You did well this year: you made your sales goals, won the big case, scored that new client, wrote some great articles (right, boss?). Now then…what to spend that bonus on? You weren’t going to bank it, now, were you? After all, a bonus is a reward for good work and money you never counted on. You deserve to spend it on an end-of-year pat on the back — and a wristwatch is the ideal choice.
Watches are mementos, reminders. And when you emerge from a New Year’s fog and hunker down for another year in that cubicle or rental car in January, seeing a symbol of your past accomplishments may be just the push you need to do it all over again.
Now that that’s settled: which watch to get? Well, that depends on how big your bonus is. Here are a few options from this year’s crop of new timepieces.
Bonus: $1,000 Sure, it was announced last year, but the Sistem51 ($150) only became available in the US a couple months ago. Even if your bonus was meager, you can still afford a Swiss-made mechanical watch. The Sistem51 costs as much as a bottle of 21-year-old Glenlivet, but it should last longer.
Bonus: $5,000 While all the attention at BaselWorld was on the new Ranger and Black Bay models, another Tudor, the Style ($2,325, 41mm on leather) is worthy of consideration — especially if your bonus isn’t quite what you hoped. The Style is a spitting image of a 1950s Tudor dress watch, still has great build quality and a self-winding mechanical movement, but comes in just a shade over $2,000. It looks more than expensive than it is, and so will you.
Bonus: $10,000 The Metro ($3,780), announced at this year’s BaselWorld, is the pinnacle of fresh, minimalist German design and debuts the Glashütte brand’s new in-house-developed escapement, the “swing system”. What better way to celebrate your own innovation and hard work by wearing someone else’s?
Montblanc Meisterstück Perpetual Calendar
Bonus: $25,000 If you’re not quite in the corner office with the six-figure bonus, you can still get the high-complication timepiece you deserve for a good year. Montblanc had jaws dropping at SIHH with a perpetual calendar watch for a little over $12,000. Springing for this one will keep your Patek-wearing boss looking over his shoulder.
Rolex GMT Master II
Bonus: $100,000 No watch calls to mind bonuses and rewards more than a Rolex. So if you’ve had a banner year or just cashed out some stock options, now’s the perfect time to get the Crown on your wrist. The new white gold GMT-Master II that debuted at BaselWorld in March brought back the watch’s iconic red and blue “Pepsi” bezel. This watch says you made it; for $38,500, we hope you have.
BONUS: J Craft Torpedo 42′ (with included Panerai Luminor)
Bonus: $1M+ Let presume you’ve made it this far in the slideshow. Let’s also presume you’re a solid one percenter. Watches with $40,000 price tags are probably yesterday’s news. If so, may we suggest the €800,000 J Craft Torpedo, a 42-foot extravagance if there ever were one — and quite perfect moored at your home in Cote d’Azure. Where’s your watch, you ask? Look past your Italian supermodel copilot to see — no, not your priceless show dog, Corbin, to his left — a custom Panerai Luminor ever so carefully embedded in the dash. Who you choose to tell time with though (ahem) is entirely up to you.