From Fratello Watches

What If You Could Only Have One Watch? My Top 5 Choices


If you are like me and my colleagues at Fratellowatches, you can’t live with only one watch. You need at least one chronograph, one watch with a second time zone, and one divers’ watch (even if you never go near a swimming pool). Perhaps you need at least one quartz watch as well, if only to set the time correctly on your mechanical watches. What about a watch with a moon-phase? Can’t do without one, right?

However, for most people – including me – the reality is that one has to make choices. I feel fortunate to have accumulated a modest collection of watches over approximately 15 years. It is, I’d say, a well-balanced collection, even though I have several pieces representing the one specific brand and model that I seriously “collect.” But what if you could only own one watch? Perhaps we are all spoiled. My father and grandfather always had just one good watch, one that they bought for life. Many brands appealed to that mentality in their advertising decades ago, but nowadays, much of their marketing is focused more on the “lifestyle” concept of having a watch for each of your various outfits and moods — which, of course, persuades us to buy more than one watch from them. But, for the purposes of this list, let’s go back to that old-school notion of one good watch that you can wear the rest of your life. The list below represents what I’d call my top five “Only One” watches. Yes, it’s not really fair, since I’m naming five rather than one, but again, you need to make choices. I would pick any one of these watches to be my only watch if need be. Perhaps that day will come, but I hope not.

Also, to make it a bit easier, I chose watches from more or less the following price ranges:

< $10,000
$10,000.- USD – $ 20,000
$20,000.- USD – $30,000
> $30,000

1. Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial Caliber 9300 (< $10,000)

I’ve reviewed this watch in detail some time ago (here) on my blog, Fratellowatches.com, and it remains my favorite “Only One” watch for quite some time now. Although I am a collector of the Speedmaster Professional models that are considered to be classical “Moonwatches,” this new interpretation, with an in-house-developed, co-axial chronograph movement, is a great all-around watch for everyday use. At first, I had to get used to the two subdials instead of the earlier model’s three, but after a few days I found myself feeling quite comfortable reading the elapsed chronograph hours and minutes from one subdial. Omega Caliber 9300, with its co-axial escapement and use of silicon parts, is quite impressive for an industrial-produced movement. The domed sapphire crystals on the front and back make this an easy watch to wear; it doesn’t feel as bulky as its specifications make it appear. The classic design of the case is clearly based on that of the original Moonwatch, and the dial is very clean and readable. In the under-$10,000 price category, this is definitely my number one pick.

Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial Caliber 9300

2. Rolex GMT-Master IIBLNR ($10,000 – $20,000)

One of the advantages of owning a Rolex used to be that you could trade it for a plane ticket home from anywhere in the world. Although that still might be the case, the world of luxury watches has grown so much over the past two decades that, even in the most exotic places, any number of other luxury watches will get you that ticket. So I didn’t take that reason into account. The black-and-blue Rolex GMT-Master II, introduced just this year, is – to me – the perfect all-arounder, and especially useful when traveling through (and to) different time zones. The stainless-steel case has a perfect size and the Oyster bracelet, with its Easylink system for adjustment, is almost unsurpassed. To be honest, even though the Rolex GMT-Master II (like all Rolex watches) has become quite expensive over the last few years — I have not received comparable annual increases from my employers — it is still well worth it. I did a write-up about this particular black-and-blue Rolex GMT-Master II here.

Rolex GMT-Master IIBLNR - angle

 

3. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Extra-Thin “Jumbo” ($20,000 – $30,000)

This is a watch that immediately caught my attention when I laid my eyes on one in the late 1990s. I love the octagonal shape, the industrial look of the eight bolts, and the ultra-thin movement. It’s a simple-looking watch — it doesn’t even have a seconds hand — but is very complicated in terms of design. Of all the great watches that Gérald Genta designed, this raw, stainless-steel luxury sports watch is my favorite. The thin bracelet on the Royal Oak Reference 15202 (nicknamed “Jumbo”) looks and feels flimsy, yet very well-crafted and finished. The satin finish on the matte parts of the case and bracelet are scratch magnets, but if you buy the watch new and keep it for life, at least these are your scratches. More information about the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Extra-Thin can be found here.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Extra-Thin "Jumbo" - dial graphic background

4. Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1A ($20,000 – $30,000)

Here’s another watch with a porthole-inspired case, designed by Genta just a few years after the launch of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak that I ranked just above it. The sharp edges aren’t here and the dial pattern is even more electric than the Clous-de-Paris on the Royal Oak’s dial. Although the very first Nautilus watches used the same ultra-thin movements as the Royal Oak Jumbo did (based on Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Caliber 920), Patek quickly replaced these with its own in-house developed Patek Philippe movements. The re-launch of the Nautilus 3700/1 (which became the 5711/1A) took place in 2006, 30 years after its first introduction; the new models now come with a second hand. Although the retail price of the Nautilus is slightly higher than that of the Royal Oak Extra-Thin Jumbo, the resale value of the Nautilus is a bit stronger and might be worth the extra dollars. The Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe watches on this list are of the same breed, and picking one of them is simply a matter of taste. Here is a comparison between the very first Nautilus 3700/1A and the newer model (5711/1A).

Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1A - reclining

5. Grönefeld One Hertz (> $30,000)

It’s not just because I am Dutch that I include this Dutch watch brand here, but also because I really love the secondes mortes or “dead beat” seconds function on this watch from Grönefeld. This complication has no specific purpose other than to show the movement of the seconds hand per second (one hertz) instead of in the tiny increments that we are used to. It’s sort of a gimmick complication, but one that takes the skills of a master watchmaker to develop and produce. This 43-mm watch comes in platinum, gold and polished titanium. The One Hertz ‘Ice’ version is the model I’d pick, made of titanium with a polished finish. The in-house developed and produced G-02 caliber also has a nice feature in which you use the crown to put the watch into either winding or setting mode. When the S/W-indicator on the dial indicates “S,” you can turn the crown to correct the time. Push the crown, and the indicator changes to “W,” and you are able to wind the watch. More about Grönefeld’s One Hertz watches can be found here.

Grönefeld One Hertz

Which watch would you pick if you could have only one? Feel free to share your personal choices using the comment field below.

This article was originally published in 2013 and has been updated.

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90 Responses to “What If You Could Only Have One Watch? My Top 5 Choices”

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  1. Mitch Quaine

    Love your first pick. I’ve one since 1970. It was my first ‘good’ watch. It has a few nicks but still grabs a lot of attention when I go to a watch store.

    Reply
  2. Unless you like timing yourself, a chronograph is an extraneous over-complication for a daily watch. A calendar function is also kind of useless as we generally tend to remember which day of week it is, and, certainly, which month and year it is. On the other hand, a simplified “two-hand” watch is also non-starter – A running seconds hand is a must – not to know time to the last second, but simply to know that the watch is working: If a two-handed watch were to unexpectedly stop, you are not likely to discover this until much later.

    Telling time is, of course, hardly the only function of a watch. An equally important role for a watch is to communicate things, like wearer’s taste, and, yes, status.

    Even more important is the feeling that the wearer gets out of wearing a watch: For me personally, wearing a gold watch establishes an inner feel of luxury and accomplishment. I neither understand nor want to understand the appeal of a steel Patek Nautilus or a Royal Oak. The advent of steel “luxury” watches is clearly the triumph of PR …over common sense – and as such does not interest me.

    Also, there is a stealthy masculinity to a gold watch that those who don’t own it may not be aware of – that gold is almost twice the weight of steel, and that even a slim gold watch weights more and feels more substantial than any steel watch. So, for myself, my “only” watch has to be a three-handed gold watch. But which one??

    I like the idea of a watch, even gold watch being “good value” – I like knowing that I got everything I could have possibly got for the price. That I could not have done any better. Therefore, it cannot be a gold Patek, or gold Vacheron or gold AP- as with those brands you are paying a good third of the price just for the name alone. Yes, those brands earned this by being consistently stellar in quality, but this does not lessen the fact that they are currently extremely over-priced. A gold Rolex will not do either, unless you want to sport the same watch as your hairdresser.

    Design-wise, it should be appreciated by those who care, and be invisible to the rest. And, most important of all, you should not grow tired of wearing it daily, as this will be your only watch!! This rules out particularly funky displays and colorful dials.

    If you understood what I wrote correctly, owning only one watch is actually not limiting in the least, as it means owning the very best watch you can possibly own. It means investing your resources into one best watch instead of spreading your resources and attention among several watches as a collector would do.

    In the end, I did make a choice. And, no, I will not mention what I chose, as I need no validation from anyone here. Besides, what I chose for myself may not be a good fit for someone else. I just wanted to share the process of how to go about getting your one and only watch, if you are ready for it.

    At the end, I can mention an excellent “competitor” watch which I ended up not choosing, but which for someone else may nonetheless become that “one and only” watch: – Red Gold Baume & Mercier Clifton 10060, a round solid gold 42mm watch with manual winding ($14,350), very similar to Patek Calatrava. And, unlike Calatrava, it is worth every penny they ask for it. If it were a Patek, if would sell for $30K, like the Calatrava. Cheers!

