Valentine’s Day is a tricky one, because there can sometimes be tremendous pressure to pick the love of your life the perfect gift. You know, the one that says I understand you and will love you regardless until the end of days. But if you aren’t sure you can measure up against that specific level of Romeo and Juliet, then you must at least be romantic with your gift, especially when you’re buying your significant other a watch.
The Hearts-and-Flowers thing: Some women genuinely love this (all year round). If that’s your woman, go for it! Perhaps the Frédérique Constant Double Heart Automatique.
Or if you have the wherewithal to go totally nuts, Blancpain’s limited-edition 2020 jewellery watch (watchgeek bonus points for Calibre 510, a rectangular mechanical movement).
Beware: unless you are really, really sure that this is her definition of romance, don’t go there.
The jewellery thing: Diamonds are Forever (and so is your love). This is an occasion where diamonds on a woman’s timepiece may be totally justified.
Beware: if she’s an outdoorsy action-girl, she probably won’t see the point.
The colour of love: Red. So long as you steer clear of anything remotely kitsch, it can be drop-dead glamorous. Seiko’s red-dial version of the SRP853 34mm Cocktail Time is a stunner.
Or if she prefers the set-it-and-forget-it ease of quartz (although you almost certainly don’t), Bulgari’s Serpenti with a double-wrap leather strap could be a winner.
Beware: it’s not the most versatile colour, and if she doesn’t normally wear red, she’s unlikely to start now.
It’s complicated: A mechanical complication is a more subtle way to express sentiment. (And very satisfying for your own inner watch geek – even though you are choosing what she likes, not what you like. Aren’t you.)
– Moon phase: the classically romantic complication
– Dual time zone: because when she travels, home is always where the heart is
– Out of the box: two complications come to mind that are ridiculously, overtly romantic – and that’s fine, because they are so extraordinary: Van Cleef & Arpels’ Pont des Amoureux has lovers meeting on a bridge, thanks to a double retrograde mechanism, and Christophe Claret’s Marguerite plays the age-old daisy-petal game of ‘He loves me … he loves me not’.
Beware: if she fails to see the point of a watch that’s not quartz-powered, giving her any complication will be a waste. If she is into mechanical watches and already intrigued by complications, congratulations – but she still won’t welcome a manicure-wrecking winding crown.