Best 3-Watch Collection Under $10,000

“In today’s episode: Two different 3-Watch collections, consisting of watches ranging from the Rolex Submariner, to a cool Longines, and all the way to the Cartier Santos.”

Best 3-Watch Collection Under $10,000

  1. Baltic Aquascaphe GMT
  2. Longines Heritage Classic Tuxedo
  3. Cartier Santos


Let me ask you a question. What would you do if you were given $10,000 and you had to build a perfect three-watch collection? How would you decide which watches to choose? And, more importantly, which watches would you choose? There are just so many to choose from… But no worries I got you. This is exactly why I’ve created the Best Watch Collection Under… Series. If you haven’t checked out the other parts of the series, where we created perfect collections ranging from under $1,000, all the way to under $6,000, I highly recommend you checking those out first. Basically, the rules and concept stay the same throughout the whole series, but the cash we can spend increases from part to part.

Ground Rules

Since we have to limit ourselves to only 3 watches per collection, versatility is key. So, let’s assume that these watches will be worn in multiple scenarios. And to make these collections as diverse as possible, the collections will each include a sports/dive watch, a dress watch, and an in-between everyday watch to cover all the bases. So that you will be ready for any possible occasion, be it in an important business meeting, laying at the beach, or hiking in the Andes Mountain range.

Also, to give you a little bit more inspiration and a bigger selection of potential watches, each part of the series will include two different 3-Watch collections. The ground rules will stay the same, but you will get two instead of just one collection. Simple as that.

But enough said, let’s finally get started with the collections!

Collection 1

Collection 1 is consisting of the amphibious Baltic Aquascaphe GMT, a beautiful Longines, and the crowd favored Cartier Santos Medium.

Baltic Aquascaphe GMT ($1,105)

Image credits: Baltic

Starting this list off is the Baltic Aquascaphe GMT, which takes on the role of the dive watch in this first 3-watch collection. Featured by many watch blogs, magazines, and YouTubers, this watch definitely deserves its spot on this list. Inspired by the vintage dive- and GMT watches that were used in the ’60s and ’70s, the Aquscaphe GMT is designed to equip modern divers and jet setters around the world. With its sapphire bezel insert and clean dial, the watch features a unique combination of vintage and contemporary aesthetics. And the added water resistance makes this watch as capable underwater as it would be high up in the air.

Baltic as a brand was founded back in 2017 and therefore is relatively new in the industry. But the story behind their watches is unique and touching, so I don’t want to withhold the story from you. Let’s roll the tape: Inspired by the watch collection of his past father, the founder of Baltic, Etienne Malec, decided to create his own watch brand in order to honor his dad. The name Baltic was chosen as a tribute to the birthplace of his father, which was in north Poland, on the shores of the Baltic Sea. Great story, isn’t it?

But let’s take a closer look at the specs, shall we? The Baltic Aquascaphe GMT features a 316L stainless steel case that measures 39mm in diameter. The simplistic case is complemented by a highly legible black dial with a glossy finish and a 24 click bi-directional rotating bezel, which is made from sapphire glass.

For its movement, Baltic has chosen the automatic Swiss-made Soprod C125 caliber. This self-winding movement has a power reserve of 42 hours, a date- and a GMT functionality.

As you can see, for a price of $1,105, you will get a very nicely designed and executed dive watch for your watch collection.

Specifications: Price: $1,105, Case Size: 39mm, Thickness: 12mm, Lug-to-Lug: 47mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Water Resistance: 100m, Movement: Automatic Swiss made Soprod C125 movement, Power Reserve: 42 hours, Crystal: Sapphire

Longines Heritage Classic Tuxedo ($2,000)

Image credits: Longines

Next up is the Longines Heritage Classic Tuxedo, which takes on the role of the dress watch in this first collection.

The Longines Heritage Tuxedo is one of those watches that immediately catch your eye and never leave your mind afterward. Longines was founded in 1832, in a small Swiss town with the sounding name Saint-Imier. Ever since then, the almost 190-year-old company is known for manufacturing high-quality swiss watches. And while in present times, they are not regarded as prestigious as Rolex or Patek, Longines had times in which they were one of the most prestigious watch manufacturers in whole Switzerland.

Honoring the innovative spirit that has driven Longines’ watchmakers from the outset, the watch was designed after a watch that was produced by Longines in the mid-1940s and featured the same timeless design and distinctive vintage aspects. In the modernized version, these aspects can clearly be seen in the vintage-inspired dial with a silver opaline center section, that contrasts beautifully with the black hours’ track and the raised luminous numerals. The small seconds sub-dial at six o’clock is nicely decorated and features snail-shaped carvings to visually contrast. The large, highly legible hands, round the watch off.