    Reply
  3. All I see above are lists – by the author, by the commentators, – the lists that make this article into a joke. But what if we earnestly considered owning just ONE watch? I considered this, because right now I am in the midst of buying my “only” watch. (Collector of watches I am not). Below are my thoughts:

    Unless you like timing yourself (an affectation I do not support), a chronograph is an extraneous over-complication for a daily watch. A calendar function is also kind of useless as we generally tend to remember which day of week it is, and, certainly, which month and year it is. On the other hand, a simplified “two-hand” watch is also non-starter – A running seconds hand is a must – not to know time to the last second, but simply to know that the watch is working: If a two-handed watch were to unexpectedly stop, you are not likely to discover this until much later.

    Telling time is, of course, hardly the only function of a watch. An equally important role for a watch is to communicate things, like wearer’s taste, and, yes, status.

    Even more important is the feeling that the wearer gets out of wearing a watch: For me personally, wearing a gold watch establishes an inner feel of luxury and accomplishment. I neither understand nor want to understand the appeal of a steel Patek Nautilus or a Royal Oak. The advent of steel “luxury” watches is clearly the triumph of PR …over common sense – and as such does not interest me.

    Also, there is a stealthy masculinity to a gold watch that those who don’t own it may not be aware of – that gold is almost twice the weight of steel, and that even a slim gold watch weights more and feels more substantial than any steel watch. So, for myself, my “only” watch has to be a three-handed gold watch. But which one??

    I like the idea of a watch, even gold watch being “good value” – I like knowing that I got everything I could have possibly got for the price. That I could not have done any better. Therefore, it cannot be a gold Patek, or gold Vacheron or gold AP- as with those brands you are paying a good third of the price just for the name alone. Yes, those brands earned this by being consistently stellar in quality, but this does not lessen the fact that they are currently extremely over-priced. A gold Rolex will not do either, unless you want to sport the same watch as your hairdresser.

    Design-wise, it should be appreciated by those who care, and be invisible to the rest. And, most important of all, you should not grow tired of wearing it daily, as this will be your only watch!! This rules out particularly funky displays and colorful dials.

    If you understood what I wrote correctly, owning only one watch is actually not limiting in the least, as it means owning the very best watch you can possibly own. It means investing your resources into one best watch instead of spreading your resources and attention among several watches as a collector would do.

    In the end, I did make a choice. And, no, I will not mention what I chose, as I need no validation from anyone here. Besides, what I chose for myself may not be a good fit for someone else. I just wanted to share the process of how to go about getting your one and only watch, if you are ready for it.

    At the end, I can mention an excellent “competitor” watch which I ended up not choosing, but which for someone else may nonetheless become that “one and only” watch: – Red Gold Baume & Mercier Clifton 10060, a round solid gold 42mm watch with manual winding ($14,350), very similar to Patek Calatrava. And, unlike Calatrava, it is worth every penny they ask for it. If it were a Patek, if would sell for $30K, like the Calatrava. Cheers!

    Reply
  4. Why is the Rolex GMT-Master in the $10-20,000 category? It retails at $8,950. Even in areas with decently high sales tax it still is under $10,000 including tax.

    Reply
  5. Jacobo Saldarriaga

    Here’s MY list of the watches I’d own if I could only own 5 watches (NOTE: Not same as TOP 5 watch list)
    #1 Rolex GMT Master-II Black and Blue bezel “Batman” 116710BLNR
    #2 Hublot Big Bang stainless steel and black ceramic bezel 301.SB.131.RX
    #3 Arnold and Son TB88 in stainless steel or rose gold 1TBAS.S01A.C113S or 1TBAP.B01A.C113A
    #4 IWC Portugieser Chronograph in stainless steel, white face and blue strap IW371446
    #5 Arnold and Son HM Perpetual Moon in stainless steel with black dial 1GLAS.B01A.C122S

    Reply
  6. Jeff Liroff

    The watch I wear almost daily is the one I’d pick if I had to choose just one: Breitling Superocean Heritage 46 with blue silicone rally strap and adjustable deployment buckle. Such a comfortable watch!

    Reply
  7. Jah Jones

    An easy choice, it would be my custom watch: O. Frei, number 4 case with sapphire crystal, screw down crown; standard Sellita SW200-1 with a recycled, ’94 Zodiac GMT Professional dial; blue second hand and luminous sword, minute and hour hands.

