Foundation of a watch collection - The holy trinity
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  1. #1
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    Foundation of a watch collection - The holy trinity

    I've been asked so often about watches I would recommend that I've decided to post here with the hopes I can either help someone build their watch collection or spur some debate. We've all heard of the holy trinity of watch companies - PP, AP and VC (some would even say ALS) but what about the holy trinity of watches? The three watches to build the foundation for all other watches in your collection and beyond?

    Obviously there's no hard "right" or "wrong" but I believe the following three watches could set the foundation for any watch collection. Before I start however, I would like to lay a couple of basic ground rules: The three watches together must be attainable to the average watch collector AND be purchased new within a three year span (I understand the Lange 1 is an incredible watch but at $40k it's just not realistic to most). Additionally they should be able to hold their value within 75% of purchase price. Given the average salary of roughly $60k a year, I would say a $12k total budget over the three year span is both fair and attainable.

    Here we go, the first watch I would start my foundation with would be none other than the Omega Speedmaster Pro 3570.50 (only the 3570.50). For roughly $3500 you get a watch with both tremendous history and versatility. For clarity, the reason I would only consider the 3570.50 is because this is the model that most closely resembles the original 321 AND is still today NASA flight approved for space missions. I've said it before and I'll say it again, for the money there is simply no better watch on the planet that can match the history and quality of the Speedypro.

    My second choice would be the Breitling Navitimer 01 although I understand this choice is much more up for debate. This beauty can be had for roughly $6k and brings with it a rich history as well. Now in all fairness there are a few other watches in this price range that can easily fit into the number two hole and those would be the JLC Reverso, JCL Master Thin or Panerai Luminor. The reason I decided on the Navitimer is because I'm an airman at heart. I was in the Air Force and am just fascinated with aeronautics history. However, I can certainly understand any of the other three choices as that anchor watch.

    This is where things get difficult, the number three watch with only $2500 or so left to spend in the budget. For me, the choice is fairly simple and I would say a Tag Heuer Cal 6 Monaco. Obviously, my first choice would have been the Cal 12 with chronograph but with only $2500 left that's just not an option. One reason why I wouldn't mind going with the Cal 6 is because I already have two incredibly well built chronographs and don't mind the Tag not having the chrono. Most people would argue the whole reason to get the Monaco is for the Chronograph, but I say the Monaco was made famous for TWO reasons, the first, because it was the first automatic with a chronograph and the second (most people don't know this) is because it was the first square water proof watch. The only other watch I would consider putting into my foundation collection which is less than $2500 and meets the above criteria would be the Longines Flagship Heritage.

    So to recap, my foundation would consist of the following:

    Omega Speedmaster Professional 3570.50
    Breitling Navitimer 01 (first choice), JLC Reverso, JLC Master Thin, Panerai Luminor
    Tag Heuer Monaco Cal 6 (first choice), Longines Flagship Heritage

    Thank you!
    Last edited by giodoc; October 5th, 2015 at 16:32.
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  2. #2
    Member LordBrettSinclair's Avatar
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    Re: Foundation of a watch collection - The holy trinity

    I'm definitely not as knowledgeable about watches, but I have to agree (with the little I do have) about your third choice. The Monaco isn't about the chrono, absolutely spot on. If I were to buy one it would be for the reasons you mention. For reasons of personal taste I'd go for the JLC MT as number two (even though I like Panerai). I have a personal thing about Omega. They don't grab me but I was really interested, and not a little persuaded, by your argument re. Speedy.

    In all thanks for sharing your knowledge and opinion.
    The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom

  3. #3
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    Re: Foundation of a watch collection - The holy trinity

    A better "NASA"-OKed choice is a Casio G-Shock. More reliable and accurate than the now-dated Ω. Less than $100.

    Aviator? Citizen Navihawk. The JY8030-83E has atomic time sync, keeps track of 43 cities, has multiple alarms, a shark-style bracelet is available, and has 200m WR. $400 or so.

    The correct third choice has to be absolutely revolutionary among sport watches; the original Citizen Aqualand is the natural choice here. The first watch in its class to offer the functionality combination; even -- or actually, especially -- the first model with its dive depth/interval display changed horology forever. $300 or so for an original or reissue; prices climb if you want to be able to download dive data etc.

    Done.
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  5. #4
    Member carlowus's Avatar
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    Re: Foundation of a watch collection - The holy trinity

    To each his own of course but personally I don't bother with numbers of brands. The fact is that I like to have whatever I find good looking and reliable for me without spending an arm and a leg. But who can afford them surely can be happy with expensive, rare or high end watches/brands.

    To me having a variety of several is better then having just 2-3 watches.

    A collection is a collection, be that of Timex, Casios or Patek.

  6. #5
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    Re: Foundation of a watch collection - The holy trinity

    I guess it depends on your definition of a foundation. Maybe it's just me, but $12k seems like a lot for someone to spend when they are just starting out. I mean, not to knock your choices, those are three great watches, but personally I would see them as more of a mid point of a collection than a foundation.
    I would pick a Seiko 5 as a starting point. They're good solid watches, and I love mine. It's easily the watch I wear most often in my collection, even though I have 'better' watches I still tend to go for it.
    Next, Casio G-Shock, 'nuff said.
    And lastly, a diver would finish out our mini collection nicely. A Rolex Sub would be lovely, but a bit expensive, so instead I'd go for a Vostok Amphibia as a lower budget equivilent.
    Gazza74, Swans21, chefmhf and 1 others like this.

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    Re: Foundation of a watch collection - The holy trinity

    The Seiko 5 is so diverse that one can assemble an entire collection solely from this series; sport, dress, water, fly, it's all there. Great watches.

  8. #7
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    Re: Foundation of a watch collection - The holy trinity

    You guys are basically mentioning budget options without any thoughts to the OP's specification of 'the holy trinity'. i'm not saying that the watches you suggest are poor choices but they are never going to be the holy trinity of a serious watch collection. They are all perfectly serviceable time pieces and there's a place for them in a collection if you enjoy them but they do not fit the bill.

  9. #8
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    Re: Foundation of a watch collection - The holy trinity

    The G Shock exceeds the "bill."

    It has a history of space flight, like the Ω.

    Unlike the Ω, it is also better suited for use on a planet covered 70% by water.

    It is more accurate than the Ω.

    It is more robust than the Ω.

    In fact I have to question how "serious" a collection could possibly be that costs more, offers similar history, yet less functionality and less suitability for the primary -- or any -- task.
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  10. #9
    Member yankeexpress's Avatar
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    Re: Foundation of a watch collection - The holy trinity

    The elephant in the room......where is BP? They belong way, WAY before tag and longi

    The Pan is not explained because it has no business in the conversation.

    The Racism is rampant. Where are the Asians?
    Last edited by yankeexpress; October 5th, 2015 at 00:12.

  11. #10
    Member CellestinoHernendes's Avatar
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    Re: Foundation of a watch collection - The holy trinity

    The Speedmaster is a watch of great beauty and prestige, two characteristics that the G-Shock lacks. The G-Shock may be a more suitable watch if we suffered an apocalypse but the Speedmaster is plenty accurate and plenty robust for every day use. The G-Shock is not suitable for more formal wear while a Speedmaster would look great with a suit. Also do not try and muddy the waters of space flight, the Speedmaster has a storied and prestigious history with NASA, the G-Shock may be rated for space flight but it was not the first watch on the moon.

    I'll also add that I notice you didn't even try to defend your other pedestrian choices.
    JonS1967, shnjb and giodoc like this.

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