Watch Talks

How to Build a Watch Collection: Main Watch

Building a watch collection is easy, building a good watch collection is an art. Today, I’ll focus on a main watch, which would be your ‘daily wearer’.

It’s tempting to say that your very first watch in your watch collection can be literally anything and in fact that’s true, if you don’t care building a proper collection. However, if you are serious about this topic and want to grow nice range of watches over the time, then you need knowledge that will guide you through this process. How to find this right one? Considering the fact there are plenty of watches in the market, which could possibly be your next purchase, the goal is to find perfect match. The temptation to buy something more affordable, ‘better-looking’ and quicker will lead to buyer’s remorse and can seriously put you off from buying watches in the future. Follow my rules and tips, and you’ll be just fine.Well, how do you start? Your first steps will be visiting online website of renowned and well-established jewellers and authorised dealers. You’ll then shortly notice that you can barely afford the basic model of your favourite watch brand. Don’t panic! The truth is, buying brand-new watches is very dangerous and expensive game, which you should stay away off.Look around for pre-owned watches, the best and the biggest platform for pre-owned watches is Chrono24. You can find there watches from all over the world, which can be a good benchmark. Not only it will save you money, but you will have vast choice of different models you can choose from. Of course, not every wristwatch listed there will be in unworn or brand-new condition, however money-wise you’ll be better off.

Let’s now focus on choosing a main watch – the backbone of every watch collection. I have worn plenty of watches over the past few years and now, I know what characterises a good main watch or daily wearer. 

My first advice is to stick to the all-time classics, like Rolex Submariner or Omega Seamaster 300M, though it is, of course, not limited to other timepieces. However, you can never go wrong with these stunners, because A) they will never be out of fashion and B) they are bullet-proof and reliable. The purpose was one – be suitable for active lifestyle, hence more robust case, providing water resistance of at least 200 meters is just a must.

As for functions, your watch obviously needs to be able to tell you an actual time. Date display is not a necessary feature, however I do like to have it, as I always tend to check the date, during the day. I find it very hard to choose from Submariner Date and Submariner Non-Date. I love the purity and legibility of Non-Date Submariner, however my perfect daily wearer just needs to have a date display. I hate checking my phone, whenever I need to know today’s date.

In case standard hours, minutes, seconds and date are not enough and you need something more like for example second time zone, Rolex Explorer II would be the way to go and it’s a very decent daily wearer, which you don’t happen to see on people’s wrists every day. The watch is meant for those, who want to enjoy being a Rolex owner, but want to keep it more original, than simple Submariner Date, Submariner Non-Date or GMT-Master II. 

Personally, I don’t advise buying a chronograph watch as a first watch in the collection. There are several reasons behind it and one of them is that after wearing it day after day, you may start feeling tired of seeing different hands and sub-dials clustered on the dial. The second reason, excluding chronograph watches from being a proper daily wearer is that majority of chronographs are not water resistant and the water may penetrate the watch, causing serious damage to the movement. This is because, the crown is not screwed-in and chronograph pushers are simply not made to be dipped in the water. Of course, there are some chronograph wristwatches that are water resistant (Rolex Daytona or Omega Seamaster Chronographs), however the main point stays the same – go for something that is durable, bullet-proof and water resistant, so you don’t need to worry about splashing the water on it. The repair can come at a very high cost.

The only exception to this rule is Rolex Daytona, as this watch is ideal to be in one watch collection and I didn’t find it boring or tiring after wearing it for a while, as a main watch. 

Two-tone watches – honestly, I have a problem with this kind of watches, that is because they are super versatile. Let’s have a look at this Rolex Submariner 16613. In this case, we’ve got sporty soul of the legendary Submariner with slight dressy appearance. I wrote an article about having a Submariner 16613 & 116613LB/LN as only watch in collection (read here). At that time I was amazed by their hybrid look, as you can swim and 2 hours later wear them during an important meeting. However, as far as I was getting into watches and I got to wear some two-tone stunners, I noticed that you become tired of this dual nature, created by stainless steel and solid gold. Besides, I do believe that every watch collector seeks for the sustenance in their watches. That’s why we do have 2, 3 or 5 watches. Each and every watch got its own, special feature, something you love about it. Hence, good watch collection is all about differences that make coherent whole

Don’t listen to watch gurus, telling you that you need to buy a Rolex Submariner for your main watch. Instead, get knowledge and make smart purchase decisions. Ultimately, that is gonna be your collection and your watches. I believe a watch collection can reveal one’s own character and life’s approach.