So the tax bill is in and the Christmas credit card payment is due.
All dreams of having that wee nest egg available for the dream watch have vanished and HMRC is now in possession of your watch sink fund.
For you this year it won’t be a Sub or Daytona of your dreams and the Royal Oak is a busted Royal flush.
But you can still hope.
You still itch, yearn for that fresh watch in your collection to bring you a smile in these winter months.
So what can you buy to give you that new watch high and the feeling that when you squint at it in the low winter sunshine it might just be that dream watch that the tax man has robbed you of for this year?
So perhaps a fully fledged slide rule pilots watch is just what floats your grail boat.
That Breitling has been calling you through the AD window for years, and now that bills are in it has slipped away for another year, but this time you are going to act but your budget is now not at the £7000 level for a nice new Navitimer, so what could you look at for a bit less.
How about the Sinn 903 Navigation Chronograph.
Here is a watch with almost greater pilot navigation history that the Breitling. It was Helmet Sinn who actually bought the rights to produce such a watch from Breitling when they were at their lowest ebb.
What that great piece of 1970s business now gets you is a watch that does exactly what the Breitling does but for half the price and twice the story.
But maybe half the price is still not good enough.
In that case how about the Citizen Blue Angel Eco-Drive. These are available in various flavours.
At roughly a tenth of the price of the Sinn, this is the watch that uses the great Eco-Drive digital tech of Citizen and the right model one comes with a bunch of digital tech such as alarms and GPS time accuracy correcting, and if £300-£400 is still budget busting you will get a pre-loved one for around £200 on eBay.
Both the Sinn and the Citizen are great alternatives if the dream Breitling is now out of the equation.
So maybe a nice Navitimer is not what floats your dream boat and the watch that has been so cruelly taken from you this year by that pesky Mastercard bill is the Rolex Explorer 2.
You had a chance of making it to the top of the ADs list this year but getting to the top of the list does not help with the cash flow of £6250 needed to make it yours…so plan B or C or even D would be what?
Well the Explorer 2 is still one of the few Rolex options that looking at the pre-loved older model option is still a money saver rather than a money pit, a full box and papers for the previous model is still doable for around £4500, and some including myself would agree that the previous edition wears and looks better and one with drilled lugs is all around a more flexible option than the new one in terms of ease of strap changing to give you some additional variety.
But £4500 is still a sizable slug of cash.
Well, how about baby brother Tudor and specifically the Black Bay GMT. While recently you may have had to join a queue there is now evidence that the supply tap is now opening and a phone call to a few ADs will find you one or at least only a few weeks wait, all just in time for Baselworld 2019 when Tudor try to do their best Rolex supply chain impression with what is possibly a New Tudor Submariner.
But at £2790 it is not exactly bargain basement, so if your money has to be particularly clever in 2019 where should it go.
How about a Christopher Ward C65 Trident GMT at less than £1000 but with all the good looks of the Rolex without, I think, crossing the line into plagiarism rather than just inspiration this is a cracking watch for the price
So if your grail itch was either Navitimer or Explorer 2 then we have some options but what about the biggy the king of Chronographs the Rolex Daytona.
What can you possibly look at that would give you the same watch buzz?
At £9550, for the entry-level Daytona, if you can find one at an AD then you are talking about quite some watch budget, and quite some watch to match up against for less money.
But option one that you should definitely consider, and I think you should consider even if you do have the budget for a Daytona is the Zenith El Primero Chronomaster.
You get a more readable, more colorful watch, with a date and with the movement that Rolex themselves used to put in the Daytona but for around £5500 depending on just what spec you want.
If £5k is still making you queazy then how about a trip to your local Mont Blanc dealer for a look at Timewalker.
While it may be a bit more of an acquired taste, if Panda dial and sharp contrast are what you like in the Daytona then the Timewalker does it just as well if not better with sharper edges and transitions than the Rolex and approximately £6000 cheaper than the big boy.
But if after all this thinking about spending money you don’t have on watches you can’t afford just makes you want to give up, then can i suggest that the solution to getting something affordable, something that will make you smile and something that other members of the watch fam will want to look at lies here….
Just buy one of these and forget the rest you know it makes sense…
@RickTickTalk is now giving his G-shock some extended wrist time after writing this and believing his own words
@Rikkiwatches still cannot be parted from his Speedmaster desipte him A. owning a G-Shock and B. it not being Tuesday