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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been asked so often about watches I would recommend that I've decided to post here with the hopes I can either help someone build their watch collection or spur some debate. We've all heard of the holy trinity of watch companies - PP, AP and VC (some would even say ALS) but what about the holy trinity of watches? The three watches to build the foundation for all other watches in your collection and beyond?

Obviously there's no hard "right" or "wrong" but I believe the following three watches could set the foundation for any watch collection. Before I start however, I would like to lay a couple of basic ground rules: The three watches together must be attainable to the average watch collector AND be purchased new within a three year span (I understand the Lange 1 is an incredible watch but at $40k it's just not realistic to most). Additionally they should be able to hold their value within 75% of purchase price. Given the average salary of roughly $60k a year, I would say a $12k total budget over the three year span is both fair and attainable.

Here we go, the first watch I would start my foundation with would be none other than the Omega Speedmaster Pro 3570.50 (only the 3570.50). For roughly $3500 you get a watch with both tremendous history and versatility. For clarity, the reason I would only consider the 3570.50 is because this is the model that most closely resembles the original 321 AND is still today NASA flight approved for space missions. I've said it before and I'll say it again, for the money there is simply no better watch on the planet that can match the history and quality of the Speedypro.

My second choice would be the Breitling Navitimer 01 although I understand this choice is much more up for debate. This beauty can be had for roughly $6k and brings with it a rich history as well. Now in all fairness there are a few other watches in this price range that can easily fit into the number two hole and those would be the JLC Reverso, JCL Master Thin or Panerai Luminor. The reason I decided on the Navitimer is because I'm an airman at heart. I was in the Air Force and am just fascinated with aeronautics history. However, I can certainly understand any of the other three choices as that anchor watch.

This is where things get difficult, the number three watch with only $2500 or so left to spend in the budget. For me, the choice is fairly simple and I would say a Tag Heuer Cal 6 Monaco. Obviously, my first choice would have been the Cal 12 with chronograph but with only $2500 left that's just not an option. One reason why I wouldn't mind going with the Cal 6 is because I already have two incredibly well built chronographs and don't mind the Tag not having the chrono. Most people would argue the whole reason to get the Monaco is for the Chronograph, but I say the Monaco was made famous for TWO reasons, the first, because it was the first automatic with a chronograph and the second (most people don't know this) is because it was the first square water proof watch. The only other watch I would consider putting into my foundation collection which is less than $2500 and meets the above criteria would be the Longines Flagship Heritage.

So to recap, my foundation would consist of the following:

Omega Speedmaster Professional 3570.50
Breitling Navitimer 01 (first choice), JLC Reverso, JLC Master Thin, Panerai Luminor
Tag Heuer Monaco Cal 6 (first choice), Longines Flagship Heritage

Thank you!
 

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I'm definitely not as knowledgeable about watches, but I have to agree (with the little I do have) about your third choice. The Monaco isn't about the chrono, absolutely spot on. If I were to buy one it would be for the reasons you mention. For reasons of personal taste I'd go for the JLC MT as number two (even though I like Panerai). I have a personal thing about Omega. They don't grab me but I was really interested, and not a little persuaded, by your argument re. Speedy.

In all thanks for sharing your knowledge and opinion.
 

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A better "NASA"-OKed choice is a Casio G-Shock. More reliable and accurate than the now-dated Ω. Less than $100.

Aviator? Citizen Navihawk. The JY8030-83E has atomic time sync, keeps track of 43 cities, has multiple alarms, a shark-style bracelet is available, and has 200m WR. $400 or so.

The correct third choice has to be absolutely revolutionary among sport watches; the original Citizen Aqualand is the natural choice here. The first watch in its class to offer the functionality combination; even -- or actually, especially -- the first model with its dive depth/interval display changed horology forever. $300 or so for an original or reissue; prices climb if you want to be able to download dive data etc.

Done.
 

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To each his own of course but personally I don't bother with numbers of brands. The fact is that I like to have whatever I find good looking and reliable for me without spending an arm and a leg. But who can afford them surely can be happy with expensive, rare or high end watches/brands.

To me having a variety of several is better then having just 2-3 watches.

A collection is a collection, be that of Timex, Casios or Patek.
 

