Reviewing the Mature Collection of a 15 Year Old Watch Geek
Article By: Logan Hannen
Sep 05, 2018
What is up, watchfam?! Today, we’re going to dive into the collection review of a fifteen (yes, you read that correctly) year old watch geek named Andrew.
Andrew started collecting at the age of 11 when he was gifted a Seiko Solar Chronograph from his dad. Originally, Andrew and his dad had fallen head over heels for a Seiko Coutura GPS, but stomaching $700 for his first watch, especially at 11 years old, was a bit much for his dad at the time, and so they went with a similar but much more affordable Seiko option in its place.
Next, Andrew picked up a Swatch diver after a trip to the Swatch boutique with his mom. They were running a sale at the time where if you bought one, you got another one (of a set group) for $30. He ponied up the $30 and walked out with what he later realized was a nearly 20 year old Swatch diver, a rarity in the relative world of Swatch where proper sporting is not often the obvious association. He took this piece on vacation with his family to San Diego, where he walked into his first luxury watch boutique – Patek Philippe. From there, he bounced around to all the major brands, learning whatever he could from the sales associates who, because of his age, were impressed with his fascination in what is typically considered a more mature person’s hobby. He was able to try on a number of pieces, including JLC Reversos and Omega Seamasters (we’ll come back to this one). By the time he got home from vacation, he was, as he puts it, totally “down the rabbit hole that is the watch world.”
Enter the Seamaster Planet Ocean with the 8900 movement. When Andrew was approaching his birthday, his dad asked him what he wanted and, after becoming obsessed with the Planet Ocean, said that was it. They went to an AD to check out a couple and, after another trip or two, settled on the one pictured above (originally on a bracelet). Funny enough, during this trip, Andrew’s dad also wanted to get himself a nice watch (not wanting to feel left out, of course). While he was originally enamored by a Datejust 16233, he settled on a Baume et Mercier Shelby watch (being the owner of a Shelby GT himself). Not long after, he went back and bought the Datejust anyway.
Between the Planet Ocean and the above piece, there was a Swatch Sistem51 “Swissness” and a vintage Hamilton dress piece, but it was this Helbros that falls at one of the most interesting points in Andrew’s collection – Andrew had, prior to the purchase of this watch begun to get involved at Redbar Crew. After attending an event or two, Andrew found himself at a vintage watch expo and saw this Helbros sitting in a bin for $5, which is absolutely a deal too good to pass up if you ask me, even if it needs a service. Following that, he landed on a vintage Elgin military piece that he found in a pawn shop.
So what do I recommend for Andrew? Well, he specified wanting an option under $1500 and an option under $5000, so let’s start with the $1500.
Oris Rectangular Date
For the range of $1500 and less, I think that, if you’re into rectangular watches, this is a great way to get some classic, art deco/Reverso styling (a piece you mentioned earlier you loved) at a fraction of the price…kind of. So brand new from Oris, this Rectangular Date comes in at $1900, however they can easily be found, especially older models, for much less than that online (this complicated version, for example, can be found under $1000 online). If you’re into the style, it is definitely among my top picks.
Tudor Black Bay 36 Blue
Source: Fratello Watches
Okay, so I’m relying on any interest in blue dials specifically, and I might be biased since this is a personal grail of mine as well, but I think that sub $5000, unless you venture into the obvious pre-owned Rolex Datejust territory, there is no better value in Swiss watches than the Black Bay 36. I’ll drop a picture below of me trying on the black dial version recently, and I’ve got pretty big wrists mind you, and it fit me like an absolute dream, so it really is a more versatile size than many men tend to give 36mm credit for. Not only that, but at $2800 on the bracelet (always my recommendation, especially for Rolex and Tudor pieces), it leaves you another $2200 in your budget to pick up something else, perhaps for that Coutura GPS from Seiko you lusted after at the start of your collecting.
Tudor Black Bay 36 on my 7.25 inch wrist (roughly)
Source: Me, My Samsung Galaxy S8 Active, and My Hairy Wrist
Alright Andrew! I hope that helps you with a sense of direction for where to take your collection next, and if you’ve got any more questions, you know how to get a hold of us!!! As for the rest of you geeks, thanks so much for hanging out and peeping through Andrew’s super mature collection, and be sure to send yours in to email@example.com if you haven’t already. Until next time, keep it classy, watchfam.
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