Building A Two Watch Collection? Read This First


Some people collect many watches, while some are happy just keeping a single watch their whole life. What about a two watch collection?

Is it enough for you to only carry two watches? What sort of watches should be in a two watch collection?

In this article, we investigate issues to consider when planning a two watch collection. We also suggest combinations and watches you can try. 

How You Should Build A Two Watch Collection

When going down to a two watch collection, versatility is the key. The two watches in your collection need to be versatile since you only have two watches to handle many occasions.

We recently discussed how many watches a man should own, and we agreed that the best collection is a four-watch collection. 

That means four watches for four major types of events/occasions a man will find himself informal, work, casual, domestic.

But we also think it is possible to have less than four watches by ensuring versatility and flexibility of the watches.

That means the watch can be worn with a suit (for formal occasions) and office work. You might also need a watch that looks great for a weekend outing and some down and dirty time at the garage.

ALSO READ: Can You Wear The Same Watch Everyday?

Points to Consider When Planning Your Watch Collection:

To us, we always place practicality high up when dealing with watches. 

That means the watches you keep will need to be functional in your life – they should look good on you and actually match the events and occasions you are involved in. 

They also need to match your budget and ability to maintain them. 

Here are a few points to consider when deciding on the watches for your collection.

Your Daily Activities

Your watch needs to do its primary job – to ‘dress’ you correctly on the right occasion. Of course, it also needs to tell time.

This means your watch collection should fit your lifestyle and your daily activities. 

For example, if you work as a bricklayer, it makes little sense to have two dress watches for your two watch collection.

You can’t wear them to work since dress watches aren’t tough enough to handle the environment. 

You will have to be extra careful with them, to the point of hindering your work. 

The same goes with professionals who work in offices – you will at least need a thin dress watch to match your suit in your collection.

Budget

It’s easy to go overboard when buying watches. Those more expensive models are just much nicer to look at. 

As much as we love watches, it is also essential to be realistic and own watches that we are comfortable owning. 

It makes no sense to push for a Grand Seiko when that means you will have to survive on ramen for the next month just to make the payments for it. That’s financially irresponsible. 

On top of that, you also need to factor in another possible spending – servicing fees, storage, watch winder. 

So yes, give yourself a budget, spend 80% of it on the watch, and 20% on the accessories to keep and maintain the watch. 

Maintenance Effort

maintaining a Two Watch Collection

Maintenance does not just involve money, but time and effort as well. 

Certain watches require more effort to maintain and care for than others. 

Automatic watches, for example, are powered by a wound-up spring, which dies out around 30-60 hours. 

That means you need to ‘charge’ the watch every one or two days by either wearing it, manually winding it, or putting it in a watch winder. 

Compare that with quartz watches that need no charging, as they are powered by a battery. Battery replacement occurs maybe once every two years or more.

And then, if you go even further and compare this with light-powered quartz movement such as Citizen’s Eco-Drive. 

With Eco-Drive, you practically just need to have the watch exposed to light, and it will charge. And we are talking about all sorts of lights – indoor, outdoor.

You practically have almost no maintenance effort needed with watches like these. 

Some people love to clean, wind, maintain their watches, while some just want to wear the watch and not care too much about it. 

Decide for yourself which category you belong to, as this will very much influence your watch choices and your collection.

Treasure VS Beater

Certain things in life are meant to be treasured and cherished. Some are intended to handle and deal with challenges and abuses. 

In the world of cars, that would be a Ferrari and a Toyota Land Cruiser. 

We take the same approach for watches over here. 

We always suggest everyone have a cheap, reliable, and robust watch that they do not mind abusing. If the watch breaks, just throw it away and get another.

Two Watch Collection, a beater

These watches are called ‘beater’ or ‘banger’ watches. A G Shock is a great example of beater watches.

A beater is considered essential if you are the person that prefers to have some sort of watch on your wrist all the time. You might still like to wear a watch when exercising, changing your vehicle’s oil, or cooking.

You want a watch you do not mind getting dirty with oil, dirt, sweat, and other nasties. 

However, some just prefer to go naked on the wrist when doing these things. To each his choice. 

The key is you – if you cannot stand a naked wrist, then you should really consider a beater watch in your collection.

Preferences in Watch Styles

Now that we have locked in the practical side of a two watch collection let’s go with something more fun – styles and design.

We value beauty differently, and so different watches might appeal to us. 

Some of us will gravitate towards fine, well-designed dress watches with leather straps. Some like chunky dive watches with huge dials and thick hands. 

Some will like watches with super busy dials with lots of buttons, and some just like watches that don’t look like watches – check out Bulova Computron.