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I guess it depends on your definition of a foundation. Maybe it's just me, but $12k seems like a lot for someone to spend when they are just starting out. I mean, not to knock your choices, those are three great watches, but personally I would see them as more of a mid point of a collection than a foundation.
I would pick a Seiko 5 as a starting point. They're good solid watches, and I love mine. It's easily the watch I wear most often in my collection, even though I have 'better' watches I still tend to go for it.
Next, Casio G-Shock, 'nuff said.
And lastly, a diver would finish out our mini collection nicely. A Rolex Sub would be lovely, but a bit expensive, so instead I'd go for a Vostok Amphibia as a lower budget equivilent.
 

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You guys are basically mentioning budget options without any thoughts to the OP's specification of 'the holy trinity'. i'm not saying that the watches you suggest are poor choices but they are never going to be the holy trinity of a serious watch collection. They are all perfectly serviceable time pieces and there's a place for them in a collection if you enjoy them but they do not fit the bill.
 

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The G Shock exceeds the "bill."

It has a history of space flight, like the Ω.

Unlike the Ω, it is also better suited for use on a planet covered 70% by water.

It is more accurate than the Ω.

It is more robust than the Ω.

In fact I have to question how "serious" a collection could possibly be that costs more, offers similar history, yet less functionality and less suitability for the primary -- or any -- task.
 

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The elephant in the room......where is BP? They belong way, WAY before tag and longi

The Pan is not explained because it has no business in the conversation.

The Racism is rampant. Where are the Asians?
 

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The Speedmaster is a watch of great beauty and prestige, two characteristics that the G-Shock lacks. The G-Shock may be a more suitable watch if we suffered an apocalypse but the Speedmaster is plenty accurate and plenty robust for every day use. The G-Shock is not suitable for more formal wear while a Speedmaster would look great with a suit. Also do not try and muddy the waters of space flight, the Speedmaster has a storied and prestigious history with NASA, the G-Shock may be rated for space flight but it was not the first watch on the moon.

I'll also add that I notice you didn't even try to defend your other pedestrian choices.
 

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There is no base number to start with or brand. Some people are one watch guys and some people just love Timex so you can't give a person the "holy trinity" you can give them your opinion and state that it is "your opinion" I personally don't like Breitling watches, specifically the over cluttered dials so I would never own one or suggest one as a choice, again that is "my opinion" I'm also not a fan of the Tag either so I wouldn't suggest it. To suggest 12K is a fair and reasonable budget for three watches over the course of three years is not reasonable and for the record i make more than 60K a year but wouldn't spend that amount in three years on watches, part of the joy in this hobby is the journy. The advice I would give is do your research and educate yourself about the different types of watches, autos,manual,quartz,solar etc. then take your time before you buy anything and understand watches are not investments so don't be misguided in thinking they will retain their value as there is only a very small number of them that retain or go up in value so uh what YOU LIKE. I would also suggest that they think about how they are going to use them in their daily life and how many they really need as well as the long term cost of servicing those watches.Bottom line there is no "go to" list of watches to start a collection and anyone giving that advice is not helping a new collector.
 

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There is no base number to start with or brand. Some people are one watch guys and some people just love Timex so you can't give a person the "holy trinity" you can give them your opinion and state that it is "your opinion" I personally don't like Breitling watches, specifically the over cluttered dials so I would never own one or suggest one as a choice, again that is "my opinion" I'm also not a fan of the Tag either so I wouldn't suggest it. To suggest 12K is a fair and reasonable budget for three watches over the course of three years is not reasonable and for the record i make more than 60K a year but wouldn't spend that amount in three years on watches, part of the joy in this hobby is the journy. The advice I would give is do your research and educate yourself about the different types of watches, autos,manual,quartz,solar etc. then take your time before you buy anything and understand watches are not investments so don't be misguided in thinking they will retain their value as there is only a very small number of them that retain or go up in value so uh what YOU LIKE. I would also suggest that they think about how they are going to use them in their daily life and how many they really need as well as the long term cost of servicing those watches.Bottom line there is no "go to" list of watches to start a collection and anyone giving that advice is not helping a new collector.
You wasted a lot of pixels saying you don't want to play.
 