The 38.5mm case hits the ideal balance between honoring the vintage heritage, being considered as a dress watch, and, at the same time, still, be wearable in the modern world of watch sizes. Basically, it hits the sweet spot. Inside the polished, stainless-steel case, beats the automatic caliber L893 movement based on the ETA A31.501 and was modified by Longines in-house. The movement has a frequency of 25,200 BPH and provides a solid 64-hour power reserve.

Considering the $2,000 price tag, the brand’s heritage, and the quality of the watch, I would say that the Longines Heritage Classic Tuxedo offers great value for money and makes for an excellent choice as a dress watch in your collection.

Specifications: Price: $2,000, Case Size: 38.5mm, Thickness: 11.65mm, Lug-to-Lug: n/a, Lug Width: 19mm, Water Resistance: 30m, Movement: Automatic caliber L893 movement, Power Reserve: 64 hours, Crystal: Sapphire

Cartier Santos Medium ($6,800)

Image credits: Cartier

The third and last spot on this watch collection is going to the… drum rolls please…, Cartier Santos. To be precise, the Cartier Santos Medium.

Unveiled at the SIHH 2018, the modernized version of the Santos Cartier quickly managed to gain traction and respect within the watch community. The revamped icon (yes, I use this word too often, but this watch genuinely deserves it) was and still is a success on many levels.

The new Cartier Santos features the same rectangular case shape as its predecessors, but this time, the case is a lot curvier than before. The medium model measures 35.1mm in diameter, 8.83mm in thickness, and 41.9mm from lug to lug, which, according to Hodinkee, whose journalists got their hands on the watch, feels more like a 39mm watch, thanks to its rectangular/cushion-shaped case. But I think that’s quite subjective since you cannot really tell with rectangular watches. Sitting on top of that beautifully curved case is the polished stainless-steel bezel, which features the same exposed screws as the bracelet, and blends in perfectly with the lugs. And I just wanted to mention that, yes, the bezel is indeed very nice, but please be aware that through the excessive polishing, this thing is an absolute scratch magnet. Another cool thing is the silverish dial, which features the usual dark black Roman numerals, the railroad minutes track, and the blued steel hands. Fortunately, Cartier decided to get rid of the date in the medium version, which makes the overall look feel very harmonious and complete.

Case aside, one of the coolest details on the new Cartier Santos has to be the bracelet. The bracelet features brushed links and polished, exposed screws, which just look so classy. But looking pretty is not all the bracelet can do. Equipped with the Cartier SmartLink system, you can now easily remove and add links, making it easier to adjust the length of the bracelet to your individual wrist size.

Inside the beautifully polished case beats the Cartier caliber 1847 MC, a basic 3-hand, 42-hour power reserve, in-house developed and produced movement.

To sum it up, for a price of $6,800 you will get a stunning timepiece for your collection, which will serve you very well on a day-to-day basis.

Specifications: Price: $6,800, Case Size: 35.1mm, Thickness: 8.83mm, Lug-to-Lug: 41.9mm, Lug Width: n/a, Water Resistance: 100m, Movement: Automatic caliber 1847 MC movement, Power Reserve: 42 hours, Crystal: Sapphire

Collection 2

Collection 2 is consisting of the legendary Rolex Submariner, a beautiful Longines, and the Tissot Gentleman Powermatic 80 Silicium.

Rolex Submariner ($8,100)

Image credits: Rolex

Starting this second 3-watch collection off is the Rolex Submariner, which naturally, takes on the role of the dive/sports watch in this collection.

Ever since its introduction in 1954, the Rolex Submariner is one of the most iconic and well-known watches in the whole history of watches. Being the first-ever dive watch to receive a water resistance certificate of 100 meters, Rolex quickly gained respect among enthusiasts and connoisseurs, which ultimately led to their present success. But the coolness factor wasn’t just due to the water resistance and the clean looks. The watch was also worn by countless iconic actors like Sean Connery or Steve McQueen. Both added tremendously to the popularity of the watch and strengthened the image of the cool sports watch with a luxurious twist.

Thanks to its versatile look, high-quality finishing, and the Rolex-typical quality we all are accustomed to, the Submariner makes for a perfect choice when it comes to choosing a watch for your watch collection. The watch features an Oystersteel case, which measures 41mm in diameter, 12.4mm in thickness, and 47.6mm from lug to lug. The Oystersteel case is complemented by a unidirectional rotatable bezel that features a Cerachrom insert in black ceramic. And believe me, this is one of the best parts of the watch. The whole bezel with the shiny black ceramic is absolutely stunning, which even gets better if you turn the unidirectional bezel, and hear the satisfying click sound it makes. The thing about the Submariner is, that every part of the watch just fits so well into the overall look and feel.

