I’ve loved watches for a long time. I didn’t know anything about them way back when. I just bought what I could afford (before I lost it mentally and became a complete WIS), what I liked, what I needed (usually digital because of the timers), and what was pretty tough. I suppose this started in the late 70s. I don’t remember ever wearing a watch in high school.
I went through loads of Timex Ironman watches, then when I started wearing suits to work I bought some very thin, elegant white dialled Seiko quartz. I don’t have a clue what model it was, but it went well with a suit. In fact, even after all the luxury watches, I might look for that Seiko again today if I needed a dress watch.
I’ll say my venture into WIS’dom came when I bought a Tag 1500 in ’94 or ’95. I still didn’t know anything about watches. I knew what Rolex was, and I also knew I couldn’t afford one. I’d never heard of Tag Heuer, but I saw it and liked it so I bought it. I still have it. It survived various sell offs because I knew I couldn’t get much for it and may as well keep it.
Now, I dislike the grey dial because I find it difficult to read sometimes. The lume is horrid and now I very much dislike Mercedes hands. This one may be up for a re-dial and new hands someday. I’ve had it this long so it’s a keeper.
What I do like, very much is the case size. These watches came out before someone, in their infinite wisdom, decided that dive watches had to be 44mm+ by 18mm bloody thick. Why? Divers did just fine before with relatively small watches that didn’t weigh a friggin ton.
I guess this brings me to the point of this post. After all these years of collecting (or better said, buying watches), I’ve learned what I like and what I don’t like. I think this applies to traditional analog as well as digital watches.
I like classic shapes of medium to small size. I don’t like unnecessary bulk. I like easy to read dials without a lot of superfluous writing, graphics or dials and other gizmos on them. With the exception of pure dress watches, I prefer watches with at least 100m wr (although I’ll make exceptions to that), and more importantly I like watches that are tough enough for me to wear ‘em and forget ‘em. Again with the exception of dress watches, if I can’t put it on nylon to REALLY use, I probably don’t want it.
Despite not liking Mercedes hands, some of my favourites have had them. I liked these and would have them again any day.
This is my idea of a dress watch. I liked this so much I used to have a hard time taking it off when the suit came off.
I liked these a lot too
Liked this Breitling, but liked the black dialled version I had first better. I also liked it better after I had it bead blasted. I don’t like shiny bling very much.
Loved these two. Wish I had kept the IWC longer. I was starting to get into larger watches at the time. I ended up with two Speedmasters, but for some reason got tired of them and sold ‘em.
This was a nice watch, but I prefer the Rolex
I didn’t get along with this Breitling B1. I went out to buy the Aerospace, but came home with this. That was a mistake. Go with your gut.
This is a really nice chrono. I bought it for the wife, hence the bronze dial which she liked. I preferred the black.
I really got into Panerai for awhile. Then as fast as I got into them, I got out. It was the too big and bulky thing. Would like to have kept the 111 to wear when I felt like some heft.
This Radiomir was rather pretty, though
I do like Precista watches. The PRS-14 is a nice one, but for some reason I we didn’t bond. I did like the PRS-18Q. I won it in a pass around over on TZ UK.
This Sinn 142 is without a doubt the most readable and real world useable mechanical chrono I’ve owned. Wasn’t crazy about the case shape. I sold it because it needed some work that I couldn’t afford.
This Sinn fit my criteria, but we just didn’t bond
I love the simplicity of the little ‘ol CWC G10.
This was my grail watch, but in the end it was too shiny, too expensive, rubbish as a real world chrono, and I was just afraid to mess it up.
Which brings me to the digitals. Same principles. Simple, easy to read, and not a lot of useless crap on the dial. Ones like this.
and even this
I still have watches that don’t fit my preferences at all, like the Citizen I’m wearing today. I still have ‘em because I couldn’t sell ‘em, at least not without giving them away.
Yeah, it’s been an epic post, but maybe it gives some insight into what I like and why. I didn't list a LOT of watches, including all the Seamasters which I did like, but not as much as the Rolex Subs. Diving drove my interest in watches after buying the Tag, and I suppose that accounts for a lot of my supposed taste in watches.