Posted on June 15 2020
Father’s Day is coming and with this special day comes the gifts, and as it always is, there is no gift more meaningful and everlasting than a watch. So now you’ve got the type of gift narrowed down, great but here comes the tricky part, just what watch d’you get for him? You don’t need me to tell you that watches are an incredibly personal accessory and you’ll certainly need a good understanding of the person you’re gifting a watch to (which you probably should, he’s your dad after all) as well as a basic understanding of watches too. Well, if you have neither (bless your soul) you’ve come to the right place, choosing a watch for your father or anyone for that matter is never easy and today, we’ve consolidated 10 diverse options at all price points that we’re certain will fit the bill without breaking the bank! (Except for two of them)
For the Dad that doesn’t wear watches
ARIES GOLD LA ORO G 9026 RG-BK MEN'S WATCH
The wristwatch has been a staple of the man’s jewellery box since the dawn of time (well they only really caught on after 1904 thanks to the Cartier Santos but that’s a story for another day) and still is today. I’m writing this looking at 6 very different watches in my own wardrobe and the one on my wrist and I personally can’t think of a better accessory for a man than a lovely watch sitting on my wrist. But not all of our dads have caught on or followed the trend, and I’m speaking out of experience here, my dad has never had an interest in watches, for as long as I could remember, he would wear a Swatch stainless steel chronograph everyday for work and he’d be totally fine with it (and why shouldn’t he? It’s a perfectly fine watch), and ever since that watch broke (or ran out of battery and he couldn’t be bothered to get it replaced), he’s never really bothered with a wrist watch since. For everyone else whose dads, like mine don’t wear watches, the Aries Gold La Oro G 9026 RG-BK is a great place to start.
Made locally in Singapore and powered by a workhorse Seiko Epson caliber, with a 3Hz frequency and 42 hours of power-reserve, the watch with a minimalist (albeit sunburst) dial can easily be dressed up or down effortlessly. With its simplistic design and subtle sunburst detailing on the dial, its an easy watch to wear but one with a unique charm that you just don’t get anywhere else especially being the most affordable watch that we have here today. The Aries Gold La Oro is a fun watch to have and is a great getaway drug for the first-time watch enthusiast.
For the old school Dad who never really left the seventies
TISSOT HERITAGE VISODATE AUTOMATIC T0194301603101 MEN'S WATCH
If you hear the phrase ‘back in my day’ uttered too many times at home, chances are your dad is probably really reminiscing about the good-old days, his golden years. The dad that still wears the same outfit day in and day out albeit in different colour schemes, then we’ve got the watch for you, or him rather. Styled as though it was from 50 years ago, the Tissot Heritage Visodate Automatic is a proper gem for a vintage style watch. The Tissot Visodate automatic harks back to a simpler time, a humbler era where tradition and functionality were all that mattered in a watch. Tissot has always enjoyed a reputation for producing high quality watches that were affordable and forward thinking, and the Visodate really encapsulates that ethos.
The new model adds modern conveniences to the vintage design with an updated day-date complication, sapphire crystal and of course modern production techniques, despite these, the vintage charm of the watch still remains intact. Powering the watch is an ETA 2836-2 beating at a modest 28,800VPH (4Hz) with 40 hours of power reserve, and fitted with a custom golden rotor with Côtes de Genève decorations. Everything about this watch screams classic old-school (even down to the vintage Tissot logo on the dial), and it truly is a proper reminder that sometimes, some things really were just better back then.
For the Dad that breaks everything
G-SHOCK MUDMASTER DIGITAL QUARTZ BLACK STAINLESS-STEEL GG-1000-1A3DR GREEN RESIN STRAP MEN'S WATCH
Somehow, my dad happens to be like this too, in the sense that whatever he wears or uses will be exposed to almost all forms of physical abuse. Which amusingly enough is also why he doesn’t fancy other accessories like luxury pens as well (I did think of gifting him a fountain pen for his fiftieth birthday but my mom convinced me otherwise saying that it’ll just be left in his wardrobe forever, never to be used lest it be broken in under a month) and why he doesn’t wear a watch too. My dad is an avid golfer, and you don’t need me to tell you that golfing exposes your mechanical wristwatch to shocks that mechanical wristwatches should never be exposed to.
The Casio G-shock Mudmaster (or in fact, any Casio G-shock for that matter) is perfect for these shocking situations (pun absolutely intended). Be it an accidental bump against a wall or landing the perfect stroke on the tee-off, the G-shock Mudmaster will simply brush off these impacts as though they were merely tickling it. Seriously, this watch is built the way tanks wish they could be built in, and with its durability aside, the watch also has a slew of useful functions such as an alarm, stopwatch, timer, world timer and even a compass as well. Being a G-shock, the Mudmaster will be the perfect everyday beater for even the roughest of dads.
