Watches That Make Great Graduation Gifts

Looking for the perfect present is something that the best of us struggle with. Thankfully, there are certain items that are universally considered to be good gifts such as leather goods, jewelry, and watches. However, given the wide variety of timepieces available in the market, finding the ideal model can still prove to be a difficult task. 

One of the most important things to do when buying a gift is to narrow down details, such as the occasion, the receiver’s preferences, their age, and so on. That being said, in this article, we will be focusing on the best men’s graduation gifts in the form of well-crafted watches. 

For The Exciting College Years Ahead 

Watches are definitely one of the most flexible graduation gifts for men who are just about to begin their college lives. Fresh out of high school, these boys are probably excited to explore and take risks, given the freedom that comes with university life. However, college is not all fun and games either, as it also calls for a certain level of maturity, especially in terms of education and the future. 

With that in mind, versatile and robust timepieces are the ideal men’s graduation gifts for high school graduates. Here are some examples of the best watches that can be worn on either a casual lecture day or for a formal thesis defense: 

1. TAG Heuer Aquaracer

First, we have the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Ref. WBP201A.BA0632, which has that classic sports watch exterior. The stainless steel case and bracelet paired with a black bezel gives the entire piece a versatile look. Meanwhile, the matching black dial features a horizontal teak pattern, luminescent hands and hour markers, and a magnified date window. Lastly, this TAG Heuer Aquaracer has a 300-meter water resistance rating and is powered by a self-winding calibre. 

With a price tag of around $2,699 USD, this is an ideal choice for those who want a durable watch that can be worn to both on and off campus activities. 

2. Victorinox I.N.O.X

The Victorinox I.N.O.X Ref. 241812, on the other hand, is a more casual-looking watch that can go with any everyday ensemble. It is one of the most robust timepieces in the market and is a great men’s graduation gift for someone who likes to maximize the use of things. It is presented in a titanium case paired with a unique multifunctional paracord strap. The black dial follows a straightforward analog display with luminescent elements and a date window. Also, it is equipped with a quartz movement and has a 200-meter water resistance rating. 

Retailing at around $729 USD, this Victorinox I.N.O.X piece is the perfect beater watch to get through the wear and tear of university life.  

3. Suunto 9 

Lastly, the Suunto 9 Ref. SS050149000 serves as a more modern and practical timepiece for college life. Since this is a smartwatch, it comes with a multitude of functions that can help in one’s daily activities. For many university students, time is a precious commodity, so this kind of tool watch will prove to be especially useful. 

This Suunto 9 watch comes in a glass fibre-reinforced polyamide case paired with a titanium bezel and a silicone strap. The dial has a LED matrix display with the following functions: activity tracker, sleep tracker, weather function, GPS, multiple sports modes, and more. 

Priced at approximately $929 USD, this is the perfect men’s graduation gift for a future busy bee in college. 

For Those Entering The Real World  

While finishing high school is an important milestone in life, graduating university calls for a whole new level of celebration. Gone are the days when students had to deal with terror professors, all-nighters, group reports, frat parties, and the like. Now, it is time for them to enter the real world, and what better way to commemorate that than with a new watch. 

Some of these college graduates are lucky enough to receive offers from their dream companies while some are applying for jobs left and right. Regardless, this means that they are all bound to enter the workforce sooner or later, so here are some smart-casual watches that make for great men’s graduation gifts. 

1. Grand Seiko Heritage 9S Mechanical 

The Grand Seiko Ref. SBGR315 is a simple and timeless watch that oozes with elegance. Since it is mostly monochromatic, it has the ability to go well with any style but it is also bound to shine with a dapper ensemble. This Grand Seiko model comes in a lustrous stainless steel case and bracelet that complements its sunburst silver dial. In addition, it is powered by a highly precise 9S65 automatic caliber which boasts a 72-hour power reserve. 

Priced at approximately $4,859, this is the perfect sophisticated companion for someone who is officially entering their adulthood years.  

2. IWC Pilot 

The IWC Pilot Ref. IW326803 is a more retro approach to the smart casual style. While this IWC piece has the exterior of a quintessential aviation watch, one does not have to be a pilot to pull off this accessory. It serves as a straightforward piece that can easily be paired with some slacks and a polo shirt. 

This IWC Pilot model is presented in a stainless steel case with a classy calfskin leather strap in brown. The black dial features luminous hands, Arabic numerals, and a date window. Lastly, it is equipped with the self-winding IWC Calibre 32110 which has an impressive 72-hour power reserve. 

With a price tag of around $5,039 USD, this definitely has potential to be a great graduation gift for men! 

3. Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 

The Breitling Premier Ref. B0118371B1P1 serves as a high-end and multifunctional graduation gift option. This is the perfect accessory to up one’s style, especially if they are dressed to impress at work or at a job interview. 

