Valentine's Day Men's Gift Guide 2016

Sam Kessler (Online Editor)
Gifts that even the least romantic of men will love this Valentine's Day

With men so notoriously difficult to buy for, we’d understand if you’re still struggling to find that perfect gift for this fast-approaching Valentine's Day. After all, there’s so much out there to choose from it can get overwhelming. Well, consider us your guides through the perilous waters of the world of luxury in preparation for the 14th of February.

From traditional craftsmanship to cutting-edge engineering, the subtly understated to the gloriously extravagant, here are our picks of the best men’s Valentine’s gifts.

Montegrappa Q1 Fountain Pen, £7,425

Montegrappa Q1 Fountain Pen

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Every man likes a gadget; at the same time, there’s nothing quite like an exquisitely-crafted fountain pen, especially in an era where actually writing by hand is somewhat of an occasion. In typical Montegrappa fashion, the Italian pen-maker has combined both into the high-tech casing of the Q1.

From the first glance there’s something intriguing about the almost futuristic stylings of the Q1, the combination of titanium and leather a dichotomous fusion of the traditional and the cutting-edge. Yet that’s nothing compared to the pen’s inner workings. With a cylinder system similar to that of a revolver, the Q1 allows you to select one of four different colours, entirely changing your writing at the pleasingly tactile click of a button.

Meisterstück Selection Sfumato Document Case, £1,250

Montblanc MEISTERSTÜCK SELECTION SFUMATO DOCUMENT CASE

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Business accessories don’t need to be boring, especially something with as much room for embellishment as a briefcase. It might not be the first thing that leaps to mind as a gift for the man you love; you might, understandably prefer to opt for something a little more… overtly impressive. But as essentials go, there's nothing quite like a good bag and Montblanc's Meisterstück Selection range is far, far more than good.

Crafted from fine grain Italian leather, the case employs a technique Montblanc call Sfumato, or ‘like smoke.’ It’s a painting technique that dates back to the Italian renaissance, its most famous advocate being Mona Lisa. Essentially the leather is painted from dark to light, giving a unique gradient that, as its name suggests, seems to smoke around the shaded edges. Here it gives the blue a beautiful depth and distinct contemporary individuality, despite the age of the technique itself.

Devialet Silver Phantom, £1,690

Devialet Silver Phantom

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Wireless speakers tend to be a bit of a compromise. They may be conveniently mobile and easy to connect to your own vast catalogue of music, but it’s a convenience that nearly always involve sacrificing sound quality and clarity. We say nearly always, solely due to the existence of Devialet’s Phantom.

Rightly touted as the best wireless speaker in the world, there’s barely a part of the Phantom that doesn’t hold some patented innovation. By combining digital and analogue amplification, Devialet have created a system which is both compact and powerful. Even the bass is seriously impressive, with the ‘Heart Bass Implosion’ creating sound worthy of a speaker 20 times the Phantom's size, right to the edge of infrasound. There's plenty of good reasons the Phantom is the choice of Jay-Z, Beyonce and Will.i.am.

Vertu New Signature Touch in Jet Alligator, £9,400

Vertu New Signature Touch Alligator

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Considering how often we all use them, it’s ridiculous how little we invest in our mobile phones. Not a day – often not an hour – goes by without at least checking for messages, so why are we normally happy with plastic-covered handsets that just feel… well, cheap?

Vertu’s Signature Touch feels anything but. Clad in black alligator leather, it’s as pleasant to touch as it is to look at. There’s more to the Touch than just the casing of course; the newest version of Vertu’s flagship device, every detail is perfect; even the sim compartment opens with a satisfyingly solid click. The operating system, the audio technology, even the sapphire crystal screen are all unique to Vertu. Accompanied by the brand’s dedicated concierge service, it’s the very definition of a luxury mobile phone.

Deakin & Francis Gold Enamel Cufflinks, £2,460

Deakin & Francis Gold Enamel Cufflinks

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Cufflinks aren’t exactly the most original of men’s gifts; they seem to be a default option alongside ties and pocket squares. But don’t let that put you off. All it means is that you need to work all the harder to make them stand out. These from Deakin and Francis certainly do that.

