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Editorial - 'tis the Season

Editorial 'tis the Season

A little horological inspiration for a time of giving

We’re just a few days away from Christmas. If you’re a good and responsible person, you’ll have done all your Christmas shopping already, nicely wrapped and placed under the tree. Or maybe you’re like me, in which case this article is for you.

Because the most precious thing we have is our time, a lot of watch-centred advertising around holidays encourages us to “give the gift of time”. This happens on occasions such as Christmas or Valentine’s Day or Mothers’ Day — basically any cultural event during which we are expected to extract the old wallet and return it to our pockets only after it has been significantly reduced in thickness. I realise, of course, that this phrase is metaphorical; we can’t transfer time between individuals in the same way that we do with money. (Although I can think of a few people who should engage in massive philanthropic donations of their time — the world would be vastly improved thereby.) Watch companies know this too, or at least I hope they do, if not this would signify a terrifying lack of basic knowledge on their part. When they invite us to give the gift of time, they’re really inviting us to give the gift of a fine watch — preferably one made by them. 

Okay, so we can’t give time as gifts. Very few of us are in the privileged position of being able to give fine watches as gifts. What many of us can do, however, is give a lovely book about fine watches as a gift. Following the runaway success of last year’s Millennium Watch Book, our parent company GMT Publishing has released a second volume, this time all about tourbillons (in case you forgot, 2021 has been the 220th anniversary of the tourbillon).

'tis the Season

Jaeger-LeCoultre, The Millennium Watch Book © GMT Publishing

I always loved getting books for Christmas, and it probably surprised zero people in my circle of acquaintance when I ended up becoming a writer. Books make excellent gifts, especially if, like me, you subscribe to the belief that the best things come in small packages. You can fit an entire world between the two covers of a book.

Now, I’m told that any book orders being made at the moment probably won’t be delivered in time for Christmas, but that’s actually a good thing in my opinion. I’ve honestly never minded receiving belated gifts — in fact, I very much enjoyed them. Belated gifts are usually unexpected gifts, and unexpected gifts are about a hundred times more fun than expected ones. It’s possible that I have rationalised late gifts as being “better” gifts because of how I approach gift-giving in general, but I think the principle itself is sound. Unexpected (late) gifts really are more enjoyable. 

And in case you’re still hesitating about your purchase, what better way to help you make up your mind than to read a few sample articles that we’ve republished from the book? You’re welcome. And Merry Christmas!


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Jaeger-LeCoultre: HOME OF FINE WATCHMAKING SINCE 1833. Located in the serene setting of the Vallée de Joux, our Maison radiates a unique sense of belonging. The soul of La Grande Maison is formed here, inspired by the exceptional landscapes of the Jura Mountains, guided by an unquenchable inner fire. With all crafts under one roof within the Manufacture, watchmakers, engineers, designers and artisans work together to give birth to fine...

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