In the watch world, this year's biggest item -- the Apple Watch -- may be getting all the buzz, but that doesn't mean traditional timepieces are no longer relevant or in demand. It's quite the contrary, says Richard Low, vice president of special markets for Citizen Watch Company of America.
"[The Apple Watch] is not a timepiece. It's a gadget, and a lot of people don't want to wear a gadget. A whole generation that uses iPhones is buying watches; they want the fashion and convenience of being able to look at the time. They're wearing jewelry instead of wearing a computer. The Apple Watch is cool, but it's a passing fancy. It has a limited appeal," he says.
When it comes to today's most in-demand styles, Low says women's watches are adding more luxury touches, while men's watches are blending classic design with time-tested technology. Here's a closer look at the season's most appealing -- and timeless -- watches.
Military-inspired designs are infiltrating the fashion mainstream with their clean, classic lines. Bulova reached into its archives to recreate the watches it supplied to the U.S. military during World War II. The 96B229 for men features stainless steel, easy-to-read dials, a red-tipped continuously sweeping second hand, and Bulova's manufactured Ultra High Frequency movement. $300, firstname.lastname@example.org
Victorinox Swiss Army is celebrating its 130th anniversary with the development of a brand-new, exceptionally strong watchstrap, I.N.O.X. (241683.1), which can withstand the elements. The new collection features designs that pay homage to the brand's military history with stainless steel cases, Swizz quartz movement, and water resistance up to 656 feet. $525, email@example.com
Jewels and jewelry are a major women's watch trend, says Doug Smith, vice president of corporate markets for The Fossil Group. "Stacking a timepiece with a few complementary bracelets can transform a standard watch into a statement," Smith notes. He says the group's Fossil, Michael Kors, and Diesel brands "have seen great success" with this trend. For example, the Michael Kors Parker Gold-Tone Tortoise Acetate Watch (MK5688) can be accessorized with various bracelets that retail from $115 to $145 each. $295, www.cmdportfolio.com
Citizen's L Sunrise (EMO320-59D) artfully places diamonds against a white/blue mother-of-pearl dial so that they appear to float across the stainless-steel case. $795, firstname.lastname@example.org
Similarly, for a design that echoes Gucci's signature "G," the YA 133509 glitters with a total of 40 diamonds and a gray mother-of-pearl dial. $2,550, www.tourneaucorporatesales.com
Seiko's Solar Tressia in
gold is accented with diamonds
For recipients who prefer gold tones, consider Seiko's Solar Tressia (SUT182), which features a mother-of-pearl face and a diamond-accented bevel. $475, www.seikowatches.com/corporategift
Photography: Seiko; Citizen Watch Company of America; Bulova Corporation; Michael Kors/The Fossil Group