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 procreate, but are also working hard to be great fathers.
Orient Bambino Version III – $129.00
For the minimalist who still appreciates style. Bauhaus-like design. In house movement. Domed dial and stick hands and indices. Also available in a white, black, or grey dial. 40.5mm diameter without the crown. Just 30m in water resistance, so not something you want to get wet.
Timex x Red Wing Chronograph – $135.00
Because they really do look and feel well above any ol’ Timex. And that Red Wing boot leather strap will break in mighty fine over the next few years. Out of stock at most US retailers, but END. Clothing does have them, and lists them in US Dollars. You will have to shell out for international shipping via Fed Ex ($12) and you’re on the hook for returns. BUT… at you can get one from across the pond.
Skagen Holst Multi-Function – $116.12 ($155)
Seems to make this list every year (well, at least every year since it came out) and for good reason. Slim, sleak, professional… and a bargain. No, Skagen isn’t going to be rock-solid quality, but they’re certainly decent for the price point. Skagen is also a brand that doesn’t evoke feelings of immaturity. 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 found on other watches. Full review here. Also available on a light brown strap.
Standard Issue Pilot Mission Timer – $199.98 ($267)
For the outdoors-loving dads and grads. Swiss quartz movement and a sapphire crystal. Unique, oyster-shaped case which really does look and feel great on the wrist. Now comes with an extra silicone deployment clasp strap. Sold exclusively via Huckberry and now on sale for under two bills. Review of their similar “navigator” watch can be found here.
Armogan Spirit of St. Louis Chronograph – $199.98 ($225)
Sale price above reflects how much you’ll pay via Huckberry. Huckberry only has a couple of strap colors to pick from, while Armogan sells more options through Amazon and Amazon even fulfills. But you’ll pay $232 over there. Both of the Huckberry available straps, chocolate and green, look great against the silver dial. 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.
Orient Adventurer World Time Automatic – $299
Can be worn casually or dressed up. Automatic movement. Sapphire Crystal. Convenient power reserve indicator at noon. Perfect for the traveler or the guy who dreams of one day doing a bit of globe trotting. Full review here.
Hamilton Khaki Field 42mm Automatic – $375.00
If the guy on your list (or, if you are the guy giving someone else a list) prefers to dress casually most of the time, then this is a watch he could wear almost every day for the rest of his life. Rugged. Dependable. Brown leaning tan strap pops next to that black dial. Terrific feel to the construction and finish. Also available in a 38mm size.
Seiko “Cocktail Time” Automatic – $399.00
One of Seiko’s fancier models that’s quite popular with the watch-loving crowd. Hacks and hand-winds thanks to the 23-jewel 6R15 movement. Domed Crystal. The almost iridescent, slight blue-tinge to the sunburst dial is gorgeous. 40mm case with a nice bit of heft to its weight. Exhibition caseback and comes with an extremely smooth (think patent with a little less shine) strap with blue stitching. Some might want to find a more matte strap, but other than that, it’s a beaut.
Tissot Visodate Automatic – $400
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 is as timeless as it comes (it’s the watch dial version of a 2.75″ or 3″ tie.) Sapphire crystal with an exhibition case back. Not all that different from the Seiko Cocktail time, but the band is a bit better, and it comes in a few different color schemes.
Tissot Carson Chronograph – $477.00
About as inexpensive as a great looking, automatic chronograph can get (those movements are tough to make). White dial, art-deco like stair step edges around the dial, and a snappy chronograph movement. 42.5mm case is easily wearable for most. Pretty. Real pretty.
Hamilton Railroad Small Seconds Automatic – $799.00
One of those watches that’s gonna look just as impressive in 30 years as it does now. Complete class. Big fan of the just-different-enough seconds hand that’s been offset at 8 o’clock. Full retail is almost $1300 if you buy direct from Hamilton (price above reflects what it’ll run you through Jomashop). 42mm case diameter. Onion-style crown and date window at 3 o’clock. Razor sharp hands. Extremely versatile. An heirloom to pass on.
Because a Guy can Dream: Tudor Black Bay Dark – $4,150
Good grief that’s a boatload of cash. But… wow. In house movement. Ridiculous 70 hr power reserve. Chronometer certified (which means it’s super accurate, and can only lose or gain a fraction of the seconds other automatic/mechanical watches can lose during a given day). Comes with the mean looking grey strap shown above, as well as an extra black leather strap. Insurance obviously sold separately. (Photo via the Tudor Instagram)
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.