Instead of going with the traditional route of giving a diamond ring as a gift during the proposal of marriage - why not give something that holds greater, deeper value? A watch is a creation that stands on its own. A ring, well... Rings are symbolic of love but only through the excellence of marketing.
A watch may not immediately equate to romantic love, but when you get beyond the case and the dial, you do see love. Watches represent years of design, manufacturing, experimentation, etc. And they capture time. Which, as you offer a proposal of marriage, is all you are thinking about. You know, the forever part.
As a woman in my mid-twenties, who's been in a serious relationship for the better part of a decade, this is something that really interests me. Watches are my thing, so this would really impress me.
But really - anything different - and unique - to her and you - should be what motivates and inspires you. Not bridal magazines.
I've never really understood the point of an engagement ring. Yes, Diamond Engagement Rings are beautiful. They sparkle. They catch your eye while you're driving - eating - sitting - drinking - sleeping... You can customize it to represent your one, true, love...
But that's about it. There is no real function. No real purpose. Other than, "My Man bought me this - and you can guess for how much - and if I've Googled it right I can guess - and the cut and the setting are supposed to represent our true love." So, bragging rights.
But bragging rights only go so far. And as followers of this site will attest, a quality watch is something that will Actually Last Forever. In value, at least. And it contributes to your daily life, keeping you on time. Throw in a complication or two, and a watch becomes an offering of a future, rich in love and appreciation for the finest things in life. That you will now build together.
A high-end timepiece would be the perfect gift to give when proposing marriage, a symbol of love - and a gift to truly enjoy for the rest of your life together. More than a diamond, timepieces (specifically Swiss watches) represent: tradition, craftsmanship, exclusivity, perfection, performance, longevity.. I could go on.
So what would I accept? A case of gold seems most appropriate. Diamonds are of course welcome - but as long as they are set well - and Not Bedazzled! see Jacob the jeweler.
One of my true loves is, as you may know, Zenith. This is a brand that loves women. Not just as a target demographic that they are marketing to - but women as real. human. beings. For every type of woman out there, Zenith has a collection. And when you're proposing marriage, you should only give the best.
So by gifting her with a Zenith, you would be giving her something rare - something that has been toiled over for decades - and most importantly, is unique.
Zenith's ChronoMaster Lady Moonphase in Rose Gold with Diamonds would be the ideal way to go, when proposing marriage. Zenith has tweaked this model (exhibited at Baselworld this past week), originally launched in 2008, to include even more diamonds all around the case - on the bezel and the sides. The 18 carat Rose Gold Fully Set case is strong and luxurious and would be the envy of all, upon your betrothed's wrist.
The ChronoMaster Lady Moonphase is powered by the El Primero 410 movement, with the moonphase indicator positioned at 6 o'clock. How symbolic is this, for an engagement gesture... Your lives will now be joined, through all the different phases of the moon. With Zenith's masterful craftsmanship to symbolize your changing love. Forever.
To keep more of a haute horlogerie theme - I also like the Breguet Reine de Naples. Remember, this is replacing a diamond ring, after all. The natural Mother of Pearl dial is luminous - and with the hand appliqued fancy Breguet numerals, and pear shaped diamond at 6 o'clock, the little details on the dial face will keep her gazing and loving for years to come. The 117 diamond set upon the bezel, at approximately .99 cttw, are just an added bonus. Elegantly finished, this watch, to me, speaks much more of love than a simple diamond ring.
One downside to the Breguet Reine de Naples, is that this is not an everday timepiece. The white gold case is elegant and strong, yet the black satin strap would not hold up as long as your marriage does, if worn daily. Well... Let's hope. The self-winding Breguet 537/1 movement, though, would. This is a beautiful example of traditional watchmaking, as this brand is most valued for its respect for tradition and precision.
But, if you want to separate yourself a bit more, you could also go classic. Like Cartier classic. The Cartier Love Watch in White Gold is an obvious and simple way to say I love you. Forever. The silvered sunray dial is subtle yet engaging on a wrist - the beauty, better to be seen up close.
Accented with 18 diamonds and 6 signature Cartier Screws, the bezel is balanced by luxury and strength. Featuring the Cartier Calibre 157 Quartz movement, this is a versatile watch that will be worn every day - for the rest of your lives together. And with an approximate price of $12,000, this is a great investment for you, her, and the future.
So, when proposing marriage, do not follow the magazine ads that tell you a kiss begins with K. For watch aficionados, a watch makes perfect sense. Whatever you give will be an investment and a testament to the two of you and your love for each other, for the rest of your lives. So, why not make it something you both enjoy, and will be able to enjoy forever?
There is nothing like watching an exquisite Swiss timepiece appreciate upon your wrist. For ever and ever. [Editor: - at least that is the idea].