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FOR MANY WATCH ENTHUSIASTS, it’s the complication and material that make a timepiece a must-own. Those criteria, or a variation therein, are then used to create a well-rounded watch collection. But what if you had to choose a special, single piece to launch a family tradition? The notion of passing a timepiece on to your progeny, knowing that it will be passed on again and again, can evoke powerful feelings-and you’ll want to choose something that deserves such an honor.

Some might select a classic look that will stand the test of time; for others, the reputation of a brand known for its quality will be integral. Or, quite simply, sentimental value may elevate one piece above all others.

Here are some excellent choices from this year, each worthy of future generations.