    Reply
  8. Sean Stegmann

    My first watch was a two tone Rolex Oyster perpetual which had the acrylic crystal so I am sentimental about that one. But if I had to choose the favorite in my collection it would be the Blanc Pain Villeret perpetual calendar moon phase with solid gold strap. My daily wearer is a white gold Rolex President because living in South Africa not many people know it’s value and it won’t easily be robbed off my arm.

    Reply
  9. I suppose I’m a bit old fashioned as I still wear a watch because I want to know the time.

    The most important watch features I look for in a watch are:
    Accurate, durable and a display that is legible during both the day and night.

    If I am to be restricted to only one watch, then I suppose I must add that the watch must be water proof as I am a cycling enthusiast and weather in the Chicago metro area is not always sunny and dry.

    Reply
  10. I was given a Breitling SuperOcean 11 years ago. It hasn’t been off my wrist for more then one day in all those years (except one service). I wish I had a Rolex Explorer II and maybe a reverso but the kids like to eat. I enjoy reading all your comments.

    Reply
  11. michael mescher

    From my own collection.Well lets see,a Seiko circa late 80s dive watch with date and the crown at the 4 oclock position.A newer casio analog quartz chrono and an Armitron dress watch.Would have to go with the Seiko.I can change out the rubber strap with a leather band and it would go good with a dress up outfit.Own about 20 watches would love to have that Patek Nautilas and Rolex Gmt Sub

    Reply
  12. I work in a high end jewelry store and so am tortured by the myriad options from all tiers of the luxury watch world on a daily basis- my first “grownup” watch was purchased last October (still paying it off)- a steel, black dialed, Breitling Transocean Chronograph on their mesh bracelet. I LOVE it- its keeping immaculately perfect time and attracts daily sincere compliments, while being subdued and versatile enough to wear anywhere, with anything. I now have my sights set on a Rolex, but am torn between the platinum Yachtmaster or a two tone Datejust II (for something very different)- maybe a black and blue GMT….

    Reply
  13. John Kennekam

    In my case it would have to be three, as they each mark an important part of my life.

    1. With my first paycheck on 1968 I bought an Omega Geneve Chronostop with the offset dial for underarm wear. It cost 90% of my salary for the month. The following month I replaced the corfram strap with a metal bracelet. That cost even more. The watch is still in mint condition and works perfectly. http://image.rakuten.co.jp/sweetroad/cabinet/omega-s/10779_1-i.jpg

    2. In the 1980s I had a triple bypass. With the insurance money, I bought an Omega Seamaster Polaris multifunction digital watch with 18k gold inlay on titanium. Extremely useful watch, but looks a bit small on the wrist these days. http://www.omegawatches.com/planet-omega/heritage/vintage-watches-database?ref=14458

    3. I have just gone into retirement and bought a 1967 Rolex GMT Master 1675 off a good friend. The watch was used by his father in law who used it every day on the mines and on farms in Zambia. It was in very rough condition and the bracelet has gone. I have had it serviced and the bracelet replaced. It is my daily wearer.

    These are the three watches that I need to have. At push I might sell the Seamaster, only because it is heavy on battery usage and the agents want to do a full service each time I take it in for a replacement.

    Reply
  14. Michael M.

    I own 2 omega’s (Planet Ocean Models Skyfall and Orange bezel co-axial auto watch) and a rolex gmt II pre 2008 model black dial watch.
    so far my #1 choice would be the skyfall watch, I like the 007 emblem at the 7 o’clock location.
    which I wear mostly, my rolex usually sits in the box in the closet ever since I got my omega’s.

    I’ve recently purchased an Alpina watch which I’ve yet to wear, cant get this Skyfall watch off my wrist though….

    Reply
  15. What amazes me again and again how many editors, bloggers, experts, enthusiasts etc always pick same watches as their favorite.. Imagine if only five women in the world would always be considered the most beautiful..How boring that would be? No imagination here or no guts to be different and really pick somethng different, something unusual, something outside of the main stream..
    It is almost always Nautilus, Royal Oak, Speedmaster, Submariner, Navigator..
    Hope we broaden our views.. Swiss Made and advertised all over does not make certain watch desirable for the rest of the world. Watch making world is so huge.. Lets open our eyes..

