If you’re anything like me, the past couple of months have been pretty rough and holiday shopping hasn’t been the first priority. As difficult as 2016 has been, it doesn’t pardon us from our gift-giving duties. For that reason, I’ve focused here on products that I think would make great gifts and ALSO ship quickly (with a focus on Amazon, because let’s be real here – I know y’all have Prime, and every day counts).
For the Beginner Cook: Being able to feed yourself is a skill that, as critical as it is, seems to get glossed over by many. For the guy that’s just starting out, consider a nice chef’s knife, instant thermometer, or cast iron pan – these are three pieces that will get used all the time, and the latter two are quite inexpensive. Also, like I mentioned last year, The Food Lab is the best cookbook out there right now – I highly recommend it.
For the Explorer: I think diver watches are a great tool and a handsome accessory. Seiko makes some of my favorites, and the price to performance ratio can’t be beat. The most famous is the classic SKX007 (also available in other colors and strap styles), and I also love the smaller SKX013 (discontinued and hard to find). The jubilee bracelet these come with is the weak link (pun intended), but swap it for a nice oyster and you have a handsome watch that can go anywhere and perform admirably.
For the Party Host: I guess you could say that I have a drinking problem, because I have a serious problem with breaking wine glasses. That’s why discovering Schott-Zwiesel stemware was one of the best things that happened to me this year. The German-made glasses are infused with titanium, so they resist chips, cracks, and even the occasional over-gesticulating hand (guilty). They’re also attractive and pretty affordable, so I’m a total convert.
For the Designer: One of my favorite watches of the many I’ve been researching is the Junghans Max Bill collection. The majority of the collection was designed in the Fifties by Mr. Bill himself, and the watch is largely unchanged (you can read more here). There are three main mechanical models in the collection, each with a few dial designs – the hand-wind, automatic, and chronoscope. All are stunning and have details sure to be appreciated by those with an eye for design – just look at that ‘4’ numeral, for pete’s sake. All are available for purchase on Amazon.
For the Mountain Man: I love the wool blankets from Pendleton, especially their Native American-inspired ones. They are handsome, functional, and ship quickly with the code FAST. Woolrich also has some less expensive but equally attractive blankets – my favorite is the Morningstar design.
For the Horologist: Some men really love watches, and I’m unfortunately becoming one of them. If they have a small but mighty collection, consider getting them a watch roll (or case) to house them in. Hodinkee and Worn & Wound have some nice ones to check out, and WOLF will have some less expensive options. One of my favorites is Convoy Co., but note that these don’t ship until early January.
For the grooming guru: I said it last year, and I’ll say it again – the Feather AS-D2 is the top of the line when it comes to double edge razors. Exceptional balance, amazing craftsmanship, and a nice moderate shave. For the true enthusiast, check out the one with the razor stand. It seems foolishly expensive for a chunk of metal, but when you feel the satisfying *click* of the two pieces of steel fitting together perfectly, you’ll get it.
For the Outdoorsman: We all have to be indoors some of the time, so give your favorite outdoorsman a breath of the wilderness with scents from Juniper Ridge. All of Juniper Ridge’s products are distilled from real plants that are harvested on the trails of the West Coast, and the results are stunning. You can read about my experiences with Juniper Ridge here.
For the jetsetter: A good suitcase is surprisingly hard to find, but I’ve sniffed out my personal favorites. As I mentioned earlier this year, MUJI’s 33L hard case is the best carryon I’ve found for under $200. It’s made of lightweight polycarbonate, has four locking wheels, a clever TSA-approved lock, and a sleek, simple design. Competitor Away has a carryon that I will be reviewing soon, and they guarantee Christmas delivery with free shipping if you order by 1pm EST today $20 off with this link. After trying these two pieces of luggage I don’t think I’ll ever be able to go back to those puffy nylon ones you see everywhere.
Good luck, and happy holidays!