Horology is a perplexing fascination. Is it the endless ticking? The pleasing circularity of time? No-one knows, but we all have a friend (or several) who love a good watch or clock (or both).
Save precious seconds by perusing our list of top tick-tocking gifts. Best of all, these should be presents that stand the test of time.
Analog Watch Co Carpenter (US$150)
Analog Watch Co’s wooden Carpenter range might be made of old trees, but there’s no need to count its rings to work out the time. It's got good old-fashioned hands for that.
Our pick is the makore and red sanders model - but you can also choose teak and bamboo, silverheart and maple, or leather and blackwood, depending on your timber of preference.
Swatch Sistem51 (£108)
Your dad's Rolex might get him noticed at the golf club, but this is a genuinely nice piece of modern design.
A fiendishly brilliant movement of 51 parts held together by a single screw make this a proper, self-winding, mechanical watch - Swiss-style.
Unlike other proper, self-winding, etc etc Swiss watches, though, it's colourful and fun and doesn't cost (that) much.
Casio Edifice EQB-500D-1AER (£325)
Just because you connect your phone to your watch, doesn’t mean you have to spend all day getting buzzed each time you get a text. Casio’s Bluetooth tickers connect to an app that lets you set alarms without faffing around with tiny dials and buttons, or make your phone ring so you can track it down if you can’t find it.
Lexon Flip clock (£29)
Scientists believe that we were, at some point in our evolutionary history, menaced by carnivorous tortoises. As a result, many people feel an instinctive urge to turn something over immediately after waking.
The Flip Clock is made for such people: you turn the alarm off by flipping it over, but the display rights itself so you don’t think it’s one minute past midnight when it’s actually 10 o’clock. It even has helpful 'on' and 'off' surfaces.
Garmin Vivomove (£140)
The last thing you need over the festive period is something to remind you how sedentary you’ve been. Come January 1, though, you’ll thank your lucky sprouts you asked for a Garmin Vivomove for Christmas.
It might look like a regular watch, but look a little closer and you'll spot a bar on the face which displays how many steps you’ve taken. There's also a second one, which fills up every 15 mins before reminding you to take a quick walk. Happy New Year!