Editor’s Note: This year, instead of making out wish lists, the Revolution editorial team played secret Santa to one another. Here’s what Mexico & Latin America Editor-in-Chief, Carlos Matamoros dreamt up for Editor-at-Large, Ken Kessler when he picked his name out of the hat.
Ken Kessler is not easily amused, so I think gimmicky, overly-sophisticated or novelty timepieces are not his cup of tea; my opinion is that he likes watches with substance — he is not against them having some historic pedigree and a lot of style. Acting as a Secret Santa for Ken was not as difficult for me as I thought at first — in the end, I reckon the best gift you can give is one that you would like to receive yourself. If I’m honest, I wouldn’t mind finding any of these babies under my Christmas tree.
Any Grand Seiko is a connoisseur’s watch — representing a pre-eminence of style and substance, it is for those who appreciate what is behind the dial. The first Grand Seiko was presented to the public in Tokyo in 1960 under the design directions of Taro Tanaka, one of the first men known as a “watch designer”. That watch didn’t look revolutionary, but its fine movement was precise to -3/+12 seconds per day. The reborn Grand Seiko re-edition in steel SBGW253 is a faithful tribute to the original design but in a more contemporary size of 38mm with an exquisite 9S64 movement — I am sure Ken will enjoy manually winding this beautiful watch every night, and also the fact that it will be very rare that he would find anyone with the same watch, as only 1,960 will be made.
One of the oldest watch manufactures in existence, Vacheron Constantin has produced more beautiful and relevant watches than it is practical to keep in mind. Among those many interesting timekeepers is the new Historiques Triple Calendar 1942 in a steel case, which I am sure our friend Ken will find to his taste. The functionality of an annual triple calendar is something that he will appreciate, and even on those yearly moments, on March 1st, when this elegant watch requires adjustment, I am sure that it will be a source of enjoyment for Ken with its sunburst-finished dial and Arabic numerals.
A timeless classic that was recently reimagined, the Rolex Air-King — a pilot’s watch with only the most essential information — remembers the 1930s, the romantic age of aviation. The original Air‑King has grown to 40mm and has received a beefier case made of 904 alloy steel filled with the new 3131 movement. Because of the new dial, I am sure that it will appeal to Ken’s love of vintage Rolexes, as it was designed as an amalgam of old and new, from the aeronautic heritage of Rolex to the precision instruments that the brand made for the Bloodhound Project, an ambitious British endeavor to reach 1,000mph (1,609km/h) on land by means of a jet- and rocket-powered car.