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World of Raffi

Gift for Grads

Graduation is a rite of passage for all of us. Whether it is from high school, college, university, or post-grad, leaving school to enter the workforce is a process that ushers us into adulthood. If nothing else, it is a milestone that is celebrated by one’s friends and family. One way to mark such a singular occasion is with a gift, but not just any gift. Rather, something that will stay with the new grad for years and remind them of the work that was required to achieve their graduate certificate, diploma, or degree.

One gift that symbolizes the time and effort that goes into schoolwork is a fine writing instrument, especially if crafting a thesis was a requirement for the completion of a program. Montblanc is a Germany-based brand that has been manufacturing luxury pens for over 100 years. Introduced in 1924, their Meisterstuck collection epitomizes the archetype of what a fine pen should be. Handcrafted from proprietary materials developed in-house by the brand, their pens are perfectly weighted, balanced, and offer a tactility that is without compromise. Available in either fountain pen, rollerball, or ballpoint versions, all Montblanc pens feature a six-pointed white star on the cap, a symbol of their namesake as viewed from above.

Timepieces have long been given as gifts to mark a special occasion. From weddings to anniversaries, and birthdays to (of course) graduations, a luxury watch is a great way to remind the recipient of just how precious time is. As an item of jewellery, it also serves as a token of accomplishment that is worn on the body, thereby making a statement that is unique to each wearer.

One brand that has always offered an enticing price-to-performance ratio is Seiko. The Japanese company is celebrating its 140th anniversary this year and has released several models that offer an aesthetic that punches well above their price point. Included in these watches is the new Sharp Edge Series that, as part of the brand’s Presage family, showcase Seiko’s strength in dial production. The intricate pattern found on the dials is reminiscent of hemp leaves (Asanoha in Japanese), a plant with a rich history in the small island nation’s culture. The interplay of light and shadow across the dial’s three-dimensional pattern is something that must be seen in person to appreciate, creating an effect that looks infinitely unique when viewed from different angles.

The attention to detail also extends to the sharp lines found on the case. Slim yet substantial, the 39mm steel case is very comfortable on the wrist and exudes a look that is somehow both modern and traditional at the same time. The sapphire pane on the back of the case exhibits Seiko’s caliber 6R35, a movement with a 70-hour power reserve. The perfect gift for any grad!

The story of the Tag Heuer Monaco goes back to 1969, when Heuer, along with Breitling and Hamilton, introduced the first automatic chronograph movement. Each brand produced their own timepieces outfitted with the then-new caliber, but only Tag Heuer chose to use a square-shaped case to highlight their latest watchmaking breakthrough. At the time, square cases all suffered from the same challenge, namely, sufficient water resistance. Tag Heuer’s new Monaco featured an angular case architecture with a faceted crystal that offered water resistance to an unprecedented 100 meters.

The original Monaco was a short-lived design, however, as a result of the ensuing quartz revolution that swept the luxury timepiece industry in the 1970’s. Over 20 years would go by before the Monaco was re-introduced into the Tag Heuer catalogue in 1998. Upon its return, it has remained a popular choice for those looking to wear something more avant-garde than the more common wristwatch offerings.

A recent time-only version of the Monaco saw a slight reduction in case size, from 39mm to 37mm, and the inclusion of a Swiss-made, quartz powered movement. The original design’s water resistance of 100 meters has been retained, but now offers the unparalleled precision of a quartz oscillator for today’s timepiece enthusiast.