The Three Watch Collection for $5,000: Reader Edition – Alec Dent

Editor’s note: In this 3 Watch Collection for $5,000, reader Alec Dent brings us a trio of amazing and historic tool watches, each with a story to tell. This is a selection with loads of character and a surprising amount of flexibility.

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

In putting together the perfect three watch collection, I’m looking for diversity. Who wants a collection where each watch is competing against the others? A well-rounded trio gets you more bang for your buck and can provide some assurance that each watch will get a decent amount of wrist time. With only three watches it’s hard to make sure you’ve got a watch for every occasion—like measuring radioactivity, keeping highly-accurate time for a thousand years, or calculating your rate of martini consumption—but I feel confident I’ve covered most of the important bases.


Zodiac Super Sea Wolf – $1,500

Every watch collection needs a dive watch. (Or, as many in the watch community seem to think, two or three or four or five or…) There is no better value proposition than the Zodiac Super Sea Wolf. 200 meters of water resistance with a screw down crown? Check. Heritage? I don’t know how you could argue a 141-year-old Swiss made brand that launched one of the first true dive watches alongside Rolex and Blancpain doesn’t have heritage. And unlike those other two brands, which have seen their prices balloon exorbitantly, the Zodiac Super Sea Wolf is a comparable steal, ranging from around $1,200 to $1,600, depending on the model and strap selection—but the jubilee bracelet is worth the extra money.

And those models! Colors and designs aplenty.

I own the Zodiac x Rowing Blazers x Harry’s Bar collab—and can’t wait to see the next Zodiac x Rowing Blazers watch that is in the works—but Zodiac’s catalog is full of other tempting Super Sea Wolf designs. I’m partial to the blue throwback design of the Super Sea Wolf Skin Diver and the peachy light blue, orange, and silver Super Sea Wolf Compression Diver. Outside the regular offerings, Zodiac has some of the best limited edition watches out there. If you can get your hands on the new Zodiac x Worn & Wound laser tag, do so. Lume doesn’t get cooler than this watch.

Tudor Ranger – $2,875

The Tudor Ranger epitomizes the idea of simplicity as elegance. A 3, 6, 9, 12 black dial with off-white indices, it’s the little touches that show the craftsmanship that went into making the watch. The brushed steel case, the spade hour hand, the touch of red on the end of the second hand, the rose-signed crown—small details that add up to a beautiful vintage field watch aesthetic.

The watch price comes in at $2,875 on a NATO or hybrid leather strap or $3,200 for the bracelet. The shield clasp on the hybrid strap is fun, but the watch looks even better on a brown leather strap—classing it up a bit and moving the watch from archaeologist to archaeology professor. (Indiana Jones may not have worn a watch in the original films, but the Ranger is the sort of watch he would have worn had it been available in his heyday.)

Enicar Ultrasonic – $500

Enough modernity and utility, we’re rounding out the collection with something old and classy. A mid-century Enicar watch can be easily found for around $400. A Swiss watch company started by a son of the famous Racine family—”Enicar” is just “Racine” backwards—Enicar is an often underlooked brand that made some phenomenal watches until going under in the 1970s.

Depending on the strap you pair it with, these Enicars, particularly the gold ones, can be dressed down or up with ease. With a Saturn logo, domed crystal, and Ultrasonic signature on the dial—referring to a new-fangled cleaning system for parts Enicar created—Enicar’s mid-century watches deliver a fun Space Age vibe.


Dive watch, field watch, casual/dress watch—You’re ready for anything life can throw at you and you’re ready to do it in style.

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