Ben’s Completed 4 Piece Collection

Article By: Logan Hannen

COLLECTION REVIEW | DEC 18, 2018

What is up, watchfam?! Today, we’re gonna do something that we’ve never done before – we’re going to revisit a collection review to see how things have changed and, in Ben’s case, how things have come to a close.

If you haven’t seen Ben’s original collection review, you can check it out here. Since that video, I’ve seen his collection evolve in real time through the Facebook Group and messages back and forth, and it’s safe to say that Ben has finally landed on a version of the collection that he’s happiest with. Based on what I’ve seen of it, it’s easy to see why. Now, since we’ve already covered the collection at the point when it was explicitly the Sea-Dweller and the Cartier Ceinture, I won’t devote massive time to them here. Instead, I’ll just reference them as part of Ben’s larger collecting philosophy.

Ben, generally, tends to go for pieces that are visually similar to pieces that, upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that they aren’t. From afar, the Ceinture gives off a very strong Tank vibe, and many non- “watch geek”s would be hard pressed to tell you the difference between a Sea-Dweller and a Submariner without seeing the name on the dial (or the lack of cyclops). Those two, along with his fourth piece, are very much watches that more subtly special versions of their more famous siblings, and I really dig that. So what’s joined the collection, then? Let’s start with the older of the two new additions…

The first new addition to his collection was Ben’s 38mm Zenith El Primero. It’s a piece about which I’ve actually spoken very little, but really love. Something about the tri-color subdials, along with the strong red of the chronograph seconds hand, just pull the whole thing together in a way that’s undeniably sporty, and iconically Zenith. This is also the exception to a bit of a rule that I saw in Ben’s collecting early on and pointed out to him a few times.

Meet the Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso Gran Sport. This is, as Ben and I both have put it, a sort of strange answer to the question “What would a beefy, Rolex Explorer-esque Reverso look like if Gerald Genta designed it?” It’s not a question that necessarily needs an answer, but we do have one as far as I’m concerned, and this is it. It’s functionally your standard Reverso, but with a few tweaks. The most obvious of these is the dial, which is far more sport-minded and luminous than any reverso dial previous, as well as a beefier case in terms of the overall bulkiness of it. It’s a beautiful watch if you ask me, but the rubber strap really shows off the proprietary lug system, which makes strap changes all but a total nightmare without access to OEM (short for “original equipment manufacturer”) straps from JLC themselves. Luckily, Ben had no intention of keeping it on that rubber strap…

It’s on its original bracelet that the JLC Reverso Gran Sport really shines (pun intended). It tones down the sporty factor a smidge while also giving the watch much more in the way of versatility. This is ultimately what the original Reversos were meant to be – sport watches that wouldn’t look out of place with a suit. This update of it really does accomplish that same kind of thing, in my eyes.

The Recommendations:

So here’s the thing – Ben has already told me that the only thing he would give in and add to his collection is a GMT watch assuming he begins doing some traveling at some point. Given how thoughtful and considered his collection is, it only seems right to give him two GMT suggestions that are equally as thoughtful and considered. Without further ado…

1: Tudor Black Bay GMT

Tudor Black Bay GMT
Source: HODINKEE

This is a piece that Ben and I have both discussed for his collection, and I think it’s perfectly in keeping with his collecting philosophy in that it very much carries the DNA of its bigger “brother”, but with enough of that Tudor energy to make it its own watch. It’s a riff on a classic that, I think, is really well done and worth considering for any collection, but especially Ben’s.

2: Bremont MBIII

Bremont MBIII
Source: Bremont

The Bremont MBIII is a watch that doesn’t get a ton of love, primarily because it tends to stand in the shadow of its brother, the MBII. Still, it’s got all of the classic Bremont DNA – from the Trip-Tick case and dual, barrel style crowns at 2 and 4 o’clock, the watch feels very much like a Bremont should. Not only that, but it’s one of the most unassuming luxury watches I’ve ever seen. Nobody is going to look at this and, at first glance, think “wow, that’s gotta be $5k on his wrist” when they see it. Most people probably won’t even recognize the brand once you do tell them. Watch geeks, on the other hands, are going to immediately think it’s the MBII when they see it on your wrist, which harkens back to the same philosophy we’ve already established.

Alright, Ben, those are my two picks. I’m sure you’re gonna have thoughts on them, so I can’t wait to get into discussing it with you further, man! To the rest of you geeks out there, be sure to let us know if you’ve picked up any of Ben’s collecting philosophy for yourself and, as always, keep it classy, watchfam.

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