For the Dad obsessed with aviation
ALPINA STARTIMER PILOT HERITAGE AL-555N4H6 MEN'S WATCH
Having spent some memorable times of my childhood watching planes land and take off from the viewing gallery of the airport with my dad, it would come to no surprise that some fathers are fascinated by these flying machines, and to be honest, there is so much to learn and be amazed by. So, for the dad who spent time with you watching planes come and go from the airport, who still gets excited whenever he sees Tom Cruise pull off gravity defying acrobatics in his F14 in Top Gun, the Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage is the watch for him. The Startimer Pilot is cased in a 42mm compressor style case with dual crowns one for time, date GMT hour adjustments and another to operate the internal rotating GMT bezel. The watch offers a jumping hour complication in the form of the GMT hand/disc that can be jump set (forwards only), making it a great companion as a travel watch.
But what really makes this watch work, is the design. It is unlike the Flieger style pilot’s watches with big bold Arabic numerals and hands for immediate legibility, its style and appeal is much more subtle and much more unique, offering a relatively traditional layout with a rarely seen GMT disc complication and in an even less commonly seen compressor style case, this watch is sure to make any aviation enthusiast smile with glee.
For the Sophisticated Dad
EDOX GEOSCOPE LIMITED EDITION ED07002-3-CI MEN’S WATCH
Perhaps your dad’s tastes are a little more refined, preferring the finer things in life like a bottle of well-aged single malt scotch and fine bespoke Italian suits, then we have just the watch for him; The Edox Geoscope ED07002-3-CI. A man of sophistication requires of course, an equally sophisticated companion, and there is nothing that carries more refined sophistication than a complicated Swiss timepiece. And not just any old complication, chronographs and calendars as nice as they are to have might seem plain to some, unless of course you’re talking about annuals and perpetuals, though those are in a completely different price range entirely.
How about this then, a unique colorful planisphere dial showing the globe as viewed form the south-pole with an inner bezel displaying 24 divisions, making one complete revolution every 24 hours along with a GMT display and the position of the sun as well. All of this astronomical horology (pun intended) packed into an elegant and compact 42mm case makes the Edox Geoscope a properly sophisticated companion for our sophisticated dads. (I swear that’s the last time I use the word sophisticated here)
For the Dad who has everything
SEIKO PROSPEX SLA021J1 MEN'S WATCH
Maybe you know them and maybe you don’t but chances are you would’ve at least heard of the guy who has everything. Birthdays, parties and gift exchanges are a nightmare with this person because no matter how hard you try or how crazy you get, he already has it. And if that person is your dad, well tough cookies. That’s the challenge we’re trying to solve today with this watch, because even though he might have everything, I bet he doesn’t have one of these. And this is it, the Seiko Prospex SLA021J1 Marinemaster 300, in context if the watch to have is a dive watch, then the dive watch to have would be a Rolex Submariner, but of course, he already has one because, well he has everything. But just because he already has the default doesn’t mean that you can’t get him something else that is as interesting, and maybe, just maybe a little more special. Introducing the Seiko Prospex Marinemaster SLA021J1, a commemorative limited edition to the first model from 1968, Seiko’s reference 6159.
Powered by Seiko’s Caliber 8L35 and beating at 28,800VPH (4Hz), the Marinemaster pays proper tribute to the original 1968 hi-beat drive Ref. 6159-7001 and then some. Though not equipped with the high-beat 36,000VPH (5Hz) 8L55 caliber, the 8L35 is still a force to be reckoned with, with a respectably high frequency of 28,800VPH (4Hz). The 8L35 is more or less an undecorated version of the Grand Seiko's 9S55 caliber, with 26 jewels, 50 hours of power reserve and an accuracy of -10 to +15 seconds per day and is a proper demonstration of Japanese watchmaking prowess. Coming with a 44.3mm mono-bloc case (missing the traditional case-back where the movement is installed from the front), it ensures rugged durability and a water resistance of up to 300m. The case has also been hardened with a super-hard (DLC) coating making it more scratch resistant and wear resistant, it is certainly tougher than your run-off-the-mill diver. A sapphire crystal with a dual sided anti reflective protects the proud black dial and it features a knurled crown at 4 O'clock (a common and recognizable staple in Seiko's divers). A watch like the Marinemaster isn’t something you’ll see every day, hell I’ve seen more Submariners in life than I have a Marinemaster, and with its uniquely recognizable design and exceptional specifications, it’s the perfect watch to get for the dad who has everything.
For the Petrol-head Dad
TISSOT V8 AUTOMATIC CHRONOGRAPH T1064271103100 MEN'S WATCH
Some dads are just car guys that grew up, if your dad is the sort who can appreciate the low rumble of a V8 from a Ferrari or the deafening wail of a Cosworth V10 Formula 1 engine, then the Tissot V8 Automatic Chronograph would be a welcome addition to his collection. The case is a classic sporty affair with equally sporty T-shaped chronograph pump pushers and a tachymeter scale as well. Taking its namesake from one of the most versatile and iconic engines of all time, the V8 packs one hell of a punch in its design and technical prowess, not dissimilar to what you would expect from the engine it derived its name from.
