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One watch collection - What watch to buy?

Category: Articles | Date: July 5, 2017

If you could only own one watch, what would it be? In this post, WatchGecko copywriter Al Hidden answers the age-old watch collectors’ question…

If you could only own one watch, what would it be?

Have you ever asked yourself, ‘If you could only own one watch, which would it be?’ Of course you have! We all have; it goes with building a timepiece collection, along with those Sinn vs Omega or Rolex vs IWC questions and fantasising about what watch to buy if money’s no object! It’s the question I answer in this post. And just as Geckota watches have a twist, I’ve added one too. I’m picking one watch from the current Geckota range, one watch a ‘collection must have’ from Baselworld 2017 and one watch from all watches ever!

If I could only own one watch from the Geckota range?

So to my first challenge, ‘if you could only own one watch from the Geckota range, what would it be?’ This is relatively easy because the range is small, albeit growing and maturing fast. I’d have Geckota’s latest 40 mm K-01 L06 pilot watch with sunray blue dial (on Geckota double-weave blue perlon). It’s a stunning combination!

The new K-01s arguably reflect Geckota’s coming of age, including refinement of the original K-01, proven Seiko movements, sunray dials, sapphire crystals and easily-read numerals. The watch is everything Geckota stands for: affordable, well made; inspired by classic watches, but with contemporary twists that would have amazed any WW2 Luftwaffe navigator. It’s a very wearable watch too, with 100m water resistance, screw down crown, and an on-trend dial diameter that wears well on male and female wrists.

From Baselworld 2017? It’s a diver

If I could have one of Baselworld’s novelties, I’d seek the everyday practicality of a dive watch – another of the standard luxury watch collection ‘must haves’. There’s Seiko’s re-created Seiko SLA017 (the original’s among many classic Seiko watches worth collecting), Blancpain’s 38 mm Bathyscape (but not their MIL-SPEC tribute because I don’t like the bezel, hygrometer and date window), the Oris Aquis Date and Breitling’s latest Superocean Heritage II 46.

Tempting though the Bathyscape is, with its bloodline from Blancpain’s early 1950s divers, and the Breitling’s elegant functionality, it’s the nicely proportioned Oris, with blue dial, black bezel (with numerals), six o’clock date and improved bezel operation that wins this one.

One watch from the whole watch universe?

Think that was hard? It’s even harder when selecting from all watches. Not only must you choose between watch type and manufacturer, but between contemporary and vintage. With an affordable pilot watch and diver chosen, I fancy a dressier multipurpose watch, a guaranteed conversation starter, strong history, a respected brand, the 100m water resistance and multiple time-zone capability. Bring on the GMTs and world timers…

The obvious choice is Rolex’s GMT-Master (among the most popular watches of all time, from one of the most collectible watch brands). But why limit myself to GMTs – even a vintage ‘Pepsi’ GMT-Master, arguably among the most iconic Rolex watches?

Instead, because I love maps and travel, it’s a world timer for me. Watch three must alloy contemporary design, technology, style and quality with world time capability. I think a luxury world timer should be at the centre of any must have watch collection.

So, with new (or relatively recent) watches in mind, my shortlist includes Girard Perregaux’s WW.TC (or current 1966 range), Montblanc’s Heritage Spirit, Patek Phillipe’s References 5131, 5230 or 5930G chronograph, Breitling’s Transocean, Tissot’s white-dial Heritage Navigator, IWC’s Chronograph Reference 3950 or the older Reference 3262 world timers, Porsche Design’s P6750, Vacheron Constantin Overseas World Time and Baume & Mercier’s Capeland.

Below image: The stunning Vacheron Constantin Overseas World Time. (Images courtesy of Vacheron Constantin)

Make mine a Vacheron Constantin World Time

Ultimately, my 100m water resistance requirement, rules out most of the above, leaving the Tissot and Vacheron Constantin 7700V Overseas World Time (150 m). I’ll have a blue dial 110A-B172 please, with that exquisite Lambert Projection world map, day-night indication, in-house Calibre 2460 WT, a full 37 time zones and crown setting for all the world time functions. You get leather and rubber straps too, and a steel bracelet. Of course, I’d want to put mine on a Geckota strap – but I’d be thwarted by VC’s proprietary strap attachment!

So those are my three watches. It’s the Geckota K-01 V06’s simple honesty, a serious dive watch in the Oris Aquis, and Vacheron Constantin’s Overseas World Timer for globetrotting practicality and classic style. And if it really had to be just one of them? It would be the World Timer.

Next time, I share my short-, medium- and long-term collecting objectives. In the meantime, if you could only own one watch from each category, what would they be?

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