By Nirja Dutt
While time and again we are often phased by the question of what to give our significant other for numerous occasions and silently, we start making a list of things they love. What one easily forgets is that the partner themselves is perhaps the most valuable of them all and time from them is immeasurable, it’s literally dedicating the one thing you can’t humanly take back. It’s so cherished that people fight for it on a daily basis, companies find ways to buy it, and yet, it’s interestingly the most easily wasted commodity.
The concept of time was established in the early B.C. where a clear denomination of the hours in a day, minutes and seconds was devised and soon after came clocks and watches to keep track. What was once functional didn’t take much time to transcend into a precious ornament, given the sheer amount of time it took to make them and keep them ticking. Do you sense the pattern here? It’s time that defines value.
Over the centuries when commissions came into the picture, it wasn’t uncommon to find the most coveted watches and jewellery were in fact crafted for someone special. While some were done to express affection in the grandest fashion, others were and till this day are kept in secret. Who can forget the Taylor-Burton diamond which was a whopping 68 carats, that was bought by then husband of the legendary Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton from Cartier at $1 million after he couldn’t buy it at auction just the previous day. This was all in 1969, today the diamond is valued north of $6.6 million. Or the iconic Rolex Daytona Cosmograph that was gifted to Paul Newman by his wife Joanne Woodward in 1968 inscribed ‘Drive Carefully Me’. Interestingly it wasn’t even a popular watch by the house in that decade, it was only in 2017 when it outperformed a record breaking sale $11.1 million which was previously held by Patek Phillippe and it became a sensation.
So as giving time is a given, gifting an instrument is a whole different story, it requires careful consideration of what the wearer likes, and hey! we aren’t here to judge, there is a time and piece for everyone. And as we step into a whole new world in 2021, let’s keep the pace up shall we? Let’s not forget how the LGBTQ community expresses love as much as their straight counterparts. For instance, celebrity couple Ellen DeGeneres and her wife Portia de Rossi actually flew down to Amsterdam to meet with a vintage watch dealer and walked out with two Rolex Daytonas, a Rolex Pepsi GMT and a Patek Philippe Nautilus from the 70s. Another couple who give ‘watch twinning’ a whole new meaning are actor Neil Patrick Harris and his husband David Burtka who are often spotted donning the Cartier Calibre and the Cartier Tank MC together, now that’s a fabulous showcase of his & his.
So when it comes to gifting watches to the one you love, really look inwards, then look at your relationship, and explore your personalities apart and together and make a choice. For the vibrant and vivacious individual, maybe hop onto the rainbow trend, there is nothing better than a prism of possibilities that says love. One piece that stands out from the current lot is the Big Bang Unico Full Baguette King Gold Rainbow by Hublot. The watch presents an array of perfectly set vibgyor gems that include sapphires, rubies, amethysts, topazes and tsavorites. Housed in a bold 45mm case is their chronograph movement and skeleton dial finished off with a rainbow alligator strap.
If your partner is a die hard romantic, look no further than the Reine de Naples Cœur 9825 by Breguet. A brand that is rarely known to be quirky, and always classic, Breguet’s Valentines day release this year by reimagining the Reine de Naples with a heart instead of a seconds hand that moves seamlessly through the oblong shape, reshaping itself to match every corner of the hour markers just right.
And lastly, if classic is your significant other’s style then look into the vintage re-inventive pieces that have hit the horology world by storm. We are currently crushing over the Chronomaster Sport by Zenith that brings in their decades of expertise in being chronograph stalwarts with the eclectic spirit of the El Primero calibre. While this watch isn’t for the faint hearted given its legacy and an unparalleled view of the 1/10 of a second in a single glance, we know for a fact you wouldn’t bare your soul to the invertebrate.
All in all, falling in love is all-consuming, it requires hours and hours of commitment and compassion, so make sure you mark them with moments and gifts that make the present; quite literally last forever.