The Tradition of Timeless Gifts for a Bar/Bat Mitzva or Graduation

Long before the disposable ballpoint pen, the replaceable battery-operated Timex watch and the check or gift certificate, two gifts were a must for a young person: a fountain pen for a bar/bat mitzvah and a Swiss watch for the high school graduate.

The pen may be symbolic of the learning and the writing that has yet to be accomplished, just as the watch may represent the young person’s hopefully long and fruitful life ahead. Since a pen and a watch were meant to serve one for his/her lifetime, they were appropriately made to last for a lifetime (and even then passed on to the next generation), with timeless designs. Pen makers and watchmakers were recognized artisans, just as the repairers were respected members of the community.

Nowadays, some retirees get a gold watch from their employer as a retirement gift, sometimes referred to as “the timepiece to help us watch our life tick to an end.” Obviously the old custom of the watch at graduation is more hopeful and meaningful! Recently, an interest has been rekindled in those old pens and watches that belonged to “grandpa” or ” great uncle.” Many have become collectors’ items. Also new fountain pens and high end watches have become popular again. Of course, most expensive new watches are battery-operated, making the old gear-operated ones even more desirable.

TraditionsRenewed offers a selection of fountain pens from Waterford, a company renowned for its impeccable design and high quality crystal. This is the second best way to put your youth on a path of meaningful and timeless collecting. Of course, the absolute best way is to start with passing on your family heirlooms first!

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