The 3 Watch Collection for $5,000: Reader Edition – Wesley Smith

Editor’s Note: This week we have a special Reader 3 for $5k from our friend (and podcast alum) Wesley Smith, proprietor of Standard H. Wesley drops a trio that could easily serve as a greatest hits album of the past few years, and manages to keep his spending way under $5k in the process. 

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

Wasn’t sure if I had to actually own these watches or simply choose 3 I liked within the budget. I decided to go with the former, as I guess one would assume it would suit both conditions. Having surveyed the previous entries, I also wanted to be sure I wasn’t overlapping anyone else’s group of 3, and the industry’s growth having raised the prices even for some of the previous entries. It’s really funny to see what could now be considered a bargain, especially in the likes of the Vintage Orfina Porsche Design Chronograph for ~$2,000….that’s now more than doubled in price according to recent eBay listings.

When a “budget” comes into play in anything in my life, be it watches, or cars, Bang For Your Buck and perhaps more important: versatility, is essential and this is a major component of the below collection. Availability is not a bad trait either, and lucky for everyone, these are all watches still sold and available!

Living in San Diego, it’s safe to say it’s far from the fashion capital of the world, yet I started an apparel brand here. T-shirts and shorts is an extremely common uniform around here, so having a cool watch almost becomes a way of (dare I say) dressing up. Not only am I fan of dressing down nicer watches, I also buy watches to serve a function, and given my outdoor lifestyle and affinity for cars, here are my three watch choices for (far less than) $5,000!

Seiko SPB 143 – $1,200

It’s robust, has a great winding action, and it’s an incredible value. The watch also looks incredible on its bracelet, on a nato, or on a rubber strap, further exploiting its versatility). Coming in right at the 40mm mark, one could argue it’s the perfect size case, as well.

Autodromo Group B – $975

There are multiple colors available, it’s a great everyday casual watch that still looks great with a polo or Oxford shirt when you’re heading to dinner. Bradley does automotive-inspired watches better than anyone. Stick with the subtle black/white dial for versatility, or go buck wild with the Group B’s 80’s or 90’s colors Bradley’s introduced over the years. There’s also an all-green “Safari” variant if you’re looking for an even more different look as the bracelet’s color takes a left from the standard silver. At 39mm it looks great on wrist, as well as on a Nato or its incredible aforementioned bracelet.

Brew Watches Metric Chronograph – $395

The epitome of a brand having fun while democratizing the category without sacrificing quality of design. This watch is creative, the size is perfect, the colors pop in an amazing manner, so the fact this exists at $395 is extraordinary. The advantage of the movement also enhances its accuracy, which is quintessential when preparing that espresso shot.

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