We’ve published a few different gift guides in the past, mostly Christmastime (hmmm, I wonder why…). But we haven’t paid that much attention to other moments at which it would be appropriate to give a watch as a gift. And there are plenty! It could be a gift from a total watch nut to a complete layman or the other way around, of course. But I think what’s always at play here is choosing something that lasts to celebrate a special occasion and keep the memory alive. Let’s go over a few of those occasions and pick some appropriate timepieces with Fratello’s Guide To Gifting Watches.

I gave it some thought and have come up with the following list of special moments in life that deserve to be remembered. However, we all know that any moment is a good moment to either buy or receive a watch as a gift. But it would be a boring article if we just left it that, so here are some of my best ideas, in no specific order.

gifting watches

Gifting watches: A loved one’s birthday

Let’s start with an occasion that I just used as an excuse to gift a watch. My wife was still walking around with a discounted Datejust lookalike from Timex, so for her 40th birthday, I decided to get her a “proper” watch. I went with the Cartier Tank Must Solarbeat because it’s such a beautiful and timeless design. Moreover, with a service interval of over 15 years, it’s the perfect watch for someone who doesn’t think about their watch every day.

I think a birthday is a great occasion to give a watch as a gift. Of course, doing so every year is probably overkill, but every once in a while, you can surprise a loved one with something bigger and better, right? And it doesn’t have to be your partner, of course. You could also gift a watch to your son or daughter. And to all the sons and daughters out there, why not the other way around? Alternatively, if you have a friend who still hasn’t gotten himself that watch he’s had his eye on for years, it could be the perfect occasion.

gifting watches


Next up is another occasion that’s on everyone’s mind — marriage. When my wife and I were planning our wedding, I remember that we looked at the possibility of gifting each other watches instead of rings. But I hadn’t yet become a watch guy back then, and I didn’t really know what Rolex watches would cost… because yes, of course, we had Datejusts from both of our birth years. When we saw that prices started at around €2,500, we were both shocked. We decided to use that kind of money for the event itself instead.

I now know that those watches would be worth much more today. But that’s something we both didn’t know at the time, of course. We now both wear gold rings like many other people, and that’s totally fine. When I wear my Cartier Santos and my wife wears her Tank, I still feel like we’ve pretty much reached our couple goals. Still, I think a watch could be a great thing to celebrate your marriage with. But if you didn’t gift one for your wedding, why not use one of your anniversaries as a second chance? 

Starting a watch collection with €10K

Gifting watches: The birth of a child

And if a wedding anniversary doesn’t arrive quickly enough, why not gift a watch to your partner when your child is born? Ideally, it would be a watch produced that same year so it can become the child’s birthyear watch when he or she is ready for it. That way, the watch instantly becomes a family heirloom and can live on with a great story behind it for generations to come. Again, I missed the opportunity when my kids were born. I could still get them watches from their birth years now, I guess, but it’s just not the same.

The watch I see as a perfect birthyear watch is the Omega Speedmaster Professional. It’s just such an enduring and timeless classic. Over the years, different references have had slightly different characteristics, but they will always be recognizable as Speedmasters. And wouldn’t it be nice to know that your mother or father has manually wound the watch countless times before handing it down to you? Call me a romantic, but that’s an amazing thought!


A great occasion to actually hand down that birthyear watch would be your child’s graduation. Handing over the responsibility for that impressive piece ties in nicely with the fact that he or she is starting out a life on his or her own. And if you didn’t get your child that birthyear watch at the time, there are, of course, many other options out there. A few months ago, I thought of some nice watches that could serve as a graduation gift. You can find those here 

But one watch that was not on that list was the Fratello × NOMOS Glashütte Weltzeit “Blue Panda” Limited Edition simply because it wasn’t out yet. But this must be the most beautiful NOMOS watch to date. I do think it would make a great graduation gift, as it beautifully resembles all the journies your child is about to embark on! And besides, it can serve as a one-piece collection very well. Sure, it can look quite sporty on the textile strap. But when you change it out for leather, you can dress it up in no time.

gifting watches

Gifting watches: Showing your true appreciation

But I can also think of two occasions when you may want to show your appreciation to someone other than a loved one. We all know those Rolex watches with logos of companies like Pepsi and Domino’s Pizza on the dial. Those were typically given to salesmen who reached a certain objective. And this might still be a common practice nowadays, but I don’t think they do it in such obvious ways anymore. As a founder or a CEO of a relatively small company, though, I do think gifting a watch is a nice way of showing your true appreciation to a member of your team. Robert-Jan, are you listening? 

I guess a Rolex would be the obvious choice, but that’s likely a brand that the CEO or founder would be wearing. So let’s go for a Tudor here, the next best thing. And in particular, the Black Bay Fifty-Eight in either its black/gilt or blue version. That’s a watch that any employee can make a splash with. It’s also a watch that doesn’t look too intimidating. If he or she were wearing a Rolex, that might scare away your customers as they could think you’re making more than enough money anyway. 

Watch microbrands 20 years from now

Celebrating a championship or camaraderie

The final occasion that I can think of would be when a team wins an important championship. Again, there are a few Rolex examples that come to mind. There’s the Rolex Daytona with orange details that the Dutch national team got when they lost the World Cup final in 2010. Or how about the Rolex Explorer with an AC Milan logo the club’s players received in 2007? Now those are some nice presents that will be remembered and cherished forever! Well, apart from the ones that are now being offered for sale online…

I’ve played water polo all my life, and we never got our team anything when we won a championship or an important tournament. But when I look back on it now, it would’ve been nice to get all the members — my friends — a nice watch for at least one of those achievements. It doesn’t have to be a very expensive piece. But a nice Serica 4512 field watch, for example, would be a seriously cool and timeless option. It could even be engraved on the back with a commemorative inscription. How nice would it be to meet up with your buddies down the line and all wear that very same watch? 

When would you gift someone a watch?

All right, that’s it. I’m out of occasions now. But I’m sure you can think of some other reasons to get someone in your life a new watch. Let me know the occasion and the corresponding watch in the comments below. And remember, any time is a great time to either buy or gift (yourself) a watch!

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