Power comes from the C01.211 automatic chronograph caliber with a 6-9-12 sub-dial layout, a 3Hz frequency and 45 hours of power reserve, the V8 chronograph seems like significantly greater value when compared to the competition, offering a Swiss automatic chronograph for under $1,500. Overall if you’re looking for a sporty timeless piece that oozes motorsport style for your petrol-head dad, this is certainly a strong contender.
For the Tech-geek Dad
CITIZEN PROMASTER SKYHAWK CHRONOGRAPH TWO TONE STAINLESS STEEL JY8078-52L MEN'S WATCH
If your dad is the type who loves number crunching, obsesses over technology, facts, figures and hypotheses, the Citizen Promaster Skyhawk chronograph JY8078-52L is a natural companion. Housed within a stout 46mm case is Citizen’s proprietary Eco-drive solar powered caliber featuring a chronograph, 2 alarms, a timer and a world timer as well. Information is displayed through the retro-futuristic style digital/analogue displays on the dial.
The watch also features Citizen’s radio-control system which allows it to automatically adjust itself when entering a new time-zone. If a watch that ‘knows’ what time it is and can set itself accordingly to that particular time-zone doesn’t tickle someone’s nerdy synapses, then I honestly don’t know what will. As a little bonus, the watch is also the official timepiece of the US Navy’s high-flying Blue Angel’s display team and if its good enough for those guys, its good enough for our dads.
For the Old is Gold Dad
ALPINA SEASTRONG DIVER HERITAGE AL-525G4H6 MEN'S WATCH
If your dad is the sort who prefers the days of old, not exactly old fashioned, rather old-school, appreciates the graceful ageing of a 1962 Jaguar E-type or a vintage Steinway, then the Alpina Seastrong Diver Heritage might just be perfect for him. Styled as a retro re-edition of a vintage super compressor model from the 1970s, its fair to say that the Alpina Seastrong Heritage is a near perfect example of a vintage reissue done right. With slim but bold lumed hands, a crown operated internal rotating bezel, an unfussy dial and a simple 42mm case, the watch is a properly handsome watch, one might even go so far as to call it elegant; I would.
The watch is nicely powered by Alpina’s AL-525, a modified Sellita SW200 with a 4Hz frequency and 38 hours of power reserve. Though unlike a true diver (despite its no-nonsense 300m water-resistance) it is lacking lumed markers which might throw some purists off but here’s my take on it. You could technically bring it diving, and it’ll easily survive the trip (thanks to its 300m water resistance) in the same sense that you could also hurl a modern Eagle low-drag GT around a circuit as fast as you can and it would do it happily, or you could simply pop in, and bring it for a nice relaxing cruise, and enjoy it for what it is, a throwback to old school rock and roll, and a damn good one at that.
For the Diver Dad
SEIKO PROSPEX GREEN SUMO SPB103J1 MEN'S WATCH
Whether your dad is a sailor, Naval staff, fisherman, swimmer, SCUBA diver or just a fan of dive watches, you can’t go wrong with the Seiko Green Sumo, one of Seiko’s most acclaimed dive watches. Seiko’s reputation for dive watches is indisputable, with one of the largest collections of diving watches, with prices ranging from a few hundreds to several thousands. The Sumo is one of the many much-loved and respected dive watches produced by Seiko. Simple, reliable and not exactly elegant but still a rather handsome brute as is often the case with Seiko’s divers and it punches well above its weight for its price point.
Sporting an exceptionally finished case and dial, along with a robust and reliable 6R35 automatic caliber providing a whopping 70 hours of power reserve (beaten online by Tissot’s Powermatic 80 at this price point) the Sumo is an excellent mid-range diver and a properly good looking one at this price point. Thanks to its striking green dial and bezel, highly recognizable design and properly reliable performance, the Green Sumo is a proper piece of kit for both the enthusiast and the professional.
Hopefully by now you’ve found something here for dear old dad, or at the very least came up with a better idea of something else to get him. At the end of the day, it’s the thought that counts in a gift and whatever you get him, he’ll certainly be happy with it. That said, getting him something that he can look at and put on everyday reminding him of this special occasion, now that is something truly special. We do hope you’ll find the perfect gift for your father this Father’s Day, if not something close, happy hunting everyone.
By Miguel Ang
Being fascinated with watches since he was 16, Miguel has always been looking to share his passion and knowledge in horology with a like-minded community. Over the years, he joined H2hub as a Community Manager, and is able to share his passion and thoughts on horology through our platforms and blog-posts that we hope that you will enjoy, and gain something out of.