Mother’s Day? Amateur hour. Just get flowers. Flowers are a phone call away, and the florist’ll sign the card for you. Father’s Day — that’s the tough one. What do you buy for the man who has everything? Guys have a habit of buying what they want, when they want it. If they don’t already have iPads and BlackBerrys, they’re on pre-order. So, congratulations to modern men on being so au courant and all that — and thanks for nothing in terms of helping us, and you, with thoughtful gift ideas.
We hit the streets and asked two-dozen Canadian gentlemen — respectable types, from different walks of life — what they would most like this Father’s Day. We even told them they didn’t have to be fathers (we’re equal opportunity like that). The responses ranged from the normal to the predictable to the borderline insane. Regardless, they seemed to follow a trend. No smartphones or tablets, socks or ties. Zero surprise to the latter, of course, but the former was quasi-revelatory.
Assuming this group is representative enough, modern men seem to be leaning towards objects that defined their youth. A guitar, a camera or a brand-new Harley? Can do. Money should be no object, because that’s the way men do things. Take note.
For the Inner Jimmy Page
Ignite, or reignite, that musical flare with the 60th Anniversary Fender Telecaster ($1,799.99), a classic six-string guaranteed to make any axeman foam at the mouth. The Telecaster famously shaped rock music and has been seen in the talented hands of the world’s most famous players, including Keith Richards, Bob Dylan and Pixies frontman Frank Black. This 2011-exclusive model boasts the original look (right down to the chrome neck plate) and dual-pickup sound that defined the icon immediately upon launch in February 1951.
For the Inner Ansel Adams
Nikon and Olympus et al. are well and fine, but if you’re a longtime photo-buff you’ll know the classic brands that go far beyond, say, the decent-enough Canon Rebel. It’s hard to surpass the elegance of Leica Digital M-series cameras. Armed with a huge variety of models and accessories, a Leica gives serious edge to those lesser dads and their generic brand cameras. Leicas do come at a pretty price ($700 – $25,000), but we’re not here to help you cheap out. The Lomography Sprocket Rocket ($90) is another, significantly more affordable option. The Sprocket Rocket is a trendy small film camera that eschews the digital look and takes you back to film’s perfect imperfections.
For the Inner Phil Mickelson
Most of us get no closer to the PGA Tour than our TV screen, but it never stops us from aspiring to have the best equipment when we hit the links on our own time. Hit a ball like the pros with the new Callaway Diablo Octane Driver. In the golf world, they call it a revolution. The driver is formed using Forged Composite, a new material that allows enhanced distribution of club-head mass. Simply put, this is space-age technology designed to send your ball soaring. If that’s not enough, the thing just looks great, and few things impress more than a beautiful new driver.
For the Inner Mike Holmes
Bob Vila and Mike Holmes are good, but some of us can do better. What does every handyman need? A 5-piece cordless set, obviously. (Yes, we have more than one. So can you.) Our group recommended the DeWalt 18V Cordless XRP™ 5-Tool Combo Kit ($549) as the must-have set for do-it-yourselfers. You can grab this set of equipment at any Home Hardware or Lowe’s across the country. It comes with a hammer drill, circular saw, cordless reciprocating saw, impact driver and floodlight.
For the Inner Evel Knievel
Awaken that deep-down daredevil with a swanky bike accessory guaranteed to get the motorcycle out of the garage and back on the street. For a limited time, Harley-Davidson Canada is offering a Custom Seat Program. Fill in your bike model and year, and choose from 1,300 different colour, design and texture combinations. Once you select the pattern, inlay and colour, simply bring the specs to your closest Harley Davidson retailer. Prices range from $399.99 to $479.95, depending on size and style. Now for the Evel Knievel part: Drive down to the Grand Canyon, and jump it. (Good luck — it was EK’s dream stunt, and he never made it.)
For the Inner Warren Buffet
Come on guys, we know we deserve the finer things in life. Dads especially. Nothing speaks to a man’s desire for class and sophistication like a Mont Blanc Steel Timewalker Automatic ($2680). That’s a good start, but if you really want to declare to the world that this Father’s Day was the best ever, IWC’s Portofino Automatic (under $5000) was inspired by the beautiful Italian fishing-village of Portofino and features hand-made Italian leather straps, a see-through sapphire glass back, red gold frame and ardoise dial. Expensive? Oh yes. You’re welcome.
Image courtesy of davitydave.