As the holiday shopping season is approaching, I put myself in the shoes of a person looking for a nice gift for a husband, a brother, a son or a good friend. When you don’t know what to buy, you can’t go wrong with a nice watch. If you’re Montreal, you have several great choices, one of them being Matt Baily’s boutique on Crescent street.

Our readers might be already familiar with the Matt Baily name, WatchPaper contributor Marco Gagliano has posted several stories as Baily Blogger.

With more than 30 years in the watch business, Matt Baily was the first authorized dealer in Canada for really cool brands, such as Bell & Ross or U-Boat watches. As at any decent watch boutique, at Matt Baily you’ll find people that are knowledgable and passionate about watches. One of them is Jason, whom I asked to show me some pieces in different price brackets. Here are the watches, he showed me:

Under $1000: ANCON

Ancon M26 watch

Military style bronze Ancon M26 Tank dive watch

Bronze watch Ancon M26 Tank

The massive bronze Ancon M26 Tank

Miyota 9015 in Ancon M26 Tank

The back of the watch shows a Miyota 9015 automatic movement.

Ancon M26 Tank on the wrist

On the wrist, it gives that “Don’t mess with me!” feeling.

You might be surprised by Jason’s choice, but you shouldn’t be. Matt Baily was always in the avant-garde, not being afraid to carry brands that are young, as long as they have high quality in both design and movement.

Ancon actually got it’s name from the USS ANCON AGC-4, that during World War II served as a combined headquarters and communications ship. The Ancon M26 case is made of aging bronze that with time gives the watch a nice patina. The model I’ve tried had a brown Italian leather strap that matched well the massive bronze case. If leather is not what you like it also comes with a a faded military green canvas strap too. The buckle too is made of bronze.

On the wrist, as the name says it, the M26 feels like and looks like a tank: very solid, no corners cut, in your face. Do you know a person with this qualities, I’m sure he would like a watch like the Ancon M26 Tank.

The price: $989

Under $2000: Alpina and Frédérique Constant

Alpina Extreme Diver 300 Orange

Alpina Extreme Diver 300 Orange on bracelet.

Alpina Extreme Diver Orange dial and  bezel.

The 44mm Alpina Extreme Diver Orange has a steel case with easy to see dial and rotating 60min diving bezel.

Alpina Extreme Diver 300 crown

One of the many professional diving features of this watch is its screw-in crown.

The AL-525 automatic caliber, will provide a 38-hour power reserve

The AL-525 automatic caliber is decorated, a rare addition in this price range.

A nice touch on the buckle.

The mountain top is a nice touch on the buckle.

Alpina, as a brand, is specialized in manufacturing reliable professional sport watches. Announced earlier this year, the Extreme Diver 300 Orange is diver’s watch loaded with professional features, yet at an affordable price. The fact that this watch is water resistant to 300 meters is probably not on your list of priorities, but the fact that it was designed to be visible at the low lights of the deep can be really handy.

This is a watch that won’t go unnoticed on the wrist and it looks just as good on the beach as in a meeting room.

Price: $1695 on bracelet
See it at Matt Baily

The elegant Frédérique Constant Slim Line Automatic

The elegant Frédérique Constant Slim Line Automatic with its curved dial is inspired by watches of the 50s.

The slender lines make the Frédérique Constant Slim Line, a badge of class and refinement.

The slender lines make the Frédérique Constant Slim Line, a badge of class and refinement.

FC-306

On the back, you can admire the decorated automatic FC-306 movement trough a sapphire glass.

Frédérique Constant’s motto is “Let more people enjoy luxury”, they are bringing to the market watches that are elegant, have a high-quality and are accessible to a wider circle of watch enthusiasts.

The first thing that caught my eye was the dial of this watch, it’s curved shape with “sun” effect, combined with the slim polished indexes and hands, dresses this watch with a classic elegance.

Price: $2050
See it at Matt Baily

Over $3000: Bell & Ross

Bell & Ross Vintage 123 Sport Heritage and BR03 94 Golden Heritage

I tried two Bell & Ross models, the Vintage 123 Sport Heritage and the BR03 94 Golden Heritage

BR 123 Sport Heritage

The BR 123 Sport Heritage is a tribute to the 60’s.

The crown on the BR 123

The crown on the BR 123

BR 123 has a great rubber strap

I was really impressed by the rubber strap on this watch.

The BR 123 is powered by the automatic ETA 2892

The BR 123 is powered by the automatic ETA 2892

The BR 123 fits well on the wrist.

The BR 123 fits well on the wrist.

Bell & Ross is synonymous with COOL. The BR 123 Sport heritage is a bold time and date with large numerals and basic functions: hours, minutes, seconds and date. Do you really need more than this? It is a real pleasure to look at this dial trough the ultra rounded, anti-reflective sapphire crystal.

Once you put it on your wrist, you realize how amazing this rubber strap is.

Price: $3400
See it at Matt Baily

BR 03-94 Golden Heritage

BR 03-94 Golden Heritage

The chronograph push buttons and crown on the side of BR 03-94

The chronograph push buttons and crown on the side

The back of the BR03-94

The back of the BR 03-94

Bell & Ross is known for its square watches, these are large, extrovert, big boys. The BR 03-94 Golden Heritage chronograph has a 42mm satin-brushed steel case and comes on a calfskin strap with hot stamping and white stitching. The dark brown dial has golden appliqué indexes and numerals with golden hands.

Price: $6380
See it at Matt Baily

Preowned watches

A nice lineup of preowned Rolexes at Matt Baily

A nice lineup of preowned Rolexes at Matt Baily

If you’re interested in buying a preowned watch or selling one, Matt Baily is the place you can go with trust. Apart from the Rolexes from the picture, I saw Omegas, A. Lange & Söhne, Jaeger LeCoultre and other high end watches. Before buying a new watch, you might want to take a look at the preowned section too.

Matt Baily
1427 Crescent St.
Montreal, Quebec
CANADA H3G-2B2
Tel : +1 (514) 845-8878
http://www.mattbaily.ca/