Editor’s Note: For this edition of The Three Watch Collection for $5,000, we have a submission from Matthew Catellier. If you read a lot of watch content, that name might ring a bell. Matthew is the founder and Executive Editor of WatchReviewBlog.com, a home to watch reviews and news since 2015. Matthew, based in Montreal, has also contributed to Forbes, Monochrome, and other publications. This three watch collection has a lot of variety, and sees Matthew picking an unusual and colorful dive watch, and a couple of classics from two of our favorite affordable, independent brands.*
You can make your submission to the Three Watch Collection – Reader Edition by filling out the form right here.
Starting a three watch collection with a limit of $5000 is a fun place to be. This is a price segment with a huge selection, from very well known brands, down to new microbrands. For this watch collection I’ve decided to stick with three brands that have been around for a while, which provides some comfort in terms of tried and true reliability.*
Mido Decompression Worldtimer – $1,300

The Mido Decompression Worldtimer is a watch that’s ingrained itself in my memory ever since I had the pleasure to handle one. How could it not with its stunning rainbow dial? There’s multiple aspects that excite me about this watch. For one, it’s not trying to be something else, that is to say the Decompression Wordtimer is actually an iconic watch in its own right, having been first released by Mido back in 1961 as the “Ocean Star Decompression Timer”. The original version is now a vintage collectible, fetching silly amounts of money. Mido invented a watch case known as the “monocoque” case in 1959 that provides superior water resistance, and this case is actually still in use on this current version of the Decompression Worldtimer.

There’s two versions of the modern Decompression Worldtimer, a black and a blue – I would veer towards the blue version as a great addition to a $5000 three watch collection. The blue version (reference M026.829.17.041.00) is the one with the summery rainbow dial, whereas the black one has a black with gradient orange dial which gives off an autumn vibe.*
The watch itself wears very well on my 6.5 inch wrist, mimicking the size of the well known Tudor BB58 which is on the smaller end of the spectrum for a dive watch. Not only is this a great do it all dive watch, but it also functions as a GMT watch making it an excellent choice for travel. The myriad of cities engraved on the bezel certainly gives off a busier look than a traditional countdown bezel, but it’s worth the trade off for the added functionality.*

The movement, the Mido Caibre 80, is not a show stopper, but it’s COSC certified and gets the job done with a solid 80 hours of power reserve. The Mido Calibre 80 shares architecture with other movement’s in the Swatch Group family, including the movement used in the Tissot Powermatic 80, and in turn is based on the ETA 2836-2.
Oris Chronoris Date – $1,750 (original retail price)

I remember first handling the Chronoris Date at a Watchtime NYC event years ago – it was one of the first watches that really grabbed my attention at the show. Despite all the newcomers on the watch scene the Chronoris Date still holds its own, and for that it’s earned itself a nice cozy spot in my three watch collection under $5000. This is the type of watch that can’t really go out of style due to its retro vibe, although you have to be into the cushion case shape as that’s really its standout design feature.*

This watch is offered on both a metal bracelet and a leather strap, but I’m a bracelet guy so I don’t mind upgrading by a couple hundred dollars to get the vintage 70’s looking stainless steel bracelet. Actually, in the same way as the Mido Decompression Timer, the Chronoris Date is also based on a vintage watch, so you can consider the modern version a reissue of the original chronograph from 1970. What usually comes with retro styled watches is accurate era sizing, and that proves to be true in this case as well with the cushion case coming in at 39mm.
One small detail that makes this watch so cool is the burnt orange accents on both the markers and the second hand, it really completes the style. You may also be wondering, is this a super compressor like the Longines Legend Diver? While it may look similar with the position of the dual crowns, it isn’t. The bottom crown is used to rotate the inner bezel which is used for timing, the same way a dive watch uses an exterior timing bezel.*

The movement used in the Chronoris Date is the Caliber 733 with base SW 200-1. It’s automatic winding with a power reserve of about 38 hours.*
Nomos Orion 33 – $1,920

Next up we have the Orion 33 – this is the watch in our three watch collection that will lean towards the dressy end of the spectrum. A great fit for fancier nights out or events where you want to leave your two dive watches at home. I wanted to go with the Orion 38, but that pushes our price point just outside of the $5000 goal. One could opt for the Chronoris Date on a leather band to save some money and upgrade this Nomos to the 38, this would come down to a small personal preference.
Nomos is outstanding at providing value and uniqueness to a collection without going overboard on price – their watches generally punch above their weight. The Orion 33 is no exception, just check out the manually wound in-house Alpha Caliber through the exhibition window and you’ll see why. The movement is hand finished at the Nomos HQ in Glashuette Germany, complete with ribbing, perlage, and tempered blue screws. This was Nomos’s first ever movement and they hold it in high regard.

The Orion 33 is a small watch, but the lugs are long, allowing it to wear significantly larger on wrist than the specs would suggest. It’s a very classy dress watch but with a modern touch, nowhere near the same 1930s art deco vibe you’d find on a JLC Reverso for example. The ultra thin movement also allows the case to be very slim, lending this mechanical watch an incredible look and feel on the wrist during those special occasions or nights out that require something more elegant.

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