Ask Design Mom: 40th Birthday Watch

February 28, 2007



Ask-Design-Mom Question:

It is my husband’s 40th birthday soon. I’d like to get him a watch — a really nice “fortieth birthday worthy” one that we can have engraved on the back. Something classy & simple, without all the extra gadgets that some have. (I’m guessing that anyone who actually has to chart an ocean voyage — won’t do it with their watch.) Here’s what he’d like in a watch, if that helps.
• Steel or titanium band (or black leather, but something more durable is better.)
• Perpetual motion (or a REALLY long life battery)
• It doesn’t need to have a date, but if it does it needs to stay accurate (his last one didn’t.)
• He has looked at and likes some of the Brietling watches.
Any suggestions? Tania.

Design Mom Answer:
Oh Tania. How great is this question! I love the idea of picking out a really nice watch for my husband, so I’m just going live vicariously through you for a moment. Since luxe watches are kind of a wide field, I’m going to stick with Breitlings. I’m also assuming Brietlings will have the technical qualities you’re looking for, so (lucky me) I’m going to focus on how they look.

My favorite Breitling models are (not in any particular order):


Windrider: Chronomat Evolution


Professional: Sky Racer (love the little red arrow!)


Aeromarine: Chrono Avenger
The Aeromarine line has the simplest faces and less “not-likely-to-use-features” of the 4 Breitling lines.


Aeromarine: Avenger Seawolf
This is the simplest Breitling face. Very classic. But alas — I prefer a non-leather band.


Aeromarine: Superocean
I love the typestyle on this model, and I’m way digging the blue — a little funky and cool, but still conservative — plus, I like the name. Yeah. This is one is my favorite.


Aeromarine: Superocean Steelfish
I think a full prefer numbers to dots, but this is still gorgeous.


Dear Design Mom Readers, if you were picking out the perfect watch for your husband — pretend money isn’t a factor for a moment, and just pick the ideal — what would it be?

balloon pic from Getty Images

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anonymous February 28, 2007 at 11:51 am

i have done some research on this very subject. There was a watch for years at the soho moma store that i had my eye on for my husband. I just tried to find it on their website but it’s not there.
if money were no object, i would choose a vintage watch like some of the chronograph watches on farfo.com.
i wish i could embed an image.

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2 Bek February 28, 2007 at 12:17 pm

My husband got a Tag Heur for his graduation from high school. I don’t know much about watches, but it looks like the ones that Design Mom showed… he has worn it almost every day for the last 16 years and it still looks great. We also have changed the battery TWICE (the second time was just last week). :-)

Again, I haven’t priced watches, but this one seemed like it was not cheap but not anywhere near the Rolex prices….

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3 Design Mom February 28, 2007 at 1:47 pm

Thanks for the recommendation, anonymous. I’ve never heard of farfo.com. I’m going to check it out.

Bek, I think Tag’s are beautiful. On my first trip to New York, years and years ago, my one souvenir was a Tag knock-off from a vendor in Soho. I wore it forever.

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4 Jenni February 28, 2007 at 5:58 pm

my husband really likes tag’s and omega watches. if money is no object… audemars piguet watches are the watch of choice for mcdreamy a.k.a. patrick dempsey, they run about 50k and up

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5 sara February 28, 2007 at 7:50 pm

nothing beats a rolex. trav got a vintage rolex for his 31st b-day, and then he got me one for my 31st. i’m not a watch person AT ALL, but my watch is the watch i never knew i always wanted. i’ll show it to you at the bus stop tomorrow… and you need to look at trav’s as well. his is very simple and classy, without all the bells and whistles. he would LOVE to help you pick one out, if you decide to go the rolex route. he loves spending other people’s money when it involves computers and watches!

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6 Tania March 1, 2007 at 8:44 pm

Thanks for the suggestions Gabby & everyone. I’ll let you know what we end up getting!

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7 Missy March 2, 2007 at 11:38 am

If money were no factor, I would get my husband a Breitling watch.

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