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You guys are basically mentioning budget options without any thoughts to the OP's specification of 'the holy trinity'. i'm not saying that the watches you suggest are poor choices but they are never going to be the holy trinity of a serious watch collection. They are all perfectly serviceable time pieces and there's a place for them in a collection if you enjoy them but they do not fit the bill.
The "holy trinity" is subjective and to suggest otherwise based on price or brand is absurd. I would never own a Breitling or Tag based not on price but on the fact I don't like them. I'm surprised a Sub wasn't mentioned as that is on my list as well as many serious collectors i also like the Speedy but there is no definite third choice for me. Some people are "one watch guys" so would they not be considered having a "serious" collection? Any watch you enjoy fits the bill of a serious watch collection and to build one based on the opinions of others is weak and the act of sheep.
 

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A good collection foundation suiting MY tastes would be:

Seiko SKX007
Omega Speedmaster Professional
Rolex Explorer 1

But I would definitely take someones particular tastes into account when making a recommendation.
 

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The "holy trinity" is subjective and to suggest otherwise based on price or brand is absurd. I would never own a Breitling or Tag based not on price but on the fact I don't like them. I'm surprised a Sub wasn't mentioned as that is on my list as well as many serious collectors i also like the Speedy but there is no definite third choice for me. Some people are "one watch guys" so would they not be considered having a "serious" collection? Any watch you enjoy fits the bill of a serious watch collection and to build one based on the opinions of others is weak and the act of sheep.
1. If you're a one watch guy you don't have a collection so no they would not be considered to have a serious collection.
2. Who's basing their collection on the opinions of others? The reason we all come here is to share opinions, if you don't care for the opinions of others why are you here?
3. The 'holy trinity' is subjective but mine certainly doesn't consist of dogshit brands like citizen or casio.
4. Rolex Sub, I completely agree with you.
 

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You wasted a lot of pixels saying you don't want to play.
No, I stated my opinion if you don't like it tough. These "you should own this to have a serious collection" and similar post make me laugh besides who but a weak willed follower would ask someone else what they should buy for a watch collection? My choices Submariner ND, Speedy Pro and IWC Portuguese my holy trinity.
 

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3. The 'holy trinity' is subjective but mine certainly doesn't consist of dogshit brands like citizen or casio.
Citizen and Casio are among the most significant brands in history; only Seiko can rival them in horological significance and innovations.

Do you own Seiko, Citizen, Ω, Rolex, and Casio? I've given away my last a Seiko but I speak from experience. The G is the best watch in my collection.

The G may be among the best watches available at any price..

It's a $50 experiment if you don't own one. I own watches that exceed that cost by nearly 2 orders of magnitude yet they are not better watches. I refer specifically to brands many here seem to revere.
 

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1. If you're a one watch guy you don't have a collection so no they would not be considered to have a serious collection. (You are correct that was a typo on my end I meant to say would they not be considered serious collectors? Because you will read many post from collectors here that had several watche only to end up with one in the end IE: serious collector.)
2. Who's basing their collection on the opinions of others? The reason we all come here is to share opinions, if you don't care for the opinions of others why are you here?
(Anyone who buys a watch because someone says they should is buying watches based on the opinions of others as the OP stated this is what he would tell someone to buy to have a serious collection so is that not what that means? I'm here because I can voice my opinion and am not obligated to agree with the opinions of others or care if mine are agreed with that's how public forums work. You don't care for my opinion so why are you here?)
3. The 'holy trinity' is subjective but mine certainly doesn't consist of dogshit brands like citizen or casio.
(I can tell by your limited number of post and the fact that you think Casio and Citizen are dogshit brands that you are uneducated when it comes to watches and as you spend more time here you will see an overwhelming number of people that will disagree with you on that as well, do a search for the Casio MDV 106 just to get yourself a little education on watches that punch above their weight class for under $50)
4. Rolex Sub, I completely agree with you (The only thing you said that makes sense).
My replies are after each point in your quote in parenthesis.
 
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For my taste...
My 3 foundation watches would be....

Nomos Tangente Datum Gangreserve
Omega Speedmaster Professional
Grand Seiko Snowflake

Unfortunately I can't afford to lay down a proper foundation yet.
 
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