Editor’s Note: In this week’s installment of our ongoing “3 for 5k” series, reader Garrett Jones submits an affordable collection with cleanly defined categories for each piece. While the classic Speedmaster might not fit everyone’s definition of a “dress watch,” in the context of Garrett’s collection, it makes a lot of sense. These are all sporty and robust watches perfect for an active lifestyle, they just get to that place in different ways, making each well suited to specific circumstances. Garrett had some money left over after picking three watches, so he’s also selected an additional item in a category many would agree is adjacent to watches, and somehow makes Garrett’s watch picks even more logical.*
You can make your submission to the Three Watch Collection – Reader Edition by filling out the form right here.
Being an avid collector and watch enthusiast, owning only three watches excites and scares me simultaneously. In a world where my watch collection would be limited to three pieces, the perfect collection would feature the following three styles: a dress watch, a travel watch, and an everyday workhorse. With that three-piece combination, you can dress for any occasion and have a watch that fits in anywhere. At first, I thought that a budget of $5,000 would be extremely restrictive, but I quickly realized that one of the best ways to stretch this money is by looking at pre-owned watches.*
Omega Speedmaster Ref. 3570.50 ~$3,700 – The Dress Watch

The Omega Speedmaster, commonly known as the “ Moon Watch”, is arguably the most iconic watch design of all time. Having gained popularity for beating out Rolex and Longines to become the first watch “Flight Qualified By NASA For All Manned Space Missions”, and later the first watch worn on the Moon. More than 50 years later, the Speedmaster remains the only watch ever certified by NASA for Extravehicular activities, better known as spacewalks. When introduced in 1996, the* 3570.50 reference was the most accurate replication of the original 105.15 and 145.012 models worn by the Apollo astronauts, with the most notable exceptions being the use of Luminova instead of tritium, and a newer Calibre 1861. To date, this reference has been the longest, continuously produced reference from 1996 to 2014.

Since the 3570.50 had an MSRP of $4,500 and with newer Speedmaster models going for more, the only way to add this watch to the three-piece collection is to buy used. Looking at the options, I found several pieces (in various conditions, mostly without box/papers) under $3,700, which I believe is an absolute steal for this watch. Having wanted this watch for years, I’d have no complaints about buying a well-loved example if it meant finally owning this grail.
Mystery Ranch x Timex: Field Watch II ~$300 – The Travel Watch

Before I was a watch enthusiast, I was (and still am) a gear enthusiast. Knowing that Mystery Ranch, my favorite backpack company, had teamed up with Timex to release two Japan-exclusive field watches, I knew that I had to add one to this collection.* Arguably the most “bang for your buck” option on this list, this watch comes with two nato style straps, and a travel pouch made exclusively for this collaboration. The watch itself is a coyote tan, quartz Timex with an Indiglo dial, making it the perfect travel piece as it’s lightweight, subtle, and extremely easy to read in the dark.**

Nodus Sector Deep: Black Destro ~ $600 – The Daily Driver

Diving right in with the Sector Deep, this watch blew me away the first time I saw one.* Between the fit and finish, the unbelievably bright lume, and a 500-meter water resistance rating, this watch has amazing features rarely found in its price class. Additionally, the Proprietary NodeX clasp makes it extremely easy to adjust the bracelet on the fly. Despite working a desk job, my everyday carry almost always features a diver-style watch as I frequently use the bezel to help with timing tasks.*
Starting with the movement, Nodus built the Sector Deep on a ± 10 s/day regulated NH35. I find that the 38mm diameter case of the Sector Deep feels amazing on my wrist, while the 42mm bezel helps to fill out the space. The dial indices and bezel markers are extremely easy to read, even in low/ no light conditions.*

If you’ve been keeping tabs on the budget, you might have realized that despite creating an amazing collection of watches, I still have about $400 left over, and I’ve done this intentionally. I mentioned above that in addition to being a watch enthusiast, I also have an affinity for everyday carry (EDC) gear. If I found myself with $5,000 to spend, I would buy the three watches above, but I’d also pick up a new backpack to add to my collection.
Bonus item: Mystery Ranch ASAP – $365

In the watch industry, one of the most important things to a brand is its heritage. Even to people who aren’t watch aficionados, names like “Rolex” and “Omega” mean something. Just like the watch industry, having a well-known and proven heritage can be a huge selling point for any backpack/soft goods brand, a history Mystery Ranch is proud to claim. Mystery Ranch was founded with one purpose in mind, “to minimize the burden on your back”.**
The pack I’ve chosen for this recommendation, the ASAP, is built from the ground up in Bozeman, Montana. Originally designed for the military, the ASAP has features that I believe are essential for daily use. Starting with the straps, the ASAP features Mystery Ranch’s Futura Harness, a multi-size, adjustable harness capable of dialing in the perfect fit, just like a micro-adjust clasp on your watch. Between the load-bearing capabilities and fine-tuning, the Futura harness allows for the perfect fit and makes the bag feel almost weightless.*

Moving to the back of the pack, there are several interesting features to note, mainly the Tri-zip design and the brain compartment. Mystery Ranch’s tri-zip design allows for multiple points of access to all areas of the bag, eliminating the need to empty your pack to find a small item that’s made its way to the bottom. Above the “Y” of the zippers sits a smaller, quick-access pocket known as the “brain pouch.” This pouch is perfect for any items that you might need quick access to, but do not want in your pockets. Personally, I keep my keys and a small pocket notebook in this section at all times. Lastly, the exterior of this pack is covered in webbing known as “Molle,” which can be used to attach any number of accessories (like a water bottle pocket) and allows the user to create a custom layout and increase functionality. Comparing this to the watch industry, it would be like buying a field watch and deciding to add a chronograph complication, just because you wanted to.*

The post The Three Watch Collection for $5,000: Reader Edition – Garrett Jones appeared first on Worn & Wound.