Watch Time: Next Up?

It’s hard to own only one good watch.  The next logical step is to buy a second, then you are officially a collector.  Then you get a third watch, and a fourth, and so on.  I’ve been lucky enough to collect three great watches over the last five years, and now I’m on the hunt for number four (and probably number five).  These are not one month decisions.  Instead, it’s a six month to a year process to hone in on that perfect watch that has a place in your rotation.

I’m starting that process now.  I’m trying to find a watch that is outside of my current rotation.  I’m not looking for something flashy or modern, instead I’d like something classic that I will be able to wear forever, and eventually pass on to a deserving offspring.

Here’s what I’m eyeing:

1. Rolex Air King:  I’m leaning in this direction right now.  I like the smaller size, and the black face.  I like the simplicity of it, and the metal band.  I think it would be good to swap out with a brown leather band and it would keep the formality, and look good with a suit or with a golf shirt and jeans.  Versatile, and I don’t have anything like it.  Let’s call this ‘the clubhouse leader’.

2. Glashutte Original Panomaticlunar:  I’m fascinated by the Glashuttes.  They all look so interesting, and this Panomaticlunar is essentially a moon watch, which makes it that much cooler.  This would be designated a ‘dress watch’ and would be limited to those occasions.  However, those occasions would be amplified by this bad boy. Very bit loafer.  Let’s call this one ‘dinner reservations’.

3. Breitling Avenger Seawolf:  I’ve got a couple buddies who are big Breitling guys.  They are serious watches.  Very heavy duty.  This route would be a unique pick, an all black Seawolf (which normally have a yellow face).  This is a bit of a flyer for my style, but I could see it getting some great use on the weekends and on ‘boot days’ at the office.  Let’s call this one ‘mud grip tires’.

4. Panerai Luminor Marina PAM049:  I’ve been wearing a Panerai for five years.  I consider it my home team, for lack of a better term.  My current Luminor is the PAM112, which is extremely simple and clean.  This option is essentially the opposite: white face, date, minutes, 40mm (rather than 44), and a second hand.  I really love Panerai watches, and I think this would get a bunch of wear.  Let’s call this one ‘home field advantage’.

5. IWC Mark XV Spitfire:  IWC watches are so cool.  They are clean and understated.  I think of these as a dressed up field watch.  This would be an everyday watch, but with a leather band.  It’s hard to say that this would be a bad decision, but it may be too much of a safe bet.  I don’t know…  Let’s call this one ‘Bell Curve’.

Which one do you like best?  Let’s hear it in the comments…



  1. RBC
    08/24/2018 / 7:27 AM

    I currently wear an Air King 14010 on most days and while it is a little on the small side at 34mm, it wears bigger than it is and is understated and very versatile. Easily goes from jeans and a t-shirt to a suit. Highly recommend. 

  2. Steven Bremer
    08/24/2018 / 8:21 AM

    These picks are all over the map: some hyper-sporty (Breitling and Panerai) one hyper-dressy (Glashutte) and two tool watches (IWC and Rolex). I don’t know your full collection but from what I recall you have the sporty covered with the Speedmaster, the tool watch covered with the Paerai. Do you have a dress watch? If not I would suggest the Glashutte. 

  3. MAC
    08/24/2018 / 10:03 AM

    Start with a steel Rolex Submariner or GMT Master, although I am really liking the 42mm Explorer II with the white dial and orange GMT hand. Add an Omega Speedmaster moon watch with a leather strap for history, an IWC Portuguese chrono for dress and a Cartier Tank Americaine for formal wear. After covering the basics then the real fun can begin.

  4. JAG
    08/24/2018 / 10:30 AM

    Big fan of Rolex and Panerai. The Air King does tend to feel smaller on wrist in comparison to the other models. I wear a Yachtmaster or Sea-Dweller in heavy rotation throughout the week sometimes swapping with an Omega or Panerai. But the Rolex’s get most of the wear. I have an Air King given to me by my dad and usually save it to wear with a tux since it fits a little slimmer. You also can’t go wrong with that black face. 

