Watches

How to Start a Watch Collection

The fourth installment of our 'Get Dressed' series will start you on your horological journey.
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Putting together a watch collection sounds like a very, very satisfying thing. Imagine opening a drawer and looking down at all those shining faces winking back at you, calling to you to slide them onto your wrist.

But actually knowing where to start can feel overwhelming. Do you go big and get a statement piece? Which one? Or do you slowly build toward that one dream watch? And as well as the many, many, many beautiful watches released over many, many, many decades which you've got to sift through, there's something new and deeply wantable out every day. It's a lot.

We're here to help you out.

Hamilton Khaki Pioneer Mechanical

This svelte 33mm pilot's watch is a reissue of Hamilton's W10, which it made between 1973 and 1976. Hamilton is a brand with clout among insiders and aficionados, and for good reason. It's very quietly cool, and at a very reasonable price point you can get yourself a slice of watchmaking history which is also super-functional and low maintenance.

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Hamilton

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Pilot Pioneer Mechanical, £720, hamiltonwatch.com

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Hamilton

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Khaki Field Murph, £835, ernestjones.co.uk

Hamilton

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Jazzmaster Maestro, £1,410, goldsmiths.co.uk

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Hamilton

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Khaki Navy Pioneer Chrono, £1,540, goldsmiths.co.uk

Hamilton

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Khaki Field Leather Strap, £445, ernestjones.co.uk

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Hamilton

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Khaki Navy Scuba Automatic, £675, beaverbrooks.co.uk

Oris Big Crown Pointer Date

Another brand that has become very desirable over the last couple of years is Oris, and this model, based on one originally produced in 1938, is full of mid-century charm. Again it's small at 36mm across, and though it's inspired by designs of the past it manages to avoid pastiche. That 'Pointer Date' bit of the name refers to the extra hand which points to the date of the month around the watch face, which is a very neat and unusual detail. Its understated look proves men's watches needn't be huge, brash bits of steel.

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Oris

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Big Crown Pointer Date, £1,300, goldsmiths.co.uk

Oris

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Divers Sixty-Five Day Date, £1,450, beaverbrooks.co.uk

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Oris

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Aquis Divers Automatic, £1,570, beaverbrooks.co.uk

Oris

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Aviation 01, £1,270, goldsmiths.co.uk

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Oris

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Watch Artelier Complication, £1,550, goldsmiths.co.uk

Oris

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Big Crown Men's, £1,160, goldsmiths.co.uk

Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43

This one is a proper icon of watchmaking, up there with the Omega Speedmaster and the Rolex Daytona. It's instantly recognizable and jammed with features, and its legibility and usability have made it a favorite of aeronauts of all stripes. It's an investment, yes, but the amount of skill and love that have gone into this one—as well as its inarguable place in watch history—make it a sensible one.

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Breitling

SHOP
Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43, £6,460, goldsmiths.co.uk

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Breitling

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Navitimer 01, £6,280, goldsmiths.co.uk

Breitling

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Chronomat 44m, £10,030, goldsmiths.co.uk

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Breitling

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Superocean Heritage 46, £3,810, ernestjones.co.uk

Breitling

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Premier Automatic, £3,900, ernestjones.co.uk

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Breitling

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Navitimer 8, £3,000, ernestjones.co.uk

This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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