Once every four years on a leap day in a leap year, women can propose to men…or so the legend goes. Thinking of giving it a go? Here are the watches he’ll just have to say ‘Yes’ to.
If Sandra Bullock can do it, then so can we…
Legend has it that Queen Margaret of Scotland, weary from being unmarried, enacted a law in 1288 allowing women to propose to men on the 29th February – a leap day that only occurs once every four years.
Although historians have pointed out that she would have only been five-years-old when the law was introduced, the romance of the notion took hold and spread throughout the rest of the world. The tradition is particularly upheld in Ireland (anyone remember the film ‘Leap Year’ with Amy Adams?) and Finland, where a man may have to pay a ‘fine’ if he shrugs off a leap day proposal.
However, not everyone is feeling the leap year love. In Greece, even the idea of getting engaged, let alone married, in a leap year is considered the ultimate bad luck.
As you’ve probably guessed by now, 2016 is a leap year which means the 29th February is just a few short weeks away. If you’re ready to pop the question, or you’re just sick and tired of waiting for him to do it, you should think outside the engagement ring box.
Fortunately for your inner romantic, proposing with a gorgeous watch was a big trend in 2015, with women unwrapping Omegas, Rolexes and perhaps even the odd Patek instead of a sparkling diamond solitaire.
As we explained in our article exclusively for those chaps looking to propose with a watch there is a minefield of questions. What’s her sense of style? Will she want statement or classic? How much should you spend?
If you’re thinking of getting down on one knee (perhaps don’t opt for a pencil skirt that day), you will need to ask yourself the same questions. Here are some fantastic timepieces to help him say ‘Yes’…
Christoper Ward C9 Moonphase
There’s just the right balance of elegance and interest with this Christopher Ward C9 Moonphase. The midnight blue dial is particularly striking, but what’s even more impressive is the accuracy – the piece has a tolerance of just one day per 128 years. Now that’s a sign of commitment.
RRP £1,295 Shop
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calender
Robust, masculine but still dressy, this Audemars Piguet may bankrupt you for life, but you’ll be wed with the knowledge that your husband is sporting a truly excellent timepiece. Plus, it may help him remember your anniversary.
RRP £21,060 Shop
Patek Philippe Calatrava
We can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t say yes to this stunning black Patek Philippe. The design was born in 1932 and it’s unlikely to ever fall out of fashion – something which will make the difference on your 50th wedding anniversary.
Montblanc Heritage Spirit Orbis Terrarum
At a much nicer price, but no less interesting is this Montblanc, which should appeal to his hipster sensibilities. Tell him this worldtimer has a 24-hour dial which rotates to show exactly where it is day or night anywhere on the globe – handy if either of you are away on business.
RRP £3,895 Shop
Louis Erard Excellence Skeleton
This watch is certainly a talking point thanks to its skeletonised movement and brilliant blue hands, but it’s also classic enough to stand the test of time. Although beware, he may spend more time looking at it than at you!
RRP £2,095 Shop
Baume & Mercier Classima
Baume & Mercier loves celebrating the good times, which is what makes this 40mm Classima the ideal choice for popping the question. It features a mechanical self-winding movement visible through the sapphire crystal case back and comes with a sophisticated brown alligator strap.
RRP £1,550 Shop
Nomos Glashütte Tetra 27 for Ärzte ohne Grenzen Deutschland
If your chap is regularly straying from the norm into more eccentric territories, then this may just be the watch for him. This limited edition, stainless steel Tetra model also raises funds for emergency aid organisations, so you’ll be making a donation in his honour too.
RRP £1,240 Shop
Part of the Altitude range, this 43mm Bremont beauty has a striking cream dial with chrono sub-dials at the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock for a sporty touch. The luminous hour markers are great if he’s got an adventurous streak too.
RRP £4,395 Shop
Longines Flagship Bicolour
If you’ve got a trend-setter chappy who wouldn’t be seen dead in last year’s clobber then invest in a bi-colour bracelet watch to be totally ahead of the curve. This Longines is particularly classy with its careful balance of yellow gold, stainless steel and a white dial.
RRP £1,210 Shop
Tudor Grantour Date Automatic
Sporty, chunky and inspired by car racing…what more could a chap want! If you can’t quite stretch to a Rolex this lovely Tudor, made by the same parent company, will be just the ticket.
RRP £1,900 Shop