One and Done: Simply Silver Watch

If you only can own one watch, make it a silver dial watch.

Watches are expensive items, no matter what your budget is, they are an expense you could forgo your whole life, but when you want one you tend to spend more than you anticipate. If you are fishing in the deep end, dropping $10,000 on a watch is a starting price bracket. For others you might top out at $1,000, or even $100. When it comes to watches people tend to buy towards the top of their budgets if they are going to buy a watch — it’s a purchase made out of desire, and rarely out of need.

If you hang around the watch world long enough, you start to see a pattern in the questions asked — a commonality of the editorials. With the most common of the lot being questions around a what someone should or should not have in their ‘collection’, or what watch should be the singular watch someone should own.

Watch enthusiasts are obsessed with their collections, or ownership in general, of their watches and the watches of others to an absurd level at times. Each with their own interpretation of what is right — so much so that advice for someone who wants to have more than say three watches, is not able to be given in any general sense as they are a collector with their own opinions which will conflict with almost everyone else’s.

There is a common perversion in the watch community, which is the obsession of what would be the perfect singular watch to own, for that horrific case where you could only own one watch. There are, and I know some of them, who practice this mantra — they might not keep the same watch forever, but they only ever own one at a time (and likely a workout watch as a backup). Impressive, but not for me.

But the odd thing about the ‘one watch collection’ obsession is that the advice is generally not good. It’s not good because it’s either far too specific (e.g. “Get a Rolex Datejust and be done.” That’s my advice.) or far too ambiguous (e.g. “Get a Dive Watch”). Following either is likely to put someone in a spot where they get a watch they didn’t love to start (Datejust) or go buy something which really isn’t as versatile as the advice intended (Orange Planet Ocean anyone? It is a dive watch after all.).

Since I am a member of the watch wearing community, I have thoughts on this.

I’ve been thinking about this for seemingly no reason, and what I have come to realize is that the best advice for a single splurge on a watch which can do it all, is far more prescriptive while still leaving room to find something you love. My advice:

Buy a stainless steel watch with a silver dial, and as few complications (features) as your personality can stand.

This is the single most versatile watch you can own, while still allowing for a very wide range of options to select from.

A stainless steel watch, with a silver dial is very weirdly the best single watch combination you can buy. Get it on a matching bracelet so it will look sporty, and will blend with any colors you are wearing that day. While on a black leather strap, the watch will dress right up, and work in the most formal of situations.

It will also take nearly any color strap, any material strap, you can find to fit it. A silver dial watch passes no judgement in and of itself. Which means that the other elements of the watch, including the strap/bracelet, can speak a little louder if you would like.

And this isn’t really relegated to the most expensive watches out there, you have a wide range of price points.

But you can go very high end too.

The most difficult watch I own to pair with outfits is a bright blue (aka Tiffany blue) dial watch. The second most difficult is my champagne dial watch. The easiest? My SBGE285 with the light gray dial.

The reason for this is that the blue is too bright, or clashes with other colors I am wearing. The champagne dial looks like it will match everything, but it adds a touch of flair which I don’t always want, and can look to creamy when you need it to look white, or too white when you need it to look creamy. But the grey dial of the SBGE285 matches any color outfit I am wearing and always seems to work.

If you buy a more basic silver dial watch on a bracelet, you only need to add a two straps to drastically increase the versatility of the watch. You’ll want a black strap, something smooth and not too shiny, but also not matte — this will dress up the watch nicely. The second is a mid to dark brown strap, as this will help tone the watch down if you want a little less attention called to it. Those two straps, and you will need nothing else. However, since the dial is silver, you can add essentially any color strap and it will still look great.

So, if you find yourself struggling to get a watch which works with anything you wear, or any activity you do, pick out a stainless steel watch with a silver dial.

My top picks: White Birch ($9,100), or a Longines Spirit ($2,500). But, there are many more out there at essentially all price points.

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