Nathan's Christmas Wishlist from WatchGecko
 

Nathan's Christmas Wishlist from WatchGecko

5 min read
Nathan Schultz

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WatchGecko Top Choice Series

Nathan Schultz

Categories

WatchGecko Top Choice Series

I've never been a good collector. Collecting is a skill and suggests forethought. For example, a good collector might gather an ensemble of dive watches throughout the decades- showing how, in a single collection, the genre has evolved from the first reserved and practical dive watches to debut in 1953 to the endless options available today. Or, a collection might take a deep dive into a single brand. I love Bulova, and have owned several of them, but being guilty of serial flipping, never more than one at a single time. If I had some control, I’d keep the darn things and fill a box with an eclectic group of Bulovas.

But I'm a lousy collector and my watch box is always filled with a rotating gaggle of seemingly random timepieces. There is no theme, no central goal. Instead, just a handful of watches that triggered my brain to blurt “I WANT THAT!” and my hand to reach for my credit card. But sometimes it's fun to imagine a parallel universe where I exhibit some self-control. In this fantasy world, I’d start with building a five watch collection focused on versatility, where I have a timepiece for every situation.

NTH DevilRayNTH DevilRay

NTH DevilRayNTH DevilRay

Dive watch: NTH DevilRay

I spent my initial months in the hobby confused by dive watches. I understood the technology and materials that enabled their water resistance, how their timing bezels worked and even the history of the 1953 Basel Fair. However, I did not understand the allure of wearing one on land.  What finally changed my mind? I bought one… and then another. I quickly learned how useful these tool watches were for daily application. It was liberating to wear a watch that was capable of timing my lunch breaks, could be worn during a day at the beach, but also looked professional enough on the rare occasion I needed to wear a collared shirt.

Dive watches tend to be generously sized. After experimenting with many that were simply too big to enjoy, I learned that cushion style cases were the best way to mitigate their inherent heftiness. Having recently sold my Bulova Oceanographer, I’m in the market for a new cushion case diver. But I’ve owned so many black dial dive watches, and I’m in the market for something white this time. Enter the white NTH DevilRay Dive Watch on leather, a watch that checks all my boxes: an ergonomic cushion case, more water resistance than I could ever need, and a white dial that will add spice to my fantasy five watch collection. As an added bonus, its rotating timing bezel is also a dual time bezel! 

Formex Essence 39mmFormex Essence 39mm - Credit WatchGecko

Dress watch: Formex Essence

While the primary purpose of any watch is to tell the time, the secondary purpose is often more compelling. For a dive watch, that purpose is to track elapsed time under water. For a dress watch, that purpose is to simply look good. And so it isn't surprising that many dress watches prioritize aesthetics and, as a result, fall short on specs. But if I’m scouring the market and looking for a dress watch that can do it all, one watch is a clear winner: the Formex Essence. The particular one that screams charm and durability to me is the 39mm Dégradé Grey.

Yes, $1700 is a lot of money to spend on a watch, but it's one of those rare watches that looks (and feels) like it should cost more than its retail price. The design and finishing are unparalleled. And as some added bonuses that aren't necessary but very much appreciated, the Essence is a chronometer in a suspended case! Do I need either of those features? Of course not. Do you want them? Absolutely!

FORZO G2 EnduraTimer ChronographFORZO G2 EnduraTimer Chronograph - Credit WatchGecko

Racing watch - FORZO G2 EnduraTimer Chronograph

I’m not a car guy, which is probably for the best. Watches are expensive enough and I don’t need another pricey hobby. But even with my limited automotive understanding, I appreciate the intersection between watches and cars, and I’d love to have a timepiece that celebrates this connection.

While there are many automotive themed watches to choose from, a meca-quartz chronograph is at the top of my wish list. Why? I love chronographs, but frankly don’t aspire to own a mechanical one due to the cost of ownership and potential future repairs. Browsing the WatchGecko site, the light blue FORZO G2 EnduraTimer Chronograph immediately grabbed my attention.  It's got it all for a reasonable price: Wearable dimensions, an attractive colorway, sub dials with daily practicality, and even a tachymeter that I might someday learn how to use.

Sinn 556Sinn 556

Sinn 556Sinn 556

Pilot Watch: Sinn 556

What defines a good pilot watch? In a practical sense, the answer is legibility. But just as I’m not taking my new NTH DevilRay diving and will never test out its true water resistance, any pilot watch I add to my collection will likely never see the inside of a cockpit. Setting aside any actual aviation needs, my ideal pilot watch is simply a versatile daily wearer. In this fantasy scenario where money is no object, I can't help but be drawn to the Sinn 556.

When I first fell down the watch rabbit hole, in the same way dive watches perplexed me, I simply did “get” this classic Sinn. My growing budget collection was filled with simple black dials obtained at modest prices. I liked how the 556 looked but struggled to wrap my head around why it was triple the price of my most expensive watch. Oh, what my wallet wouldn't give to go back to that time… After years of owning watches emulating the 556, I’m ready to experience the real deal including its Swiss movement, anti-magnetic construction and perfect dimensions.

Nodus Sector GMT MetroNodus Sector GMT Metro - Credit Nodus

GMT: Nodus Sector GMT Metro

I recently wrote a review of the Nodus metro GMT and haven't been able to get that watch off my brain. Thanks to new movements like the Miyota 9075 and the Seiko NH34, affordable automatic GMTs are a new reality. As an enthusiast, I’m thrilled. As a consumer, it can be easy to be overwhelmed by the options.

As the new affordable GMT market grows, the Nodus Sector GMT Metro remains my top choice. I love it for two reasons. First, it's simple yet striking design. With the absence of a rotating bezel and a unique use of a blue rehaut and matching GMT hand, this member of the Sector collection doesn't look like any other GMT on the market. And, while most watches with an NH34 are identical internally, Nodus goes the extra mile to regulate their watches in house. That extra step not only shows their commitment to quality, but also sets it a step above the competition.

You can now create your Wishlist and share with loved ones just in time for Christmas here

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Nathan Schultz

About the Author: Nathan Schultz

Nathan Schultz is a New Hampshire based writer obsessed with affordable mechanical timepieces. When not collecting, modifying and writing about watches, he can be found putting them to the test on local hiking trails.

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