What’s Your Ultimate Three-Watch Collection?

by Matt Clymo

We asked the team here at Watch Advice, and here are their picks for a three-watch collection, where money is no object! (Ah we can dream can’t we?!)

If you’re a watch lover, and someone asks you, “If you could buy any watch in the world and you had unlimited funds, what three watches would you pick as your ultimate three-piece collection?” The answer usually starts along the lines of “That’s easy” followed by, “Hang on, maybe this one, oh wait, no this piece…” and so on. It is a ‘How long is a piece of string’ question, as there are so many choices out there! When we asked the Watch Advice team this exact question, the answers were along those lines, so we thought, why not have a good think about it, and then let’s pick three each and see what we all chose and why.

Matt’s Three Watch Collection

This was a hard one for me, as I’m traditionally more about functionality and versatility with my watches. But that’s me in real life now, but I’d like to think that with unlimited funds, then this would change substantially. In fact I know it would! But me being me, I would want to wear them all on a regular basis, so they need to be able to stand up to daily life. Hey, in this scenario I’ve now only got three watches to rotate across the week! So, here are my picks…

Greubel Forsey GMT Balancier Convexe

This is a grail of mine and one I would buy should I have the means to. It’s art and high horology at it’s best, and the best thing about this is, it’s a sports watch and designed to be worn with both form and function in perfect balance. With the curved case that hugs the wrist, the sports strap, curved sapphire crystal and that little globe spinning around to tell the world time, it is just a cool-looking watch.

GMT Balancier Convexe Specs

  • Dimensions: 43.5mm (at the base) x 17.4mm thick
  • Movement: Greubel Forsey Patented hand-wound movement
  • Material: Titanium
  • Power Reserve: 72hrs
  • RRP: US$400,000 (Approx A$600,000)

But the Greubel Forsey GMT Balancier Convexe is more than good looks. The GMT function is ingenious with a summer and winter time zone function, the balance is on a 30 degree incline, seemingly suspended in air by a single black bridge and the globe is constantly rotating on a 24-hour cycle, mimicking the Earth’s rotation. Oh, and it’s 100m water resistant, so it’s ready for that active life!

Panerai Luminor Perpetual Calendar Platinumtech

Now I know what you’re thinking. I can have any watch in the world and I choose a Panerai as one of my three. Well, the answer is yes as I’ve been a fan of Panerai since I can remember. In fact I’m wearing my 312 now as I write this. There is something about the unmistakable shape and design of a Panerai Luminor that I love, and given Panerai was one of my very first grail pieces over 10 years ago, I couldn’t have a three-watch collection without one. But, if I’m going in this direction, I want one with a complication or two, so the Perpetual Calendar in Platinumtech seems the right pick for me!

Luminor Perpetual Calendar Specs

  • Dimensions: 44mm x 53mm x 18mm thick
  • Movement: Automatic mechanical, Panerai P.4100 calibre
  • Material: Platinumtech
  • Power Reserve: 72hrs
  • RRP: A$108,600

The great thing about this perpetual calendar is that much of the functionality is on the caseback. Now this may seem weird, but on the front, you still have the Day, Date, Month (the 3rd hand indicates this) and timezone with AM/PM – so all the main useful functions you would want without altering the look of the dial aesthetic too much. The rest that you don’t need on a daily basis and used to set the watch is on the back. It’s a great blend of usability and technicality.

F.P.Journe Tourbillon Souverain Vertical

François-Paul Journe makes some incredible timepieces. With the attention to detail at all levels, his finishing is impeccable, even on parts that aren’t going to be seen with the eye. Hand Guilloched dials and expertly crafted parts all go together to make what is an F.P. Journe. And the Tourbillon Souverain Vertical is no exception featuring a vertically positioned tourbillon, hand guilloched dial, grand feu enamel dials for the time and deadbeat seconds, which was a first for F.P.Journe.

