Watches are a bit of a tradition in our household for the holidays. When the Tudor Heritage Black Bay with the deep red bezel first came out (I saw the watch in our magazine), I had to have it. My lovely wife moved heaven and earth to get me one (they were back-ordered) and it was there on Christmas morning. The next year, I managed to get her the Zenith she was longing for, so dreaming and thinking about what watches we want is nothing new.

I could go for “blue sky” watches, like the Braveheart from Bovet or the Astronomia from Jacob & Co., but I prefer to dream realistically, choosing watches that could conceivably, actually, be under the tree. Hopefully, my wife is reading this.

So here goes:

Bulgari Octo Solotempo with rose-gold bezel

I made the mistake of wearing this simple, yet strikingly beautiful watch during an event celebrating Nicola Bulgari’s love of vintage American cars. I didn’t want to take it off. The rose-gold bezel on top of the deep black case and dial combines perfectly; it definitely tops my list of must-have watches.

Sure, it’s simple, but it’s deceptive. There are details to discover, a mixture of finishing and the bold Roman-column motif of that stunning rose-gold bezel.

I’m completely head over heels in love with this watch. And there’s only one thing to do…

Breguet Tradition

I am a huge fan of skeleton watches and I have had my eye on the Tradition collection from Breguet for a number of years.

It’s not a skeleton, really, but the watch is reduced to its bare essentials and the result is so eye-catching that I can’t help but lust after one.

The smaller dial at 12 o’clock helps reveal the entire mechanism of the watch and it reminds me that Abraham-Louis Breguet was a true pioneer of watchmaking.

The watch just makes me smile and I can’t take my eyes off it.

Rolex GMT-Master II

I wasn’t always a Rolex fan. In fact, at the beginning of my career in watches, I downplayed Rolex’s importance. Since Rolex watches were so popular, I focused on smaller brands and thought Rolex wearers lacked imagination.

I was wrong.

Rolex is a fantastic company with incredible watches that are nearly indestructible. And my favorite is the GMT-Master II, with its black and blue bezel and its very useful GMT display.

You can tell it’s a Rolex, but it’s not a Daytona or a Submariner, so it’s different from what most people are wearing.

I am happy with the stainless-steel version, though I do love the “Pepsi” bezel of the white-gold edition.

And, I’m not normally a bracelet person, preferring leather straps or rubber, but I will make an exception for this amazing timepiece.

GoS Sarek

The warrior in me loves Damascus steel, where the steel is fired, then folded over many times to make the real-world version of Valyrian steel.

Tougher than any other steel, and able to hold a sharper edge, Damascus steel is not only a fantastic material, but it’s also incredibly beautiful as the folds and the firings result in a unique patterned and multi-colored material perfect for a watch dial.

It’s not a treatment or a decorative art; it’s all-natural (think blued steel taken to the ultimate level). GoS is an independent Swedish brand, a specialist in using Damascus steel created by Johan Gustafsson, a metalsmith who makes swords and knives from the material.

The dial is so stunningly beautiful—this is a watch I truly must have.