One of the most commonly asked questions on forums, community sites, magazine Q&As, etc. is: how do I start a watch collection?
There are many ways to do so, some advise a mono-brand collection focusing only on one single brand (which can be pretty difficult considering the vast number of options available).
Others tell you to play the “value game”, getting pieces deemed as investments in hopes of future appreciation (which is even harder, mind you).
We have gone a separate route by breaking the essentials of a watch collection into different complication categories — that way you can be assured that virtually all grounds are covered for a truly diverse collection.
Dive watches are often considered a core style in any watch collection. The humble Seiko 5 Collection is a classic that almost everyone talks about. It represents excellent value and quality for the price you are dishing out and is often considered the perfect piece to start a collection. The “5” represents five criteria promised — automatic winding, a day and date display, water resistance, a protected/recessed crown, and a durable case and bracelet. The Seiko 5 SRPD69 shown here is Seiko’s refreshed take on a classic — opting for a grey finishing to impart a stealth-look which is a good alternative to the commonly seen shiny counterparts.
When it comes to chronographs, there are a few go-to brands and TAG Heuer is one of them. Having a rich history steeped in motorsports and manufacturing chronographs, TAG Heuer has created some of the most iconic chronographs ever. The TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition released in celebration of the brand’s 160th anniversary is a combination of the old and new world. Vintage references are clearly visible with the sizing and style inspired by the OG Heuer 2447S while a modern Heuer 02 automatic column-wheel chronograph calibre powers the watch.
A calendar complication encompasses anything from the simplest date-only to the ultra-complicated perpetual and annual calendars. We picked out the Rado HyperChrome not only for its date-only complication but also for its versatility as an everyday watch. Crafted in ceramic, the HyperChrome Automatic is perfect for all occasions with its simple execution. The lightness and comfort of ceramic give it an edge over stainless steel pieces, which is enough to convince one to shell out a little more dough on the high-tech material.
The World-Time and GMT
The following two complications might cause some confusion as both track different time zones albeit in different fashions. The World-time allows one to read the timings of 24 different cities at a glance with reference to the owner’s current location while a GMT tracks up to three time zones using the GMT-hand and bezel based on his preference.
Omega is best known for its dive and chronograph pieces but we highlight a truly beautiful World-time complication that emerged from its Seamaster Aqua Terra collection. The world disc in the middle is presented in a light and dark shade to indicate day and night when tracking various time zones. Often found in dressier executions, the diving DNA of the Aqua Terra collection, combined with an uncommon complication from Omega makes this piece an intriguing option for someone looking for an unorthodox option.
A GMT watch is characterised by a fourth hand on the dial known as the GMT-hand which can be set independently to keep track of a second preferred time zone. An often-accompanying GMT bezel allows for a third time zone to be tracked simply by accounting hour differences based on the owner’s location. The Tudor Black Bay GMT is a classic example of a GMT complication with the red GMT snowflake hand. The bi-coloured bezel differentiates day from night.