is arguably Omega’s most legendary timepiece. The Speedmaster is a classic that will always be in high demand, making it an ideal investment opportunity. Catch the Speedmaster at Keanes.
And now… for something a little different. The unusual watch.
Evo Staudt watches are sold in Holland, Germany, Norway, and at ESL Jewellery in Dublin. Keith Hennessy, manager and goldsmith at ESL Jewellers, happens to be a watch nut, and while ESL in the main creates and sells jewellery, they do have one very special watch brand, thanks to Keith.
“It’s not a cliche to say men really do like cars and watches. And they value unusual or limited edition pieces, or ones with an interesting story attached to it. Evo Staudt has both.”
Evo Staudt was just 21 when he made his first watch, Keith tells us. A classical accordion player, he was studying under a particular professor of music in Italy and as a hobby, started building his own watch, with parts ordered on Ebay (though a dial in the particular colour blue was evading him). When he wore the completed watch to a watch show, it was noticed by another aficionado and he explained how he’d made it himself but was looking for a particular blue dial. The man, determined to have an Evo Staudt watch for himself, offered to introduce him to a company who could produce the dial (the company also made dials for Rolls Royce and Ferrari.) He would also fund Evo’s first collection, as long as he could have a watch. That was 2014. A small collection of 45 watches was made and Evo was on his way. (We forgot to ask what happened to the accordion career.)
Pictured above: Praeludium Guilloche Watch, Evo Staudt. Pictured below: Praeludium Chronograph Black Black Edition Watch, Evo Staudt.
Evo was a little later introduced to Jochen Benzinger, hand-engraver (who also has his own brand, Benzinger Boutique), a master of the technique of guilloché where an intricate repeat pattern is engraved on a metal surface. With striking silver guilloché dials, Evo’s watches became even more coveted and he began to be noticed by true watch nuts – like Keith. But he still makes only 500 pieces a year, five models in steel or gold and rose gold, chronography, both hand-wound and automatic, starting at about €2K. Truly niche and truly special to have these available in Dublin (there is a gorgeous ladies collection called Ton Sur Ton too). Visit ESL and Keith might tell you the story better than we have. He will certainly show you his racing green chronograph with the green alligator strap Evo made specially for him. www.esljewellery.ie.
Pictured below: Praeludium Hand Wound Watch, Evo Staudt.
What about buying a pre-owned watch at an auction? We asked Claire-Laurence Mestrallet, Head of Jewellery at Adams on St Stephen’s Green in Dublin, to nominate her favourites. “My three favourite watch brands for men are Lange & Sohne, Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe, but funnily enough my favourite models are not by these brands … I adore the Crash watch by Cartier. It’s a very rare model and I would definitely consider this a great investment piece as they have fetched higher and higher prices over the years. Another model I love is the new Bulgari Octo Finissimo with pencil sketch dials. I think the fact they’ve kept the dial as per the original sketch of Fabrizio Bonamass Stigliani – chief designer at Bulgari’s watch division – is genius.” Keep an eye out for the next watches and fine jewellery sale in September – www.adams.ie.
Claire-Laurence’s adored Crash watch by Cartier is a celebrity favourite, famously sported by music producer, rapper and designer Kanye West. Pictured below: A Crash from the 400-piece 1991 limited edition that had ‘Paris’ on the dial instead of ‘London’ and only came in yellow gold (image: Sotheby’s).