Minute Markers: A Watch for Every Milestone In A Man’s Life

The point of amassing a watch collection is to slowly add to it and build it over time, making a purchase for each significant life event. Here are a few suggestions for those who are very, very lucky.
IMAGE Omega/ Richard Mille/ /Rolex

Women have it easy—each special occasion or turning point in their lives can be marked with the purchase of a little bit of bling. So if you want to make things simpler for the people surrounding you, have it be known that you, too, intend to celebrate certain life events by commemorating each with a significant corresponding watch (and hope they take the hint). 

The timepieces you choose to be your companions over the years could reflect many things: your changing tastes, functional needs, and spending capacity. Each of these are a little symbol of that, and besides, we can’t think of a better way to document and memorialize the passing of time.   

The Watch You Receive When You Graduate   

Other guys might prefer a car. But why settle for something that will have to be upgraded in a few years when you can have something that will last forever? Mom and Dad will hopefully be all-too-willing to reward your hard work (and capacity to avoid getting expelled) by gifting you with that most elegant of classic timepieces: a Rolex Datejust.


First released in 1945 to commemorate the venerable watchmakers’ 40th anniversary, it was the first self-winding waterproof chronometer wristwatch to have the date indicated in a window on the dial, magnified by the signature cyclops lens. It’s just the watch you want to accompany you on all those upcoming job interviews, and the perfect starter timepiece for any serious collector (which you, no doubt, will be).     

The Watch That is Your First Serious Purchase 

So you’ve been earning a regular paycheck for a while now, and you’ve even worked your way up the ladder to a sizable raise. It’s time to add to your collection by celebrating with the first acquisition you will make to signal your intent to join the big leagues; make it one that will pique the interest of any fellow watch guy, the Omega Speedmaster

Its main talking point, of course, is that it was the watch worn by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin for their journey to the moon, and you need a chronograph that’s just as hardy to deal with the stresses of every day.   

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The Watch Your Wife Gives You on Your Wedding 

Nothing says true love like the lifelong commitment of marriage, and since you bought your beloved a rock to symbolize yours, it’s only fitting that she gift you with a hallmark dress watch that you can bring out for every fancy occasion you will be gracing as a couple hereafter. 

The Cartier Tank is a design that is just as enduring as your romance—created by Louis Cartier in 1917, it was inspired by a French tank that saw action in World War I. Let’s hope she doesn’t mean it as a metaphor for your relationship—more like a symbol of how willing you both will be to fight for and defend your love.   

The Watch to Celebrate Your Retirement 


Okay, let’s be honest—by now, you’re probably well into your midlife crisis. Nothing wrong with that; all it means is that you’ve got a chunk of extra cash to burn and are ready to really, really enjoy it. Instead of buying, say, a motorcycle or a speedboat, how about you get the equivalent of a sportscar for your wrist? 

This is where the Richard Mille RM 052 comes in. Known for making timepieces that double as a billionaire wristband, you own a Richard Mille for its state-of-the-art craftsmanship, spot-it-across-the-room aesthetic, and envelope-pushing sense of innovation. And yes, this one has a skull on it. Why not just throw subtlety out the window, while you’re at it? Let’s assume you’ve more than earned the right, by now.   

The Watch You Give to Your Son 

IMAGE: Patek Philippe

No fancy gimmicks or bells and whistles here—this is the occasion to splurge on the dream watch, the Holy Grail, the ultimate crush you’ve long had your eye on and have likely been thinking about and carefully considering for a while. 


The Patek Philippe Nautilus has legacy written all over it. Capturing watch lovers’ imagination since 1976, the slightly rounded case shape is based on a ship’s porthole, hence the name. Your future descendants will be thanking you for it… and it’s the best possible piece to get them started on a collection of their own.  

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