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A One-Watch Collection for $1,000?

By Thomas Hendricks
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Some people in this world are one-watch people. If you’re a regular on this channel, you’re probably not one of them, but this is an endlessly interesting subject – even if a one-watch collection is only hypothetical in your mind. 

There are multiple reasons why you’d limit yourself to a single watch. Maybe you’re just starting out, perhaps you’re looking to sell some pieces to achieve your grail watch, or maybe you don’t see the need to have more than one watch, which is honestly a very wise position to take financially. If you have a limited budget but still want to find THE watch, we have selected some unique timepieces that may be of interest.

A One-Watch Collection: Focusing on the Essential

You have to admire those who only have one watch. It takes a lot of self-awareness and self-control to pull this off. It’s kind of like camping in that you can only bring the essentials into the woods – you only need one pair of boots, one knife, and one watch.  

Even if you have multiple watches in your collection, aren’t there times when you wish you could smush a few of your timepieces into one? Let’s start by talking about things to look for in an all-around watch and look at a few examples at various price points. 

The NOMOS Club series offers great watches you can wear every day
The NOMOS Club series offers great watches you can wear every day

A Perfect One-Watch Collection: Common Qualities

If you’re only going to have one watch, it’s got to do a whole lot. And by that, I mean it has to work in various environments, ranging from the office and the outdoors to the white tablecloth restaurant. You’ll need to strike a balance between dressy and sporty, and you’ll need some water resistance if you’d like to take the watch for a swim. A timepiece that works on a bracelet or a strap adds versatility, and it helps to stay away from polished finishes as those scratch easier than a brushed finish. 

A one-watch collection for $100?

A friend of mine who just had a kid messaged me and said, “I want to finally buy myself a watch, but my diaper budget is bigger than my watch budget. Can we get this done for around $100?” He ended up with a Seiko 5 from the SNK line. 

 A lot of watches under $100 are well-suited for a one-watch collection. Brands recognize that non-enthusiasts often prefer an all-around piece to something super specialized. 

A one-watch collection for $100: the Seiko Sports 5 SNK line
A one-watch collection for $100: the Seiko Sports 5 SNK line

The Best Brands for an Entry-Level One-Watch Collection

Seiko is a natural choice for this category, and they have a range of options on the spectrum, from dressy to sporty. The Seiko SRPG series is a nice middle ground between the two, although it’s far from your only option. 

The Tissot PRX is a very cool watch with an integrated bracelet, so you get the feeling of a Royal Oak without the high price tag. Like the PRX, the Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical is a budget-friendly watch well-received by enthusiasts of all levels. This field watch is typically worn on a NATO strap, but it works with a leather strap or steel bracelet for added versatility. 

If you have a little over $1,000 to spend, NOMOS should definitely be on your list, particularly the NOMOS Club series. On another note: If you’re looking for a single watch on a budget, don’t be turned off by quartz. It’s accurate, it’s reliable, and it’ll save you the maintenance costs of a mechanical movement. 

About the Author

Thomas Hendricks

I didn’t grow up a watch guy, but a few years after graduating from university, I landed a job at the online publication Watchonista as a writer and marketer. “Welcome to the watch world,” my colleagues told me half-jokingly, “no one ever leaves!” Now at Chrono24, I work as a private client advisor, helping people find the perfect watch for major life moments.

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