I thought I really ought to document my watch collection on my website, so here we are.
I’m somewhat active on WatchCrunch, a social media site for watch geeks, and I’m a member of 49 Crowns, a San Francisco Bay Area watch club.
jae and I also post about watches to Hodykee on cohost.
After eyeing them online for months and months, I picked up a blue gilt Aquascaphe Classic at the 2022 San Francisco WindUp Watch Fair. Sometimes it’s hard to pull the trigger without seeing the piece in person. Getting hands-on with it and their other models was really special, as was getting to know some of the folk behind the brand. I love love love Baltic’s retro-meets-modern aesthetic, and their build quality at that price point is hard to beat. I originally bought it on their blue tropic rubber strap, though I later picked up their beads of rice bracelet for it too. I most often wear it on an Hermès single tour I pilfered from my Apple Watch.
I’ve also got a salmon-dial MR01 which I posted about on cohost. I love its applied Breguet numerals, dial texture, and overall thinness. A great dress watch that you can dress down as well.
I have a cream-colored dial A-2S Field that for the life of me I can’t find on Bertucci’s website. It’s the first field watch I ever bought. I picked it up ages ago, pre-transition, and rarely wear it these days. It’s in great condition if you’re in the market for a rugged and reliable titanium piece.
I have an old Bucherer dress watch of my mom’s. It hasn’t worked in years—she didn’t take it off before doing the dishes and yeah, it’s not exactly a dive watch. It’s likely not worth repairing.
I gave myself a small Tank Must on leather for a promotion I got at work. A few months later I also picked up the bracelet for it (which you can see here), as well as a double tour strap from ABP. The Tank is, quite simply, the most iconic ladies dress watch, but it’s so much more than a dress watch! It dresses up and down so well. I love pairing it with a T-shirt, jeans, and sneakers just as much as I enjoy wearing it to formal occasions.
It’s hard to go wrong with a teeny tiny gold Casio, and my A159WGEA-1VT fits the bill perfectly. Wonderfully nostalgic piece that dresses up surprisingly well.
I also have an AE1200 World Time, AKA the Casio "Royale." It makes a great budget travel watch.
To me, there are three iconic G-Shock families. I’ve got a number of G-Shocks from those families:
The simple black square, besides being the most iconic G-Shock, is the watch that has flown in space more often than any watch other than the Omega Speedmaster. It’s inseperable in my mind from the Shuttle program. Growing up, I was (and still am) a complete and utter space nerd, and I really enjoy wearing this tangible connection to the NASA of my youth.
The "First Yellow" color used for my square and my CasiOak is also a color I strongly associate with my youth. I had a Sony Sports Walkman in that exact color. Besides the nostalgia factor, yellow is one of my favorite colors and it’s a great color for an accent piece like these watches.
I have two Citizens:
I’ve a light blue DRZ 04 Mondial. It really stands out among the crowd of microbrands jumping on both the Genta-esque integrated bracelet steel sports watch and Tiffany dial trends. I love the curvature of the chapter ring and the round date aperture at 6. I wrote up a short review on cohost.
My great grandfather gave my dad a small Elgin dress watch for his First Communion in the mid-40s. It doesn’t currently run. I’m going to have it repaired so I can give it to EJ.
I have a white dial Khaki Field Mechanical 38mm that I picked up from a fellow 49 Crowns member. This is probably the best major-brand Swiss watch at this price point. The simple, monochromatic dial and classic military design help this watch look good on just about any strap you throw it on. And the 80 hours of power reserve mean I can take it off on Friday, ignore it all weekend, and it’s still going strong when I put it on Monday morning.
My first watch purchase after transitioning was a Boulevard Sunset Rose from MVMT. I realize there’s a generally low opinion of MVMT among watch enthusiasts, but this was an accessible entry point to women’s watches for me, and it’s sized well for my wrist. It’s a decent looking fashion watch I can use as a travel piece that I don’t have to worry about losing.
At some point in the late 60s my mother went on a trip to Europe that included some time in Switzerland. She asked her father for help picking out a gift to bring home for her brother. He immediately described in rather precise detail the exact watch to get him: the Seamaster Cosmic ref. 166.036, powered by Omega’s in-house cal. 752 automatic movement.
When she got to Switzerland, she thought back on how quickly he was able to specify the exact watch to get, and decided to buy two of them: one for her brother, and one for her father. I inherited my grandfather’s when he passed in the 80s.
I also have a MoonSwatch; see the Swatch section below for details.
The Bambino makes an excellent dress watch at a very affordable price point, but they’ve always been too big for my liking. With the recent release of a 38mm line, I finally picked one up—the RA-AC0M04Y10B, with a champagne dial and blue hands. A very pretty dress watch you don’t ever have to stress about.
I love my 38mm Seagull 1963 though I’m pretty sure it’s a clone and not the legitimate one (if any can even be called that). It’s a beautiful chronograph with an interesting history that I got at a great price. The ST1901 movement is a real pleasure to look at through the exhibition caseback. I usually have it on a red leather strap that really makes the star on the dial and the chrono hand pop.
Seestern is a Chinese brand that mostly makes homage dive watches. Like with other AliExpress brands, what they lack in originality they (at least somewhat) make up for in quality-per-dollar. Why they made a Grand Seiko homage is anyone’s guess, but look, they built a decent-looking 62GS-esque case and slapped an NH35 in it. It’s even got 200m of water resistance! You could do a lot worse. I wrote a bit about it on WatchCrunch.
I have one piece from the "Cocktail Time" line of Presage dress watches: SRPJ13 "The Aviation". I love it, but for one detail—I dearly wish it had drilled lugs. I’ve never managed to remove the bracelet, though I’ve tried several times.
I have two Prospex tool watches:
I have a vintage A829-6040 "Rotocall" which I adore. Like the black square, these watches flew on many Shuttle missions, including on the wrist of Sally Ride.
I have two old 7S26-powered Seiko 5 fliegers: the champagne-dialed SNK803 and the black-dialed SNK809. I don’t wear them much any more, mostly because the 7S26 doesn’t hand wind and it’s annoying to have to do the “Seiko Shuffle” before every wear. I have a ton of 18mm NATO straps from when these were in the daily rotation.
After lusting after the thing for way too long, I picked up an SBGM221 while visiting Japan recently. It’s exquisite in every detail. I honestly don’t know what else to say about it. It’s perfect.
I have one Serica, a 4512 field watch—specifically, the one with the WMB dial. It’s a love letter to mid-century military watches with a thoroughly modern sensibility. I love the broad arrow hour hand, the vertical brushing on the bezel, the Goldilocks size. Like my Hamilton Khaki Field, this thing is a total strap monster. You can wear it on anything. And it comes on a Bonklip bracelet from Joseph Bonnie that’s as comfortable as it is light and airy. It perfectly matches the vintage-inspired aesthetic of the watch itself.
Much like Casio, Swatch primarily occupies a nostalgic part of my brain. I have a Clearly Gent, their recent re-issue of arguably the most iconic Swatch of all time and the one that screams the 80s in the loudest, clearest voice.
A half a year after waiting in line on launch day, I managed to time a visit to Swatch’s Union Square boutique just right and picked up one of the Omega × Swatch Bioceramic MoonSwatches—specifically, the Mission to Uranus. It’s such a fun colorway—a great, casual summer piece.
I have two Timexes: