How Small Can You Go?

Recently, I have been noticing some discussions around reducing the size of watch collections, and it got me thinking about the absolute minimum I would be happy with in my collection. I managed to get it down to nine watches, that, if I had to, I could keep and get rid of everything else and still be somewhat happy.

While thinking about this, I set certain criteria for inclusion; only one watch per brand (which made it really difficult), each watch should satisfy at least two check marks (GMT, diver, digital, solar, mechanical, pilot, field, dress, retro, etc.), and finally, each should be a personal favorite for at least one reason.

From the top left, my Timex Q Digital. This could be a nice dress watch, is an icon of the '80s with that retro look, is a digital watch, and is the inclusion from Timex. This one is a personal favorite simply because my father had one when they first came out.

Next to it is my Hamilton Khaki Pilot Flight Timer, which is an analog/digital watch with two time zones, so it can serve as a GMT, also has a stopwatch and an alarm, and it has 100M WR making it a great GADA watch. This is a personal favorite simply because it is a somewhat unusual Hamilton watch and I really like the appearance of it.

The last watch in the roll is my Tissot PR100 Powermatic 80. I got this when it first released and it was the first watch on the market with the new Powermatic 80 movement, which can now be found in a variety of Tissot, Certina, and Hamilton watches. It was also the first Swiss automatic watch I purchased for myself. It is a personal favorite because I got my wife a Tissot PR100 Powermatic 80 with a MOP dial on a white strap and these are our couples' watch set we wear on date night.

Moving to the case, we begin with my Casio G Shock GWM5610, which is my go to outdoor watch and is also the watch I use to set my other watches, as it has Multiband 6 and updates to the atomic clock signal every night. This is a personal favorite because it has the classic look of the original G Shock but has been updated to include numerous features and has a solar cell to power it.

Next to my G Shock is my Nighty, my Citizen Nighthawk. This is a great looking tool watch and is also a GMT. Narrowing down my Citizen choice was difficult, and in the end I selected the Nighthawk for its icon status and look. It has become a personal favorite owing to my employer, which operates across two time zones, and my Nighty comes in handy when I am crossing the time zone line.

Next is my Bulova Hack, which is a retro field watch hearkening back to the Bulova military watches of WWII. This watch was a gift from my wife, and that is why it is a personal favorite. 'Nuff said.

My Seiko Arnie is my favorite Seiko watch and this was also a very difficult decision, as I also have a SUP880, an SNKL23, a G757, an SRPG35, and an SRPH33 that were hard to exclude from this list. In the end, the SNJ025 made the list because it is a personal favorite. Arnie has always been a favorite action star and I really like watching an Arnold movie marathon while wearing my own Seiko Arnie.

My Islander/Urban Gentry Rangemaster is the newest purchase on this list, and it has become a personal favorite that sees my wrist frequently. It fits great, has that nice 369 field watch aesthetic, has the new Miyota 9039 movement, so it is a true no date movement, and just looks great on the Barton Saddle Leather strap. As an added bonus, it gave me great pleasure with all the polarizing controversy it generated upon its release.

And finally, my Armitron Classic Digital Sport Chrono, which has both an alarm and a stopwatch in addition to the time, day, and date. It has become a personal favorite and my go to daily beater owing to its comfortable strap and excellent EL backlight, both of which are far better than most Casio or Timex watches.

I could not get it any smaller no matter how much I agonized over decisions. Nine seems to be the minimum acceptable size for a watch collection for me. How about you other Watch Crunchers? What is the smallest you could get your own collection and still be reasonably happy with it?

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Me — 6

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For my current collection, I have to keep the following: 

The Garmin Darth Vader Smartwatch/Fitness tracker (gift)

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The Wooden TreeHut watch (gift)

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The 56mm M. Johanssen moonphase perpetual calendar temp & humidity sensor watch (gift)

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Would keep the following

Casio G-Shock GA-2100SR-1A

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Glycine Airman

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The Blacklist Streetmatic Racing Chronograph

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2 novelty Star Wars digital watches

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I would acquire the following

A Speedy

A Tuna

Something bronze & pilot themed

Something vintage & dressy (bumper movement?)

A field watch, ala Tudor Ranger

A pocket watch

So I think I could go as low as 14, if I had to. 

Kind of surprising (but not really), that I would purge ~20 watches from the current collection with only a few minutes thought total. 

The answer might change next week (I could maybe be talked into shedding the Blacklist & a novelty watch to add a Casio Royale) or it might not.

This is all academic though, right?

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UnholiestJedi

For my current collection, I have to keep the following: 

The Garmin Darth Vader Smartwatch/Fitness tracker (gift)

Image

The Wooden TreeHut watch (gift)

Image

The 56mm M. Johanssen moonphase perpetual calendar temp & humidity sensor watch (gift)

Image

Would keep the following

Casio G-Shock GA-2100SR-1A

Image

Glycine Airman

Image

The Blacklist Streetmatic Racing Chronograph

Image

2 novelty Star Wars digital watches

Image
Image

I would acquire the following

A Speedy

A Tuna

Something bronze & pilot themed

Something vintage & dressy (bumper movement?)

A field watch, ala Tudor Ranger

A pocket watch

So I think I could go as low as 14, if I had to. 

Kind of surprising (but not really), that I would purge ~20 watches from the current collection with only a few minutes thought total. 

The answer might change next week (I could maybe be talked into shedding the Blacklist & a novelty watch to add a Casio Royale) or it might not.

This is all academic though, right?

