WristReview’s Watch Buyer’s Guide for the 2023 Holiday Season

The buyer guide is back and better than ever, we've got some great picks for this year's Holiday Season!


December is here, the snow is falling (somewhere, not here in Somerset), the birds have fluffed up their feathers to keep warm and my car windscreen froze up earlier today. For those of us who are the right way up, December means it gets really chilly, so we thought we’d warm you up a little with our Holiday Season buyer’s guide!

When I search for “buyer guide” on our site (which you can use to find all your favourite write-ups), it seems the last time we did a buyer’s guide for the holiday season was six years ago. That’s probably because we do a lot of Top 5 articles; you guys love them, so why not? To shake things up, we’re going to replace our usual Top 5 list with our old buyer guide format, keeping the same topics. It’ll be interesting to see how our tastes have changed, no? We’ve tried to keep it to watches that you can go out and purchase today.


This is a big one, it’s one of the most popular categories in the wristwatch market. Robust, elegant with a very strong history too, the essential part of a collection. In fact, can you really have a collection without a solid performer with a bit of history to it?

Seiko 5 Sports ref.SRPK18 – $395

The reintroduced Seiko 5 Sports watches were quite taken. Despite being USA-only (the USA is our biggest audience), these watches still have a 1970s vibe that we can all get down with.

Longines Spirit Zulu Time 39mm ref.L3.802.5.53.6 – $4300 

It hasn’t taken long for the Spirit collection from Longines to become a classic. The applied stars on the dial look great, and the 39mm sizing should be perfect for most users.

Omega Seamaster Diver 300m ref. – $5900

Lots of people compare the Seamaster Diver to the Rolex Submariner; while the Seamaster has changed more over the years, this design language has been kicking around since the 1990s, and it’s loved the world over. Also, you can buy one today if you like.

Panerai Radiomir Otto Giorni ref.PAM01348 – $9700

Truly, nearly any Panerai could be considered timeless, that’s at least partially because they all look nearly the same. Our choice for this year is the 2023 8-day Radiomir with a burnished steel case, it looks great in photos and better in person.


Want to be a cool watch person who takes a different approach to their collection? These are some highlights we’ve collected for you to view. They may not always hold well if you are buying brand new, but they are worth it on the wrist and show you to be edgy and one who loves to think outside the box.

Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400 ref.01 400 7769 4135-07 8 22 09PEB – $3700

The Oris Aquis is a cool diver that’s usually sold at a good price, the quality of these watches is very high, too. Sure, it may not be on the same level as a Seamaster, but you’re also not paying Seamaster prices for one.

Grand Seiko Heritage ref.SBGW297 – $5400

A Grand Seiko will always be one of the most desirable “alternative” watches around. The way they think about their designs and get their inspiration is truly unique from the rest of the world.

Leica ZM 11 Steel Midnight Blue ref.98159 – $7450

When Leica introduced their first watch, people laughed. They aren’t laughing now, that’s for sure, the ZM 11 looks extremely appealing and with that Chronode movement with black detailing and graining? It’s hard to say Leica isn’t giving it their best try.

Schwarz Etienne Roswell 08 ref.WRW08TJ03SSCUBCLTD – $16,700

Admittedly, this might be one of the hardest to find on the list, but we really wanted to include a Schwarz Etienne watch as we don’t hear from them too often, but they make some incredible pieces for the money. The blue details of this Roswell 08 were also really cool.


Don’t have the time for the flimflam of modern-day life? Want something that simply goes, is reliable and no-nonsense? The smart money category is for those looking to invest in a watch that’ll keep them going without being too unreliable or costly to maintain. Sometimes they’re tricky to get hold of in the first place. The thrill is in the chase, not in the capture, right?

Breitling Avenger Automatic 42mm ref.A17328101B1A1 – $4850

The Breitling Avenger is a classic sports watch which got an update earlier this year. While the GMT and chronograph ones are cool, we think the coolest is this three-hander with the date; if you want one solid watch to keep you going, it’s gonna be hard to beat.

