Welcome to a new mini-series I am going to run on the blog, called 3 at 3. This is where I take a category, and look for three watches at three different price ranges to give everyone out there a watch they can all afford. I have started with Weekend Watch, but could also do dress, diver, quartz, chronograph, the list is really endless! So I hope you like it, as this is potentially a very rich vein of potential nerdery!
The story behind this particular article is this. I was sitting next to a colleague of mine in the office last week. The beauty of hot-desking is that every day I find myself sitting next to someone different. And in this case of this particular chap, he had a pretty lovely watch on. We actually got talking as he saw me doing some research for the blog and we promptly got talking. The watch he had in question is the watch below, the Rolex Daytona reference 116520, and is probably my favourite modern Daytona reference. Well apart from the other photo I have put in below… (Ref 116508)
The reason I have told you this seemingly random anecdote is that the conversation progressed onto the discussion of what I would recommend to this colleague as a good 'casual' watch for the weekend, as he felt his Daytona was perfect for the office, but a bit too 'suitish' for the weekend, and not waterproof or utilitarian enough for getting bashed around playing with the kids or swimming at pool at his gym. It got me thinking, what is a great luxury 'casual' or 'weekend' watch? And this is what we are going to talk about.
Now, when I was thinking about this article, a criteria about the sort of watches that would be suitable started to emerge, and it was this. It had to be a sport or field watch, it had to be between 36 and 40mm (my preference). I wanted one that came on a rubber or a nato strap, at a push I would say a watch I could put on said strap. I also thought a casual watch that is going to be worn with shorts and t-shirt whilst on holiday could do with having some fun colour, and lastly it had to have AT LEAST 100m water resistance, for practicality. Of course this sort of article is going to split opinions, because people will be annoyed in equal measure that I have or haven't included a certain watch or vise versa. With that in mind if you do disagree with an inclusion or exclusion please let us know! We would love to hear your opinion on this topic! Also, just in the name of variety, I think I am going to talk about three watches, all at a different price ranges; affordable, mid-tier and what I am going to call "Stupidly Expensive". So, without further a do, lets dive into the watches shall we??
Watch 1: Seiko SKX (£150-£300)
I think I have said this in previous articles, but Seiko might just be my favourite brand of all time. Not only do they make; at their higher end, some watches that genuinely give any Swiss brand a run for their money, but they are a brand which is beloved by basically every watch nerd ever. When I sat down to plan out this article, as soon as I knew what the topic was going to be, this was the first watch which came to mind. Simply put, this watch is affordable, good looking, and can have the shit beaten out of it and still go. The SKX comes in two dial colours, two case sizes and two bezel variations. There are two series which separate these variations quite nicely. There are the SKX007 & 009, which are the bigger case sizes. Coming in at 42.5mm, they are a very contemporary size. My preference, however, is the smaller series, the SKX013. These are carbon copies of the 007 and 009, but at a much more approachable 38mm case size. The 007 is the black dial and black bezel version, so very classic and conservative, and the 009 is the blue dial with the pepsi bezel. This one I think is the best pick for a weekend watch. It is still versatile and conservative watch, but the blue and red accents on the dial and bezel give it a little bit of weekend casualness.
The three iterations of the legendary SKX, the 007 & 009 at the top, and the 'midsize' 013 at the bottom...
Watch 2: IWC Pilot 36 (£3000)
IWC are known for making large, clean watches with massive onion crowns. Of course playing off their heritage of aviation. What they are also famous for doing are very lovely, clean pilots watches. This one in particular is a favourite of mine. And not just because it is the perfect size. This watch to me epitomises a field watch. Small size, alpha style hands, simple three hand design, but with the added bit of class with that stunning blue dial. This watch is a tribute to the famous Mark series, which IWC have been releasing for years, and is the best way to get into the brand if you dont want to walk around with a dinner plate sized pilots watch on your wrist. This particular iteration, in the blue dial, is by far the most attractive, well in my opinion anyway.
The gorgeous blue dial IWC Pilots 36mm...
Watch 3: Patek Phillipe Aquanaut ref 5968A
When this watch was released, it caused a bit of a stir. Don't get me wrong, people LOVE the aquanaut. But I think the controversy came from the fact that the only difference between this and the regular travel time aquanaut is an orange second hand and an orange strap... Now yes I know that is a pretty minor detail, but I think it really sits well in the category of weekend watch. The pop of colour and the vibrant orange strap dresses it down majorly. Unlike the IWC, this watch is at the over end of the spectrum size wise, coming in at a still very wearable 42.2mm. Now if the bright orange strap is just a little bit much for you, it also comes on a black rubber strap. In this iteration, the watch reminds me in a weird way of the Omega Speedmaster Ultraman. With a simple look with a pop of orange, it gives me the illusion of being an Ultraman on steroids. Of course there aren't going to be many people who can afford to spend £30,000 on a watch to be worn for two out of seven days. Thats why for me the black strap variation is the winner here. In this version, this watch could definitely be worn during the week, and hey, you could always purchase the orange rubber strap, or a cheaper orange rubber band for weekends or the summer!
The more formal, and definitely more informal version of the Patek Aquanaut Chronograph 5968A...
I hope you enjoyed this first instalment of '3 at 3'. If you would like to see more of these, and have any suggestions, we would love to hear from you!!! Apologies again for the slightly late upload, we are trying to stick to our three uploads a week, but with some other exciting developments going on here at TYH (which you will know about if you follow our instagram @TheYoungHorologists) we have been slightly distracted! That being said, we are still loving writing these articles as much as we did when we started, and if you are still enjoying them in the same way, then thats what matters!
Editor & Co Founder