Why a Luxury Watch Is the Ultimate Family Heirloom

IMAGE Amar Daved

So much of what a father passes down to their sons comes in the abstraction of practical skills: shaving, changing a tire, asking for a promotion, or reading a map. They all carry meaning, but none of these traditions are more time-honored than passing down a treasured wristwatch. 

A watch is tangible—a small token of the bond that can be viewed, touched, used, and worn, becoming unique to you with every scratch and ding. Like gold cufflinks or a pocket knife, this is more than a simple keepsake. Here's why.

It Honors Tradition

Whether you're honoring a decades-long family tradition or starting one yourself, heirlooms are symbolic of the legacy our lineages leave behind. If you’re kicking off the tradition in your own family, choose a watch that’s emblematic of your style and taste as well as your interests, whether that's automobiles, airplanes, sports, the outdoors—or even just a passion for fine watches. 


One popular route for purchasing a luxury timepiece to keep in the family is going with a pre-owned edition, like the vast selection offered via Crown & Caliber. Their reasoning is simple: value, selection, and expertise. The watch should be inscribed with the patina of a life well-lived, or literally engraved with initials, the family crest, or a short message. The more personal the timepiece, the more that gets passed down. 

Just be a considerate steward during your time as the owner. Honor the tradition and keep the watch original and complete, ideally with any accessories and paperwork, and cared for mechanically. After all, you’re only one author in a story that, hopefully, will stretch across eras and span generations.

It Teaches Responsibility 

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Handing down a luxury watch offers many teachable moments. The piece's mechanical construction requires daily hand-winding and consistent maintenance, demanding a high level of responsibility from the owner. 

Though we often take the rituals we follow to keep our lives on track for granted, these self-forming routines are easily extrapolated lessons on how the most important things in a man’s life—his car, his home, his personal relationships—need to be taken care of consistently and with discretion. You're not only taking care of this heirloom for yourself, you're preserving it for the next generation.

It's an Emotional Investment


Inheriting your father’s watch, regardless of its monetary value, is both a reward and a responsibility. Something to cherish, take care of, and never take for granted. 

This, of course, makes it a perfect offering to mark a seminal moment, whether that’s leaving for college or landing the big job, receiving (and wearing) an heirloom timepiece can instill confidence and breed ambition.

This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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