Engraving a watch’s case back is a way to add personalization to a watch that transforms it from a mere timepiece to a keepsake.

When you think about your “everyday carry” items, your watch lands firmly at the top of that list, so making it more personal makes sense. When giving an engraved watch as a gift, the engraving reminds the recipient of the bond the watch represents between you every time they see it.

Whether you’re thinking of engraving a watch for you or for someone else, it’s easier than you might think. Nixon offers engraving on our most popular watch models.

Let's get into some of our favorite watch engraving ideas.

Two Nixon watches with engraved case backs

What to engrave on a watch?

While it’s not a tattoo, custom engraving your watch isn’t something to rush into. So what do you engrave on a watch? To help get you started, we’ve compiled a list of starting points and engraving ideas to inspire you.

Take these ideas for watch engravings as jumping-off points; it’s your watch (or gift), so make it personal!

Keep in mind that engraved Nixon watches are capped by a 26 character limit.

Graduation Watch Engraving Ideas

  • “No more teachers, or books”
  • “School’s out...Forever!”
  • "You did it on time!"
  • "Now get to work."
  • "Act Massively and Manifest."
  • "Habits = Results"
  • "Every second counts"

Engraving Ideas for Engagements

  • “Off the market.”
  • “They put a ring on it.”
  • “The best is yet to come.”
  • "Time for love."

Ideas for Marriages

  • “No remedy for love”
  • “I only want to annoy you”
  • “Happily ever after”
  • "Roses are red watches are rad"

Anniversary Watch Engravings

  • “U rock this marriage thing”
  • “We’re my fave love story”
  • “I love your guts.”
  • "All-time partner."
  • "To 40-50 more."

A selection of watch parts and a watch engraving machine at Nixon HQ

Retirement Gift Watch Engravings

  • “Take this job and shove it”
  • “Better than a brass ring.”
  • “Welcome 2 endless vacation”
  • "No more emails."

Work Win

  • "Perseverance always wins."
  • "Big Boss."
  • "Always Be Closing."
  • "You earned it."
  • "Work Hard. Stay Humble."
  • "Dream to dare. Dare to do."

Engraving a Wedding Gift

  • "Happily Ever After."
  • "May your love forever grow"
  • "Im not crying YOURE crying"

For more for weddings, check out our wedding gift watches section.

Groomsmen Gift Engravings

  • "The best damn groomsman."
  • "Way to have my back."
  • "No new friends."
  • “My proudest accomplishment”

Custom watch engraving for groomsmen watches.

Watch Engraving Ideas for a Son

  • “Way to carry the bloodline”
  • “Love watching you grow"

Watch Engraving Ideas for a Daughter

  • "To my princess."
  • "My favorite of all time"

Father’s Day and Mother’s Day Engraving Ideas

  • “You’re rad, dad.”
  • “You’re the bomb, mom.”
  • “Sorry for giving you greys”
  • “For tracking curfew"
  • "Happy 1st Mother's Day!" (or Father's Day)
  • "Official Grom Mom"
  • "The greatest mom/dad ever"

See our selection of engravable watches for men and women here!

Romantic Watch Engraving Ideas for a Boyfriend or Girlfriend

  • “You give me butterflies.”
  • “Luv u more 2day n more tmrw”
  • “I wanna hold your hand.”
  • "To my prince."
  • "Nice butt."
  • "Love is worth the wait"
  • "U are my once upon a time"

Gift for Friends

  • “IYKYK”
  • “To My Ride or Die.”
  • “To the family I chose.”

Ideas for a Birthday Watch Engraving

  • "Life is short. Eat a taco."
  • "Time's ticking"

Custom watch engraving for a best friend.

You Can Quote Me

  • “Utah, gimme two!”
  • “I love lamp.”
  • "Make love, not war"
  • "To infinity and beyond"

Song Lyrics

  • “Be humble.”
  • “Time has come today.”
  • "Time is on my side."

“Time” for Puns

  • “Time to write a thank u card”
  • “Make time for a friend.”
  • "No time like the present."

A Nixon watch being prepared for a unique engraved message

Smells Like Team Spirit

  • “Team above all, above all team”
  • “For the love of the game.”
  • “Cheesehead for life.”

Shared Experiences and Timeless Moments

  • “To Hell and back.”
  • “I survived 2020.”
  • “Festival Season 2022.”
  • "Remember that one time...?"

More Engraving Ideas

  • "Just for You"
  • "Marking an Accomplishment"
  • Nicknames
  • Important date like an anniversary or birthday, or when Point Break premiered (July 12, 1991)

Hopefully, that gives you plenty of watch engraving ideas for your next engraved watch gift. No matter if it's for you, the best dad or mom, a role model, a special someone or a best friend, an engraved message makes a watch epic.

Engrave your next Nixon, or if you really want to go for a one-of-a-kind watch, check out our fully-customizable Nixon watches. Time to get your creativity on!

For more great gift ideas, check out our Valentine's Day gift guide, or our special occasion gift selection. After all, who doesn't love receiving gifts from Nixon?