My Watch Box

The Watch Box Rule

There's a simple rationale behind what has become the cardinal rule of my watch collection:  There are only 5 slots in my current watch box.  The rule is simple:  You cannot own more watches than there are slots in your watch box.  If the slots are all full, one slot must be freed up before another watch can be added.  This utilitarian principle ensures that my collection will never grow beyond what is manageable.  The current occupants of my watch box are listed below.

1. Omega Speedmaster Professional "Sapphire Sandwich" 3573.50

This was the first mechanical watch that I fell in love with, and the mechanical that's been with me the longest.  The combination of a no-longer-an-authorized-dealer sale, prize money for an award-winning publication, and grad school graduation gifts allowed me to fund the purchase of this Speedy Pro.  If I were forced to reduce my collection to one, this would be the last watch standing.

2. Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36mm 116000

This was my grail watch for years.  I'd probably have picked it up instead of the Explorer I as my first Rolex, if I'd known back then that this blue-dialed configuration of the 9-6-3 dial existed.  As it was, learning of its existence was one of the primary motivations behind my sale of the Explorer I (at a slight profit, thanks to advantageous market conditions), but it wasn't until the discontinuance of the 9-6-3 dial OPs that I finally grabbed it.  Features the same dial I feel in love with on the Explorer I but with a stunning blue hue and applied Rolex crown to boot,  No date - the same way I like all my mechanical watches.  And the perfect 36mm size that makes this the best candidate in my box for watch-of-all-seasons, subtle enough to seem at home whether peaking out from under a suit cuff or with a t-shirt and jeans.

3. Marathon TSAR Mid-Size (36mm)

I'd previously owned the regular-sized version of the TSAR (pictured above; new pic forthcoming), but eventually got rid of it after concluding that it was just a little too big for me.  The Omega Seamaster Pro 2253.80 I once owned, at 36mm, was what I considered to be the perfect size for a dive watch (on my wrist, at least), but I actually prefer a dive watch to be powered by a quartz rather than mechanical movement.  Finding a dive watch matching those two specifications - quartz movement and a 36mm diameter - seemed impossible, until the TSAR mid-size.

4. Casio G-Shock DW5600

This is the modern version of the classic G-Shock.  Basically an unimpeachable beater that will serve with all but the dressiest casual outfits.

5.  Casio MTP-1239D-2A

This $25 watch went head-to-head with the previous occupant of this slot, a Grand Seiko SBGX065 - a high accuracy quartz model from Japan that costs nearly 100 times ($2000) its price - and won out as the superior value.  Without question, the GS was the better watch; but most of its prevailing points fell in the fit and finishing categories, and despite the 1239D's mineral glass crystal, slightly less accurate quartz movement, and smaller hands and date display, the marginal value of the GS was trumped in my mind by the exponential marginal cost.  As far as functionality goes, this (the least expensive watch in my collection) does a solid job of keeping the time as the quartz regulator in my box.

Pocket Watches

In part due to the fact that my watch box cannot accommodate them (and in part because I love them so), pocket watches are exempt from my watch box rule.  They currently occupy their own individual glass display cases, and see duty only on the rare formal occasion where I'm wearing a vest that can accommodate an Albert chain.

I. Orient Pocket Watch CDD00001W

It's inimically difficult to find a modern mechanical pocket watch at a reasonable price, and virtually impossible to find one with a sapphire crystal.  This watch by Orient is the only one I've come across that fits that bill.  Along with a vintage 925 sterling silver single Albert chain I picked up on eBay, this does duty when a wristbound watch will not do.

II. Seiko Railroad Pocket Watch SVBR001

I picked this up the last time I was in Japan as a quartz backup for the Orient.  I've since learned that it is the precise model used by JR and Nishitetsu railway conductors in Japan - to the extent that trains feature a dashboard cutout specifically for this watch.  Since formal occasions are far and few between, it spends most of its time in its display case as an ad-hoc clock on my writing desk.

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