Best Law Enforcement Watches
Part #4: The Retirement Watch

By: Matt Wright

By now, you have progressed in your career where you have an idea about what you would like to do towards the last few years of your time left in civil service. You have accumulated a nice collection that (whether you continue to promote or stay where you are) you will have a watch for most any assignment or occasion. So now what? I cannot speak for you, so I will just offer my personal insight/experience. While I have accumulated a nice collection of timepieces , my pursuit of watches does not stop. I still see watches I like and will buy some here and there just because I know I can utilize them in my off time with the family.

However, I have already started thinking about the watch I want to help celebrate my retirement. The watch that will be a gift to myself for the years I have spent in public service. My plan is to leave the public arena and start working in the private sector when I retire. In addition, I do not see myself doing anything law-enforcement related, so I would like a classic watch that can fit any occasion.

The Rolex Submariner:

I figured the best way to commemorate my time in law enforcement is to go after one of my grail watches. The Rolex Submariner is a classic watch that has inspired watch design for decades since it was released in 1953. This is the only watch that can claim to be actually waterproof, which means water will not compromise the watch up to whatever rating Rolex has given. If you are into watches then you know the Rolex name. They have set the benchmark for so many features there are too many to list. If it was good enough for James Bond and Her Majesty’s Secret Service, then it is good enough for me. Actually, it is more than good enough for me.

40mm diameter 904L steel case and bracelet
unidirectional Cerachrom bezel scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
screw down crown with triple-lock waterproofness system waterproof to 300m

I knew that upon retirement I would want a watch as a gift, and it took me a long time to decide which watch it would be – the proverbial “gold watch.” However, I knew that whatever watch I chose, it would not be just for me. This watch will be an heirloom piece. God willing it will be my son’s one day, and then his son’s and so forth. I like the idea of spoiling myself for a little bit, but ultimately I would like my family to have something with which to remember me.


My family is the most important thing to me. It was not always like that throughout my career. I started by working a lot of hours, trying to make a name for myself, and trying to make my mark in my department. However, I realized some years ago that there are two certainties in law enforcement:

    1. The organization does not need you to function.
    2. The day you retire, there will be two rookies on the street and their conversation will go like this:
      “Hey, did you hear Matt Wright retired?”
      “Matt Wright? How long was he here?”
      “About 23 years. He was a good dude.”
      “That’s cool. Well good for him. Hey where do you wanna eat today?”
      “I don’t know you pick.”

The machine moves forward with or without you. In other words, the greatest impact you can make will be within the four walls of your home. I’ve learned to focus on my family more and on my career less, because my legacy will be carried out by the 3 children I raise and not the department and city I worked years for. That may not be everyone’s reality, but I know that to be mine. If that speaks to you a little bit, just remember, there are fun things to do, like watch collecting, which can make the journey a little easier. Moreover, for me, the beauty of it is that I can pass some of my pieces along to my kids, and they can each have something to remember their dad. My wife and kids all know I’m a cop, but they also know that they are my passion and that my job is just that – a job.

So they know the day I buy my Submariner is the day I’m done (for the most part) with working weekends, working holidays, working nights, sleeping during the day, missing games, recitals, concerts, and the like. However, they will also know it was worth it and they will be OK with me treating myself a little. Most importantly, they will know I worked as hard and as much as I did for them. I know I am being a little sentimental for a watch article. The point I am trying to get across is that regardless of your job, your family is what is important. And part of watch collecting (at least for me) has to do with something I can enjoy with my family and pass on to them after I’m gone from this earth.

Final Thoughts:

I hope this series has presented you with some watch options that you may not have been aware were out there. I feel these watches could speak to any watch enthusiast and not just those of us in law enforcement. Either way I want to ensure you that whatever your work situation may be, you can definitely find a suitable watch that will fit your duties and any occasion you may find yourself. Those of you not in law-enforcement, I would just like to offer a quick reminder, cops are human also. Imperfect beings that want to succeed and do good work in their communities. And to all my brothers and sisters in law-enforcement, stay safe out there.

Be sure to check out the rest of my Law Enforcement Watch series!

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