Recommendations for Building a Watch Collection for £5,000/$6,000 Featuring Tudor, Tissot, Oris, and a G-Shock
by Raman Kalra
Raman Kalra is the founder of The Watch Muse blog and has kindly agreed to share some of his articles with us here on Quill & Pad.
I have built up a watch collection over the years, and I love the pieces that I have managed to add, including a Rolex Milgauss, Tudor Black Bay 36 and a Tissot PRX. I don’t think anyone buys their first watch thinking about a whole collection, but inevitably, it is hard to stop at having only one! As time goes on you start learning more about different brands, different styles of watches, and what you prefer. And new desirable watches are continually released.
However, if I was to hypothetically start all over again, this is what my collection would look like if I had £5,000/$6,000 to spend. I am not selecting a watch from each category (diver, chronograph etc.), but rather selecting watches that I simply like, and believe would cover different scenarios such as the office, casual weekend wear, the beach – you get the idea.
Note that some of these watches have been discontinued or updated since I wrote this, but you should still be able to find them online or similarly priced alternatives.
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight – £3,020 / $3,950
I am starting with the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight, specifically the blue dial. This watch has received a lot of coverage since the release of the black dial in 2018. This is primarily because of its proportions – they are fantastic – coming at 39mm in diameter and 11.8mm thick. This brought the watch back closer to the old Tudor Submariner, and finally gave the watch community what it wanted: a vintage-style diver built for modern times.
I had previously tried on the Black Bay 41, but it dwarfed my wrists, especially given the flat case sides, but I was pleasantly surprised when putting the Fifty-Eight 39 on my wrist for the first time. The watch has a purposeful look given the brushed bracelet and matte, aluminum bezel. It has a very solid weight to it which is not expected if you are used to vintage divers and it fits under my cuff.
It gave me the feeling that the watch was ready for me to take it anywhere.
This is without even thinking about the endless strap options that look amazing on the Black Bay. It is powered by an in-house, COSC certified Tudor movement with a 70-hour power reserve. That’s very solid offering for a watch priced at £3,000 / $4,000. On top of this, you have some comfort in knowing that given Rolex and Tudor are tied, the quality is going to be extremely good.
At first, the Fifty-Eight only came in black with gilt accents but was later released in the blue and silver variant. Yes, upon release it did seem like a very conservative move by Tudor, but with time, I love that they kept the blue version so simple. It manages to bring the best from past divers but maintains an extremely modern, clean look.
Something I do not understand with the broader watch market is the need for everything to look vintage. I appreciate it in some instances, and I love brands using inspiration from the past, but it is also OK to modernize and create new future classics. I like a mix of design cues.
I did have reservations in 2018 – was it just going to be a hype watch? But since then it has stood the test of time and the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight remains the real deal.
For more information, please visit www.tudorwatch.com/en/watches/black-bay-58/m79030b-0001
Oris Big Crown Pointer Date: Roberto Clemente – ~£1,700 / $2,200
The next on the list is the Oris Big Crown Pointer Date. The great thing about this choice is that if you aren’t a fan of the exact model I chose, there are many other options from Oris. There is a range of dials, case sizes and strap options. Why is this next on my list? Because it provides something very different to the Black Bay.
It is technically a pilot’s watch, which you can see from the Arabic numerals and clear legibility, but in my opinion, there is also an element of a field watch. It would be versatile and give you a timepiece fit for different occasions to the Tudor. I think it would be perfect to wear in more casual settings, but also would look great on more formal occasions – the Pointer Date complication is an elegant solution to the standard date window.
The Pointer Date has many interesting visual aspects apart from the date, giving the watch some depth. There is a big crown (as the name suggests), polished slides, brushed lugs and a coin-edged bezel. The Roberto Clemente Limited Edition specifically honors Roberto Clemente, who was the first Latin American professional baseball player. He achieved many accolades in baseball including two World Series and 3,000 hits, as well as being in the Hall of Fame, but he also had a great humanitarian side. I won’t go into more detail for now, but Oris takes pride in becoming the “change for better” watchmaker, and this edition recognizes the partnership they announced with the Roberto Clemente Foundation.
