Watch yourself ! – 5 watches for your wish list this Christmas by Leo Parker

As you are no doubt well aware, Christmas is now only a matter of weeks away and if you’re as bad at buying presents as I, then your attention will inevitably already have turned to what to buy for friends and family this festive period.

Well, fear not, there isn’t a man alive who wouldn’t love to be on the receiving end of a luxury Swiss timepiece and if you a] have deep pockets and b] feel incredibly generous this Christmas, then why not consider one of the fantastic luxury watches that will be wowing  your eyes in a matter of seconds…

….there are some truly epic luxury watchmakers out there (I’m looking at you Rolex, Baume et Mercier and Cartier) so narrowing your choice of watch purchase down to 5 this Christmas is no mean feat – unless, of course, your budget is more paltry (it’s spelt C…A…S…I…O when you Google it).

Luxury watches are the ultimate statement symbol and undoubtedly a question of personal taste so it might be a good idea to indulge in a spot of Christmas fishing before shelling out thousands of pounds on a luxury watch that will traumatise the recipient (and you’ll discover on eBay by Boxing Day).

It’ll be Christmas if we waste any more time, so let’s get started! Take a look at the 5 luxury Swiss watches below and you’re sure to find something that ticks all of the right boxes:

88 Rue Du Rhone 42mm Chrono Watch – Price £500 Approx. One of the newest luxury watchmakers on the market. Given the luxurious nature of this Swiss timepiece, its price-tag is nothing short of miraculous. This newcomer has an interesting backstory regarding the origins of their name – 88 is the only number missing from the Rue du Rhone street in Geneva and it was left clear to reveal a view of the Rhone River meeting Lake Geneva.


Chopard Classis Racing Watch – Price £4,300 Approx.  Chopard are one of Switzerland’s finest watchmakers and they are particularly famed for the quality of their sport timepieces. This Classic Racing watch is a limited edition piece which has been inspired by the dashboard instruments of classic racing cars and boasts a GMT function that allows the wearer to view the time in a separate destination without altering their current set time – making it a perfect choice for the frequent traveller.


Breitling Transocean Watch – Price £8,500 Approx. From their Transocean series of watches, this exemplary timepiece has many an impressive feature to make it including a 70 hour power reserve, glare-proof, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass case and a chronograph display which shows each of the world’s 24 timezones simultaneously.


Limited Edition TAG Heuer Carrera 1887 Space X – Price £4,500 Approx. The TAG Heuer Carrera 1887 Space X watch is a limited edition piece which has been released to celebrate the achievement of having the first Swiss watch in space when one of their stop-watches was strapped to the wrist of astronaut John Glenn during the 1962 mission into space on the rocket, “Friendship 7”


Longines Master Watch – Price £1,900 Approx. This immensely stylish and understated timepiece is perfect for any Don Draper wannabe as it’s right out of a bygone era of luxury watch design and wouldn’t look out of place strapped to the wrist of a 1960’s Manhattan ad executive. Longines are one of the oldest Swiss watchmakers on the market and their reputation is built upon high quality timepieces such as the Master watch, which has a silver ‘barleycorn’ pattern dial, self-winding chronograph automatic movement and luxurious brown alligator leather strap.



So, there you have it, if it’s a luxury watch which you intent on purchasing this Christmas (and if you’re like me, you’ll probably wrestle with the idea of keeping the watch for yourself (do it) because nobody really wants to part with such awesomeness) then one of the stunning watches above is likely to be as good a place as any to start.

All images have been used with permission of The Watch Gallery, where you can find a superb selection of Rolex, Breitling, TAG Heuer and Cartier watches for men and women.

That’s what you call a close shave – The Shaving Shack

If you haven’t seen the latest James Bond Movie, SKYFALL, (GO AND SEE IT ) the above image will mean rather little to you.  During a scene in the said Bond film, British actress Naomie Harris gives 007, played by Daniel Craig, a close shave using a cut throat razor, whispering in his ear “sometimes the old ways are the best” as she performs the shave.

The Shaving Shack, the online retailer of premium shaving products, has attributed SKYFALL & 007’s antics for a whopping 405% increase in sales of cut throat razors claiming this intimate shaving scene is the reason for the dramatic sales surge over the last two weeks.

The online retailer has also seen a 123% increase in web traffic since the film was released. Traffic from Internet searches for “cut throat razor” and “straight razor” have soared by a staggering 735% over the last week, the firm added.

Nick Gibbens, Brand Director of The Shaving Shack, believes Bond’s legendary style and iconic status have inspired men to try out a new method of wet shaving.

