I posted an image of my collection on my Instagram last week (below). A fellow watch geek asked if I had to keep one which would it be. He was surprised when I went past the Tudor GMT and the newly acquired Grand Seiko quartz to choose the arguably less illustrious Ball Fireman.
The reason for picking the humble Ball was for two reasons. Firstly, if I needed to get rid of all but one it’s likely because I need the cash and selling the more valuable watches makes sense. Secondly an only watch has to be as versatile as possible and, in my opinion, the simple black dial suits itself to more situations than the pepsi bezel or the champagne dial.
It got me thinking to which pieces would be high on the list as a one watch collection. One of the reasons we as collectors might have difficultly picking which of our watches best fits that’s category is that we haven’t set up our collections to have only one watch. Many of our watches serve slightly different purposes and therefore there may not be the need to have a jack of all trades.
For a watch to serve as a one watch collection it will likely need to have a number of properties; the main one being versatility. A single watch must be at home in any environment its owner might find themselves in, this likely means a black (or dark) dial. Whilst the watch must be simple enough to suit every occasion it must also hold enough interest to keep the owner excited to wear it. The watch must also be robust and durable so 100m water resistance is an expected minimum. Whilst purists will be happy with a three hander, we feel a date window is a desirable inclusion. Finally, if you can’t change the watch, it should at the very least suit a variety of straps and come with a bracelet (as these are expensive to get individually).
An only watch does not mean it has to be expensive. In fact, there are excellent candidates in most price ranges. Below we look at our pic of the best options.
Sub £500: The Seiko SRPE
Or as otherwise know the ‘Dress KX’. This fixed bezel version of the very successful new Seiko 5 divers which were released last year is arguably even more versatile. It comes equipped with the ever reliable in house 4R36 movement and with 100m water resistance what more could you possibly need. If feeling a bit more flush the discontinued Seiko sarb is always a good choice.
Sub £1000: The Doxa Sub 200
If you were looking for a robust versatile diver from a great brand then look no further than the new kid on the block from the Doxa stable. What you get is a 42mm vintage inspired diver that comes with the iconic beads of rice bracelet and the equally classic ETA 2824 beating inside, this is a great no nonsense watch that looks the part but can handle the rough stuff. Available in black (shark hunter), but it would be remiss too look over the more vibrant versions.
Sub £2500: The Grand Seiko SBGX261
Yes, you read correct, I did look past the champagne dial version, but the black dial is every thing you could want from a one watch collection, plus you get everything that’s excellent about GS in a package that is vintage sized but modern inside. Heck if you want to find out how good it is, go to our Instagram page and see our live review with Rob Brook of Grand Seiko.
Sub £5000: The Omega Aqua Terra
The Aqua Terra line has under gone a number of changes over recent years. What has remained the same is the sheer versatility of this piece. The ultimate go anywhere do anything watch, it not only looks the part, it comes equipped with the superb metas certified antimagnetic coaxial 8900 movement which is not only beautiful to look at but one of the best work horse movements on the planet.
Over £5000k: The Vacheron Constantin Overseas
No Rolex didn’t make the like because… well just look at this this thing. If money is not a limiting factor there is little out there more beautiful than the Vacheron Constantine Overseas….
…. Except this week’s Halfwatch Tuesday top picks of course.
We mention the Sarb and low and behold one appears thanks to @ianswristshots, with a lovely amount of bokeh.
Same angle different end of the market but equally iconic is @nash_watch_shots with the larger than life AP RO Offshore
We love a splash of colour on Halfwatch Tuesday and @girlslikewatchestoo provides it in buckets
Who doesn’t love a bit of edc, we loved the earthy tones of this epic Black Bay 58 shot from @gasspasser88 (great name btw)
@justanotherwatchguy is not alone in rejoicing at the return of baseball, we are just as happy to see him in out top picks.
We’ve had earthy tones, now it the turn of neutrals and few do it better than @hands.faces.cases.
Last up is @tictokjamjam with this made to measure shot.
This week it’s a brand with a difference who have posted on Halfwatch Tuesday for the first time. @rotatewatches will sell you the arts and you put it together. Great concept, we look forward to seeing more from them.
That’s a wrap folks, Let us know what would be your choice for an only watch collection. As we hit the high point of having @robertcbrook from Grand Seiko on our last Live review (Check out our Instagram page for that) we are recharging our batteries until the next one, but fear not you will see us as you always do… next Tuesday.