Is the connection to Roberto Clemente why I like it? Not exactly. So how does this edition differ and why is it for me? Starting with the most obvious, the color. Typically, Oris has stuck with darker tones for the Pointer Date. However, I really like the white dial option. The use of white, black and gold sets this apart. I also find that the Cathedral hands, found on all variants, look most at home on the white dial. Another small detail is the dark chapter ring, separating the hour and date markers, which cleans the dial up and makes it look less busy overall. Some other areas separate this edition such as the closed case back, but it’s the color that sold me.
The final point I will make is that I think a black strap would go very well – this is how I would wear it with a suit.
Tissot PRX – £320 / $395
The Tissot PRX is my most recent purchase, and I have written about it extensively (see here). The value that this watch provides is something I did not expect. For this hypothetical purpose, and to stick to the budget, I would choose the quartz PRX in the black dial – the dial color so it contrasts with the blue of the Tudor. Again, similar to the Oris, the great thing about the PRX is that it is offered in different dial colors, both quartz and mechanical automatic movements, and is available in either 35mm or 40mm case size.
The quality of the bracelet and case are beyond any expectations I had for a watch in this price range. The contrasting polished and brushed edges catch the light perfectly. It is supple on the wrist and has a slim profile meaning it is extremely comfortable. There is no question that the new PRX captures the 1970s perfectly as it closely reflects the original PRX from 1978. However, where the automatic has the tapisserie dial, the quartz has a sunburst, brushed-effect dial. This does change the watch slightly, it no longer has that Royal-Oak vibe but now is closer to the original that was inspired by the Rolex Oysterquartz.
Yes, there are some negatives with this watch. The second-hand does not line up perfectly with the indices on the quartz model unless you are lucky, and this can be an annoyance. The case sizes (on my wrist) are either slightly too large or too small. Nonetheless, this does not stop it from being excellent value for money and a must-have in the collection.
For more information, please visit www.tissotwatches.com/en-us/t1374101104100.html
G-Shock GA-2100 CasiOak (discontinued but still available online) – £99 / $112
Up to this point, the collection I have put together is arguably serious and muted, so for the final watch I would get a G-Shock CasiOak. There are many, many color options with this watch, so I have decided to go with a slightly brighter option (even if blue and white again!) – GA-2100BWP-2A.
I could have gone with a Swatch for the same price, although the G-Shock is a perfect option to cover those more active occasions as well as the beach. It comes with a host of features such as a stopwatch, alarm and world timer, and is packaged in a surprisingly slim case for a G-Shock. There is a reason this has become an exceptionally popular model and it is very good value! You can even find frequent deals online and get it for less than the RRP of £99!
For more information, please visit www.casio.com/us/watches/gshock/product.GA-2100BWP-2A/
So this is how I would spend approximately £5,000 / $6,000 on a collection if I were to start again. You might even have a little extra to buy that black strap alternative for the Oris. I think it make it a timepiece for all occasions and provide enough diversity that I would not get bored of my watch rotations.
There were many watches extremely close to making it – Longines make some fantastic watches for below £2,000, Nomos are extremely compelling in what they offer, Breitling has improved their range, and the list goes on. One honorable mention to the list would be the Omega x Swatch MoonSwatch.
I know that many of us would love one, but I refuse to pay above RRP, especially as it is ultimately a Swatch. It is such a cool idea, but the struggle in being able to purchase one had put me off slightly. If this were to change, there could be a chance it makes the collection above but that is for another day.
Let me know in the comments below what you think of these suggestions and what you would pick!
You can read more articles by Raman Kalra at www.thewatchmuse.com.
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I think most of us would do things differently if we could start again. And not just with buying watches!
That’s very true Tam
My $6K collection would include:
Mechanical: Nomos Club/Oris Big Crown/Longines Spirit (whichever one prefers).
Quartz: Grand Seiko SBGX261/The Citizen AQ4.
And a vintage dress watch from Omega/Longines/Universal.
I like this collection a lot! I think what doing this article highlighted to me is that a lot can be achieved with the $6k budget. Bringing in the possibilities of buying on the secondary market/vintage pieces just makes it even harder to decide…