    Reply
    • Nothing boring at all, nor amazing. It’s only a personal choice, not imposed on anyone else. One single women remains, no matter how many other women you meet, the most beautiful woman you have ever seen (there’s more to it than appearance and less pretty women can be just as beautiful). I have a Speedy Pro for about twenty years now and it remains the one I’d consider my ultimate watch. It’s so pure, with its technical appearance, its history and it keeps perfect time. It’s the perfect watch for me, not without its own ‘flaws” (seconds hand that cannot be hacked), but it’s so special I bought its modern offspring, the Speedy 9300, very similar, a lot more modern technologically speaking and just as pure as the original. Favorites apparently tend to remain favorites…

      Reply
  16. “The watch would require a popular automatic movement, strong lume with a very easy to read face and hands, a durable crystal, a bracelet band and 200m plus water resistance. It should be a diver or diver chrono and be very inexpensive. More than likely a Seiko or Orient watch!”

    Bert, that description fits the Tudor Black Bay perfectly, by the way, if you can come up with about 3 grand.

    Reply
  17. Alfredo Saenz

    The Rolex Datejust featured in the January 10th issue. It’s not a chronograph(who needs one for daily use); it’s not an over weight, bulky dive watch that seems so out of place in our everyday world. The case diameter is large enough, yet the face doesn’t resemble a radar disk. Toughness is why Rolex developed the oyster case. And in steel, you separate yourself from the decadent attraction of staring at a watch festooned with precious metals. A true watch aficionado will spot a Datejust instantly. A steel Datejust with Roman numerals can stand up to any dress watch around, and to the owner, knowing that inside the case there is a 3035 ticking away, just makes owning one all the more pleasurable.

    Reply
    • Manue santiago

      I’m With you, I have a oister from 1998, without any problema, working with me day to day

      Reply
  18. I wish there were a review on this bad ass of a Vacheron:

    Vacheron Constantin Overseas Automatic Steel Watch Silver Dial 47040/B01A-9093

    Reply
    • Manue santiago

      I have the last version without problems, talk to Alex gotbi at the hour club or post this on FB

      Reply
  19. These are great choices, after owning 3 Rolexes I’m starting to see what would be elegant, Holy Trinity, not super expensive and bad ass. My choice is:

    Vacheron Constantin Overseas Automatic Steel Watch Silver Dial 47040/B01A-9093

    The new links are super sharp. With the half cross. Better than the rectangle of before.
    And now at 42mm.

    90% of people wouldn’t know Vacheron, so you don’t get the stupid comments that you would get wearing a Rolex. The remaining 10% that know watches would find it bad ass.

    Reply
  20. I love these write ups from RJ. To bad i’ve read the comments. Too easy rolex bashing here. It seems that none of the bashers below know anything about the heritage of the Rolex Sub / GMT / Explorers. One Gent mention the heritage of the beautifull Daytona. Those watches house incredible movements which last more than a livetime. Too easy too bash a popular brand. Rolex builds great watches over decades and for example the submariner and explorer were born in 1953 and still popular. Many of these vintage watches still run today!
    Altough i’m more a Panerai man and also love the speedy pro, this has to be said here.
    Cheers!

    Reply
  21. fraser stewart

    Old thread but one I have definitely considered on more than one occasion. I reside in Bogota for about 150 day per year, not the safest city on the planet and certainly one where “stealth mode” is practiced by me on a daily basis. For me it’s either an Explorer 1 or a Sub 14060 with a nato strap. Reliable, tough and perfect all rounders… Probably go with the E1 as it tends to go about unnoticed whereas the sub not so much.

    Reply
  22. Bert Kanne

    The watch would require a popular automatic movement, strong lume with a very easy to read face and hands, a durable crystal, a bracelet band and 200m plus water resistance. It should be a diver or diver chrono and be very inexpensive. More than likely a Seiko or Orient watch!

    Reply
  23. I’d be happy with any of those shown above except the last (Groenfeld?). However, my real choice would be either an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak or a Bell and Ross BR Aviation watch, one with the squarish shape and with a date display.

    There are so many lovely watches it’s difficult to choose … just like choosing the man or woman of your dreams.

    Reply
  24. José Luis Espinosa

    My choice:

    1) Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch 40 anniversary
    2) Breitling Navitimer
    3) Cartier Santos100
    4) Maurice Lacroix Pontos Decentrique GMT
    5) Longines Master Collection Retrograde GMT

    Reply
  25. Mike P

    I realize this is a old thread, but in case anyone still reads it….My choice would be a Philippe Dufour Simplicity, or anything else he has made! Just my 2 cents.

    Reply
  26. Really only the Royal Oak of these five would work at the banquet as well as on the beach.

    Problem with steel-bracelet go-everywhere watches; they are the choice of elder men. Makes it alright if you are young or old, but not attractive if you are – getting – old.

    A choice like this has to be made when you travel. I tend to bring two; one out on town, with family and for activities, one more formal for evening use. The latter is especially nice to pimp your appearance with in case you dont feel like bringing along formal clothes.

