The 3 Watch Collection for $5,000: Reader Edition – Henry Margenau

Editor’s Note: I love dive watches with some character, and reader Henry Margenau (@dials_and_vinyl on Instagram) has put together a killer selection of some of the all-time greats. From Doxa to Halios, these three are hard to argue with for a singularly themed collection; well done, sir. 

If you’d like to submit your own 3 watch collection for $5,000 can you do so at the form right here.

Rather than using my $5,000 budget to develop a rounded out collection, one with pieces to cover all bases and situations, I’d just buy some fun divers. At this point in my watch collecting journey, I’ve found my sweet spot in non-fussy three-handers with minimal complications. Dive watches make up most of my collection at the moment with field watches in a close second.  However, Worn and Wound is giving me $5,000 of (imaginary) fun money to play with so quirky divers it is!

Doxa Sub 300 Professional – $2,490

This is my splurge piece. While the price greatly exceeds my other two selections, the Doxa Sub 300 fits with my value-driven, bang for buck ethos. Yes, this isn’t a small chunk of change to spend on a watch but for what you’re getting it’s hard to argue against it. For under $2500 you get a watch with depths of charm, individuality, and provenance. The Doxa Sub, while arguably contributing to the history of diving timepieces in a way as significant as the likes of Rolex or Blancpain, costs just a fraction of those other watches. It’s got a COSC certification, a beautiful (and comfortable) beads of rice bracelet, and a quirky and confident sense of self. You can’t beat it.

Certina DS-PH200M – $800


Speaking of watches (and brands) with a solid history and unique contributions to design, Certina needs to be getting much more love than they do. As with Doxa, Certina is a brand with a fascinating evolution of design and some offerings that manage to stand out in a crowded field of excellent dive watches. Case in point, the DS-PH200M. The original watch was just different enough to be unlike anything else released at the time, at least from an aesthetic standpoint. This reissue, while scaled up in size a bit much, is basically a one for one of the original. I’ve never seen another dive watch that looks quite like this. What’s interesting is that the recognizable individual parts (countdown bezel, mil-spec inspired sword hands, e.g.) combine to make a unique and distinct whole. The DS-PH200M is a lot of fun to wear, is constructed well, and offers something different and satisfying for a more than reasonable price for what you’re getting.

Halios Fairwind – $775

This would be my “dress diver” of the collection. Even though I selected three dive watches, I feel like there’s still a need for a more under the radar or subdued piece to round out the collection. Also, it’s good to have a bit of new to mix in with the vintage (or, at least, vintage reissued). While the Fairwind is not an old watch, it has plenty of design cues that give a nod to classic dive watch designs. My tastes tend to skew vintage so I’m always looking for something old in something new. Here, the elements that scratch the traditionalist itch in me (the 38mm case size, the no-date legible dial, the countdown dive bezel) are balanced well with the more modern design cues (sapphire for the bezel material, a hint of mint green on the tip of the second hand). And that bracelet! You know about it. All of this with a dependable Swiss made movement under the hood and for less than $800? I don’t know if there’s a smarter buy in the independent/micro brand space than a Halios.

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