Inside the Oyster case beats the automatic Manufacture 3230 caliber, which, of course, is made by Rolex in-house, and provides around 70 hours of power reserve.

For me personally, the Rolex Submariner is one of the greatest watches of all time. It has a great history, looks great, and is very versatile enough to be worn on almost every occasion I can think of. So, what would you want more from a watch?

Specifications: Price: $8,100, Case Size: 41mm, Thickness: 12.4mm, Lug-to-Lug: 47.6mm, Lug Width: 21mm, Water Resistance: 300m, Movement: Automatic Manufacture 3230 movement, Power Reserve: 70 Hours, Crystal: Sapphire

Longines Conquest Heritage ($1,100)

Image credits: Longines

As the dress watch in the second collection, I’ve chosen the Longines Conquest Heritage. The watch pays tribute to the innovative spirit of Longines’ watchmakers and their rich history of refined watchmaking.

And those influences of the past eras are reflected in the whole watch and its design. Starting with the 35mm case, which is considered to be a very conservative case size in the modern watch industry. Other vintage aspects can also be seen on the silver sunburst dial, which features applied golden indexes, polished Dauphine hands, the iconic winged hourglass logo, and a date window that is placed on the 12 o’clock position. Yes, you heard that right, the date window is placed on the 12 o’clock position, which, you have to agree, is quite unusual. Usually, watchmakers tend to place the date windows either on the 3 o’clock or 6 o’clock position, and even though there are certain exceptions like Hermes with their H08, which has the date window on the 4:30 position, I never saw the date window is placed on the 12 o’clock position before. I must admit that I find it quite irritating to have the date on top, but I still have to give credit to Longines for this bold move. And honestly, the longer I look at it, the more it starts to grow on me…

Inside the vintage-sized case, beats the in-house, swiss-made Longines L633 movement, which provides around 38 hours of power reserve.

For a price of $1,100, you will get a very handsome dress watch, which makes a great addition to the Rolex Submariner and the Tissot Gentleman Powermatic in this 3-watch collection.

Specifications: Price: $1,100, Case Size: 35mm, Thickness: 9,9mm, Lug-to-Lug: 42mm, Lug Width: 18mm, Water Resistance: 30m, Movement: Automatic in-house, swiss-made L633 movement, Power Reserve: 38 hours, Crystal: Hesalite

Tissot Gentleman Powermatic 80 Silicium ($775)

Image credits: Tissot

Rounding off the second collection is the Tissot Gentleman Powermatic 80 Silicium. Founded back in 1853, in a small Swiss town named Le Locle, Tissot is known to deliver high-quality mechanical timepieces at very modest price points. This can be seen throughout their lineup, making it a very attractive choice when on a budget.

The Tissot Gentleman was designed to be used as a watch that can be worn every day. It is equally suitable for wearing at your next business meeting, where you have to be dressed up, as on the weekend, when it makes for a perfect companion for a chilled afternoon in your garden. And this design philosophy can be clearly seen in the case and the dial. The durable stainless steel case measures 40mm in diameter and 11.5mm in thickness, making it suitable for virtually every occasion. Complementing the brushed case and the polished bezel is the beautiful blue dial, which features applied indexes, arrow-shaped hands, a date window at 3 o’clock, and a rather conservative branding. The stainless steel bracelet, on which Tissot presents the watch, goes very well together with the blue dial and the stainless-steel case.

In the Tissot, Gentleman beats the Swiss-made, automatic Powermatic 80.811 movement, which provides a whopping 80 hours of power reserve. This impressive power reserve was achieved with a Silicium balance spring, which was built into the movement, and enables the watch to have increased magnetic resistance, increased accuracy, and the before mentioned impressive power reserve.

Now that you know all the specs, there is only one question left. Where can I get one? You can order the watch online or visit your local Tissot AD. The $775 you will have to pay, is certainly worth it.

Specifications: Price: $775, Case Size: 40mm, Thickness: 11.5mm, Lug-to-Lug: 48mm, Lug Width: 21mm, Water Resistance: 100m, Movement: Automatic, Swiss-made Powermatic 80.811 movement, Power Reserve: 80 hours, Crystal: Sapphire

How To Build A Watch Collection On A Budget?

Even with a big amount to spend, like $10,000, there are many ways to split the budget between different watches. You can splurge most of your budget on a very cool watch and clean up with some more affordable options. Like an 80%, 10% and 10% split, which I used in the second collection. You can also choose to split your budget exactly into three and spend around the same amount on every watch.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here