Recent grads will be hooked to their mobiles, tablets, and laptops for the rest of their life. But a watch is a ticket to disconnect. You can go off on your own, but know when to be back. Dads could use some unplugged time as well. Meanwhile, Father Time is undefeated, and seeing those seconds physically tick by on your wrist might remind you to really appreciate every moment you’ve got with your kids. That… and watches just plain look good. Congrats to the grads, and kudos to the dads who didn’t just father children, but are working hard to be great fathers.
Orient Vintage-Look White Dial Bambino – $182 w/ YOUTUBE30
A perfect dress watch for the recent grad, or for the Dad who’s usually dressed casually, but might want something sharp for special nights out on the town (hooray for having an army of babysitters at the ready). This is the newest addition to the Bambino lineup. The blue hands stand out nicely against the very pale silver face. Full review here.
F.F.F. Button-Stud Timex Chrono – $102.40 w/ dadsgradsortreatyoself ($128)
Timex’s new 40mm weekender chronograph complete with a Made in the USA Horween leather button-stud strap from Form Function Form. Tons of leather shades to pick from, including Horweens beloved burgundy shade #8. For the Dad or Grad who loves t-shirts and jeans, but never looks sloppy while wearing them.
Slim, sleak, professional… and a bargain. No, Skagen isn’t going to be Omega quality, but their brand doesn’t evoke feelings of immaturity either. Quartz movement. Super slim. Perfectly balanced sub dials give you the day and date instead of the usual cut-out windows at 3 o’clock on other watches. Full review here. (UPDATE: These were going for $116 via Amazon over the weekend, but just moved up in price over night. Sit tight if you can, they’ll usually drop to the low $100s)
Sure it’s a quartz, but some really do prefer the dependability of a pick-it-up-and-go quartz movement. Has an almost early science-fiction look to it, with its multiple cutouts and indicators surrounded by intricate guilloche texture. Perpetual calendar on this one, so you’ll never have to skip the date ahead on non 31 day months. Slightly domed sapphire crystal. 42mm case. Absolutely suit worthy but can be dressed down to smart-casual territory easily. Currently sold direct by Amazon at a nice sized discount (full retail is $450 for this thing). UPDATE: Looks like Amazon has sold out and is now fulfilling through a 3rd party retailer. Price moved from $275 to $300 with that change, and the link above now takes you to Jomashop, where they’re going for $275.
Orient “Duke” Automatic – $203 w/ YOUTUBE30 ($290)
The classic good looks and simplicity of a Timex Weekender, only with an automatic movement and much heartier construction quality. 43mm case is not small by any stretch, but should be wearable by plenty. Elongated “leaf” style hands are smooth and sharp at the same time. Sapphire crystal, and word is that crystal is slightly domed. This is the kind of watch that could be worn with everything. Hat tip to reader Andrew L. for sending in the style tip on these.
For the risk-taker. Why? Because there’s not much to be known about this thing. Or at least, the information provided on Jack Threads (it appears to be a discontinued MWC model) is mostly inaccurate. Their site claims it’s both an automatic and quartz. Yes, both. It’s neither. The movement is a mechanical hand wind with an exhibition case back. They also claim it’s 40mm in diameter. It’s more like 45. NOT small. It is made by Military Watch Company, which can be hit or miss in terms of quality, but this thing feels pretty solid. Crown is nice and sturdy, and it winds with a steady click-click-click. Big ol’ crown on this sucker too. Band is absolute crap. That’ll need to be replaced eventually, but if Jack Threads runs a code and it’s under $100? Might be worth taking a flyer (hardy friggin’ flippin’ har har) on this pilot.
Casual but effortlessly cool looking. A more traditional sized case at 38mm, this thing is a small, dependable beast. A bulldog of a wrist watch. 100 m water resistance, Swiss Automatic movement, sapphire crystal, and exhibition case back. A pony sized workhorse.
Back in stock at Huckberry. Real tough to find via a US based retailer. Miyota Quartz + Mineral Glass doesn’t usually make for an almost $200 price tag, but the design is so well executed (in a style that’s oddly rare) that some are going to be more than happy to take the plunge. Vintage inspired hands & font, domed crystal, and sturdy feeling. Full review here. The brand used to go by “Antoine Arnaud” but has since switched it’s name to Armogan.
Uncluttered with a nostalgic logo, the Visodate was originally created to celebrate Tissot’s 100th anniversary back in the 1950s. Case size is 40mm, which will look good on 90% of wrists from now until the cows come home (if they ever do, in fact, come home). Sapphire crystal with an exhibition case back.
From the same guy(s) who got the Rossling & Co. kickstarter project up and going. These things are getting close to shipping, and word from their kickstarter site is that pre-orders should ship in late June. For now, you can order direct through their website. Perfect for the Dad who’s got a car he loves to drive the heck out of for the heck of it (heck x 2!). Sure, it might arrive well after the graduation ceremonies are over and Father’s day has come and gone, but it’d be tough to replicate the 70s racing style at a similar price point. Runs off a Seiko Quartz movement that uses mechanical chronograph components to give it that real snappy feel, instead the familiar (but fine for most) mushier quartz chrono feedback.
Complete class. From their new Railroad collection. Full retail is almost $1300 if you buy direct from Hamilton (price above reflects what it’ll run you through Jomashop.) 42mm case diameter with a spectacular blue off-set seconds dial. Onion-style crown and date window at 3 o’clock. Razor sharp looking hands. A watch that’ll get worn over and over again for an entire lifetime.
For the globe-trotter who doesn’t mind getting dirty or diving into whatever body of water he’s close to. The large GMT hand keeps track of a second time zone, while the bezel still rotates if you need to use it to keep track of elapsed time. Spade hour hand and trident counter weight on the 2nd hand are also nice design touches. Can take a beating and still come out looking superb on the other side. 600 m water resistance is impressive to say the least. Plenty of strap & dial colors to choose from.
Note: It’s always smart to do your homework on just who you’re buying from. If it’s not an authorized retailer for that certain brand, you might not get the factory warranty (or, any warranty). You can save money buy buying from someone else (say, Amazon or Jomashop), but know that there might be a catch in terms of service if something goes sideways.