by Dana Li
If you’re new to the world of watches and watch collecting, you might be overwhelmed with all the brands and types of watches that are available. Add in the grail watches you see on social media and it can feel daunting to even figure out how to begin your collection.
I’ve always viewed watches as an extension of myself and my collection to be a reflection of my different styles. While my tastes and style has changed over the years, I still often find myself loosely categorizing watches in three categories: a casual watch I can wear around without worrying too much about damage, a statement piece that I can pair with almost any look, and a special occasion watch to wear for those formal events like a wedding or cocktail party.
If you’re newly into watches, these 3 essential categories can be a great way to kickstart your collection. While you may think you need to drop some serious cash to get started, this is far from the case. In fact, here’s my picks for a 3-watch collection you can get for under $1,000 (yes, you'll spend less than $1,000 to get all 3 watches) that you can wear in almost any situation in your everyday life.
Casual Watch: G-Shock GMAS2100BA22 - $99
For my everyday, functional watch, I’d reach for this smokey, grey-blue G-Shock. As a brand known to make the unbreakable watch, G-Shocks are designed and built to be one of the ultimate tool watches that can accompany you through almost everything - hiking, ziplining, snowboarding, swimming, you name it. There’s a reason why even the most serious watch collectors have a G-Shock (and sometimes even many) in their collections.
Statement Piece: Brew Metric Chronograph in Gold - $475
I believe everyone should have one statement-worthy piece in their collection whether it be a stunning gem-set or an eye-catching, colorful watch. A gold watch, especially one with a gold bracelet, is a great option for days where I would want to wear something more bold. While solid gold has its unique allure, you definitely do not need to spend your life savings on a gold watch. I love the Metric Chronograph in gold from Brew Watches as a statement piece that has a unique, vintage-inspired look. It packs a punch yet is subtle enough to wear to the office, out at a dinner with friends, or even while running errands. Even though the watch is gold plated, the PVD coating on stainless steel makes it extremely resilient and less prone to dents than 14k or 18k gold.
Formal Watch: Orient Contemporary Classic (RA-AC0M02B10B) - $250
To round out my 3-watch collection, I’d pick the Orient Contemporary Classic for my special occasion watch. With its sleek, jet-black dial and strap, this watch is perfect for formal occasions from a nice dinner date to an upscale wedding. The simplistic layout and the font details on the dial also give the watch a timeless, vintage feel. In addition, for less than $300, you’d have a watch with an automatic movement and an exhibition case back.