Zenith Chronomaster Sport Blue Metallic ref.03.3114.3600/51.M3100 – $10,500

Zenith’s Chronomaster Sport was accused of looking very similar to a Rolex Daytona (it did), but now that there are more colour and metal combinations this watch has blossomed as it deserved. The blue metallic model is very cool, but we’d also accept the new Zenith Pilot if you swing that way instead.

Rolex Datejust 41 ref.126333-0016 – $11,650

In my opinion, the only way you can go wrong with a Rolex DateJust is by not including the fluted bezel. Apart from that, you can choose any colour and metal combination you like. Best of all, authorised dealers and boutiques have loads of them, so you can go and pick up your dream Rolex today.

Parmigiani Tonda PF Micro-Rotor Steel Platinum ref.PFC914-1020001-100182 – $22,900

The Tonda PF Micro-Rotor Steel Platinum is a handsome piece, and if you choose a Parmigiani watch it shows you’re a bit of a connoisseur. At the price you’re paying you have a lot of options, but a Parmigiani is definitely one of the top choices.


It’s no surprise that there’s a lot of fashion blogs these days that include watches in their lists of ideas, but maybe not all of them have the inside knowledge that an actual watch blog has? Here are some of the watches you need if you want to wear any kind of suit and not look a little strange. We’ve ditched the idea that sports watches can’t work with a suit because, well, they can, but these ones are all reasonably sized.

Cartier Santos ref.WSSA0018 – $7750

A Cartier Santos was usually seen as the alternative to a Rolex DateJust. Maybe we should’ve put this in our “alternative” category. Oh well, it still looks great, and with the classy white dial and with one of the more reasonably sized models this’ll slide right under the cuff.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Monoface Small Seconds ref.Q713842J – $10,600

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso. It’s probably impossible to have a list of dress watches and not have the Reverso on it somewhere. We chose a classy white-dial one which can be dressed up or down with a few different straps on it.

Glashütte Original Senator Excellence Panorama Date Moonphase ref.1-36-04-01-02-61 – $10,900

Glashütte Original makes some fantastic watches on the quiet, and the Senator Excellence watches are probably the pick of the bunch. There are a few dial colours available to choose from, we’ve reviewed the blue one, but the white dial is a timeless choice for a tuxedo piece.

IWC Ingenieur ref.IW328902 – $11,700

The 2023-refreshed IWC Ingenieur is a bit pricey, sure, but the re-designed watch is very classy and has a great quality feeling to it. There are a few dial colours available, but for a tuxedo, the silvery white is the best choice, we think.


It’s all well and good strutting around these fine timepieces like nobody’s business, but you wouldn’t look like a great partner if you splashed all that money on your wrist and just gave her a soap hamper. Here are some suggestions to keep her happy this Christmas, you never know, if you’re having trouble in the relationship one of these may just save your bacon!

Cartier Panthère De Cartier ref.WSPN0006 – $4150

It might look like a Santos with a weird bracelet, but the Pathère De Cartier is a classy and well-sized piece that’s got airs of both practicality and sophistication.

Chanel Première Édition Originale ref.H6951 – $5950

Chanel’s Première Édition Originale is more jewellery than wristwatch, but it does tell the time so it counts here. Chanel’s rocketing it’s way up the horological charts over the past decade has been exciting for us and inspiring for other fashion houses, such as Bulgari and Louis Vuitton, who now take horology very seriously.

Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra Watch ref.VCARD22000 – $9170

Van Cleef & Arpels make some of the best perfumes and jewellery around, as well as some of the best automata. They also make some of the best watches, unsurprisingly, and the Alhambra with its unique shape is sure to delight. It might be a little tricky to find as Van Cleef isn’t an enormous conglomerate, but the results will be worth it!

Breguet Reine de Naples ref.8967ST589863L – $17,200

Breguet’s egg-shaped Reine de Naples watches are classy and classical, and they look exactly like something Abraham-Louis Breguet himself would design. Knowing Breguet, he probably did design these, or at least heavily influence them, making Breguet one of the oldest influencers around we think.

There are loads of watches to choose from these days, and the holiday season is the perfect time to buy. From all of us at WristReview, we wish you a happy, healthy and safe Holiday season!