A Gentleman’s Guide: The top luxury watches to celebrate success


by John Wallis

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May 24. 2018 - by John Wallis

Check out our recommendations for the best watches for men to celebrate life's successes and landmarks - either as a treat for themselves, or for others to give as a gift. Read and discover how some of the most iconic timepieces in the world such as the Rolex Submariner or the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak can mark the most important highlights of your life!


Sometimes life can feel like a raging river that sweeps you along. It's important for you to take the time to climb out every so often and look around at how far you've come.

A good luxury timepiece is a great way to celebrate your successes in life, because unlike a bottle of champagne or a trip to Barbados, it will stay with you for the rest of your days. As years pass on, it's a little reminder of times when you were younger and happier, ahem, I mean times that set you on the path to where you are today. A quality, lasting watch is not just a useful tool for telling the time or impressing your mates, but a symbol of a life well lived.

So make sure to mark the high points when they come along, to help you through the unavoidable lows. A birthday or anniversary is always special, but even better are the one-off milestones, like the ones we've suggested below:

Graduation

University isn't for everyone, but one of the big advantages is that you get to make a huge fuss out of finishing. You know, graduation - the event that heralds a yawning abyss of uncertainty filled only with older married women trying to seduce you. What better way to say "look upon my degree, ye mighty, and despair" than with a cougar-loving, racing-themed TAG Heuer Formula 1, or a smart, super-chic Nomos Club? Both affordable at pre-employment prices, if you haven't spent the last of your student loan on gown and mortarboard rental.

The perfect illustration: The Graduate

First Paycheck

So, you did the impossible: you became an official adult human being. If that's not an achievement, I don't know what is. Not only that, but your level-up has finally granted access to that sweet nectar of the gods we call Disposable Income. Quick, before it all vanishes on rent and online streaming subscriptions, make sure to equip yourself with a watch that will stand out in the workplace and sustain you when you inevitably begin to doubt your reason for living. The Submariner and Seamaster are both stone cold classic beauties that all your colleagues will recognise. 

The perfect illustration: Good Will Hunting

Tying the Knot

You've done the easy bit - finding someone capable of tolerating you for the rest of your time on earth - but don't let that nuptial bliss cloud your judgement. You've still got the much more important life decision to make: which watch will go best with your dashing suit at the altar? For the sophisticated gentleman who wants to show he is totally suave and relaxed, without even a smidgen of gnawing doubt, the Rolex Datejust is a delightful option. On the other hand, consider the aviator's Breitling Navitimer for a look that really says "I'm still a man who will continue to be very manly forever".

The perfect illustration: The Hangover

Firstborn Child

Everyone knows that parents love the oldest child the most. Why not flaunt it by rewarding yourself for your fertility (you were VERY encouraging in the hospital) with a gorgeous Omega Speedmaster? Kids love astronauts and all things space related, and you know who else loves them? Men. The Speedmaster is the first and only watch worn on the Moon by NASA astronauts in the glory days, and if you wear one, it can only improve your chances of one day travelling to the stars with your son by your side like Guardians of the Freaking Galaxy.

The perfect illustration: Three Men and a Baby

Reaching the Peak of Your Career

No, this isn't a euphemism for retirement - although that's a perfectly good opportunity for a horological reward too. You'll know when you've reached the top because of all the cocaine and the FBI agents investigating you for fraud. But seriously, a promotion or new job is always worth celebrating with something that lasts - otherwise you'll forget why you're even bothering with all this "civilised life" in the first place. A career high demands a worthy trophy, and there are none worthier than the mighty Rolex Daytona, especially a superb steel model that probably won't require a second mortgage.

The perfect illustration: The Wolf of Wall Street

Passing the Baton

So now your son is setting out on his own path in life, and it's making you feel old. Don't worry, there's a tried and tested way to beat the existential dread, and it's called a legacy. You child's graduation gift or 18th birthday present should do the trick. You'll need to give them a heirloom that's both meaningful and built to last - the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak or the Rolex Sea-Dweller are both an ideal choice. Plus, they’re expensive enough that even if Junior hates your guts, he'll have no choice but to cherish it forever. 

The perfect illustration: Pulp Fiction

John Wallis

by John Wallis

Living and working in London, John has been writing about watches since graduating university. He got his start at SalonQP, London's finest watch show, where he was inspired by the breadth and creativity of the modern industry. His fascination with mechanical horology has only grown from there.

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