Of course! There is no way I am reducing my collection to just nine watches unless someone is in critical condition and needs $$ or there is a gun to my head forcing me to reduce! 😂

This was simply a thought exercise to see how small I could realistically go and not lose my mind. 🤣

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PocketWatchTime

Me — 6

But which 6? I would up at nine after considering every watch in my collection, and these nine are the ones that even the thought of parting with brought tears to my eyes. 😂

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It occurred to me and then I just buy another watch and the thought of if fades 😂

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Id say 8. 8 has always been my favorite number. Probably because my birthday is 8/8 as well. So it was just be fitting that I have 8 watches (not including sentimental). 

Probably a good 8 off the top of my head right now would be:

  • My SKX013: A classic, modding potential, ISO diver, day/date, screw down crown, it has everything.
  • My Vostok that homages the VC 1921 with the rotated dial. Love the small seconds, unique lugs, fun dress watch even through dress watches aren’t typically considered ”fun”.
  •  My incoming Vario Versa homaging the Basculante & Reverso. I’ve always wanted a watch with this ability to rotate the case and switch dials. Vario provided a budget way to do it. Another “fun“ dress watch while still looking classic.
  • A Longines Conquest 39mm Blue Dial Auto. Great brand, love blue, sporty, just love the watch.
  • The incoming 43mm Bulova Lunar Pilot. Always loved the design, would never spend the money on the “actual” Moonwatch. Depends on how it fits my sub 7 inch wrist.
  • San Martin whenever they drop a model with a toolless micro adjust clasp which they said they’re working on. A great representation of Ali Express and an insane value proposition brand. 
  • True GMT. Not sure from who, but I’d love a Pepsi bezel GMT probably with the new Miyota. 
  • Tissot PRX if they make a model between the 35 and 40. One is too big, one is too small. Just my luck. I would get a Quartz if it doesn’t have the seconds hand. Quality, affordable integrated sports watch with brand heritage.
  • One of these will get replaced by a vintage Rolex one day, possibly the Vostok. 
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DigitalDivider

Of course! There is no way I am reducing my collection to just nine watches unless someone is in critical condition and needs $$ or there is a gun to my head forcing me to reduce! 😂

This was simply a thought exercise to see how small I could realistically go and not lose my mind. 🤣

Whew!

I thought you'd tell my wife...

Oh wait, there's 6 more watch purchases in there. Blab all you want! LOL

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One everyday on leather that can be dressed up. 
One sport-casual on a bracelet for weekends. 
One cheap diver on nato for holidays. 
One Garmin for sport. 
And maybe one fancy panda chronograph for fun. 
 

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For me, the number is three. I'd need a beater (G-Shock) an everyday watch like a DateJust or an Aqua Terra and I'd probably want something dressy, like a Tank, Lange 1 or a Reverso. If I had that, I'd be good. Something for every occasion. 

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This was tough but if I really had to cut down, I’d wanta British and a Swedish watches to cover my nationality. So first up would be my Clemence Photic Diver, so got dive watch covered. 

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The Swede also doubles as my Pilot. Malm Air Wolf Viggen with a DLC coating

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For a Field Watch I’d go with my Echo/Neutra Averau 39 Big Moon 

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Chronograph I’ve got the SeikoSpeedtime

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  • As a Titanium fan I’m going to go with the preordered vilhelm prism 
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GMT Borealis Seastorm

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Maaan I'm trying hard to downsize to 50 so I can keep all in watch boxes instead of having them everywhere and you all come up with this single digit utopia 🤷‍♂️

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robwei

Maaan I'm trying hard to downsize to 50 so I can keep all in watch boxes instead of having them everywhere and you all come up with this single digit utopia 🤷‍♂️

Oh, trust me, I am a collector and have around 100 watches in my collection. This was really hard to do, even hypothetically. 🤣

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The smallest I could go is one—I could sell all of my watches except for my grandfather's Omega.

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Insatiability seems to be a symptom of the watch enthusiast. So my picks below I attempted to be exhaustive…but these could still be substituted for other watches in my collection. For I too suffer from this insatiable fever. 

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One’s gotta own a field-style watch. My 1996 Wenger with an ETA 2824 does the trick. 

Then one needs a dressier tank style. My Citizen perpetual calendar is good for that. 

I must have a G-Shock. Why not go classic and all metal at the same time?

Rugged, legible, comfortable. The Timex Ironman Shock.

Oh how I love a digital retro. Can’t beat my Armitron all stainless steel Rubik.

We all need color and fun for those bright, joyful days. One just needs to strap on a Freestyle Shark for that.

Microbrands often offer substance and quality for a good price. This is executed perfectly in my Islander Bethpage. Awesome heft, finishing, USA 5 jewel quartz movement, sapphire double-domed sapphire crystal,  no nonsense chronograph. I love this watch.

The Islander Abalone ‘Monster’. Same quality and attention to detail as my Bethpage but in a mean and hefty diver that screams cool.

My new favorite dive watch — the Freestyle Hammerhead. So comfortable, so legible, so inviting to admire. The only way for you to really appreciate this watch is to hold it in your hands.

Vintage Swiss…like a fine cheese. My 1994 Tag F1 Chronograph does the job. 

I’m not getting any younger, so I need a loudly-ticking, highly-legible watch to wear while perusing the buffet choices at Sizzler.

One must own a classically-ubiquitous dressy watch like my 36mm day-date homage I earned from busting my behind at my job back in 1997. It has an ETA 955.132 movement that ticks like butter…hitting every mark with precision. I’m handing this one down to my son when my days come to an end.

Hope you enjoyed my picks. 

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I could always do 0… some days this hobby gets too hard