Nine mechanical watches that are perfect for beginners

Father Christmas is about to have a rendezvous with Father Time, and the job of buying your son his first wristwatch has fallen to you, dear reader.

OK, maybe the young man in question is actually your grandson, or your godson, or your nephew; he's somebody's son, at any rate. And it may be an occasion other than Christmas, but this young man in your life has reached the age of putting away childish things, and it's time to quit Mickey-Mousing around. Below, a roster of timepieces chosen as foolproof gifts for the budding scholar of horology.

Frederique Constant Horological Smartwatch

From monitoring your sleep to tracking your activity to vibrating with notifications, this smartwatch offers a full complement of tech amenities in a package gleaming with old-world charm. Approx. $1787. From

Eza Sealander

Made in the Netherlands, this 300-metre dive watch arrives packaged with a tool for changing out its leather band in favour of a NATO strap (also included). Approx. $1214. From

Hamilton Khaki Field Auto 40MM

Quite literally battle-tested, this watch is built according to standards Hamilton developed while supplying the U.S. Army during World War II. Approx. $937. From

Mondaine Helvetica No. 1 Regular Hand Winder

A perfect expression of Swiss midcentury modernism, the Helvetica honours the famous typeface (designed in Z├╝rich in 1957) and boasts a movement manufactured by Sellita (founded in 1950). Approx. $1620. From

Montblanc Tradition Date Automatic

With its domed sapphire crystal, white lacquered dial, and timeless roman numerals, this stainless steel watch offers a proper introduction to classical watchmaking. Approx. $2050. From

Movado 1881 Automatic

Named for the year of the company's founding, the austerely clever 1881 plays its stamped hour markers and minute index against the streamlined angularity of Movado's signature hands. Approx. $1881. From

Panzera Breuer Aurum Flair

"Bauhaus" is at risk of becoming an empty buzzword, but this mechanical watch stays true to the art school with its numberless white dial, graceful rose gold case, and the satisfying small square of its date window. Approx. $722. From


Victorinox Infantry Chronograph

This 40-millimetre chronograph splits the difference between field-ready ruggedness and dressy refinement. Approx. $742. From

Baume et Mercier Clifton 10052

It's a superb everyday dress watch precisely because its silver dial and blued steel hands make a dynamic departure from business as usual. Approx. $3849. From

Check out the gallery above to see the best nine mechanical watches for the budding collector.