“Bond fans have an emotional attachment to 007, they love his Aston Martin cars, Omega watches and dinner suits. So it comes as no surprise that they have jumped on his love for cut throat razors. These luxury, old-school razors range in price from around £60 up to £300 so it’s fair to say that Bond fans are spending big to ensure they look as clean cut as 007.”

But Bond fans that can’t splash out up to £300 on a razor are instead opting for a cut-price shavette – a close relative to the cut throat razor with the difference being that the blades can be changed. Sales of shavettes on The Shaving Shack website have risen by 509% since the release of Skyfall, with bumper sales of the budget Bluebeards Revenge Shavette (see image).

The Shaving Shack says it’s delighted to see an increasing number of men ditching the multi-bladed cartridge razor in favour of a straight but they are also keen to point out the increased complexity of a cut throat shave.

“Shaving with a cut throat razor is certainly one of life’s pleasures as it will give you the closest possible shave. But it does take time to master the technique and you’ll certainly need a steady hand and plenty of practice. “We strongly advise that all men take the time to read up on the correct technique.”said Mr Gibbens. Otherwise, be prepared to see sales of toilet paper increase and fellas commuting into work with bloodied scraps of loo roll stuck to their faces !


Art Attack –

Once upon a time if you wanted to produce your own individual range of clothing, you had to acquire premises, buy stock to fill the shop, entice people to come into the aforementioned store etc, essentially it was a VERY long and sometimes rather complicated and not always lucrative process. Then along came that nifty little invention from Sir Tim Berners-Lee and his boys in white coats (see its not just all about clothes here its educational) the information superhighway ! And Bob’s your uncle ! it’s made the complete process a whole lot easier to do.

We already have household names like Asos, Boohoo and of course the cybertastic likes of Amazon that have never ever had a brick and mortar store and creeping up behind them there are brilliant websites like togsandclogs, Coggles, Oki-ni and Youngthread, but another one to add to that ever growing list is Art print market was borne out of the frustration of a couple of friends who wanted to sell their own digital designs on art print and T-shirts, but after numerous attempts over the years to create one offs, the general consensus was that the individual prints were very expensive & poor quality and the custom Ts were poor quality and ill style fit.

The guys have started a cooperative offering a collection of products by new designers or people trying their hand at designs round their ‘proper’ job. The design comes in, they can format it correctly and then put it up for sale, handling the sale and delivery, hey presto with an ever growing number of choices and designers coming on board. There is co-operative marketing and the more designers selling their wares results in more traffic for people to browse the site, so the more the merrier! Plus, and I know this is going to send a cold shiver down your spine but, for the guy who has everything there are some amazing gift ideas for that fast approaching, most wonderful time of the year!


The Rightful Hare to the Throne – Mr Hare

To say Marc Hare, aka Mr Hare, shoe designer, is a busy man and his time is truly not his own is a real understatement. This man must have more stamps in his passport then Judith Chamers, google her if your under 35. If he isn’t traveling the global, he’s proudly looking after his new shop on Stafford Street, just off Dover Street, London, like a new Father(see below), or he’s attending high brow events whether that be at 10 Downing St. to mark the Power List’s 20 most influential Black Britons or  the British Fashion Council as he,  “is quietly becoming one of the most important names in British menswear,” as the Guardian recently put it.

The genesis of Mr Hare is an interesting one, Marc had always been a little obsessed with footwear growing up on the mean streets of Croyden, for his eighteenth birthday he’d saved up and he was off to Bond Street to buy his dream shoes, Gucci Loafers. He noticed that when he worn these shoes peoples attitude toward him changed and they spoke to him with respect.  Then after holding down a number of unfulfilling jobs in Marketing and Retail and losing one of those aforementioned jobs, breaking his leg and going through a divorce, remember bad things always happen in threes. He was sat in a Spanish restaurant, funnily enough in Spain, when he caught sight of the woven shoes worn by the señor at the next table, although the shoes weren’t prefect he did think with a few little tweaks they could be and with the help of Bally’s retired shoe genius, Siliano Salvadori, Mr Hare was born.

Now Mr Hare boasts such names as Javier Bardem, Ronnie Wood, Robert Downey Jnr, Tenie Tempah and Amir Khan as fan and customers and rumours of a venture into Ladies footwear abound. His recent collaboration with TOPMAN, literally sold out in minutes, where even Marc couldn’t get his hands on the highly desirable High Tops he created. But he still managed to find the time to answer the questions of Clothes make the man.


If you could have invented anything what would it be ?

A better work/pay/holiday/ tax system where people work less get paid more, are applauded for travelling and learning more about other cultures and where banks/governments had to actually pay for their own fuck ups or actually pay us interest when we lend them money.

