It can be difficult to find the right gift for your dad, and that often gets you stuck in a present-buying rut. With fathers, there are plenty of typical, classic gifts like sports memorabilia, DIY equipment and a beloved bottle of alcohol.

When it's a particularly important occasion, like retirement or a milestone birthday, it's nice to break away from the tried and tested gifts and get something really special. In these situations, a vintage watch makes an excellent choice, and with a surprising range of price points, it doesn't have to be something that costs an absolute fortune.

If you're considering buying your dad a vintage watch, make it as meaningful as possible by following these tips.

Look for an appropriate age

A great starting point when choosing a watch with special meaning is to pick one that was made at a significant time. For birthdays, you might be lucky enough to find a watch that was made in the year your dad was born. If not, the decade still carries plenty of significance.

Most occasions have a date or era attached to them, so looking into watches from that time is ideal if you're not sure how to make it a truly memorable gift.

Choose a fitting style

Vintage watches are generally made in a few different overall styles, so choose one that will have meaning for your dad.

If he loves racing, a sporty chronograph could be just the thing. For dads who enjoy boating or other coastal pursuits, a diving watch is usually appreciated. And those who dress up for work or leisure will get plenty of use out of a stylish dress watch.

Get personal

Adding some personal touches are a wonderful way to put an extra stamp of uniqueness on the watch after you buy it. Engraving is the usual way to do this, with possibilities ranging from your name and a message to your dad's initials. You could also swap the strap for one that better suits your dad's personal taste.

If you have more time to plan, buying a watch that's in less-than-perfect condition and carefully restoring it makes it extra special. While it's best if an expert handles any repairs needed to the mechanism or face, there are small jobs you can do to clean a watch up and make it look its best. When your dad learns the work that's gone into restoring it, he'll be overjoyed.