What Rolex Watch Should You Gift a Graduate? (High School, College, Grad School)

What Rolex Watch Should You Gift a Graduate? (High School, College, Grad School)

It is that time of the year when our sons and daughters walk across the stage to proudly accept their graduation certificates. They worked so hard to achieve a high school, college, and/or graduate school education, and of course, we as watch enthusiasts want to give them a watch to commemorate such an accomplishment. But which watch, even more precisely, which Rolex should we give them? We are going to help you find both a budget option and a more expensive option for a young man graduating from high school, college, and graduate school. 

Watch Recommendations for High School Graduates

Tudor Hydronaut Silver

Image Source: Watch Charts

First off, let's start with the High Schooler! I think giving an 18-year-old a brand new Rolex sets a tone that may not make sense for such a young lad. Instead, how about Rolex’s little brother Tudor? I found a Tudor Hydronaut on Chrono24 for $1,361. This super cool sporty watch is perfect for a young person about to enter college. Frankly, it is way nicer than the Victorinox watch I got when I graduated high school. 

Tudor Black Bay Monochrome

On the pricier end of the spectrum, the new Tudor Black Bay ‘Monochrome’ with the black dial and black aluminum bezel, going for $4,425, will really wow this year's graduate. Frankly, this tank of a watch will take a beating and look cool doing it. Properly maintained, this is a lifelong timepiece as well.

Watch Recommendations for College Graduates

Rolex Datejust 16014

Image Source: Wind Vintage

Next up is the college grad; this achievement definitely deserves a crown. I found multiple examples of the Rolex Datejust ref. 16014 on Bezel for under $5,000. To me, this may be the perfect starter Rolex. It will never go out of style, it goes with a t-shirt and jeans as well as it does a suit, and did I mention it is a Rolex? This gorgeous timepiece is the perfect gift for almost any major accomplishment in life, college graduation included.

Rolex Submariner 124060

Image Source: Monochrome Watches

On the higher end of the scale we jump to the Rolex Submariner, reference 124060. This beauty is just awesome, especially at $9,100. It may be near impossible to get from your local Rolex AD, so much so that if you get an allocation, you may be tempted to keep it for yourself. The Cerachrom bezel will never fade, the 70 hour power reserve will allow for your grad to possibly switch back to their high school watch from time to time, and it’s literally the most iconic dive watch (and maybe watch period) on the planet. The Rolex Submariner doesn't just tell time, it tells history. 

Watch Recommendations for Graduate School Graduates

Explorer 40mm

Lastly, we jump up to an achievement that so few have attained, graduating from grad school. This is a very special achievement. The new Rolex Explorer in 40mm, reference m224270, may have some of Rolex’s most iconic history behind it. The Explorer made its way to the top of Mount Everest, it has traveled with explorers for generations, and it will go with quite literally any outfit. What else can you ask for $7,700? Well, a lot of things, but we are watch guys – we want watches! What better bay to mark this crowning achievement than with a crowning Rolex?

Rolex Datejust 41

Image Source: The Marin Vault

If you’re looking to give a gift above the rest, the latest Rolex Datejust 41, in a fluted bezel and jubilee bracelet, may top literally everything. This gorgeous timepiece is quite the power move: one that the class of 2024’s top graduate will absolutely adore. At $10,500, you are going to be giving a gift that tops all others, at least watch-wise. 


We hope that this list of watch ideas for different budgets helps you find the right watch for your grad this year. Do remember, even though they reached a monumental achievement that certainly deserves a new watch, praising them for the accomplishment is what really counts.

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