Is it bad luck to give a watch as a gift?

Date Posted

With Halloween just around the corner, people love to share spooky stories and superstitions as the 31st draws near. You may not think there are any superstitions surrounding watches, but it is a long-standing myth that giving a watch as a gift brings bad luck. Although this of course isn’t true, you may have found yourself wondering where this superstition came from. We have traced the origin of this myth (and hopefully debunked it too) as well as a superstition surrounding watchmaking.

Sources trace the belief that giving a watch as a gift brings bad luck back to China many years ago, where the visual appearance and sound of words can often give them double meanings. When the Chinese characters for “watch” and “gift” are combined, they sound very similar to the word “funeral” when spoken out loud! It is from here that the belief that giving a watch as a gift could be seen as a bad omen for the recipient, which is a belief that seems to have stood the test of time. However, most people nowadays dismiss this superstition and a watch is considered to be a cherished and thoughtful gift. But, if you are still feeling a little superstitious, it is thought that bad luck can be avoided by giving a penny in exchange for the gift to “buy” it and keep good luck heading your way.

However, this isn’t the only watch-based superstition out there. There is also the idea that winding a watch backwards is bad luck and a belief of unclear origin that when a watchmaker constructed a watch, they would imbue the mechanism with a piece of their soul. And so it was thought that when a watch stopped working, so too would the watchmaker’s life end. This could possibly be connected to the idea that a watch’s internal mechanism with all its moving pieces somewhat resembles a beating heart, but it is hard to say for certain where this superstition arose from!

Of course, these superstitions are just a bit of fun and you shouldn’t really worry about bad luck or watchmaker’s souls. Giving a watch as a gift can actually be seen as a promise of commitment. Watches are both beautiful and practical items to be worn every day, so choosing a watch that perfectly matches the recipient shows thoughtfulness and attention to detail.

If you’re thinking of gifting a watch, we can’t promise to prevent bad luck but we can promise a high-quality service that can keep your gift in excellent working condition for years. We offer luxury watch repair for a range of well-known brands including Rolex, as well as part replacements and full watch servicing to give a watch the care and attention it deserves. If you’re looking for full watch servicing near you, Fix My Watch provides accredited servicing and repairs with collection and delivery included across Lancashire and Greater Manchester. By giving a watch regular servicing, you can be sure that you’ve given a luxury gift that will last a lifetime (and hopefully not bring any bad luck your way!)