The Three Watch Collection for $5,000: Reader Edition – Nathan Schultz

Editor’s note: This week’s Three Watch Collection for $5,000: Reader Edition, we welcome reader Nathan Schultz and his trio of unusual, unexpected, but entirely awesome watches. 

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

As watch enthusiasts, we have a penchant for forming opinions. We talk about what belongs on a dial, and where it should go. We discuss case dimensions, say “sweet spot” regularly, and debate if the Black Bay Pro is too thick. With time, forming an opinion about every aspect of a watch is inevitable.

This opinion making frenzy is one of my favorite things about the hobby. When I have down time, I browse watches online. Do I buy them? Usually not, but it’s fun to dream. Through all this browsing and fantasizing, I’ve learned something unexpected about myself: I’m a lugs guy. My core lug opinion: the weirder the better.


Oris TT1 Day Date reference 7518 – ~$1,000

It started with the Oris TT1 Day Date reference 7518. I did a double take the first time I saw this one. The lugs looked like an afterthought on a child’s art class pottery project. As if Oris spent so much time perfecting the big bubbly case, they forgot about the lugs until the last day, and just grabbed four spares from the lug bin. 

The individual lug oddities on the 7518 seem nonsensical. Yet, combined, they just work. The case on this reference is beautifully rounded. It’s big and has a substantial presence that extends beyond the black stationary bezel. Usually around the 4 and 8 o’clock markers, we would expect a case like this to naturally begin to straighten into lugs. Nope! Not here. The 7518 holds off on that lug transition until 4:15 and 7:45. This delayed merging manages to enhance the rounded case, giving it a genial aesthetic.

To make the transition more dramatic, the rounded edges that define the case are nowhere to be found on the lugs. These things are like cliffs, with hard 90-degree angles, lending to a brick-like appearance. No beveled edges were available in the Oris lug bin that day.

Is the 7518 conventionally unattractive? Sure, probably. But it dared enough to be weird, and it opened my eyes to the often untapped potential of lugs. That’s a lot to ask for a watch that’s readily available for around $1000 on the used market.

Sinn EZM 9 Tegimented Titanium – $3,680

Here’s the thing, I tried to add a Ming my list. It seemed like the right thing to do. When talking about cool lugs, how could I not include those whimsical flared lugs? But, even on this hypothetical list with hypothetical money, I couldn’t do it. I don’t think Ming will be offended since they don’t have any watches to sell me, hypothetical or real.

I like big, chunky watches. Occasionally, I’m foolish enough to spend real money on a real watch that lacks this presence. They always sit forgotten in my watch box. I couldn’t do that to a hypothetical Ming. So instead, coming in at number two, is a watch I WILL wear: The Sinn EZM 9 Tegimented Titanium.

Historically, lugs have had a single purpose: securing a watch to a wrist. They are very good at this and didn’t need any innovations. But Sinn innovated anyway, and I’m glad they did. Sinn is a brand with a well-deserved reputation for overengineering. And, in true Sinn fashion, if they are going to fill a case with nitrogen, harden the titanium, and use temperature resistant oils, they might as well add their Ar-Dehumidifying Technology to a lug to go with it.

Do I actually need this extra moisture protection standing guard over an SW200? No, but I don’t really need any of the specs of this TESTAF certified pilots watch with 200 meters of water resistance and a copper sulphate capsule tucked into a lug. Since Sinn is offering… it would be rude to decline. And at the highest price point on the list at $3680, the extra assurance is welcome.

Why select the 44mm EZM instead of something more midsize, such as the U50? If I’m leaving Ming off the list for its modest wrist presence, I might as well go big. With the EZM, I can go big without sacrificing comfort thanks to the titanium case and a modest thickness of only 12mm.

Brew 8 bit – $395

Recently my daughter looked at my phone while a Brew 8 Bit was on the screen. “I didn’t know grown-ups could have fun watches!” she exclaimed. Her observation made me instantly aware of the lack of variety in my own collection, noticeably void of non-earth tones.

The pixelated, nostalgia-inducing colors on the 8 Bit are the perfect way to add some fun to my boring grown up collection. This retro style chronograph is all about the dial, made possible by the lug-less 41.5 mm case. That’s right. This lug-lover can acknowledge that sometimes no lugs are the best lugs. 

At $395, this fun and functional watch offers strong value. It also brings this versatile, lug-focused collection to the $5000 mark.

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