They’ve spent days at the library. They’ve lived off microwave meals for years. They’ve probably got weeks of sleep to catch up on. University is not for the faint-hearted, which means that as milestones go, graduations are pretty epic ones. Marking the end of formal education and the start of adulthood (well, so they say), this occasion calls for some serious celebration and perhaps a special graduation gift…

Based on some commonly accepted calculations, the class of 2019 will be one of the first cohorts of Generation Z to walk up to the podium and receive their degrees. That’s something to bear in mind when searching for the perfect gift for your fresh grad. They’re not exactly the same as their older siblings, the Millennials: here you’re gift-hunting for a class of individualistic young people who are tech-savvy yet Facebook-eschewing, interested in cool products as well as cool experiences. So, whether you go the classic route with a classic watch, or decide to take them on a rewarding getaway, we’ve got some ideas on the coolest graduation gifts that will surely make a lasting impression for the whole life ahead of them.

Here, find a meaningful graduation gift that they’ll remember forever.

[Hero image: Allie Holcomb King. Featured image: Honey Yanibel Minaya Cruz.]

A Charm Bracelet

Few things celebrate a milestone better than jewellery, and a stylish momento like this is sure to be cherished forever – particularly if it holds a bit of good luck. Thomas Sabo and Pandora both make classic choices for charm bracelets, but our top pick is from Tiffany and Co., who also do an adorable silver grad cap charm that’s perfect for this special occasion.

Available at Tiffany and Co.: Locations: G/F Emporium, Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok, 10110 (10am-8pm).

A Camera

Life may be lived on social media these days, but that doesn’t mean that the good old camera has lost its appeal. For a generation that is constantly experimenting, finding creative activities, and searching for interesting products, the Leica Sofort Instant Film Camera is a real winner. Combining a top tier artsy camera brand with the fun and ease of instant film makes this a great gift that the graduate will happily use to capture life’s other special moments later to come. 

Graduation gift leica camera
Leica Sofort Instant Film Camera (multiple colours). THB 11,500.

Available at Leica. Locations: 2/F Gaysorn Village, PloenChit Road, Bangkok 10330 (10am-8pm).

An iPad

The tech-loving Gen Z grad probably won’t complain if you gifted the new iPad Air that’s just been released. It comes with a stylus for those embarking on creative entrepreneurial projects and a detachable keyboard for those getting straight to business once their caps go flying.

Graduation Gift ideas ipad air
iPad Air. From THB 17,900.

Available at Apple. Locations: 2/F ICONSIAM, Charoen Nakhorn Road, Bangkok, 10600 (10am-10pm). Central World, Rama I Road, Bangkok, 10330 (10am-10pm). 1/F Siam Paragon, Rama I Road, Bangkok 10330 (10am-10pm).

A Suitcase

Now that they’re officially heading to a new destination in life’s journey, a beautiful suitcase is the perfect symbolic gift. For an extra heartfelt touch, go for Globe-trotter’s gorgeous cream suitcase with a fabric lining printed in the Chao Phraya pattern, designed in collaboration with Thai brand Siwilai. So, while setting them up for travels and adventures, this is also a suitcase with a special connection to home.

Graduation gift ideas globetrotter suitcase
Globe-trotter x Siwilai suitcase. Price available upon request.

Available at Siwilai. Location: 5/F Central Embassy, Ploen Chit Road, Bangkok 10330 (10am-9pm).

A Smartwatch

You’re absolutely right if you thought there would be no shortage of Apple products on this list. But if you’re buying for a Gen Z, Apple products really do tick all their boxes, particularly the famed Apple Watch. A cool and customisable gadget that can keep you fit, alert you for meetings, and help you meditate – the Apple Watch is the object of modern professionalism. And it’s no doubt on the wishlist of every professional-to-be.

Graduation gift ideas apple watch
Apple Watch Series 4. From THB 14,400.

Available at Apple. Locations: 2/F ICONSIAM, Charoen Nakhorn Road, Bangkok, 10600 (10am-10pm). Central World, Rama I Road, Bangkok, 10330 (10am-10pm). 1/F Siam Paragon, Rama I Road, Bangkok 10330 (10am-10pm).