 If you had one day to live what would be your biggest regret ?

It would be all the time I had lost answering interviews.

 What would be the one piece of clothing you would rescue from your home in the event of a fire ?

I would welcome the opportunity to re invent my wardrobe on the insurance money. I am too pretty and too smart to run into a burning house to rescue apparel.

 What inspires you ?


 If you could only wear one brand/Designer for the rest of your life who would it be ? Why ?

Bauhaus. Because they were trying to just make the world better and the mix of modernism and traditional craft just created great products by default. I bet their sneakers would have been ill.

 Who is your style icon ? Why ?

Margin Gaye, because he was just so talented no one was even paying attention to his clothes.

 Tell us something no one else knows ?

I haven’t had a shave in 23 years.

 What piece of style advise do you live by ?

Wear WTF you like and eventually you will figure out what works.

 What do you have to do after this conversation ?

I have to go to sleep in a Bologna hotel room then get up early and fly to London for a concierges soirée.

 What would you like to be doing after this conversation ?

Going to sleep in my own bed and getting up early to fly to somewhere hot and tropical for a concierges soirée.

 What track would always get you on the dance floor ?

Hypnotise – B.I.G. 

Who could resist? “If deh head right, biggie deh e’ry night !!”

Where in the World – Napapijri (Competition Time !)

I first discovered the delights of Napapijri back in the latter few years of the 20th Century while I was working with the fashion team of one of the industry’s best loved, well it was then, mens magazines. The Fashion Editor at the time was PASSIONATE about the brand and we were encouraged, sorry sent off to do an appointment to view the range and from then on, I was sold on the brand.

However, please don’t think this brand’s history only dates back to then, Napapijri, whose name means “arctic circle” in Finnish, started out in 1987, in Aosta, as Green Sport Monte Bianco, more like an Ice cream brand to be honest, which made innovative backpacks and technical bags under the Napapijri label for the more demanding sort of traveller, i.e. not for the likes of us. This family company’s vocation for experimenting soon found a natural development in apparel too. Thanks to its discreet colours and wearability verging on city attire, the brand’s offering gradually abandoned the bright and vibrant colours up to then in fashion on the pistes in favour of a completely different look that was to create a new tendency in the sector.

Napapijri was a roaring success, with it’s striking signature Norwegian flag also appearing in more “urban” segments of the market. For the very first time an exclusively technical and sports brand cut a figure on city streets and with a strategy that was the reverse of many others who had merely borrowed the “active” clothing style to redesign their existing casual wear.

Napapijri supports travel, research and exploration initiatives to raise its customers’ awareness of the environment and eco-sustainability issues, listen to me. it doesn’t presume to be considered perfectly eco-compatible or ecological itself, the brand has always worked hard to disseminate general and scientific information on the situation at both the North and South Poles and other environmental issues and collaborates with research bodies such as Le Cercle Polaire and no-profit environmental organisations like Global Green.

For Winter 2012 Travel is once again the protagonist and source of inspiration for the brand. It departs on its imaginary journey that starts with the Napapijri Geographic Collection, which gives a modern twist to the brand’s archive icon piece, with revisited forms, advances in technology and new fabrics. It focuses on the Parka, coming in three lengths and seven colours, it’s padded with goose down and graced with fur on the collar, so suitable for cold (but not polar) temperatures, and heads up into the glaciers with the Napapijri Authentic Collection, providing technical and functional gear designed for more punishing temperatures, so think the move from Autumn into Winter.

As part of Napapijri’s current global marketing campaign they have send a couple, Rob & Jude travelling around different European cities where they take part in various challenges such as bungee jumping from the O2 arena in London or learning the art of Trapeze in Paris !!!!! All the while good folks like your very selves are able to vote for which challenge you want to see them undertake next via a dedicated microsite

The second part of this expedition kicks off on, remember, remember the fifth of November, so cause some fireworks for Rob & Jude and click on the link above to act as Fate and steer they destiny to the challenge you prefer, their fate is in your hands. Mwoahahaha !

The Skidoo Jacket

Now to encourage you to take part in this adventure, we have a wonderful Skidoo jacket to offer one lucky winner, well it is getting a bit parky and this jacket will be perfect for those Urban Arctic conditions.

All you need to do is follow us here at by –

1) Returning to our home page and in the subscribe to box on the left of your screen

2) Input your email address

3) An email from the blog will be sent to you and you MUST open and confirm that email.

OR follow us at Twitter @ Clothesmakethem OR Facebook

Do this by Sunday 18th November and presto a few days later you will receive a gift from us to you. It’s that simple ! Good luck.