    Just change to your more dressy watch, and you are excused and ready to enter the nice restaurant you are about to enter!

    Reply
  27. Panerai marina luminor
    Rolex Daytona white face
    Lange 1815 rose gold
    Lange zeitwerk white gold
    These I own and love.

    Reply
  28. i’m am utterly SHOCKED that no one mentioned the Omega Speedmaster Professional Hesalite (moonwatch). Is this really a WIS site? wow. there are many speedmasters, but only one moon-watch. there are many watches that were tested for spaceflight and the rigors of extra-vehicular activity, rolex, bulova, seiko, etc. only one passed. omega speedmaster professional. if you’re only going to get one watch, it should be a watch that counts. the other one, that has been mentioned and stated several times here is the submariner. the archetypical dive watch. however, i will say this. 90% of everyone will know what a rolex submariner is. only 10 percent of those people will even know the difference between a quartz and an automatic (or mechanical)… whereas only 10% of people will know what an omega speedmaster is… and of those 90% will no the difference between a quartz and an automatic.

    Reply
    • as a corollary, my brother owns a submariner. i asked him what he liked about it. he said it was a roles. he didn’t know it was an automatic. in fact, he said it was “kinetic”… which it is not. he did not know it had a sapphire crystal. he did not know it had a 3035 movement. he did not know its significance as the archetype of most dive watches nowadays.

      the way that I see it is that a rolex is the best watch for people who know nothing of watches. although omega is not on the same level as blancpain or even rolex on the prestige scale, the speedmaster is probably the most iconic watch you can currently buy. and it will always be iconic.

      Reply
    • I had the original Omega Speedmaster “Moon watch” and it was very nice, but after `15 years or so, I had become tired of it and when it rusted inside, I decided to give it the flick.

      Reply
  29. Leo Sitorus

    Only Have One Watch? I believe 90% WIS will choose a Rolex Sub Date.
    CMIIW.

    Reply
  30. My personal choice would be the watch I used as my only watch for about a decade: Omega Seamaster Professional Diver 300M America’s Cup (ref. 2533.50.00). The black dial, sword hands and white gold bezel make it more elegant than the regular Seamaster Professional 300M (whose blue bezel and weird hour hand never appealed to me) while still being very sporty.

    If I were to choose something else, though, I could easily see myself making do with a Rolex Explorer or Audemars Piguet Royal Oak as my only watch.

    Reply
  31. Rolex Explorer I
    A. Lange & sohne Datograph
    Bremont MBII
    Omega Speedmaster Professional
    Cartier Tank

    Reply
  32. My father’s SEIKO 5…he uses it since 1978 without any concern via bringing it for maintenance every 5 years regularly…none of the parts were replaced up to now (even the stainless steel strap)…I have respect for that watch in terms of reliability for such a low cost…isn’t it amazing?

    Reply
      • Chris Launder

        After 15 years of being a WIS , I bought my first Seiko 5 last year , the one with the new 24 jewel movement that you can also manually wind . Now , lets list the features , in house movement , display back , metal bracelet at least as good as sub $2000 Swiss watches , day/date display , solid good quality stainless steel case , rotating bezel , good warranty ( on par with many luxury brands …. , the cost ? US$166.00 . I know the movement finish is a tad agricultural compared to an expensive Swiss or German watch , and the accuracy over time isn’t quite up to the best Swiss watches , BUT , tell me gain how this can be made and sold at a profit for less than $200 , yet watches like Panerais ( of which I own one ) start at 25 times that figure and with a base ETA movement .

        Reply
    • Arnaldo F. Neves Nt

      Excellent watch and not so expensive. Good that your comment.

      Reply
  33. Hormazdiyaar

    Hard to say between the Royal Oak and the Nautilus as my first choice and the Rolex GMT my second choice for sure. The Royal Oak is and will remain an all time and ageless classic and I have a soft spot for it in preference to the Nautilus. Both classics designed by Gerald Genta. I would not waste money on a quartz watch. My iPhone has it all including world time anywhere.

    Reply
    • I love the Nautius and the Royak Oak. However, I went with the Royal Oak 15202 personally. It is a bit more ‘raw’ and the very first integrated design by Genta. The Nautilus is a bit too smooth for me some times. Having said, I wouldn’t mind owning one :)

      Reply
  34. WatchMyWrist

    Tissot T-Touch II. I need functionality. Therefore, if I were confined to just one watch, I would have to pass on my automatic movements. If you disagree with my choice of Tissot T-Touch analog/digital movement thinking it’s too inexpensive to just have only one; then I would have to reconsider Breitling or Bell & Ross’s analog/digital time pieces. However, as of right now I would roll with Tissot

    Reply
    • Hi,

      No, inexpensive doesn’t mean it can’t be a nice choice! I love these Tissot T-Touch models. Perhaps even better than a B&R to be honest.