  5. Max
    08/24/2018 / 11:46 AM

    Based of your collection allready I would go dress watch but don’t go with that you can get better watches from better brands at that price point. 

  6. Ryan
    08/24/2018 / 1:06 PM

    I own six “nice” watches. They all get some wrist time but my daily wearer is a Rolex GMT Master II reference 16710 from 1989, the first year this reference of the GMT was produced. I think one would fit your collection nicely. If you want something more subdued you could opt for the solid black bezel as opposed to the Pepsi or Coke options. Prices have gone nuts on them the last couple of years as they have the vintage of appeal of the previous iterations like the 1675 but have the modern functionality like a sapphire crystal and quick set date. 

  7. Nem
    08/27/2018 / 8:33 AM

    I think you are right on the money with the Air King, particularly the 34mm Ref. 14000M over the 40mm Ref. 116900.  Have you considered the Explorer Ref. 14270?  The IWC Mark XV is also a very good pick and different enough from the AK to be worth having both.  The IWC Mark XII is in my collection and gets plenty of wear on black leather, Color 8 Horween, and a brown alligator strap as well as a few nylon options.  It’s JLC movement is the most accurate of anything I have.  With any of these options be careful about inspecting a pre-owned watch.  Rolex Oyster bracelets develop stretch over time, and the end links get wobbly (see the Air King pic above from C&C).  Some consider this a form of patina but a loose bracelet is just waiting to fail.  Good luck!!

  8. HLL
    08/27/2018 / 10:13 AM

    I am always on the ‘hunt’ for my next watch. Everyone has their own opinion but that’s exactly what it is. I like divers due to my location/vacation/work/style. Just a few bits on watches you mentioned or did not: I owned a Breitling and while I liked it, it does not hold the value you would like and its not going to go with as much as you think – keep your blacked out Luminox. I have a Rolex Explorer I 214270 39mm (maybe try one on or just any Explorer). I know you and I both have a Tudor BB Burgundy, but check out the Tudor BB fifty-eight. Its 39mm but its getting all the rants and raves, will for sure hold its value and its made extremely well. But you already know about Tudor. Or find a watch from HJS birth year and fall in love with it so you can give it to him. I have a Sub Hulk from my first sons birth year and I will give him that and looking for a no date SubC for my second who was just born and will give it to him.

    • Nem
      08/27/2018 / 10:24 AM

      I just got a 114060 Submariner from DavidSW to commemorate a special milestone in life.  The maxi-dial, ceramic bezel, and re-engineered clasp are all first rate.  You will not be disappointed.

  9. RWIL
    08/29/2018 / 2:34 PM

    Go for the AirKing, I was recently in a similar situation and went with a rare blue dialed Tudor Date-Day with original oyster bracelet. Works awesome with a suit and jeans and a tshirt. 35mm seems small by todays standards to a lot of people, but it looks great with everything.

  10. Mattie G
    09/05/2018 / 9:05 AM

    I bought choice number 1. Rolex Air King 14000M. Black face. I have never regretted the decision. Flies under the radar-99.9% of folks will never take a second look. Same 3130 calibre movement used in the Submariner. My ONLY nit on this watch is that at 50, I sometimes need to look twice at the watch because I mix up the second hand and the minute hand. This is my daily, and is frankly, bulletproof and “not too precious” that I worry about scratches and patina. Good luck!

  11. HLL
    09/06/2018 / 12:26 PM

    Update : I got rid of my Explorer I 214270 Lume Arabic dial and got a Submariner Ceramic No Date. So now each of my boys will get a Submariner when they are older. (Hulk and No Date)

  12. Mike
    09/18/2018 / 4:32 PM

    Great post, can be a hard decision! The AirKing is timeless, I also love the Rolex Milgauss for something other than the classic sub, explorer, or gmt. Someone in the watch industry once told me… “People have faces, Watches have dials.”

    I recommend visiting my wife, Sara Beth, and her team at Brown & Company in Roswell and Buckhead! 

  13. 03/03/2019 / 3:35 PM

    No, the ɑctual Swiss army knives are not red.

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