A Classic Watch

Sure, multi-functional touchscreen watches that you can play games on are all well and good. But it’s still nowhere near as special a gift as a real, classic watch. An excellent investment, a generation-transcending artefact, a classic symbol of maturity and adulthood – the classic watch is unbeatable as an ultimate graduation gift that is, ironically, timeless.

Graduation gift rolex classic watch
Our pick: Rolex Day-Date. Watches from THB 170,000.

Available at Rolex. Locations: M/F Siam Paragon, Rama I Road, Bangkok 10330 (10am-10pm). G/F Gaysorn Village, Ploen Chit Road, Bangkok, 10330 (10am-8pm). 1/F Erawan, Rama I Road, Bangkok 10330 (10am-9pm).

Find more inspiration on watches here.

A Wallet

You know, for all that future money-making. Get them off to a promising start with a stylish wallet they can’t wait to fill. Gucci is always a popular choice for Gen Zs looking for an iconic yet newly reimagined label, and luckily their suave leather wallets fit (and pay) the bill.

Graduation gifts gucci wallet
Gucci Wallet. From THB 10,000.

Available at Gucci. Locations: M/F Siam Paragon, Rama I Road, Bangkok 10330 (10am-10pm). M/F ICONSIAM, Charoen Nakhorn Road, Bangkok 10600 (10am-10pm). G/F Central Embassy, Rama I Road, Bangkok 10330 (10am-9pm). G/F Emporium, Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok 10110 (10am-8pm).

A Handbag

Graduation is a perfect occasion to gift something with tradition. And is there a more stylish tradition than a classic handbag? Iconic designer bags from Dior’s Lady bags to Chanel’s flap bag are made to transcend generations and be handed down again and again while also increasing in value. It’s a graduation gift that will keep on giving. Our pick? Well, ever since their new Carrie Bradshaw campaign, the legendary Fendi Baguette has bounced back into fashion – and the fresh new neon colours would make any Gen Z go all heart-eyes emoji.

Graduation Gifts Iconic Handbag Fendi Baguette
Fendi Baguette. From THB 70,000.

Available at Fendi. Locations: M/F Siam Paragon, Rama I Road, Bangkok 10330 (10am-10pm). M/F ICONSIAM, Charoen Nakhorn Road, Bangkok 10600 (10am-10pm). G/F Central Embassy, Rama I Road, Bangkok 10330 (10am-9pm). G/F Emporium, Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok 10110 (10am-8pm).

A Music Player

The recent grad will need their on-the-go personal soundtrack to get them motivated while working in the real world. Sure, you could splurge and spoil them with a pair of Louis Vuitton’s wireless earbuds, but really the Apple Airpods are classic, dependable, and excellent quality. If you’re after something a bit bigger, a record player always makes a striking impression on someone young. They’ll see it as a “cool” gadget to own, especially if you can find the ones that mix old-school sound systems with the modern bluetooth and USB ports.

Crosley record players available at Fatblack Records. Location: Crystal Design Centre, Praditmanutham Road, Bangkok, 10240 (12pm-8pm).

Airpods available at Apple. Locations: 2/F ICONSIAM, Charoen Nakhorn Road, Bangkok, 10600 (10am-10pm). Central World, Rama I Road, Bangkok, 10330 (10am-10pm). 1/F Siam Paragon, Rama I Road, Bangkok 10330 (10am-10pm).

A Getaway

The best things in life are not things but experiences. Treat them to a getaway, either with family or their friends, and it will be a gift that they’ll store lovingly in their memory. Besides, after all that studying, all they probably want is a good escape to wind down from it all. Let them relax on the sunny beaches of Bali, or treat them to a party-filled city break in Tokyo – a great once-in-a-lifetime experience is the ultimate graduation gift.

Our pick: Alila Manggis Bali. Prices from THB 4,900/night.

Read our full review of Alila Manggis Bali here. 

Alila Manggis, Desa Buitan, Manggis Karangasem, Bali, +62 363 410 11. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Karn Chatikavanij
Style Writer
A globetrotter with a love for sushi and Miu Miu, Karn is a fan of all things upbeat, delicious, and well-dressed. Her frequent activities include packing for beach trips, listening to 80s music, and trying to make daytime pyjamas happen.