With Fathers day upon us I figured this would be a good time to revisit this article and the list of great Dad watches. I hope you enjoy and I hope you have a good fathers day.
So, you’re a new Dad, or you know one, and you’re in the market for a watch. Watches are great gifts for a myriad of reasons. They can be heirlooms, they’re a fashionable accessory, and they’re a tool with a practical use case. Dads are likely in need of something that fills all those roles. Being a new Dad you start thinking about your legacy and what you are going to leave behind for your child, hence an heirloom, check. New Dads are not historically known as a stylish bunch and a good looking watch can elevate any outfit, check. Being a good parent requires practicality and time management on another level, check.
For most people, a stylish heirloom that’s also a quality tool would be more than enough in a watch, but a new Dad needs a little bit more than that. A Dad needs something that he can wear with a T-shirt and jeans while taking his little one to the park. He needs a watch that can get puked, slobbered, and pooped on multiple times a day and ask for more. Then it needs to be able to be quickly rinsed off and slipped under a blazer cuff for date night.
A dress watch while great looking wouldn’t hold up. Most dress watches are not waterproof so they certainly are not vomit proof and the leather band would get destroyed faster than you can say blowout diaper. A rough and tumble digital watch like a G-Shock can handle the rigors of a baby but it won’t add the style element. A rubber watch doesn’t mix well with date night or business casual attire. As a new parent you’re already going to be juggling a lot of new responsibility and every time you leave the house you’ll be wondering what you forgot. You don’t need to add “What watch should I wear today” to your list of todo’s.
The perfect watch for a new Dad or any new parent is a Divers watch. You can get one at various price points they’re sturdy as a rock and look great. Get one with a metal bracelet and you can always switch out to a distressed leather strap for that added style element, when you know it won’t get soiled. On top of the style and ruggedness, it comes with a timing bezel. The timing bezel I have on my watch was almost never used pre Dadhood but since becoming a Dad the amount of timing I’ve done has increased ten fold. Whether it’s nap lengths or the last time my daughter ate it’s super handy to just turn the bezel on my wrist and forget about it. If you need any more convincing a dive watch is up to the task consider this, James Bond is never found without his trusty dive watch. It works as well fighting bad guys underwater as it does with a tuxedo. If it works for Bond it will work for you and while I’ve been spending a lot more time cleaning vomit and poop off my watch then I have slipping it under dress shirt cuffs on date nights, the watch looks great and works well none the less.
Below are some links to great dive watches at different price points to be enjoyed in good health. * Updated with some new watches for Fathers day 6/21/20
The Zodiac Super Sea Wolf 53 Compression is a quirky option for the Dad who doesn’t want a watch he sees on the wrist of a rival little league coach. While unique and full of character this model isn’t as loud as some of Zodiacs other watches and this allows it to fly under the radar a bit more and dress up easier. That makes it my top pick from Zodiac as a Dad watch. MSRP of $1,295.
The Tudor Black Bay GMT is for the Dad who travels a lot. While you still get all the water resistance and toughness of the other Tudor Black Bay Divers this watch also comes with a GMT complication that allows you to display up to three timezones at once. With a Tudor watch you get Rolex quality and for half the price of a Rolex GMT. You also get a solid vintage inspired tool watch design that I happen to think looks better than the current Rolex GMT. MSRP $4,050
The undipsputed King of Dive watches and James Bonds’ original choice the Rolex Submariner. Specifically a 16610 that is from the 90’s or newer. It has a smaller case size than the brand new Submariner but is still modern which helps it more easily transition from the beach to the boardroom. MSRP 6–10k
If the Submariner is the King of dive watches the Omega Seamaster is the Queen. It also happens to be James Bonds’ other choice. Before product placement in movies was a thing Bond wore the Rolex as per Ian Flemmings books. Fast forward to the 90’s and Pierce Brosnans’ Bond, Omega swooped in and struck a deal. Omega has been Bonds’ choice ever since. An equally worthy, tough and stylish dive watch in it’s own right and also half the price of the Submariner. MRSP $5,200
Oris is not a very well known watch brand outside of the watch world but it should be. Their enviromental advocacy speaks to their values as a company as does their pursuit of great quality for the price. Wearing an Oris watch shows you’re in the know when it comes to watches and don’t buy just for brand cachet. This particular example in the Oris line stands out with its bronze bezel and vintage rivet style bracelet. You get all the style and character of a vintage watch with a new movement and case that can stand up to anything you put it through. MSRP $2,200
Seiko is a brand almost everyone knows about. What they don’t know is that Seiko might be the best kept secret among watch nerds. Seiko makes easily the best watches for the price. The people at Seiko have such a dedication to their craft and make watches that are on par quality wise with watches two, three times their price. They offer a ton of options when it comes to well priced divers watches. This Seiko 5, though not a proffesional dive watch, fits the bill and is a personal favorite of mine and this colorway makes for a unique look. Careful though, even though this watch is the cheapest on the list, many obsessed watch collectors started out as harmless Seiko dive watch owners. So the money saved now may be lost later on other watches. MSRP $525
Let me know, did I miss on any other great Dad watches? Do you think another type of watch is better? Let me know in the comments.