Logan’s Ultimate 3 Watch Collection

Article By: Logan Hannen

Nov 06, 2018

What is up, watchfam?! Today, for something a bit different, we dive into my own personal, money-no-object, ideal 3 watch collection!

So, important disclaimer – these are pieces that I would own if a) I had more money than God and b) they were all readily available enough to actually procure. As is often the case with a 3 watch collection, especially in principle, my picks will probably exclude some category or complication you deem essential to your own, and that’s the beauty of this hobby; odds are, if everyone was forced to make the same decision I’m about to painstakingly put myself through, then we’d see some insane variation in the kinds of pieces that get tossed around. With all that settled, let’s get into my 3, and the motives behind them.

1: Jaeger-LeCoultre Grand Reverso Ultra Thin Tribute to 1931, US Edition

JLC Grand Reverso Tribute to 1931 US Edition on Brown Casa Fagliano Strap

This was a watch I didn’t even know existed until a few months ago. I knew of the Reverso, of course, and I was even familiar with the Tribute to 1931 in its more standard configuration, but it was the discovery of this particular US limited edition that absolutely set itself in stone as a grail for me. Let’s start with the differences between this and the standard Tribute model, of which the main changes are only two. The first is the dial and hands. On the standard 1931, the lume is a lighter shade of faux patina, and the hands are baton hands, whereas the US edition gets a darker shade of the faux patina lume and a set of syringe hands. The second big difference, though, and the one that grabbed my attention first, is the strap. The stock Tribute to 1931 model comes with a black alligator strap, whereas the US edition comes with a strap made by Argentinian polo boot makers Casa Fagliano, and is crafted from shell cordovan leather, the same used in their legendary boots. Not only does this connection pay a much stronger tribute to the origins of the Reverso by way of the polo connection, but it also visually brings the watch back to its more casual roots and makes it feel less like a piece that has been ascended into the dress watch world against its will. Given the exclusive nature of this strap option (though the straps are starting to make their way onto other reverso models, it doesn’t quite look right on them to me), that alone is worth whatever unholy premium is likely associated with this watch.

2: Patek Philippe 5970g

Patek Philippe 5970g, 18k White Gold

If you’ve ever had a conversation with me about grail watches, then this one has almost definitely come up, at least twice in the same five minute span because I want to make sure that you heard me mention it. This, and I don’t say this lightly, is my favorite watch of all time. When I first saw one on the wrist of a certain musician during his episode of “Talking Watches,” I just kind of knew that it was the one. Some quick specs: the 5970g is a perpetual calendar chronograph, with moon phase at 6 o’clock, that comes in a 40mm 18k white gold case. It runs a Lemania-based chronograph caliber, with the complications added to it by Patek, and sits on a dark brown alligator leather strap equipped with an 18k white gold deployant clasp, easily one of the most visually appealing I can think of. And I’ll be dead honest, geeks – I have got no idea why this watch speaks to me so much. Maybe it’s the proportions, both in case and on the dial. Maybe it’s the impressive complication packed into a relatively small size. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s the fact that it’s so impressively expensive (they typically are auctioned off or sold in the $150k range) that it almost implies such a level of success by virtue of being on your wrist that you’ll never have to worry about making a living again that’s so attractive. Or, y’know, it could just be that dose of John Mayer cool factor. That too.

3: Blancpain Fifty Fathoms 5015D-1140-71B

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique Blue
Source: Blancpain

I’ve heard it said in conversation that every modern dive watch is either inspired by the Rolex Submariner, the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, or both. I’ve always loved the classic styling of a dive watch, yet the Submariner bores me to tears. This I blame, in part, not on how frequently replicated and ripped off the design is, though that does play a role, but rather in how easy it is to actually rip off. Few things about the Submariner feel uniquely Rolex to me anymore because of the number of brands that co-opted the design over the years, and though it will always be Rolex’s work first, that doesn’t stop me from seeing what looks like a Submariner, and immediately wondering if it’s a fake, an Invicta, a Steinhart, or an Ginault, or any number of homages in between. That is decidedly not the experience you get looking at the Fifty Fathoms in its modern, 45mm case size. Sure, you can mod your Seiko to look like one (dubbed the “Fifty-Five Fathoms”), or pick up that nifty Richard LeGrand that I see people raving about, but those options, among the others out there, all miss some or all of the point of the modern Fifty Fathoms – it’s not the tool watch it once was. Yes, by virtue of size and build and function it technically is, but at just under $13,000 on the gray market, I’m not taking the thing anywhere near the water. It’s grown up, in a lot of ways, and become the luxury item that its pricing would suggest, but its design has evolved to reflect this (looking at you, beautiful blue flinqué dial), whereas Rolex have stayed the course design-wise, in spite of the ever-rising prices. For some people, this is what endears them to Rolex, and to me it does too, but not to the Submariner. It just doesn’t click for me the same way as the Blancpain does, and that’s the important bit.

Alright geeks, something a bit more opinion-y and personal today, but I hope you enjoyed it regardless! Lemme know what your ideal three watch collection may be and, as always, keep it classy, watchfam.