Editor’s note: In this 3 Watch Collection for $5,000, reader JT takes us through watches from his own personal collection, purchased largely on the pre-owned market for under $5,000. This real-life 3 for 5k is also thematically coherent, to say the least, with a trio of white dialed sports watches that cover a lot of ground, and somehow work well together as a thoughtful, wearable collection that features an indie favorite, a hot collaboration, and an uncommon example of a classic chronograph.*
You can make your submission to the Three Watch Collection – Reader Edition by filling out the form right here.
Omega Speedmaster Reduced “Marui” (3510.20) – $3,000

This was the watch that started it all. I have a small wrist (6.25″), and I love white objects (Kenya Hara’s book, “White,” resides next to my white camera collection). I fell in love with the Omega Speedmaster Alaska Project, and after lots of research and patience, I decided I wanted a Speedmaster Reduced, and subsequently secured this Speedmaster for a very reasonable price.
Image courtesy Bob’s Watches

It didn’t come with a bracelet, but it actually worked in my favor because I wanted to pair it with a flat link (AKA Ed White) bracelet anyway, so it helped me bring the cost of the watch lower (an OEM 1469/811 is worth at least $500).

Seiko x Rowing Blazers 5 Sports – $500

After spending way too much time doing my research, “buying the seller,” and reading forums to check my work, the internet now throws watch articles at me like breadcrumbs to a flock of pigeons at the park.
One day at work, I came across the Hodinkee announcement of the latest Seiko x Rowing Blazers collaboration, and they had this incredibly fun white dial variant with colorful indices. It immediately grabbed me for its playful and retro, but not over-the-top design.

Towards the end of the article, the author resonated with me and wrote, “the white dial, however, is probably my favorite…but just like a hotdog from a cart on the boardwalk, you should get it while they’re hot (and before they’re all gone).”
So off I went to Hodinkee’s shop to check out the white watch, and it was already the first one to be sold out. Then, I went to Rowing Blazers, added it to my cart… and it sold out before my eyes as well! Panic kicked in and I booked it to the last website that sold the watch, Seiko’s web store and finally got a hold of one.

The watch is the perfect companion to the Omega Speedy Reduced “Marui,” and I have a small collection of NATO straps that match the colors of the indices to match the outfit I’m wearing.
Nomos Ahoi Neomatik Siren White – $1,500

Two watches in, and I have to share one more story: Nomos is the reason I started paying attention to watches. Sometime around 2016 or 2017, I came across the Nomos Metro Date Power Reserve and it was love at first sight. It was the first time a watch has made me think, “wow, that is such a beautiful and fun watch.”

At that time, I had been a smartwatch user — I had the very original Pebble Watch since 2013 and didn’t like the direction of where smartwatches were headed. I subsequently came across the Skagen Hybrid Smartwatch that shared a lot of the Nomos Metro motifs, and bought one of those instead for $80 on eBay.
Fast forward to this year, after a couple of years into watch collecting (and having the means to justify that), I decided it was only right to round out the collection with a Nomos. Again, small wrists, white dial — thankfully Nomos has plenty of options to choose from. I ultimately gravitated towards the Ahoi Neomatik Siren White, which is blatantly marketed towards me with a 36mm case diameter and a very, very, brilliantly white dial adorned with red indices and tempered blue hands.

Once again, patience pays off, and I was able to snipe a listing at an incredibly reasonable $1,500.*

Depending on timing, my collection will exceed $5,000 because these watches are all independently sought-after for various reasons. All I’m saying is to be patient, work with the seller, and don’t lose sleep over micro-scratches. I wear all of my watches, and don’t mind that it was pre-loved by someone else.
I’m incredibly fond of my collection. I don’t work in a field where I’m asked to dress in formal wear, and my wardrobe is somewhat androgynous. I think my collection represents me, my taste, my wardrobe, and my wrist size well, and I hope it inspires others to think of a coherent story to tell as they work towards a watch collection that’s uniquely theirs.

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