$2800 to build a three watch collection
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  1. #1
    Member M_Milaguet's Avatar
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    Mar 2016

    $2800 to build a three watch collection

    I'm going back to the basics:
    I have around $2800USD (£2000) to build as interesting a three watch collection as can be, and I am looking for some suggestions.
    A few parameters:
    - Preferably mechanical (a mixture of automatic and hand wound would be great), but could be quartz for a piece of particular interest/significance.
    - small watches only (38mm or under, unless for specific tool watches that can justify a bigger dial size for utilitarian reasons).
    - vintage watches are fine - classic designs particularly appreciated (a Genta polerouter for example/Omega constellation Pie Pan).
    - One dress watch (I'd like a Cartier Tank Solo, or a JLC Reverso, but likely to swallow up all my budget for even the most basic model).
    - One watch must be WR to at least 100m (could be a diver, but I would prefer no diving bezel on a SS bracelet).
    - I would really like each of the three pieces to have some historical significance/hold a special interest in the history of watch making.
    - I'm particularly drawn to vintage/heritage models (Mad Men era).

    I'm aware this is not an easy ist of requirements to fulfill, but I will certainly consider mixing in cheap models to allow for more expensive ones, for instance:
    - A Vostok Amphibia
    - A vintage Cartier Tank solo
    - A vintage Bulova accutron spaceview

    Curious where you guys would go with this.

  2. #2
    Member SaoDavi's Avatar
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    Jan 2014
    Texas (D/FW)

    Re: $2800 to build a three watch collection

    Stowa Flieger, Tudor Black Bay 36 (pre-owned), and a Junghans Max Bill.

    ShanDon and Davidson like this.

  3. #3
    Member Baka1969's Avatar
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    Dec 2017
    NE Philly

    Re: $2800 to build a three watch collection

    Hamilton Intra-Matic
    Fortis Flieger
    Omega SMP
    You're either qualified or not qualified

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  5. #4
    Member imaCoolRobot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Vancouver, BC

    Re: $2800 to build a three watch collection

    Nomos Club (can cover dress and waterproof)
    MK II Hawkinge (also waterproof)
    Stowa Flieger Klassic 36
    “If we could be satisfied with anything, we should have been satisfied long ago.”
    ― Seneca

  6. #5
    Member geauxtigers's Avatar
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    Jul 2013
    Lexington, KY

    Re: $2800 to build a three watch collection

    Tough requirements, I'd do the following:

    Damasko DA36 (or whatever variety you prefer)-- around $900 used--> nice tool watch, a touch over your requirements at 40mm---> if 40mm is too big, a Sinn 556 might be a better fit, 38.5mm diameter.

    Nomos Club- can fulfill your dress watch requirement while still having modern WR and reliability- and it fits your size requirements-- roughly <$1000 new

    Hamilton Khaki Auto Chrono-- can be foud for ~600-700ish new, gives you chrono functionality and would give you a watch on a bracelet--> available in 38m size

    And because you'd have a little cash leftover-- an Amphibia of course. So cheap and fun, why not?

    Good luck!
    Current: Rolex Explorer 214270 MKII, Omega Speedmaster Professional 3570.50, Omega Seamaster Professional Ceramic, Christopher Ward C9 Harrison, Vintage Waltham "Made in France" dial

  7. #6
    Member MediumRB's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015

    Re: $2800 to build a three watch collection

    Christopher Ward C65 for a good all-around piece with 100m water resistance out of their 30% bin, 500 pounds.
    Hamilton Intramatic for your dressier piece, 400 pounds.
    Find some vintage rectalinear handwound watch with the remainder, budgeting in a couple hundred for its service.
    Tick-tock in RoK GMT+9, no DST
    Not Seiko: Parmigiania Tonda 1950, Zenith El Primero Chronomaster, Piaget Upstream, Muhle Glashutte Seebataillon GMT, Eterna Madison Spherodrive, Vulcain Cricket 1951 Classic, Bell & Ross Space 3 GMT, Bulova Accutron Astronaut (c. 1966), Omega Speedmaster triple date, Sinn 556 Anniversary LE, IWC Cal. 89 (c. 1957), Glycine Airman SST-12, Pulsar Date II (c. 1971), Scurfa Diver One, G-Shock Rangeman 9400, Vostok Classica
    Seiko: Grand Seiko SBGT035, Credor Node GCAT996, Grand Seiko 5641-7000 (1972), "Ashtray Tuna" 7C46-6009 (1987), 6139-7069 "Blue Eye" chrono (1974), 5740-8000 Lord Marvel 36'000 (1974), Bell-Matic 4006-7012 (1971), King Quartz 9223-5000 (1981), Seikomatic J13044 (1963), 6119-6400 UFO (1974), King Quartz 5855-5000 (1977), Silverwave 8221-5020 (1980), Majesta 9063-5020 (1984), SKX399K "Philippines"

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2017

    Re: $2800 to build a three watch collection

    SARB065, Christopher Ward C60, Alpina Startimer Pilot

  9. #8
    Member TJ Boogie's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015

    Re: $2800 to build a three watch collection

    OP historically, is there 1 style you wear more than others, and spend more on than others? What might be the Hallmark Style of your collection (eg dress for work/lifestyle, field for the outdoors, chrono for driving, diver for scuba etc.)?

    And are there any styles of watch you're not very fond of?
    Best Regards,


  10. #9
    Member Seibei's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015

    Re: $2800 to build a three watch collection

    Get the best watch you can get for a little less than $2800. The other two will take care of themselves. You can get a great watch for $2800. You can not get 3 great watches for $2800, no matter how hard you try.
    chuasam and Rusty427 like this.
    Have a nice day.

  11. #10
    Member drunken monkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Re: $2800 to build a three watch collection

    Buying three watches to fit within a budget seems to me to be the quickest way to disappointment.

    Buy one watch you really like, then see if you can buy another.

    Thoughts for the day:
    facts, experience, opinion - figure which yours is before you start typing
    DM's Ghetto Watch Polishing Guide

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