This Breitling Premier watch comes in a stainless steel case paired with a crocodile leather strap in black. The panda dial consists of luminescent elements, a date window, and a bi-compax display with 2 sub counters. Lastly, it is powered by an in-house B01 automatic calibre with a 70-hour power reserve. 

For around $6,339 USD, you can get this classy and versatile celebratory watch! 

For The Jetsetters At Heart 

For some reason, many associate graduation with traveling, especially since it is one of the most common ways to celebrate this particular event. These travel enthusiasts probably find pleasure in exploring new places whilst high on happiness from achieving such a big milestone. As such, you cannot deny that a well-crafted GMT watch is best paired with some plane tickets for your dream graduation trip. 

Whether they are traveling across the globe or to a neighboring country, a timepiece with a GMT function is definitely the best men’s graduation gift for a graduating jetsetter at heart. Here are some excellent GMT watches you can get right now: 

1. Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra GMT Worldtimer 

The Omega Seamaster Ref. 220.12.43.22.03.001 is an eye-catching and artistic take on a GMT timepiece. The use of blue throughout the watch gives it a distinct and striking vibe that many travel enthusiasts will surely love. 

This Omega Seamaster watch is presented in a stainless steel case paired with a rubber strap in blue. Meanwhile, the matching blue dial features luminous hands and hour markers, a 24-hour layout, a central disc that resembles the globe, and a GMT display. This watch is also driven by an automatic Omega Calibre 8938, which has a 60-hour power reserve.  

With a price tag of $8,900 USD, this makes for a distinct and one-of-a-kind graduation gift!  

2. Oris Big Crown PilotPro 

On the other hand, the Oris PilotPro Ref. 0174877564064-0732202LC serves as a more subtle yet rugged-looking GMT watch. It definitely has more unassuming and modest elements compared to the previous recommendation. 

This Oris Big Crown ProPilot model comes in a stainless steel case paired with a rotating bezel and a comfortable green fabric strap. Its black dial features luminous hands, Arabic numerals, a 24-hour display, a date window, and a seconds counter. In addition, it is powered by an automatic Oris 748 calibre with a power reserve of 38 hours. 

If you are buying a graduation gift for a travel enthusiast who enjoys simple yet functional designs, you can get this piece for around $2,600 USD! 

3. Alpina Startimer Pilot GMT 

The Alpina Startimer Ref. AL-247B4S6 is the most straightforward GMT watch out of the 3 recommended models. It is presented in a stainless steel case paired with a canvas strap in a muted green color.  The dial simply consists of the essential timekeeping elements, such as luminescent hour and minute hands, and red-and-black GMT hand, Arabic numerals, a date window, and a 24-hour layout. Moreover, this Alpina Startimer watch has a 100-meter water resistance rating and is powered by a precise quartz movement. 

If you are looking for an uncomplicated and reasonably-priced graduation gift watch, you can check this out for around $595 USD! 

For The Creative Minds

While specifying the occasion will help in finding the best graduation gift, nothing can beat knowing the preferences of the receiver, since clothes and accessories are often perceived as a reflection of someone’s personality. If you are planning on gifting a timepiece, make sure you know their likes and dislikes in order for them to truly enjoy your present. 

For example, if the person is creative, maybe consider watches that fit well with their aesthetic. That being said, since creativity is such a broad concept, it is difficult to group specific models together, which is why we have chosen distinct timepieces that any artistic person will surely love! 

1. Nomos Glashuette Metro 38

The Nomos Glashuette Metro Ref. 1103 is a great men’s graduation gift for an artsy person who enjoys a minimalist aesthetic. It comes in a stainless steel case along with a leather strap in black. The matching black dial features Bauhaus-inspired elements such as thin hands, small Arabic numerals, a date window, a seconds counter, and circular hour markers in subtle mint green. Lastly, it is equipped with a manual-winding DUW 4101 calibre with a 42-hour power reserve. 

With a price tag of $3,480 USD, this Nomos Glashuette Metro watch is for those who like unadorned yet unique timepieces. 

2. Hamilton Ventura 

The Hamilton Ventura Ref. H24515732 is a model with a completely different vibe compared to the previous one. This watch is perfect for those who like unique and eccentric pieces to match their personality. It comes in a triangular stainless steel case along with a calfskin leather strap in black. The dial consists of dauphine hands, stick indices, and an open heart display. In addition, it is powered by an automatic movement with a whopping 80-hour power reserve. 

If he is the type of person who likes quirky timepieces, you can get this Hamilton Ventura watch for around $1,095 USD! 

3. Bell & Ross Instruments 

The Bell & Ross Ref. BRS-EBL-CE/SCA is also another unique and recognizable timepiece. It has a rather bulky yet sophisticated exterior which gives it a defined and sharp look. 

This Bell & Ross Instruments model is presented in a scratch-resistant ceramic case paired with a calfskin leather strap in black. The main point of this watch is the dial, which has striking and understated diamond stones scattered all around it. This watch is also equipped with a BR-CAL.102 quartz movement, making it both gorgeous and reliable. 

