The Three Watch Collection for $5,000: Reader Edition – Meg Tocci

Editor’s note: In this 3 Watch Collection for $5,000, reader Meg Tocci (@minutemeg on Instagram) brings us a well balanced collection hitting on a variety of enthusiast favorites – and all with blue dials, a constraint Meg chose to challenge herself to stick to with these picks. This collection has bronze, an integrated bracelet sports watch, and a bezel that will help you leave an appropriate tip. Between these three watches, you’ve got virtually any situation covered, even if you can’t use a slide-rule. 

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

If your watchbox is getting a little unwieldy and you’d like to pare down, the three watch collection seems to offer a solution. It frees you from the burden of becoming a One Watch Person (who needs that pressure?) while providing reasonable constraints to shield you from the black hole of price drop alerts and the illusory refrain of “just one more.” It leaves the collector with enough space to make choices without feeling restricted by them. With countless combinations, I knew this project required a strategy. While I considered dropping significant dough on one heavy-hitter and two inexpensive options, I wanted to challenge myself to stretch those dollars as far as I could, with all three choices weighing in above the $1,000 price point. I knew I wanted to prioritize real-life applicability by picking options for both work and leisure. Wheels turning, I decided on one more hoop to jump through as I crafted my list: all of the watches needed to be blue. Blue dials have proven they’re here to stay but I have yet to add one to my lineup in my two-year collecting journey. Using this article as an opportunity to expand my horizons and learn more about the world of blue dial watches, I set out to find the ultimate trifecta.

Oris Big Crown Bronze Pointer Date Bronze – $2,800


Name a better love story than watch enthusiasts and bronze… I’ll wait. At their core, wristwatches are an outward expression of who we are and what we value. What better way to exemplify this than with a one-of-a-kind patina? The original Oris Big Crown Pointer Date debuted in 1938 and was designed for aviators, necessitating a dial that was legible from a distance and a large crown that could be manipulated through thick pilot’s gloves. This 40mm edition gives a modern twist to a longtime favorite and the bronze bracelet helps cut the coolness of the blue dial while also serving as a complement to it.

Obviously, the bronze gets high marks from me, but one of my favorite things about this watch is actually the red crescent pointer date indicator. While I love the practicality of a date complication, I often struggle to find date windows that preserve dial symmetry. Oris cleverly mitigates this by positioning a date track on the outer part of the dial. That, combined with its legibility and those oh-so-fabulous cathedral hands, makes it a handsome yet sensible field watch. At $2,800 on the bracelet ($2,300 on a strap), this first pick puts a sizable dent in our budget right out of the gate. However, this option is sure to remain a classic, last a lifetime, and will delight at watch community meet-ups for years to come.

Christopher Ward’s The Twelve 36mm – $1225

I have to admit this one was almost edged out by its older brother, the C65 Dune Bronze, but the scales were tipped in favor of this sleek, sporty option in the name of diversity. The Oris didn’t want to share the bronze spotlight… the diva. However, this pick is certainly second fiddle to none and made waves during its release earlier this year. Christopher Ward’s quality craftsmanship, attention to detail, and accessible price point quickly made them a favorite in the community, and their inclusive sizing options means there’s something for everyone in their collection.

Integrated bracelets are definitely having *a moment* and it’s not hard to see why. This choice can be dressed up or down, and the “Glacier Blue” dial is subtle enough to pair with almost anything. Two specs worth noting are its solid 100m water resistance and slim build at only 9.95mm high. However, the 3D stamped dial is the star of the show along with its twelve-sided (ahem, I mean dodecagonal) case. Watchmaking is undoubtedly a science, but this pick reminds us it’s, foremost, an art.

Hamilton Khaki Aviation Converter Auto – $1145

I became enamored with this watch at the start of my collecting journey and it’s been a steady hum in the back of my mind ever since. Would the 42mm diameter plus Hamilton’s notoriously long lugs fit my puny wrist? Nope. Am I a math wizard who would rotate that slide-rule bezel left and right at the speed of light, solving equations that would put Will Hunting to shame? …Not yet. But every collection needs a Hamilton and this one is no exception. The red accents peppered across a sea of blue evoke a sense of ambiguous nostalgia, rooted in one of horology’s most popular color pairings. Additionally, the red markings serve a functional purpose as well as aesthetic, denoting units of measurement and restoring some visual order to a multitude of data.

The 100m WR and screw-down crown also make the highlight reel of specifications, with the H-10 movement ensuring an 80 hour power reserve to get you through the weekend. A sunburst dial adds a unique sense of depth and beauty to a watch that could otherwise be overpowered by its utility, and the brown alligator grain strap in lieu of the bracelet gives it a sense of warmth and balance (and it looks so darn classy). To those wondering if they can justify this pick with no intention of putting it through its conversion paces, I say: “desk diver.” Buy what you love, intended usage be damned. How do you like them apples?

That’s a wrap on my three picks and I’m at $5,170. We could get the Oris on leather instead of the bracelet if we want to drop the total to $4,670… but what kind of friend would I be if I let you do that? We’ll say the extra cash comes from selling a G-Shock or two from the old stuff, before we found enlightenment within the hallowed halls of the Three Watch Collection. Together, these options will get us through every situation except a blue-clashing wardrobe. But we’ll leave the tricky business of color coordination where it belongs: in someone else’s thought experiment.

Related Posts
This is the house account for Worn & Wound. We use it on general articles about us, the site and our products.