twenty-fifth anniversary of employment with IBM, you get (or at least you used to) your choice of gifts from the company; my Dad, and most of his buddies, opted for the Rolex watch.
Dad got his Rolex in 1983, and though he had previously been an enthusiastic Seiko partisan, he wore that Rolex for the next 22 years.
I have worn reasonably nice watches before. My wife and my in-laws are responsible for the two watches I alternate wearing from day-to-day, actually; my wife bought me a beautiful pilot's chronograph not long after we met, and it has considerable sentimental value to me. (Funnily enough, she now sometimes wears the "railroad watch" that I was wearing when I moved to New York!)
And my father-in-law, who is a *serious* eBay maven, found a great price on a set of deeply geekly "Eco-Drive" Citizen watches that recharge automatically on exposure to sunlight, and bought enough for all the males in the extended family; mine showed up one day in the mail unannounced, and I've enjoyed wearing it ever since.
But today--after the quick and professional attention of a helpful Raleigh jeweler, who incredibly enough had some spare links for a vintage Rolex wristband in his parts drawer--I'm wearing Dad's Rolex on my wrist.
And this is just a whole 'nother thing. Set aside the fact that it's like an exquisite little moving sculpture. My old man wore this watch for a little more than two decades, and I think I'm really going to enjoy looking down to check the time and thinking about Bob every time I do it.