How to Choose the Perfect Watch for a Father’s Day or Graduation Gift for Guys + A Few Other Gift Ideas

As Father’s Day and graduations are upon us, let’s switch gears for a moment and talk about men’s style.  I don’t know about you, but sometimes I rack my brain trying to find a good gift for guys, especially for important occasions like Father’s Day, birthdays, and graduations.  My mom, on the other hand, had a go-to watch for all the guys–a watch.  And you know what?  It worked every time–they always loved them!

Men’s style doesn’t utilize accessories as easily as women’s style, so especially for men, watches make huge statements and are a major way guys showcase their taste and personality.  At least, that’s what my guy friends tell me!

Today I’m partnering with Nordstrom to provide a few tips to help find the right watch for any guy.  One of my guy friends has a pretty huge watch collection, so I’ve been learning from him what to consider.  Here goes:

Determine the purpose of the watch.  This would be true for women as well.  Different watches work for different occasions.  Some work well professional settings, some are more casual, others are for getting dressed up, and some watches are versatile and transition well between settings (just like for women).  If you’re considering buying a watch for a guy, think of what kinds of watches he currently has or needs.  For example, does he already have a fancy watch?  Consider getting him a cool everyday watch.

Strap Type
Strap type and materials are some characteristics that affect the style and the potential functionality of the watch.  My friend advised:

  • Leather straps – Good for day and good wear.  Can be more casual or worn in an office, depending on the rest of the watch’s design.  
  • Metal straps – Better for business wear or dressier occasions.  
These aren’t hard and fast “rules,” as some leather straps can look really sleek for business or dressier occasions.  Rather, they’re just suggestions of places to start if you want to narrow down your choices.

Dial Size and Thickness
My watch-collecting friend said to pay attention wrist size and dial size.  Thin wrists may look funny with huge details, and thicker wrists may look funny with smaller details.  Benson recently found an article that gave a rule of thumb for men’s watches:

“Use a dollar bill or any modern US banknote (all are exactly 6 inches in length), and wrap the bill around your wrist. If the gap is about an inch—meaning the circumference of your wrist falls within 6 to 7 inches—a 38mm, 40mm, or 42mm watch will be proportionally a match.  Bigger gap?  Larger wrists measuring 7.5 to 8 inches in circumference are better suited by 44mm to 46mm timepieces.” (from The Wire Cutter)

For reference, Benson is 5’8″ and fairly thin though not stick skinny, and he prefers 38mm or 40mm.

What style should you go for?  There are tons and tons of watches out there and different men’s style categories.  Some watches have a clean, modern design like THIS one, which would work dressed up or down.  My friend pointed out one better for bigger wrists and one that feels more rugged HERE.  The leather strap, stitch detail, font used for the numbers, and bulky knobs contribute to the rugged feel.  Too bad it’s crazy freaking expensive!  A sort of similar and wayyyyyyy less expensive one is HERE.  It’s a little rugged, but could still be worn in a business casual environment since the font on the watch’s face keep it classy.

Below I created a collage of 3 different men’s outfits and showed several watches that could go with each style.  All watches featured range between $99 to $175.  Also, the shoes in Outfit #3 are black–I promise the belt and shoes match.  😀

Shop the Items
by clicking on each item in the collage
(If you’re in Bloglovin’ you’ll need to get out of its frames for this collage to work.  Click out HERE.)

Some notes on the clothes if you’re not in the market for a watch or if you know a guy looking for style recs:

  • Benson owns one of the chinos in the first two outfits (in a different color), but he can’t remember exactly which one he has.  Likely the tan one HERE, because I don’t think the slim fit (grey pair) was out yet.  He tailored his pair, so he’d probably prefer the slim fit (HERE).  He can count the number of pants he owns on one hand, so if he owns a pair, he really likes it. 
  • The sneakers in Outfit #1 (HERE) are one of Benson’s go-to shoes (except he has navy/orange).
  • The boots in Outfit #2 (HERE) are Benson’s go-to shoes for anything even semi-nice as well as with suits for weddings.  See him wearing them HERE with blue laces.  
  • The pants in Outfit #3 (HERE) are supposedly non-iron and magically escape wrinkles!  Um, do they make those for women?  
  • The shirt in Outfit #3 (HERE) is also supposedly non-iron!  
Good luck with Father’s Day and graduation gifts!
created in partnership with Nordstrom

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