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Hi!

I have a nephew on the way. I want to buy him a watch the day he's born, and then give him that watch on his 18th birthday. So basically, I'm looking for a decent watch that I can put in my safe brand new, and in 18 years it will still work as if it were brand new.

Any suggestions? I know Seiko 5 Sports would probably fit the bill (I have one from 1978 that runs great), but maybe a Hamilton Khaki would better fit this idea? Anything else? I'm hoping to keep this as far below $500 as possible, since I don't know this little punk yet. Who knows if he'll be worth dropping a lot of money on? Only time can answer that :)

Of course, if anybody has done something like this, please fire away any and all suggestions on making sure the watch will work after all that time! Will I have to do anything to maintain it, or just leave it be?

Cheers!
Jake
 

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Rolex 126200, UN San Marco, 2 Casios and 1 Timex
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I have purchased several watches that were kept in a safe 10+ years. One was a UN and the other a Rolex. The owners maybe wore the watch 5 times. Absolutely perfect condition. They looked like new.


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My cousin received a Rolex from his father on his wedding day stored way longer than 18 years, I thought it was a fantastic idea. Runs and looks amazing. Probably well out of budget.
 

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Can't even imagine doing that.

Anyway, pick a Rolex. It has the name so whoever gets it will be impressed, it will increase in value, and with a few exceptions it's boring so you won't even miss not wearing it ;-)

Only problem, might get sold right away for something else, sooooo
 

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Many watches may work after being in a safe for that long, but odds are they'll be due for a service. Not servicing them may not be a problem for a while - years even - but there will be damage occurring which will be a problem eventually. You should just buy any watch you want, and plan on getting it serviced when you pull it out in 18 years - assuming you want it to last for a long time.
 

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How about buying the watch when he’s 17 years and 11 months old and telling him you bought it the day he was born?
 

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I don't see the point. All you'll get is a watch that will quite likely be out of date by 2038. And watches are meant to occasionally run, modern oils will dry up in a decade regardless of how much use it sees.
 

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Patek Philippe 5960P, Grand Seiko SBGM221, Rolex 16570 Exp II Polar, Omega Speedmaster FOIS
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I don't see the point. All you'll get is a watch that will quite likely be out of date by 2038. And watches are meant to occasionally run, modern oils will dry up in a decade regardless of how much use it sees.
Exactly this. What kind of wearable technology will there be by then that someone who’s just turning 18 will want to exploit to the max.
 

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There have been threads about this before. It's not a good idea for a number of reasons. Number one being that your nephew will most certainly not appreciate it at age 18. It may be horribly out of style, etc. That said, your sentiment is very nice and should be appreciated. Invest whatever you would have spent on the watch and give that to him. I get the feeling you kind of want to watch shop, and this idea gives you permission to do so. Buy yourself a watch right now. Re-think the watch for him when he approaches 18.

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Yeah, gonna have to say, probably not a great idea buying any watch and storing it for 20 years, hoping that this will be the present beyond all presents--it likely won't, for any number of a large number of reasons, some mentioned above. How about investing the money in his name in a bond, or sponsor/plant a tree in the nearest park in his name, or other somewhat more altruistic options?
 

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That's what you call long-term planning.. And confidence.. that he will still talks to you after withholding a gift for 18 long years..

JK

For 500$ try to get a limited edition seiko or something that is not mass produced, maybe from a microbrand
 

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I tend to agree with those who do not consider this to be the greatest idea.
An automatic would surely need a service due to the oils coagulating or drying out. The gears on an auto should turn every now and then.
A quartz watch could be a good option here but it may be a good idea to remove the battery before storing if you are comfortable doing this.
Placing the funds in some sort of investment can grow the money to have more purchasing power when the time comes if you decide you still want to gift him a watch in 20 years. Of course inflation would be a factor.
Hopefully you will be able to help him appreciate the world of watches.
 

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Who knows if he'll be worth dropping a lot of money on?
I'll riff on this portion of your OP. Instead of buying a watch now, invest the $500 in it's own account. If he's not a complete sh*t at 18, and/or has even a passing interest in watches at that time, it will be fun to buy him something in perfect working order that he actually wants. If he isn't worth spending the $ on, or has no interest in watches, you'll have a couple of options: 1. Buy yourself a watch with the investment, or 2. Buy him something he wants or needs.
 

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Not the greatest idea for a present, but I suppose there are worse...vintage cottage cheese?
A Seiko with the production year and month (first two numbers of the serial number on the back) would be my recommendation. So you might have to buy it a month or two after he's born to get that at a dealer, which means the paperwork won't show his birthday (face+palm). If you were to go with this route, then something "timeless" and versatile, like an SRP Turtle variant or simple Presage.
 
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Seiko SKX007. Timeless design, discontinued and still desired so the price will definitely go up (already has, from <$200 couple of years ago to $400-$500 today), and it will be damn hard to find one new in 18 years. The movement will probably be out of production but any watchmaker should be able to service it. Worst case scenario, you pay someone to swap the 7s26 movement with the equivalent in the future or simply with a 4r36/NH36.
 

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To sum up my agreement with others already in this thread:
  • Put the $500 (or whatever) into a financial investment instead (security, bond, etc - take your pick)
  • If you must buy a watch, buy one for yourself
  • If you must buy a watch for him, just get a known affordable that means something to you too (ex. SARB033, SKX009, etc)
 

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I would put the money into VTWSX in a gift-to-minors account, and in 18 years let him do what he wants with it.
 

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Pretty much any decent swiss made watch will do however as noted be prepared to have it serviced prior to gifting. Omega would be my choice for best value. Any of the better swatch group brands would be good too. I would stay in the 38-40mm range and sport model.
 
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