So, you want to buy your mother a watch. Rather than just stick your mom with the timepiece equivalent of a bathrobe, you want to give her something with meaning, something with emotional heft. And while your tastes may be wildly different from hers, gifting your mother an heirloom-quality piece means that, well, you may be the recipient of the heirloom. So how do you buy her something she wants now but will live on (hopefully) in your family for generations? We reached out to Geneva-based Scottish fake watch designer Fiona Krüger, a shining star in the world of independent watchmaking, and Alena Diaz, a young, up-and-coming watchmaker based in Seattle, Washington. Rather than talk to them about their technical expertise (which is bountiful) we tapped them for advice on giving and receiving heirloom-quality watches, from their personal experiences.
Krüger's signature designs.
Fiona Krüger designs "Skull" replica watches with a distinct aesthetic. The designs play on the notion of time and mortality, and Krüger selected the skull to encapsulate the idea. Her focus is on making something that isn't "classic," that hasn't been done time and again in watchmaking. Krüger's emphasis on originality imbues her gifting philosophy as well, "because it just shows that someone thought about that piece and came up with something specific for that watch," and it also shows that you, the buyer and adoring child, chose something that you know your mother will love. Depending on your mother's love language, Krüger says the icons of watchmaking might not be the best match because they're ubiquitous. "It's personal preference, but I value that uniqueness," she says.
Alena Diaz at the bench.
Alena Diaz takes the opposite approach. Last year Diaz, a watchmaker at Ares fake watch Company, gave her mother a Tudor Submariner. Now it doesn't leave her mother's wrist. Diaz's mother doesn't like to buy replica watches or jewelry unless she thinks Alena would wear it one day ?while that may add a layer of pressure to Alena's gifting, it's a philosophy that has greatly influenced her life. "I have a Bulova from the 1920s that was a great-great Aunt's," Diaz says. "It was passed down through generations by the women in my family and still runs beautifully. The original owner was a nurse when she wore it. I have a feeling of pride when I look at it. Thinking about her working with it and wearing it in the 1920s is pretty incredible."
The Bulova from the '20s handed down in the Diaz family.
It was that Bulova that fueled her passion for watches. After a stint as an auto mechanic, Diaz worked as a fake watch technician for five years before going to watchmaking school. She's now on her third year as a bona fide watchmaker. As someone intimately familiar with the inner workings of mechanical replica watches it was easy to select the Tudor Submariner for her mother. She was drawn to it for its quality mechanicals and versatile design. It uses a reliable caliber and future serviceability is nearly guaranteed, which is handy in an heirloom. Mechanics aside, she knew it would be perfect for her mother aesthetically. "As I get older, I am realizing a lot of my style I got from my mother," she says.
Alena's mother showing great style with a fake watch given to her by her daughter.
Krüger says she would treat fake watch shopping for a mother, "the same way I would an artwork ?it needs to be something you look at and just think 'wow!'." She considers what adds meaning to an object, and why the stories behind an heirloom are just as important as the object itself. "When you pass something down you pass down the stories with the object," she says. "The piece and the maker become part of the tapestry of your own personal culture and even a broader culture which, hopefully, will mean something after your time."
So what's Krüger's pick for the best fake watch for a mother? "Something that says 'I see you, and you deserve to be seen.' I think we sometimes forget that our mothers are individuals, and a piece which shows that you see your mum for the woman she is is quite something," she advises. "So don't worry about brand, label, price, etc., ?think of your mum, her personality, and get her something that celebrates that."Shop Talk
Happy Mother's Day! Our colleagues over in the HODINKEE Shop have put together a curated selection of watches, straps, and other accessories to make her feel extra special this year. Discover the HODINKEE Shop Mother's Day collection right here.How to Become a Watchmaker 8005