The Best Graduation Gifts This Commencement Season

As commencement season gets underway, you might be wondering how to really show your pride and admiration for the soon-to-be grad in your life. Whether your loved one is leaving the nest in pursuit of secondary education, or entering the workforce with a post-grad degree, it’s a watershed moment that deserves a gift worthy of the occasion. And all bias aside, we happen to think a well-crafted watch is exactly that.

Practical, symbolic, and deeply personal, Timex watches have long been considered meaningful “milestone” gifts for those graduating college and starting new jobs. In fact, as societal attitudes continued to shift throughout the labor movement of the postwar era, career-driven women often received these commemorative gifts as they set out to chase their ambitions. Then and now, a Timex watch is an heirloom that can represent life’s most pivotal moments, and we offer countless great-looking, high-quality options worthy of them all.

Whether they’re heading to work or off to class, gift your grad something thoughtful, durable, and precise to keep them organized and on time for whatever the real world throws their way.

Marlin Automatic 40mm Leather Strap Watch

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Ticking inside this fresh iteration of our iconic 1960s Marlin® is a tried and true 21-jewel automatic movement, creating a contemporary timepiece that honors our watchmaking history. Powered by your motion, the movement has a 40-hour power reserve and can also be wound with the crown like our original Marlin watch. True to its authentic design, the stainless-steel case and blue dial are complemented by a classic brown natural leather strap and the iconic domed acrylic crystal.

Q Timex Malibu 36mm Stainless Steel Expansion Band Watch

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Take the meandering drive up the Pacific Coast Highway to bask in the sweet life of our Malibu collection. Doused in the dreamy, ocean-inspired hues of a Californian golden hour, this wristwatch showcases the quintessential, heritage attributes of our original Q Timex 1979 Reissue—a rotating bezel, functional battery hatch, and domed acrylic crystal. The rose gold-tone case is accented with a green dial and our easily adjustable Perfect Fit expansion band for a look and feel your grad will love.

Timex Ironman T200 42mm Silicone Strap Watch

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Any college athletes out there? Our TIMEX® IRONMAN® T200 is a watch dreamed up and created by sportsmen and women, with your grad’s running goals in mind. We packed tons of functionality into a sleek design, with tools to track laps and intervals whether they’re on the trails or the track. And for tempo runs, intervals, and speed-drill sessions, the T200 can signal warm-ups and cool-down segments along with regular interval readouts. With 200-lap data storage and the host of features you’ve come to expect from TIMEX IRONMAN—our classic INDIGLO® backlight, a chronograph, 100 meters of water resistance, and a simple coin-cell battery they’ll never need to charge—this running watch delivers what your athlete needs… and never stops delivering.

M79 Automatic 40mm Stainless Steel Bracelet Watch

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Our M79 Automatic is something entirely new, even though it might look familiar. Inspired by the 1970s Q Timex and elevated with a 21-jewel automatic movement, this watch is a fresh interpretation of a much-loved Timex icon. The 40-hour power reserve of its Japan-sourced, self-winding movement is energized by your motion and can also be wound manually by using the crown. We’ve incorporated a stainless-steel bracelet in a nod to the retro design aesthetics of the day, while a curved, solid link construction brings added dimension into the fold. This timepiece is topped off with a black and blue unidirectional bezel, luminous dial markings, and exhibition case back that capture the bold spirit of an era that changed everything.

Waterbury Classic 40mm Leather Strap Watch

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Meet the next generation of an ongoing classic. We traced back to our beginning in 1854 as the Waterbury Clock Company and found new ways to bring our heritage of craftsmanship and authentic watchmaking into the modern day. This watch features a meticulously stitched brown leather strap, stainless-steel case, and white dial that offers a wearing experience with ageless aesthetics.

Expedition North Field Post Solar Mechanical 38mm Leather Strap Watch

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Directly inspired by military-issued designs from decades past, our Field Post 38 Mechanical watch does more than look the part—it features a sturdy crown and screw-down case back giving it 100 meters of water resistance, plus luminous hands and dial markings, a hand-winding mechanical movement, and an impressively-tough anti-reflective sapphire crystal. All that functionality comes in a 38mm stainless-steel case—perfectly sized for nearly every wrist and every occasion—fitted with a comfortable brown Ecco™ DriTan™ leather strap that is crafted to last using eco-friendly methods. For the mechanical movement, remind your grad to wind the crown until they feel a slight resistance. This is best done at the same time each day to keep the watch continually running.

Q Timex 38mm Synthetic Rubber Strap Watch

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First released in the 1970s, our original Q Timex gave a new generation a modern watch with quartz technology. This natural evolution of our much-loved Q Timex 1978 Reissue includes the iconic features of the original—a rotating bezel, functional battery hatch, and domed acrylic crystal—now with a bold, fresh, and durable black synthetic rubber strap that perfectly coordinates with each dial. It’s everything they’ll love, and then some.

Timex Metropolitan S 36mm Silicone Strap Watch

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Metropolitan S has all the functionality your grad will need including up to two weeks of battery life. This sleek design boasts an impressive AMOLED display that they can customize with over 20+ dial designs. Plus, 24/7 activity and sleep tracking for their health and fitness goals, on-board GPS, optical heart rate sensor, notifications, and much more. The blush silicone strap is complemented by a rose gold-tone metal case and scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass™ lens.

Midtown Chronograph 40mm Stainless-Steel Bracelet Watch

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Chic refinement meets city-slicking edge when it comes to our Midtown collection. A unique, silver, concave dial with a brushed finish adds a layer of depth to this tasteful timepiece, while a brown, natural leather strap with quick-release spring bars; silver-tone, stainless-steel case; and simple, elevated markers offer a touch of delicacy to the design. A chronograph dial layout with a date movement displayed at the 4 o’clock position ensures that—whether your grad is heading to work Uptown or sticking below 14th Street—with this on their wrist, they’ll keep time in style.

Peyton 36mm Stainless Steel Bracelet Watch

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Sweet and subtle florals have bloomed across the pink dial of our stunning Peyton collection. The delicate, raised markers add a level of sophistication and femininity to this timepiece, while a polished, rose gold-tone, stainless-steel bracelet is the reason this watch is one of our top picks for commencement season.

For An Added Touch

Want to really memorialize your grad’s achievement? Design and craft a customized watch with an engraved personal message. Whether you choose to inscribe an inspirational quote, post-nominal title, commencement date, or simple “Congratulations,” a custom case back is the easiest way to gift a sentimental timepiece they’ll cherish for years to come.

Happy gifting, and don’t forget to browse our selection of watch accessories.

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