      Reply
  35. Jack in Arizona

    The Omega. The Speedmaster Racing (yellow accents) leads my collection, and I intend it to be a watch if a lifetime. If I had to give up all but one, that would be the one to keep. It would be interesting to see an article about (a) 5 watches on a budget of $5,000 US, (b) 5 watches on a budget of $50,000, and (c) what your 5 picks would be on an unlimited budget. In the unlimited arena, one of my picks would be the Breguet Classique Hora Mundi – 5717. It is a gorgeous timepiece.

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    • Jack in Arizona

      Interesting elements are a seemingly infinite number of choices, functionality, personal tastes, and a vast array of budgets. You will never quite pin it down. I like the Flinstone’s wrist sundial, too.

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  36. Great selections sir but you totally Wimped out on the last selection if over $30000 is your parameter – man the choices are limitless. Especially if you, like me, believe the top watch makers are Patek , breguet, vacheron , and Lange and Sohne ! How about the Hora Mundi or the unique Zeitwerk ! Let’s think outside the box and go for the gusto ! Carpe Diem, Rod

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      • I am in a different timezone (EU) and currently away from the office, so a reply might take a while. But since it is a personal selection, this would be my +30K USD choice yes. Patek and Breguet are great watchmakers, but for this kind of money I really love these independent skilled watchmakers. The Grönefeld brothers are skilled and did their ‘hours’ at companies such as AP R&P. I love the fact that you can see (if you look very close) that it is really all hand-finished. Nevertheless, I love Patek but for >30K USD I think I would like something more exclusive / special. I think that is out of the box :)

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  37. If I have to choose 1…it would be the JLC world extreme chrono or Ball worldtime diver
    Both automatic
    For quartz…I’m sticking w my 23+ yrs old TAG H SEL chrono WC I bought brand new in 1989/90 @ Kodak jewellers at the former world trade center tower

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  38. It would have to be my UTS 1000M GMT. Very tough and, as it turns out, every bit as accurate as any on the original list.

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  39. What a poor choice. Apart from the Gronefeld ( which seems to be influenced by a bit of patriotism), Robert’s choice is about buying into brands. If these watches didn’t have the brand name, then I’m sure he wouldn’t buy any of them.
    Serious watch collectors look a lot deeper than the brand name and it’s long known that most people who choose, particularly Rolex, know little about watches but simply buy the brand and are really buying for other people to look at.

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      • Hi Robert,
        I am certainly not trolling. My choice would quite difficult to make and take some time, but it may well include brands such as Breguet, Ulysee Nardin, Chronoswiss, Golana, Paul Picot, Jaques Etoile and even Hamilton.
        Some quite expensive and other surprisingly little money.

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        • Ah ok. So you are also including some big names in there? To each his own Tim, my preference for Omega, Rolex, AP and PP have nothing to do with ‘buying big names’ but for the love of iconic watches. Trust me, I had and have my share of smaller brands (including from independents, oh and a Chronoswiss :)). I find myself ending up choosing ‘iconic’ or ‘cult’ watches all the time though. I do have a lot of respect for smaller independents, like Grönefeld. They are very talented watchmakers and the One Hertz with dead beats second complication to me is a combination of a very ‘classic complication’ and a modern looking watch.

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          • With regards to Dutch watch makers, I could live with the Van Der Gang 20019 for a long time – it’s a stunner!

          • Hormazdiyaar

            I do the same and we share the same interest of owning iconic and ageless elegance time pieces.

    • Hormazdiyaar

      With due respect to you I disagree. Rolex is a great and reliable brand having used various models myself over the last fifty years.

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  40. Oscar Barragan

    Just a clock. It’s a good mental exercise to know where they are heading our affections and preferences. But staying with a single clock really is a nightmare. In fact Robert you chosed 5
    It wouldn’t be pleasant to have to keep only one watch but if I lived just a disaster, I’m sure you all think like me: First would be the family and then my own life, in that order.
    But back to the hypothetical situation just type catastrophe, economic and not so serious as to not have to live with a quartz clock, I would, without hesitation, retain my Daytona 6265 chonograph.
    The history of Daytona, its relationship with Hollywood and with the motorsport has made it one of the watches that has contributed more to spread the love of watchmaking.
    Is also an innovative model that has been frequently imitated in the distribution of the sub dials as in the combination of the colored.
    Its size and weight allow wrist fits comfortably use it in any situation. It is a discreet watch for all people except for the expert eye of connoisseur or collector.
    Another interesting aspect is that in the minutes that pass writing these notes my Daytona increased its value.
    Even recent model with homemade ebauche is the product of 50 years of evolution. No improvisation. Everything is tested by the time. It is a magnificent certificated chronometer with materials that will be inherited.
    Thank you. Great topic.

