Father’s Day Watch? Don’t do it! Unless . . .


Father's Day watch watch

What kid hasn’t bought Dad a Father’s Day gift expecting the Old Man to love it – only to discover the truth? After hugs and smiles and maybe one public showing, Dad puts that tie/sweater/funny T-shirt into the drawer labelled When Hell Freezes Over. Surely a Father’s Day watch is a different deal. No. No it isn’t. For one simple reason . . .

A watch is an extremely personal possession. You don’t need me to tell you that a wristwatch is the only piece of jewelry most men wear. (Note: Father’s Day nipple rings are not a thing.) As a public expression of personal character, a Father’s Day watch has to be something your Dad really, really wants – if he’s going to really, really wear it.

Patek Philippe Aquanaut

If your father has told you what watch he’d like, you can find one and afford it, chocks away! I’m thinking that hasn’t happened.

Which means any watch you’d buy for the man who raised you would be purchased based on a guess. An extremely well-educated guess, perhaps, chosen from a place of love, certainly, but a guess nonetheless.

First rule of sales: never guess what the customer wants. Ask. (The first part of the qualify, present, close sales formula.) If you feel comfortable saying “I’d like to buy you a Father’s Day watch. Which one would you like?” gopher it. If not, it’s time for plan B . . .

Father's Day watch: the Apple Watch?

If you’re dead set on buying a Father’s Day watch, gifting the Old Man his first Apple Watch is the exception that proves the rule – in the original sense of the expression, where “proves” meant tests. An Apple Watch would test the idea that he’d like an Apple Watch. He may love it. He may not.

A lot of that depends on how good you are at showing Dad how to setup and use his Apple Watch. If the education process goes smoothly, it’ll be some serious bonding time.

If it goes badly, there’s a chance you’ll never hear the end of it. “Remember that time when you tried to get me to wear an Apple Watch?”

Apple Watch fall detection screen

There’s plenty of good reasons to get past that potential pain point.

The Apple Watch makes it easy for Dad to reach out and kvetch to someone –¬†Dick Tracey-ing from your wrist never fails to delight a Boomer. The¬†shared photo album app is a powerful way to remind Dad that he’s an important part of your life.

Lest we forget, the Apple Watch provides older breeders with key protections against the Grim Reaper’s scythe: fall detection, heart rate monitoring and emergency calling.

Reverso engraving

The Apple Watch may be all that and a bag of chips, but unlike, say, an engraved Jaeger-leCoultre Reverso, Cupertino’s wrist-borne computer is devoid of sentimentality.

It’s kinda like buying Dad an electric shaver. No matter how good it is, it’s only a matter of time – and not much of it – before your gift will be obsolete.

iFly - Father's Day watch alternative

As for a Father’s Day watch alternative, how about a kick ass bonding experience, when such things become available again? Or a custom photo album for his Apple Watch?

I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, but why should this post be any different than the other ones? Seriously, don’t let your love of horology blind you to the fact that a Father’s Day watch is, in general a bad idea. What other watch blog’s going to tell you that?

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