As cufflinks go, these are breath-taking. The cushion-shaped blocks of yellow gold have been enamelled in contrasting royal blue, complete with an intricate sunburst pattern radiating out from a central bright yellow diamond. As if that weren’t enough, the yellow and blue theme is continued with cabochon sapphires either end of the T-bar. Classically beautiful in every finely engraved line, this is a pair of cufflinks that will never look like the default option.

Leica X-U, £2,400

Leica X-U

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The best photographers are the most dedicated, those willing to climb mountains and cross rivers for that perfect shot. Of course, all that effort can go to waste if their camera fails after the first unexpected splash and even something as minor as dust on the lens can ruin a shot. It takes a lot more than hell and high water however to stop Leica’s X-U.

Built to withstand anything that gets thrown at it – or it gets thrown at for that matter – the X-U is Leica’s most rugged compact camera to date. Shock proof and sealed against dust and water, it’s the perfect expedition camera. Seeing as it’s not just the elements that can be tempremental the X-U’s intuitive handling lets you react in an instant, no matter where or when that ideal photo opportunity arises.

S.T. Dupont Atelier Ligne 2 Lighter, £950

S.T. Dupont Atelier Ligne 2 Lighter

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As far as lighters go, there aren't many held in anywhere near the same esteem at Dupont's. There might well be other luxurious examples out there, but Dupont's will always be among the most iconic, particularly the Ligne 2. The original silver and black lacquer version is considered a design classic, an instantly-recognisable luxury staple. This Atelier edition takes that to the extreme.

Here the silver trim has been replaced by lustrous yellow gold, the black by deep blue Chinese lacquer, the beautiful hue seeming to swirl like smoke. Complete with a double flame and housed in an equally exceptional presentation box, it elevates every cigar to new, luxurious heights.

William & Son Poker Case, £2,200

William & Son Poker Case

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Poker is serious business and, even if you’re more inclined towards poker nights with friends than professional play, it deserves some respect. You want each placement of a chip, every reveal of the flop to have the gravitas that plastic and laminated card will never achieve. With William & Son’s superlative poker set, you’ll always end up hosting the game.

Housed in a sumptuous green calf leather case, the chips are made from brightly coloured ceramic with the values finely painted on. Completing the set are two packs of classic playing cards and five dice in the same green as the case. At the click of the opening case, you can’t help but anticipate a good night of poker ahead.

Bremont ALT1-WT, £4,495

Bremont ALT1-WT

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As anyone that’s accidentally called home from abroad at five in the morning knows, keeping track of the exact time when you’re halfway around the world isn’t all that easy. It does however become all the more so with a watch equipped with a world timer, particularly one as lovely as Bremont’s.

The British watchmaker’s aviation influences are self-evident in the rugged case and easily-legible layout of the dial, fitting for a timepiece equipped with the ultimate globe-trotter’s complication. To make is easy to operate, the movement is fitted with a crown at 8 o’clock, specifically for the world timer, rather than having to fiddle with the hours and seconds. A balance of functionality and elegance, particularly in blue, the ALT1-WT is finished with lines of latitude and longitude faint on the dial, an overt reference to its travel-worthy credentials.

Holland & Holland Canvas Safari Bolster Bag, £895

Holland & Holland Large Canvas Safari Bolster Bag

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Finding the perfect weekend bag is no mean feat. It needs to be large enough to carry at least a couple sets of clothes if not more, while at the same time staying light and unobtrusive. This Safari-inspired example from gun maker and all-round countryside experts Holland & Holland is a masterclass in how to do it.

Crafted in England from a cotton / linen canvas, the Safari Bolster Bag is an updated version of a classic Holland & Holland style. As simple in construction as it can be, the bag’s essentially just one big compartment with a convenient zipped pocket on the outside. Light, versatile and comfortable, it’s everything you could look for in such a practical necessity. Bonus points if you follow it up with an actual safari. 

To make an enquiry about any of the pieces featured in this article, CLICK HERE.

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