Tourbillon Souverain Vertical Specs

  • Dimensions: 42mm x 13.6mm thick
  • Movement: Manual wind Caliber 1519 with Hours, minutes, deadbeat seconds, power reserve indicator, 30-second vertical tourbillon, remontoire d’egalité
  • Material: Platinum or 18k 6N rose gold
  • Power Reserve: 80hrs
  • RRP: CHF 248,400 (approx A$418,000) Discontinued

The F.P.Journe Tourbillon Souverain Vertical is one special piece and one that not many people will know, or appreciate in the general watch world. But for those that know, know why it is special and the quality and craftsmanship you’re getting from one of the world’s best watchmakers. Plus it looks stunning on the wrist…

Mario’s Three Watch Collection

Listen, I’m a sucker for unusual watch designs. Don’t go rattling about a Rolex Submariner and saying that it’s better for the ‘practicality’ – any watch above $250 bucks has already thrown practicality out the window, and that’s me being generous. I don’t want this to sound like I hate expensive watches, but I instead love them for what they are – ultimate forms of artistic expression, made portable and ‘alive,’ in a manner of speaking. So, if I had an unlimited budget for three watches, why bother trying to ‘cover all bases,’ or ‘stick to what’s necessary?’ You have unlimited money! Don’t be boring! That’s why these three are on my list:

MB&F: Legacy Machine Perpetual EVO (Orange)

A perpetual calendar is one of the most complex and expensive complications on the planet. MB&F is one of my favourite brands, both aesthetically and mechanically. So of course I was going to combine the two! The LMP EVO in orange was one of the first haute horlogerie watches that jumped out at me when I first got a taste of what this world could offer, and I don’t think any watches have captured my imagination since.

LM Perpetual EVO Specs

  • Dimensions: 44mm x 50.2mm x 17mm thick
  • Movement: MB&F perpetual calendar, manual winding with double mainspring barrels.
  • Material: Zirconium
  • Power Reserve: 72hrs
  • RRP: 182,000 CHF (Approx $A$306,500)

Seeing Chamath’s LM101 in person almost made me scream, so seeing one of these would make me jump out of my seat like a KPOP fan. I did tell Chamath that I would be choosing the HM11 Architect over this one, but it’s the first watch that always gets you – and this has got me, bad.

Trilobe: Une Folle Journée (Blue)

Founded in 2018, Trilobe’s strange design is an immediate eye-catcher. ‘A watch with no hands?’ You may be saying. ‘Don’t you mean a bracelet?’ But the innovative use of rotating discs, accompanied by the symmetrical X-Centric micro-rotor movement, is a match made in heaven. I’m shocked I don’t see Trilobe talked about enough, especially since the price point seems reasonable in the context of their watchmaking quality.

Une Folle Journée Specs

  • Dimensions: 40.5mm x 48mm. 17.5mm thick (10.5 for the case, 7mm for crystal)
  • Movement: Calibre X-Centric, self-winding mechanical calibre with micro-rotor
  • Material: Grade 5 Titanium
  • Power Reserve: 48hrs
  • RRP: 23500€ (Approx $A$37,700)

Une Folle Journée just takes it a step further, by doming the crystal and exposing all the inner mechanics of every single disk. It’s a hypnotically camp design that is bound to draw endless attention and enjoyment from the user – as soon as they figure out what time it is.

Daniel Roth: Regulateur Tourbillon C187

In my first screening for the WatchAdvice writing position, Matt asked me ‘What would be your dream watch?’ My response was instant: Daniel Roth Regulateur Tourbillon, specifically reference C187. This has always and perhaps will forever be my dream watch – the odd yet elegant case shape, the two-minute tourbillon, the double-sided dial, the guilloché decorations, and the Roman numerals on an offset face…

Regulateur Tourbillon C187 Specs

  • Dimensions: 38mm x 35mm x 11mm
  • Movement: Tourbillon 1 minute manual winding
  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Power Reserve: 42hrs
  • RRP: discontinued – limited to 20 pieces. A$338,205 (Chrono24)

It’s a highly complex watch, with a perfectly eclectic design and a hilariously insane level of engineering to back it all up – it’s the perfect watch for me. I’ve always said that, if I am ever able to purchase one watch that’ll get me out of the game forever, this is it. Of course, we’re still way too far off the saving goal at the moment – but a man can dream…

Sameera’s Three Watch Collection

When Matt asked me to choose three watches with an unlimited budget, I immediately thought of the watches on my grail list. But this is the more “achievable” list of watches. I got to thinking, well, if I had an unlimited amount to spend, would I still choose these timepieces? This sent me down quite the rabbit hole. However, I managed to compromise by still having grail pieces mixed with ultra-high-end luxury timepieces.