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  41. I would take the Rolex gmt master.i just love that look.you can wear that watch anywhere.

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  42. Warren Vazquez

    Like you, I have been able to raise a modest collection of mid-price watches so it is tough to settle on just one watch, but you never know. Since I am an instrument watch oriented guy as opposed to the dress type of watch, I would do just great with any of these three, which are part of my collection: the Omega Speedster Moonwatch, the Rolex GMT Master II with a full black bezel or the Rolex Submariner Date. Hope you never have to face that kind of choice. Warren

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  43. Giorgio Osti

    Personally, perhaps because I’m such a modest guy, I prefer the rolex and the omega.
    Then, although I am not a fan of Gerald Genta’s watches, I certainly prefer the Royal Oaks, and then the steel ones, slthough I would, I think, prefer the older, smaer, original models.
    With respect to the Gronefeld: Forgive me, I find it simply awful…
    Best
    Giorgi

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  44. Richard Malloy

    Great choices! May I add one category namely specisalty types and submit the Citizen Satellite Wave Air Promaster for consideration. It looks sharp and actually syncs in under 5 seconds as advertised. Just my 2cents worth.

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  45. Hi folks!
    Here my own favorites (really my own):
    1. Ingersoll Silverado
    2. Ingersoll Luxington
    3. Ingersoll Bison 28 (black)
    You can also turn up their noses above, but:
    1. They are all wonderful.
    2. They all cost almost as good as nothing.
    PS. And additionally CASIO radio controlled clock
    (to know the really exact time and to wear in the workshop!)

    Reply
    • Well done Maupa, Not many watch enthusiasts would name Ingersoll, but there is an awful lot of snobbery with watch collectors.
      I think Ingersoll make some incredibly well designed, albeit influenced by some big names, and quite well made for little money, I think they tend to be slightly flashy and not quite subtle enough. Apart from that, excellent.

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      • Hi Tom!
        It was not my intention to make advertising for this BRAND, albeit accidentally almost all my watches are from Ingersoll. You’re right: there are many “over-styled” watches of this brand. And some “flashy”. But I straight meant my three watches: THEY are beautiful. You can for example take the Luxington and compare them (externally) with any tonneau of Franck Muller: I think my clock did not need to be ashamed. And: The Muller watches are also not faster than mine! ;o)
        Greetings
        Maupa
        HP. And if I really should get by with just a single clock, it would be the Casio Wave Ceptor Solar Radio. No alternatives. Persuasion useless… (I apologize to Mr. Patek)

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      • Hi Tim!
        Right now, I have realized which prank had played my keyboard on me!
        I apologize for that “o” as harsh as possible.
        Have a nice day!

        Reply
  46. If I could really and truly have only one watch (perish the thought!) it would probably be my PAM 321 three Day GMT. I need the GMT feature because I have interests in multiple time zones, it can be worn sporty or dressy, is waterproof for swimming and boating and is rock solid reliable and accurate. Thankfully this is only a mental exercise and won’t have to be put to the test!

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  47. My desert island pick is the Rado Diastar New Original. Scratch proof, gorgeous, contemporary yet classic. And if I get bored, I’ll spin the little anchor around a bit. Besides: I’ll be the only one on the island with one. Ha!

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  48. One watch and 5 choices. One watch is one watch, not 5. My one choice is Ulysse Nardin Sonata Streamline.

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  49. I love these questions, agree on first three, more or less. 4th would be a Patek, Calatrava, 5 Richard Mille RM 003v2

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  50. Omegamad

    Having to chose from my personal collection makes it difficult as I own about 50+ watches (Including Omega, JLC, Rolex, Zenith,Movado,Vulcain,Zodiac,Universal Geneva ,Baume & Mercier,Angelus, Tissot etc etc). I then thought what wpuld I select as an end of days choice. This made it easy for me – Omega Seamaster Pro 300 Blue Bond. Rugged , Waterprof and suitable for any occasion.

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    • Great choice! It is a great all-rounder. I had my share of them (kept buying and selling them) and ended up with the chronograph version of that watch in titanium. Love to wear it on a rubber strap.

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