State of Watch Collection, Summer 2023

Yes, Grand Seiko, but also watch straps and lacking Tudors…

This is the fourth, and final, installment of my ‘State of XYZ Collection’ posts. In this one, we are covering my watches, and while not the quantity hasn’t changed much, there have been two big things to cover.

First, the collection:

  • Grand Seiko SBGM221G: for how popular this watch is among those dipping toes into the Grand Seiko pool, this watch is still extremely underrated. The finishing on this is exquisite, and the price is a huge value given that it is also true GMT. I wear this watch most days to the office, and I am never left for wanting. It’s also one of the sharpest looking watches I own, and flies under the radar.
  • Grand Seiko SBGE285: this is easily my favorite watch right now, as it looks tremendous and the true GMT Spring Drive movement is a gem. I love the titanium and the wearing comfort is among the best I have felt in a watch. If I only could have one watch, this would be that watch. It really is a go-anywhere-do-anything watch.
  • Grand Seiko SBGX261: this watch flies under the radar in my own collection. It is always ready to go, always accurate, and wears so thin on the wrist that it always works. In a lot of ways, this is the perfect embodiment of the wrist watch. I wear this one the third most of any of my watches, and you would think I have complaints about it, but I have nothing to complain about with it. Absurd value with this watch, especially on the secondary market for it.
  • Rolex Datejust Turn-o-Graph Thunderbird: this watch is fully sentimental and quirky for me. I wear it a few times each month, and it proves time and time again how good a Datejust really is. It’s not the Datejust I would personally choose, but it’s still a tremendous watch, I have the 36 model size.
  • Casio MRWH200: for $30, this watch sits in a box with those in the $10k realm in my house. I bought it because I was curious, but I wear it when I know my wrist is going to be getting knocked into stuff. And I toss it in my luggage because it really doesn’t matter if it goes missing. It feels cheap as hell, but it doesn’t feel fragile, and it is inexpensive so it all checks out.
  • GHSOCK GBD200: this is my workout watch, and what I wear when I sleep (as I use the vibrating alarm to wake up). I have contemplated getting something fancier for this use case, but this watch works perfectly so I never end up changing to anything else. I’ve still not had to replace the battery on it, which is wild.
  • Montblanc Sport Chronograph: I basically do not wear this watch, but the sentimental value keeps it in the collection. It’s quite nice to look at though.

I mentioned above there have been two changes with my watch collection/wearing of late. The love for Grand Seiko is nothing new for anyone paying attention to my watch reviews. But the bigger changes:

  1. I sold my Tudor Black Bay GMT. I love this watch, I think it is a great watch, but I personally got to the point where I was barely wearing it, didn’t have a ton of sentimental attachment to it, and I found that I wasn’t loving wearing it in comparison to the others. It’s a tremendous watch in every way, but there was a large overlap with the SBGE285, and ultimately I like the SBGE285 a lot better (not that the pricing is even close on those two).
  2. The last four months has been a journey away from bracelets and towards leather straps. I fell in love with Veblenist straps. I have straps from them for all my watches now, and thus the only bracelet watch I have on the bracelet still, is the SBGE285. That’s mostly so I can swim with it, so if the weather ever gets cold (which I am not sure is a thing anymore), it too will move to a lovely white canvas strap I bought for it. I cannot recommend those straps enough, a complete game changer for me.

I have one more watch incoming this year, but it’s not here yet, so we shall see how/where it slots in when it arrives.

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