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The Perfect Graduation Day Watch For Any Degree Holder
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The Perfect Graduation Day Watch For Any Degree Holder

By Nick Kenyon
15 Jun 2023
6 min read

Watch graduation gifts are a time-honored tradition, so here are some great options for the best Yearbook Award Winners this year

One of the core reasons for the enduring popularity of mechanical watches in a world where we’ve all got a smartphone in our pockets, is the sentimental value of these miniature mechanical marvels. Be it a promotion at work, your marriage - or for many collector’s first watches - a gift on graduation day, timepieces are a cultural touchstone of achievement and recognition to mark our most important milestones.

So with graduation day fast approaching, we thought it appropriate to look at some of the best watches to mark such a significant moment in your life or the life of someone close to you. To mix things up a little, we’ll be using the time-honored tradition of everyone’s favorite Yearbook Awards so you’ll find something for everyone.

‘Most Athletic’: Tudor Ranger

For the person who spent more days out of class competing in every sport possible than they did in class, a timepiece that’s as dynamic as it is utilitarian is a must. No matter if it’s football, athletics, swimming or rowing, the straightforward and enduring simplicity of the Tudor Ranger is a perfect watch for the athlete of any graduating class.

Featuring a universally wearable 39mm stainless steel case, the Tudor Ranger traces its roots back to nearly a century ago, when the founder of Rolex and Tudor Hans Wilsdorf registered the name in 1929. This latest iteration was released to mark the 70th anniversary of the British North Greenland Expedition and arrives with a no-date dial and is powered by Tudor's ever-reliable in-house MT5402 movement with 70 hours of power reserve.

Sporty, 100m water resistant and as robust as they come, this would be a great watch for anyone with a collection of medals and trophies at home.

‘Biggest Flirt’: Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Duoface

Charming, agreeable and always offering more than meets the eye, the flirt of any class knows people as well as, if not better, than they know the contents of their textbooks. In much the same way, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Duoface is the dynamic chameleon that hides its complexity beneath the surface and has an angle to it that almost everyone will love.

It arrives with an enchanting deep blue dial that playfully interacts with the light thanks to its radiant sunburst brushing and contrasts fantastically against the rose gold case that measures 47mm in length. Flip it over, and you’re greeted by a more formal, yet equally elegant white dial that is able to display a different timezone as well as a day/night indicator, which is all made possible thanks to the technologically impressive manual-winding calibre 854A/2.

This luxurious radiance extends to the Argentinian-made Casa Fagliano blue leather strap, solidifying this as an ideal choice for the social extrovert who everyone calls a friend.

‘Most Likely To Be Instagram Famous’: Rolex Daytona “Panda”

An expert in every social media algorithm and capable of creating some of the most visually appealing content you’ve ever laid eyes on, the person most likely to be Instagram famous only wishes their GPA took follower count into consideration. For this kingpin of the attention economy, the iconic Rolex Daytona “Panda” makes perfect sense as a timepiece that has mastered the supply and demand curve better than almost any other watch available today.

With a 40mm stainless steel case and ultra-comfortable oyster bracelet, the dial of the black and white Panda is framed spectacularly by the black ceramic racing bezel, which delivers a nod to the timepiece’s racing origins. It’s powered by the veritable in-house chronograph caliber 4130, with a solid 72 hour of power reserve and superlative accuracy, while the screw down crown, pushers and caseback help guarantee the watch to 100m of water resistance.

It makes very good sense that the Rolex Daytona “Panda” is so sought-after around the world, serving as a blueprint for the enduring popularity every social media star seeks.

“Cutest Couple: Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 Turquoise Dial & Kurono Seiji

We all know deep down the key to every successful relationship is a balance of a few common interests, but not so many as to be uninteresting or predictable and for the cutest couple in your class, they’ve likely got this to a fine art. The same can be said for the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 with a turquoise dial and the Kurono Seiji, which share a dial color, but each offer a slightly different approach to watchmaking.

While the versatile Rolex measures 36mm in diameter and is offered on an Oyster bracelet that perfectly compliments its case, the 37mm Kurono is slightly more formal and has a set of hands as delicate as they come. The Oyster Perpetual has a more robust movement with 70 hours of power reserve and a case guaranteed to 100m of water resistance, while the Kurono delivers 42 hours of power reserve and a water-resistance of 30m, emphasizing its dressier credentials.

Both are sensational watches in their own rights, but made all the stronger when worn side by side. Same same, but different. 

“Most Likely To Go To Space: Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch

The budding astronaut isn’t simply the person who can ace physics exams and memorize formulae, but is a well-rounded high performer who can handle pressure as well as they can think creatively to solve problems. There’s no better watch for them than the timepiece that actually made the journey into outerspace and that’s the legendary Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch.

As the first watch ever worn on the moon when it accompanied Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin onto the lunar surface in 1969, the Speedmaster Moonwatch features a 42mm stainless steel case with a matching three-link steel bracelet. Beneath the three-register black chronograph dial that’s framed by the dot-over-90 bezel, you’ll find the Omega caliber 3861 manual-winding movement, with 50 hours of power reserve and sealed by the engraved solid caseback.

For the person who’s obsessed with what’s beyond our terrestrial limits, this is the watch!

“The Life Of The Party: Franck Muller Long Island Mono Pusher Chronograph In Platinum

It wouldn’t be a Yearbook Awards list without the Life Of The Party, who isn’t simply good at throwing a get-together when the time calls for it, but brings the energy to every room they enter. Friendly, vivacious and often more thoughtful than you’d expect from first impressions, the Franck Muller Long Island Mono Pusher Chronograph in platinum delivers the same level of unabated enthusiasm.

First released at the dawn of the new millennium, the Long Island collection is an ode to the Art Deco movement from eight decades earlier and features a 45mm rectangular case with a profile that’s curved to meet the contour of your wrist. This monopusher chronograph is powered by the caliber 7502CCM and delivers 72 hours of power reserve - enough to make it through even the most epic of parties.

Eye-catching, dynamic and people pleasing, it’s ideal for the graduating social butterfly in your life.