The 3 Watch Collection for $5,000: Reader Edition – Jake Blumenthal

Editor’s Note: This week, Worn & Wound reader, Jake, shares a perfectly balanced three watch collection from some of our absolute favorite brands. These are all supremely capable, fly under the radar just enough, and would each stand out in a room full of watch snobs. 

You can make your submission to the Three Watch Collection – Reader Edition by filling out the form right here.

This collection could accompany you anywhere and composes a complete collection for me, not being a chronograph fan. Without the biggest names in luxury horology there’s still little compromise from these three brands. Each should become an heirloom to be passed on. All are well equipped with sapphire crystals, clean dials, immaculate case finishing, and high quality movements. Two sport watches and one dress watch is the right combo for me as I’m more often dressing casually than I am in a suit. And there it is, three and a strap for $5k.

Seiko SPB183 (AKA Captain Willard) – $1,400

A watch collection is incomplete without a diver and the 1970/Capt. Willard is my choice here. It was also the watch of choice for adventurer Naomi Uemura while summiting Everest and Mt. McKinley and many US marines fighting in Vietnam. Here it’s serving me as a casual watch for activities like beach vacations, cycling, and yard work. It’s much more than a beater, but can cover that role in this case. The blue sunburst dial, the 42mm curved, asymmetrical cushion case, crown at 4, and the stoplight second hand are a few details that add up to a funky and ergonomic design. I’d wear it on the blue rubber strap and retire the bracelet permanently. Under the hood is the in-house 6R35, a seiko workhorse you can count on. It’s reliably accurate and gives you a 70 hour power reserve. I’m happy to spend more than a 1/4 of my budget on this quirky diver.

Sinn 556i – $1,530

The Sinn 556i on an H-link bracelet is a versatile pilot’s watch that’ll play the everyday-watch role. Here’s another rugged, reliable, tool-watch, but with a smaller case and a minimalist, white and black monochromatic dial. The inky black dial and starkly contrasting white sword hands make this watch easy to read. This watch does it all and although the bracelet is great, looks good on ANY strap you like. It’s understated, but has a good presence. You can wear this to work, going out, swimming with its 200m depth rating, and almost anywhere in between. It’s at home paired with a t-shirt and jeans or with a sport coat and slacks. Powering the watch and visible through a display case back is a nicely finished top grade SW200-1. Its movement is another reliable workhouse and so ubiquitous that it can be serviced anywhere. This watch could almost be a complete collection by itself and is well worth the price at less than 1/3 of the total budget.

Nomos Ludwig 38 Enamel – $1,960

The final piece of the trio is a dress watch. Even though it’s not a common occurrence, I do need a proper, no-date, polished, thin, dress watch I can wear with a suit and tie or a tuxedo. The brown leather strap the Ludwig comes with is beautiful, but I’m using the last $110 bucks to add a black leather strap to the mix for those tuxedo situations. It’s simple, timeless dress watch details are done right. The enamel dial, Roman numerals, blued hands and small sub seconds are elegant. With the in-house manual wound Alpha movement powering the Ludwig it achieves an impressive thinness at 6.7mm. This is a watch you can feel good about wearing for big moments like your wedding or a job interview.

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