The Three Watch Collection for $5,000: Reader Edition – John S.

In this edition of The Three Watch Collection for $5,000, reader John S. shows us a well rounded, and well reasoned collection that covers the broadest possible range of wear scenarios for the money. Bonus points for finding cool options relatively under the radar. 

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

My approach to the three-watch collection is fairly simple. That is, allocate funds to what gets worn the most. For example, if two of the three get the majority of wrist time, then let’s say roughly 85% of the $5,000 should go to those watches and only 15% to the last one. This way, not only are you putting money where it matters but you’re also giving yourself a better daily driving experience. Yeah, in theory having a Ferrari would be nice; but if you bought one then only left yourself enough money for an old Ford Pinto to put the family in you might not be in the best situation day-to-day. Not to knock any potential Pinto drivers out there reading this. 


TAG Heuer Aqua Racer Professional 200 Date – $2,850

With the age of dressing to the nines in a professional setting largely behind us, we’re witnessing the age of the desk diver come to prominence. For this reason, it makes sense that the largest chunk of the $5,000 budget should go to what I consider an excellent daily driver option. At 57% of your $5,000 budget, this watch can wear just as well in a meeting setting as it will with a t-shirt at a brewery. With a stainless-steel bezel and 200M water resistance you get a functional sports watch that can fly under the radar with a size that also flies under the cuff of whatever shirt you wear. With that combo, at this price, this watch can check a ton of boxes for most people and come from a brand that carries a long history within the watch industry.

Longines Presence L4.905.4.11.2 – $1,575

Despite everything I said above about how desk divers dominate the day, having a nice dress watch is still something that everyone needs. Even if you break it out for only a few weddings or nice dinners a year, the Longines Presence can be worn with pride. The railroad hour tract with roman numerals is a timeless look. Adding a small seconds dial only adds to the dial in my opinion to make this a heavy hitter for the price point. In addition to the good looks, Longines brings an in-house caliber movement to the table and a nice leather strap. At only 32% of the $5,000, you can add this fantastic dress watch to your collection to wear proudly at the more elevated occasions you attend.

Victorinox Alliance Sport Chronograph – $575

Before you scoff at the fact that this is a quartz watch, let’s visit where a collector would be if they also had the two watches listed above. So, you’ve got your daily driver that is a Tag with 200M water resistance, and you’ve got your Longines that you like to wear to formal events. So, what do you need? Something to throw on while you cut the grass? Well, while you cut the grass you need to remember what time you also threw that brisket on the smoker, don’t you? This Field Force Chronograph is the perfect little “pick-up-and-go” piece that rounds out the collection. After the above two watches, you only have a couple hundred left for a watch that you really might only wear a few times. Why not pick up this quartz chronograph? It comes from a brand with the reputation of building watches that last and also gives you something you don’t even have to waste a second on setting. At only 11% of the $5,000, this makes sense to pick up.

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