Christmas gift guide Our Christmas gift guide for 2014 brings together a selection of watches chosen by different themes by our international contributors, suggested by the CEOs of the brands themselves and completed with valuable tips on buying watches provided by the world's leading watch retailers.
21 December 2014 Watches make the perfect gift
18 December 2014 Watchmaking books to go under the tree
17 December 2014 Painfree complications
16 December 2014 The ultimate Christmas gift for any watch lover
11 December 2014 3 gem-set watches as the perfect lavish gift
4 December 2014 A different kind of Christmas
3 December 2014 Buying tips (2): Where to buy
29 November 2014 Dreaming of a blue Christmas
28 November 2014 Christmas without breaking the bank
27 November 2014 Like a picture
25 November 2014 Buying tips (1) : Knowing what to buy
20 November 2014 The CEO’s choice
12 November 2014 Watches in evening dress
5 November 2014 Christmas for women struggling to make up their minds
Christmas gifts Buying tips (2): Where to buy
In the second part of his two part series, Keith Strandberg asked watch retailers around the world for advice on the best places to buy watches as a Christmas gift.
Go to the experts
Armen Darakjian, Darakjian Jewelers (Birmingham, MI, USA)
“Clients today want choices with the proper professional to help guide them through the purchase process. Over two decades of attending the Basel fair also gives us a vast knowledge on all brands, mainstream or exotic, boutique or conglomerate. Trends starting and trends falling off, new innovations and limited editions are just some of the knowledge we bring to the table, giving our guests the confidence that they are in the right place. You have to choose your retailer carefully, so make sure you choose an authorized retailer.”
Look for a wide selection
Joachim Ziegler, CEO, Les Ambassadeurs (Switzerland)
“Come for the amazing range of products, stay for the service. Les Ambassadeurs is today one of the very few true multi-brand stores. We offer our customers a wide and unique range of different brands, giving them the best and neutral advice in a beautiful, modern and truly luxurious setting. For everybody who is not able to visit Switzerland, we have set up an interactive watchfinder where you can choose among thousands of watches according to your personal criteria.
Protect yourself – buy authorised
Greg Simonian, President of Westime (Beverly Hills, CA, USA)
“When you are buying something expensive, you want to make sure the retailer has a direct relationship with the manufacturer. If the seller is not an authorized retailer, you could unknowingly be buying a used watch, and the warranty has already started or has expired. A watch that seems new could be six years old, and it could include watch parts that aren't even made by the manufacturer. Sometimes the seller doesn't even know it is a used watch. If you have problems, an authorized retailer can facilitate any repair through direct access to the company.
“When someone finds the right watch, I am happy if they are satisfied. That said, I won't push anyone to buy something that is not for them. That wouldn't instill trust. I want people to trust us and have a relationship with us, not a one-time sale. I have often talked customers out of watches that they thought they wanted to buy.
“I love that the watch industry is such an old industry, but constantly full of innovation and change. I also love that a watch represents a big decision in someone's life. After all, a watch is the only item - unlike clothes or accessories - that is socially acceptable to wear.
Greg Kwiat, CEO of Fred Leighton
“There is a timeliness quality to vintage jewelry and watches. They have a storied past and are continuing to evolve their story when given as a gift. A vintage watch is something that can be worn everyday - the classics of gifts - and is a daily keepsake of the occasion. Along with their usefulness, vintage watches have become increasingly desirable for their collectability and investment. Whether jewelry or watches, one of the best attributes of buying vintage is the heirloom quality and that the pieces and their stories can be passed down for generations.”