With a price tag of around $2,990 USD, this is the perfect men’s graduation gift for those who enjoy standing out! 

For The Dashing Gentleman 

This next set of timepieces serve as the perfect graduation gift for any dashing gentleman. It is ideal for those giving a present to a man who has an air of sophistication around him. Whether he is wearing a suit and tie or a just polo shirt and shorts ensemble, this person can charm any one he encounters. With that, the only thing missing is an equally captivating watch to complete his style. 

Here are some of the best timeless pieces that can definitely complement a true gentleman’s vibe: 

1. Bulgari Roma

The Bulgari Roma Ref. 103219 is a gorgeous, contemporary-looking watch that is bound to spice up any outfit. It is presented in a steel case paired with a classy leather bracelet in brown. The main watch face features gold-plated hands and indices, a date window, and a fixed bezel with a “Bulgari Roma” engraving. Lastly, this watch follows an automatic movement and has a 50-meter water resistance capacity. 

Priced at around $4,400 USD, this Bulgari piece is the perfect blend of elegance and modernity. 

2. Seiko Presage 

The Seiko Presage Ref. SARY123 serves as a sleek and classy watch that has potential to be a great men’s graduation gift. It comes in a stainless steel case and bracelet with a see-through case back. The blue dial features a unique and captivating sunburst pattern, dauphine hands, and a date window. In addition, it is equipped with a 4R35 automatic calibre and has a 41-hour power reserve. 

Given its enthralling watch face, this Seiko Presage watch is guaranteed to complement any ensemble. The best part is you can get it for only $409 USD. 

3. Longines Heritage Classic

The Longines Heritage Classic Ref. L28274730 is a quintessential and vintage-inspired dress watch that every gentleman should have. It comes in a stainless steel case paired with an elegant leather strap in black. The soft white dial consists of playful blue hands, stylized Arabic numerals, and two sub-counters. Lastly, it is powered by a L895 automatic movement and boasts a 50-meter water resistance rating. 

If the recipient has a more classic style, then this $3,050 USD watch serves as a men’s great graduation present! 

For Those With The Future In Mind

Our last set of timepieces is ideal for those who have the future in mind. As mentioned earlier, graduation is a huge milestone for anyone and it is only apt to celebrate that. However, people also like to think about the future whenever they achieve certain goals, which is why they choose to invest. In this case, purchasing a watch that increases in value over time can be a great men’s graduation gift for a family member or a significant other. 

Here are some models that can also serve as great investment pieces. 

1. Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi

The Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 126710, also known as the Rolex Pepsi, is one of the most sought-after timepieces out there. Given its history and impact on watchmaking, it should not be a surprise that this model increases exponentially in value as time passes by. 

This Rolex GMT-Master II watch comes in an Oystersteel case paired with a bracelet made of the same material. Beyond the iconic blue-and-red bezel is the black dial which features luminous elements and a magnified date window. Moreover, it is driven by an in-house 3285 automatic calibre with a power reserve of 70 hours. 

Priced at around $25,859 USD, this is a lovely men’s graduation gift with an excellent investment value. 

2. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 

The AP Royal Oak Ref. 15202ST.OO.1240ST.01 is a model with one of the most recognizable designs known in watchmaking. It was created by the legendary Gerald Genta, who is responsible for designing numerous popular models in the market. 

This Audemars Piguet Royal Oak piece comes in a stainless steel case and bracelet with the iconic octagonal bezel. The blue dial features a signature waffle pattern, luminescent elements, and a date window at 3 o’clock. Lastly, it is powered by a self-winding AP 2121 calibre which has a 40-hour power reserve.  

With a price tag of around $118,479 USD, this is definitely one of the best investment pieces one can get as a men’s graduation gift. 

3. Patek Philippe Aquanaut 

The Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5968A belongs to a family of timepieces that are known to be highly coveted. Most of their watches either hold their value well or even increase as time goes by, and this model is not an exception. 

This Patek Philippe Aquanaut watch comes in a stainless steel case paired with a rubber strap in black. Moreover, the cushion-shaped dial consists of luminous hands, Arabic numerals, a seconds counter, and a date window. Lastly, it is driven by the Patek Philippe Calibre CH 28-520 C, which is an automatic movement with a 55-hour power reserve. 

Retailing at around $88,899 USD, this makes for a great men’s graduation gift and a potential investment piece as well! 

Final Thoughts 

If you are still not sure which timepiece to get as a men’s graduation gift, do not worry because the models mentioned are simply a small fraction of what the market has to offer. The most important thing is that you have, at least, an idea of what you are looking for, which is really the main goal of this article. At the end of the day, any well-crafted watch that you choose has the potential to be a great present. 

Photo Credits: Watch Shopping Site

If you want to check out more timepieces, make sure to read our article on the Top 25 Best Automatic Watches

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