My thought process was that even though I had an unlimited amount to spend on these watches, I would still want to be able to wear them and not just store them away in some safe. For me, it’s about wearing and loving what the brands have spent countless hours designing, engineering and creating. With this in mind, I’ve split the three timepieces into daily, weekender, and “for a special event.”

Daily Wear

Audemars Piguet – Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph

Audemars Piguet – Royal Oak Offshore (Ref. 26420CE.OO.A043VE.01)

This version of the Royal Oak Offshore is a watch that is on my grail list. Even though I would have unlimited money, this watch will always be in the collection regardless. While it may seem like a boring choice to some, for me, it’s the ideal daily wear timepiece. The colour combo is spot on for me, as I love the blue, black and white colour combination. As a daily wearer, the watch fits nicely as a luxury sports piece, making it a versatile choice for most outfits. It’s not an understated piece, that’s for sure, and will certainly be a great conversation starter. Having the choice of changing between a rubber strap and a leather strap also makes it comfortable to wear, another point to consider when choosing a daily wear timepiece.

Royal Oak Offshore Specifications

  • Dimensions: 43mm x 14.4mm thickness
  • Movement: Calibre 4401
  • Material: Black Ceramic
  • Power Reserve: 70hrs
  • RRP: Approx. $85,750 AUD

This version of the Royal Oak Offshore has a 43mm black ceramic case paired with a stunning blue ceramic bezel. The chronograph push buttons and winding crown are also blue, allowing the watch to repeatedly contrast the black and blue colours to a “stylish effect.”

The Weekender

Roger Dubuis – Knights Of The Round Table Titanium Damascus

Roger Dubuis – Knights Of The Round Table Titanium Damascus

The choice for the weekender timepiece was certainly tough. When you move away from a “daily” wear timepiece, and its restrictions, the haute horology world opens up with a vast number of highly complicated and intricate timepieces. One model that came to mind instantly, and I found a hard time trying to think past it, was a variation of the iconic Knights Of The Round Table by Roger Dubuis. I mean, does it get any cooler than 12 knights ready to fight on your timepiece?

Knights Of The Round Table Titanium Damascus Specifications

  • Dimensions: 45mm
  • Movement: Cal. RD821
  • Material: Titanium Damascus
  • Power Reserve: 48 hours
  • RRP: Approx. $562,700 AUD

This particular version has a Titanium Damascus case, with 12 pink-gold knights facing an icey centre, ready to fight what is about to break out of the frozen lake. The ice is made from unique Limoges biscuit porcelain, while the lake underneath is made from the Murano glass technique. Each of the 12 knights has its own unique expression and fighting pose, making this timepiece both a technical and aesthetic masterpiece.

The “Special Event”

Breguet – Classique Complications 3795

Breguet – Classique Complications 3795

This timepiece, for me, is one that, as the name suggests, is reserved for a special occasion. A fancy dinner, black tie event or anything formal. I wanted to keep this timepiece more “traditional” in the sense of showing pure complications and let that be the aesthetic feature of the timepiece. For this category, three brands came to mind: Louis Moinet, Bovet and Breguet. All three brands make watches that are insanely complicated, especially Bovet. However, Breguet’s Classique Complications 3795 was the winner, with its beautifully skeletonised balanced dial showcasing the brand’s technicality and attention to detail, all in pure mechanical art form.

Classique Complications 3795

  • Dimensions: 41mm x 11.6mm thickness
  • Movement: Cal. 558T
  • Material: 18-carat rose gold
  • RRP: $451,200 AUD

The Breguet Classique Complications 3795 is offered in either an 18-carat rose gold or platinum case. The 18-carat rose gold, I feel, offers a nice colour contrast to the dial, with the platinum model mostly blending in with the dial aesthetics. The two main stand-out complications are the tourbillon and the perpetual calendar. There are retrograde dates indicated at 12 o’clock, days at 9 o’clock, months and leap years at 3 o’clock and small seconds on the tourbillon axis. While it may not host as many complications as its competitors, the dials’ skeletonised aesthetics of the complications is pure artistry.

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