Even within watch types, you can still go further on your preference.

For example, you can go with super busy pilot watches like a Seiko SNA411 ‘Flightmaster’.

Or you can go for a super simple Flieger-type pilot watch such as Laco 861688.

The key here is to discover your watches of choice within your budget and pick one that suits your taste. 

Possible Two Watch Collection Combinations:

We divide a man’s watch needs into four significant situations/occasions: formal, work, casual, domestic.

Formal: When going to meetings, weddings, gala parties, wakes, etc. 

Work: Office work, hands-on work, or physical labor type work. 

Casual: Casual social events that do not require dressing up too much – family parties, restaurant dining, bars.

Domestic: Managing personal life – a trip to groceries, backyard BBQ, exercise, shoveling snow.

Now that we have established the situation let’s try to build a two watch collection that can deal with all four.

Do bear in mind there are still possible combinations aside from the following five. Feel free to experiment and see what works for you!

#1 Formal/Work + Casual with no Beater

This combination will suit a professional that works in an office. 

He picks up a dress watch for his first watch that he can wear with his suit. 

This watch will be able to look good at formal events such as business parties. Yet, the watch is not too luxurious that it seems out of place for everyday office work. 

Then, he picks up a casual watch he personally likes. It could be a dive, pilot, chronograph watch. He could be wearing this watch during the weekend if he goes to dinner with friends and family. 

As for domestic, the casual watch should still work if he is just looking at a weekend grocery trip. But he might have to go naked on the wrist when it’s time to get down and dirty.

An example collection under $1000 for this combination would be to have a Tissot Visodate + Citizen Promaster dive watch.

#2 Formal/Work + A Nicer Beater

Don’t like to go naked on the wrist? This combination is an alternative for you. Unlike combination #1, this combination allows you to have a beater.

The trade-off here is sacrificing your casual watch and turning it into a beater. 

But before you discard this combination, consider that there are excellent beater watches that are cheap and can actually look good as a casual watch.

Think G-Shocks, for example. They are tough, easy to clean, and maintain – perfect as a beater. 

But they still will look great for casual use – fishing trips, Olive Garden dinner parties, or watching little league games.

Consider this collection as a start when you explore this combination idea: A Seiko Presage + A Casio G-Shock DW5600. 

#3 Formal/Work/Casual + Beater

This collection might work for you if you do not need to suit up to work. You do not need a thin, dressy watch for everyday use. 

For example, a factory floor supervisor or a store manager.

The casual watch can be very versatile here – it could go with a suit for formal occasions. It could look well with the work outfit and does an excellent job for a weekend fishing trip.

That means the watch needs to be thin and in regular size – to allow it to be worn under the shirt.

However, such a trade-off allows you to have a beater watch. If you like a chunky watch, perhaps it’s good to wear one for a beater instead. 

An example of this combination under $1000 is to have a regular-sized field watch such as Hamilton Khaki King, with Casio Duro for a beater.

#4 Formal/Casual + Work/Beater

This combination will work wonders if you are in work that requires physical labor. Bricklayers, electricians, or car mechanics, for example. 

Your work watch needs to stand up to abuse at work since you work with your hands. This sounds like you need a beater watch for work. So let’s put the work and beater watch together. 

You, however, still need a nice watch to wear for formal and casual events. So since we only have one watch left, let’s try and put them together. 

An example of this combination will be pairing a thinner dive watch such as a Seiko SRPB51 ‘Samurai’ with a Timex Ironman.

ALSO READ: 17+3 Dive Watches Under $100

#5 Formal + Work/Casual with No Beater

Some guys just love fine dressy watches and have little liking for other types of watches. 

This collection is for you. 

We propose you use one watch space for your beautiful dress watch for formal occasions and satisfy your itch. 

Then have one less dressy watch that can be worn for work and casual events. 

This means sacrificing your beater, so be ready to go naked on your wrist when it’s time to get dirty. 

Consider this collection as a start: A Tissot Le Locle for the dressy watch, and a Citizen BM7251-53I for daily work and casual watch. 

Wrapping Up: Two Watch Collection

Here you go, our take on a two watch collection.

Not the easiest, since you have to balance up many needs, and as a result, you might have to compromise on the watch that you can own. 

But if minimalism is your preference, this might work out well for you. 

What do you think? Can you see yourself going ahead with a two watch collection, or do you think you need more watches to complete your collection?

Do let us know under the comments below, and let’s interact.

Nigel Ignatius

Nigel is the principal creator of WatchPursuits.com, a website dedicated to watches. Inspired by the dedication and effort of watchmakers now and old, Nigel has a passion for watches and looks forward to share his passion with the world.

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