From an early age we clock watch. Everything we do runs to a schedule, get up, go to school/work, morning break, lunch, afternoon break, dinner, to bed...all to the clock.
At retirement I think I would like to be free of clock watching. In fact giving clocks or watches at retirement here in the UK is a thing of the past. Bird baths and gardening impliments are popular.
Unless you like clocks.
Pens not only write but can be used to draw, sketch, feel and even stir ones tea. They may not be used every day or week but they are there when needed.
In my last employ the company boss retired (June this year & 2 months before I resigned) and because he had been good to me over many years service I sneaked a personal gift, a Carene Marine Amber BP, into his case on his last day. He called me the following day saying he was most pleased and somewhat touched by it and that it would be on his home desk and used not just put away.
You gave a ballpoint, useful to anybody.
I have bought a number of NOS pens at yard sales that had all original packaging. Sellers had comments to the effect that the recipient didn't use fountain pens and never used the items. Good deal for me, though, typically on Parker 51 sets.
If all the donors think the pen is a good idea, so be it.