The Three Watch Collection for $5,000: Reader Edition – Chris W.

Editor’s Note: In this edition of the 3 Watch Collection for $5,000, reader Chris W. shares a personal trio of watches that serve as foundation pieces in his own collection, representing a diverse cross section of watch making, and encompassing unique styles in the process.

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

I own these watches as part of a 21 watch collection. While I’m a big Seiko and Grand Seiko fan with 7 (Grand-, King- and other) Seiko’s in the box, I do love my French, German and British watches too. I can never quite say what my favourite 3 piece collection would look like. 

For his budget, on this rainy day, this is the set I’d choose to keep. Tomorrow, my answer might be different.


Nomos Ahoi Neomatik Atlantik 36 – ~$2,500

I picked up this watch in 2017, and it has proven to be a true go anywhere, do everything watch. Stick it on a cordovan strap, and you can wear it with a suit because of it’s discrete 36x9x48mm dimensions. If you stick it on the included canvas strap, you can go snorkelling, hiking or biking with it because of the solid 200m water resistance. 

The polished case will look great with a bit of wabi-sabi from wear and tear, and the movement is the first completely in house developed and produced Nomos caliber, at 3,2mm thick including the rotor. 

The somewhat strict looking Bauhaus design is made much less stark because Nomos excels at little splashes of colour, whether on the dial or in the lume, and the playfully iconic orange seconds hand. 

It’s a work of minimalist art. I love this watch.

Yema Superman Heritage 39 – ~$1,100

For me, having a cheeky skin diver is an absolute must, but I don’t like having to worry about the robustness of vintage pieces. That makes the Superman Heritage 39 a cracking diver’s watch for me. 

The black dial with its cream indices goes with any strap you can think of, whether a bond NATO, a vintage cut flat leather strap or a tropic, this watch will do it all, including the delightfully jangly early 70s style bracelet. 

The solid 300m water resistance, coupled with the vintage vibe of the domed crystal and the solid SW200 movement give you a more than decent dive watch, while the 39x12x47mm proportions (to the top of the crystal) are a true joy to wear. 

I am over the moon that Yema has been resurrected and keeps surprising us with splendid releases like the Renault 5 GT chronograph that’s now hitting the market, but the cornerstone of that resurrection was the Superman, and rightfully so. The vintage vibe of the otherwise really useless bezel locking mechanism is superbly charming.

Junghans Max Bill Mega Solar (white dial, Arabic numerals) – $1,100

Every collection needs a high accuracy quartz watch, if only to set your other watches to, and this Junghans fits the bill handsomely. If you disable the radio synchronisation, the watch will run +/- 8 seconds per year (!) autonomously, which makes it slot right between a Grand Seiko 9F and a Chronomaster A060 movement. 

That said, this under the radar white dialled beauty is made of polished titanium with a domed sapphire crystal and 50m of water resistance. At 38 x 8mm height, it wears like a dream thanks to the fact that it weighs only 24 grammes on the supplied leather strap. 

But this watch has more cool features. The seconds hand ticks twice a second, and when it reaches the 58 marker, you can see the minute hand move from the last marker to the next in one short swoop, where it will remain stationary for the next 58 seconds. 

Thanks to the world wide radio synchronisation, this watch will always tell you the right time and date. On a NATO it’s a nice casual watch, but on a flat leather strap it’s a dressy affair that will work in any business or more elegant setting. 

If you link that with Junghans’ stellar reputation in quartz technology and the historic relevance of the Max Bill bauhaus design, you’ve got an icon that’s sneakily very high tech.

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