Buying watches to pass down (mini rant)
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  1. #1
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    Buying watches to pass down (mini rant)

    Hi all,

    I've been around the forum for a few years now, and a certain topic comes up in comments enough times that I finally feel like I need to comment on. That topic is buying a watch for a newborn child with the plan to hand it down when that child reaches a certain age or milestone. Some people buy the watch and don't really plan to wear it much. Others buy a watch to wear, but with the express purpose of "imprinting it" into the childhood memories of their child.

    I just don't get it. I think a lot of watch nerds (or WIS if you prefer) have this romantic idea of their child being fascinated with their watch and being overcome with emotion when gifted it at graduation or when turning 18 or something. I think the chances of that are fairly mixed. Perhaps some kids will, but many others won't. I think the parent is setting themselves up for disappointment, or in the very least, setting their child up to have to pretend to appreciate something they don't. "Gee, thanks Dad, this is really cool" <tosses it in a drawer>.

    The times I can see this working the best are in situations where the child takes an active appreciation for their Dad's watch in their formative years. It happens by coincidence due to either a) the cool watch that Dad is wearing brings out a watch interested in the child, or b) the interest that the child has in watches which causes him to notice Dad's watch. Trying to plan that when they are in the womb seems like a big presumption on Dad's part.

    To me, this mostly feels like a gift for Dad, more than a gift for the child. The Dad is hoping to get some emotional payoff at the end when passing down this watch. They aren't doing it because they know their child will appreciate it because the child often hasn't even been born yet or is less than a year old. It feels to me similar to the parent who "forces" their kid into an activity they like or liked when they were a kid, whether it's a musical instrument, sports, or other activity.

    Not to mention that fashions change. Maybe a kid is interested in watches, but who knows what will be in fashion when the child is older. And tastes are different. When I was growing up my Dad wore a gold tone Seiko quartz. That certainly is not my taste today, though if he were to pass, I'd cherish that watch because I remember him wearing it. But it's doubtful I'd wear it myself. It would go in a keepsake box in the safe to be pulled out on occasion to remember. But I'm a watch nerd. How many kids growing up will be?

    I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

  2. #2
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    Re: Buying watches to pass down (mini rant)

    I agree.

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    Member Ron521's Avatar
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    Re: Buying watches to pass down (mini rant)

    I think that some people WANT the watch for themselves, but must think of some way to justify it's purchase. There simply is no way to know what kind of watch a newborn might like that far in advance, or even if they will care to wear a watch.

    I own an Illinois pocket watch from the 20's which my grandfather gave me, but I rarely if ever use it.

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    Member Baka1969's Avatar
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    Re: Buying watches to pass down (mini rant)

    This sounds like a "Get off my lawn" post. Don't fret, I just had one earlier.

    That being said, so what? Even if you're somewhat correct that the purchase is more for the father than the child, who cares? Although I don't totally agree.

    The child might not appreciate the gift immediately, yet might when then get older? Possibly when they get close to having their own children? Maybe after the father passes away? A lot will depend on the relationship between the two.

    I find absolutely zero wrong with it. I see no downside.
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    Member Carl.1's Avatar
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    Re: Buying watches to pass down (mini rant)

    I agree with the OP that it is a little pointless as styles and tastes change over the generations and i doubt many children will care for their fathers watch....Don't bother with examples of where they do i know some do!

    I suspect the happy children are the ones that are gifted an expensive watch whether it is to their taste or not.

  7. #6
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    Re: Buying watches to pass down (mini rant)

    Quote Originally Posted by Baka1969 View Post
    This sounds like a "Get off my lawn" post. Don't fret, I just had one earlier.

    That being said, so what? Even if you're somewhat correct that the purchase is more for the father than the child, who cares? Although I don't totally agree.

    The child might not appreciate the gift immediately, yet might when then get older? Possibly when they get close to having their own children? Maybe after the father passes away? A lot will depend on the relationship between the two.

    I find absolutely zero wrong with it. I see no downside.
    I suppose this is a bit of a "Get off my lawn" post.

    The primary downsides I see are 1) the Dad is probably wasting money and/or wearing a watch he doesn't personally really "love", just so he can hand something down the kid may or may not actually want, and 2) it's setting the kid up for a potentially uncomfortable gift they don't really appreciate, which could even lead to potential hurt feelings between parent and child.

    The purpose of my post is to perhaps provide a counterpoint, or at least try to help the parent to think long and hard about WHY they are doing this. Is it really for the child, or for themselves?
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  8. #7
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    Re: Buying watches to pass down (mini rant)

    Im sure many people buy it for themselves and use it as justification. But for many of us its more about coming from a place of experience. A special bond with our own father for mother that can often be symbolized through a shared interest in an object or hobby. It isn't about the object itself, but about the emotional connection and the memories shared. As much as I love watches, these types of things are much less about the watch and more about memorializing a part of life.

  9. #8
    Member imaCoolRobot's Avatar
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    Re: Buying watches to pass down (mini rant)

    Under the influence of too many Patek Phillipe ads
    “If we could be satisfied with anything, we should have been satisfied long ago.”
    ― Seneca

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    Member Medusa's Avatar
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    Re: Buying watches to pass down (mini rant)

    My watch hobby is similar to my gun hobby in that no one in my family likes watches or guns.

    I think the handing down a watch thing happens when someone shows interest in a watch for years. In my opinion, handing down a watch can be prepared for but not firmly planned. I think over time there will be a family member, you never know who, might show interest in a watch. It might not be your son, but it could be your sisters daughter or a very close friends son.
    Last edited by Medusa; February 21st, 2018 at 17:47.

  11. #10
    Member Mirabello1's Avatar
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    Re: Buying watches to pass down (mini rant)

    My grandmother left me a bunch of gold jewelry and told me to go sell it to help pay for my first house. I probably do the same with my kids if I had an expensive watch to leave them.. I'd tell them keep it if you really like it but if not sell it get the money use it to fund something important in your life.

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