It's time for another “state of the collection” post, featuring a six watch collection that has me covered for any occasion (sometimes twice).
Just three years ago, I made a video called The Only 3 Watches You Really Need, in which I recommended a watch from a fashion brand called The 5th.
This wasn't a sponsored video. At the time, that watch was truly one of my favorites. In fact, I blame it for getting me into this addictive, expensive and totally unnecessary hobby.
Granted, I don't wear fashion watches anymore. In fact, I try to steer first time watch buyers away from brands like The 5th, MVMT, Vincero and Daniel Wellington because they don't offer a lot of value (bang for your buck).
But I did make that video, for which I still get plenty of flack in the comments section (rightfully so). It just goes to show how quickly you can get sucked into the world of watches after you've been bitten by the bug.
All that to say, my watch collection is in a much better place these days. I've paired it down this year by selling off many watches that I wasn't totally in love with.
Now, I have six watches in my collection. They don't all get worn regularly, but they're all special in one way or another.
Let's go by formality, starting with the most casual.
#1: Casio F-84W
This is a $15 watch. It's very similar to the ever popular F-91W, but apparently the 84 is more popular in Japan.
The most substantial difference is in the strap. The rubber belt of the F-84W is thinner and softer than the hardened belt of the F-91W. The case is also slightly thinner at 8.5mm.
This is probably because it was produced to sell in a country with smaller people, relatively speaking. Since I have smaller wrists, this was a big selling point for me.
This watch has an alarm, stopwatch, hourly chime and LED light. It's not supposed to be water proof (just slightly resistant), but I've swam in the ocean with it on and haven't had any problems.
If you like the retro, digital aesthetic and “barely there” feeling on your wrist, you can't do much better than the Casio F-84W.
#2: Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical
Hamilton is a brand that was born and raised in America before being bought by Swiss-owned Swatch Group. It's got a lot of heritage and, in my opinion, makes some of the best watches for the price.
Their Khaki line is very popular, and there are several different versions of the Khaki Field watch. Mine is the older version of the manual wind, known as the Field Officer Mechanical.
Note: there is an automatic version of this watch that's just a little thicker and slightly more expensive. There's also a new version (as of 2018) that has an updated dial and no date window.
I like my version because it's very thin for a mechanical watch, and the date window is a very handy complication.
After trying this 38mm field watch out on a few different straps, I ended up going back to the factory strap, a beige canvas 20mm band that needed an extra hole for my wrist.
On any given week, this watch just might get the most wrist time.
#3: Seiko SKX013
It's substantially smaller than its popular older brother, the SKX007, but it's still 13mm thick, which gives it a bit of a squat look and feel (but it's a diver, so that's sort of expected).
To me, this watch wears like a 39mm. It's heavy and has way more wrist presence than, say, the 37mm SNK805.
The SKX013 ships on either a black rubber belt or a somewhat flimsy jubilee bracelet. I wore mine on the jubilee for a long time before upgrading to an oyster bracelet from Strapcode.
This bracelet is made specifically for this model, so the end links fit perfectly. To me, the oyster bracelet make more sense for this watch, both in look and feel.
That said, there's nothing wrong with the comfy jubilee it ships with. Don't feel the need to upgrade.
#4: Rolex Oyster Perpetual 15000
I didn't plan on buying this watch. I wasn't celebrating a special occasion or marking some important milestone. It was sort of an impulse purchase.
I'd bought my first luxury watch, a vintage Datejust (see below), a few months prior. At the time, it was my grail – the perfect watch. I still love it and wear it regularly, but I also started noticing the Oyster Perpetual (especially the Date model) more and more.
After wearing the somewhat dressy 36mm Datejust, I couldn't help but appreciate the OP's understated aesthetic and appealing 34mm size.
My daily style is decidedly casual, and the 15000 is like a smaller, sportier version of the 16030.
I saw this watch listed on Reddit's r/Watchexchange (a great place to buy watches, by the way) and was enamoured with the smoky grey dial, smooth bezel and oyster bracelet.
The watch was in pristine condition, complete with box and papers, and the price was beyond reasonable.
So I pulled the trigger, telling myself I'd only keep one Rolex in my collection. After all, they're very easy to sell and often increase in value.
And that brings us to our next watch…
#5: Rolex Datejust 16030
My first luxury watch, my first Rolex, and the most money I've ever spent on something frivolous (zero regrets!).
I bought this Datejust from Theo & Harris in early 2018. I tend to like black dials and was originally looking for a black or dark grey DJ, but this unique (and somewhat rare) taupe dial caught my eye.
Unlike the white or silver dial Datejusts, this one has white lettering. Depending on the lighting, the dial either looks silvery or like warm grey (almost champagne).
This watch is from 1984, which makes it a few months older than me. It's not in mint condition. It looks like it was actually worn, not kept in a drawer, and I like that about it. It means I don't have to worry about it or “baby it” when I'm wearing it.
The original jubilee bracelet has a fair amount of stretch and is very comfortable. The 36mm size is perfect for my wrist, and the case slides easily under the cuff of a dress shirt.
If you could only own one watch, I still think the Datejust is a good choice. It's a steel watch that you can wear with pretty much any outfit, including a suit and tie.
So yeah, I still have both the DJ and the OP in my collection. Maybe that will change in the next “state of the collection” post…we'll see!
#6: Citizen Quartz Dress Watch
I don't know the reference number of this watch. I've never been able to find it online. It probably wasn't very expensive, and I'm sure it's not worth anything now.
Before he was a successful entrepreneur, author and speaker, my dad cut his teeth at IBM. He spent 15 years with the company, putting his Information Sciences degree to work.
Everyday at IBM, he wore a black suit, white shirt, plain tie and this little watch. When I started working after college, he gave it to me.
It wasn't some “grandpa gave me his Rolex he wore in WWII” moment. It's just that he didn't wear it anymore, and I didn't have a watch.
I don't wear this one very often, but I keep it in my collection because it reminds me of my dad at my age now, grinding way at IBM, helping my mom support our big family.
Plus, check out that retro case size and shape…they really don't make 'em like that anymore!
What's in your collection right now? Leave a comment below!