Does The Perfect Watch Actually Exist?

Are you like me and always on the hunt for that one amazing watch that does it all?  I sure am and have been for a few years. Many have come close, but I haven’t found one to crown the champ yet. I am going to give you a little backstory on my watch addiction and how I have been looking for that one perfect watch. I have attempted to write this post so many times, but the allure of a new watch on the horizon has always stopped me. Finally, after being inspired by a recent watch acquisition, I decided it was time to tell the story.

I am not a “one-watch collection” guy, far from it. I love watches too much. However, I am always looking for that one watch. You know the one that is perfect does it all and checks all the boxes! Well, if you haven’t realized by now, that watch does not exist! Yeah, some come close, but I am convinced at this point that unless I build my own, my ultimate watch is not out there. To be fair, there are several that come mighty close.

I have a few issues when it comes to watches, the first is I can’t just own one. I’m the guy that will own a double of a watch just so I can have one on the bracelet and one on a nato strap..and yes, different colors too.

My watch tastes have changed over the years and have evolved in different directions. A few years back, the perfect watch for me was A Timex Scout. I couldn’t understand why anyone needed anything else than that $35 beauty that did it all.

Then one day, I just became watch crazy. I think the official Instagram hashtag is #watchaddicted.  It started when I got my first Instagram collaboration watch. I had been posting pocket knife pics and not all that good mind you when I started to throw in my Timex Scout to change it up. Long story short, H.Goose who is based here in South Carolina reached out to see if I would be interested in checking out their Saluda Field Watch

At this point, I don’t think the quality of my pictures or Instagram reach warranted a free watch, but it was still the early days of EDC collaboration. The real deal in this situation was my friend Paul who runs @wristwatchcheckdaily and single-handedly changed the EDC picture game on Instagram. He was already working with H. Goose and mentioned to them that I might be a good fit, the rest is history as the cliche goes.

Up until this point, I have never owned a high-end expensive watch, so you can imagine what happened when I received the Saluda Field Watch. Swiss Quartz, Sapphire, Blasted Steel Case, it was all over for me at that point.

As my Instagram account grew, I had the chance to own several watches over the $1,000 mark and a fair amount of amazing watches around the $500 mark. Which to me is the sweet spot for real watches. That middle ground between $300 – $500 gets you some truly outstanding timepieces.

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It’s also that value proposition that I base all of my reviews around; Is this item worthy of spending money on? To me, one of the greatest things about EDC, watches, and gear, in general, is finding a good deal. I don’t mean always the cheapest, but something that is a value and you don’t feel like you were ripped off.

Getting back to my main mission of finding the ultimate watch, I will be the first one to say I have not found it and probably never will. I had intended to write a list of what I consider the ultimate watch. You know, rugged watches that can do it all, camp, hike, kayak, get wet, get dirty, handle date night, go on vacation, take a beating and still keep on going. 

The main parameters to make my so-called list is focused on ruggedness and reliability with a touch of good looks and functionality. What the heck does that mean you ask? Well, it’s simple. I want a watch that can look good on the wrist, handle getting banged around, is a strap monster, and can get wet. 

Then I realized that I really got off track with this article and decided to write more of a story or essay about my hunt for the ultimate watch. I have come close many times to the perfect watch, but one thing or another usually stops it from being a perfect 10.

Take for example my recent acquisition of the Seiko SPB317. I mean I was in love at first sight! I bought it while on vacation and at a Seiko dealer, which is rare because I always hunt down a deal. This is almost the perfect watch for me, but the only thing stopping it is a junky bracelet. My version, the 317 comes on a rubber strap but Seiko has two others that come on bracelets and in the flesh they were horrible. See, you get so close and it’s always the final few yards that keep the watch off the perfect list.

Many watches come so close but are held back by one thing or another, usually, the deal breaker is bad lume or the lack of a screw-down crown and if you have read any of my reviews, those are always sticking points for me. The screw-down crown is an interesting demand since I recently saw a comment on a Reddit Board that a Listerine bottle is a plastic opening on a plastic seal that feels pretty loose, but is 100% watertight. So, yes, I know I am a little unreasonable here, but I’m not giving in on the lume.

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My deep dive into watches is a direct result of my Instagram account and the opportunity I have to check out and review watches from various companies, mostly microbrands. Before I go on, I have never owned a Rolex or Grand Seiko, I’m not a WIS (watch idiot savant for those not up on their hashtags), and frankly can’t tell you much about the horological history of any watch. What I can do is give you good advice about buying watches in that sweet spot of around $500.

Really, that is the inspiration for this whole website, giving real-world advice about everyday carry gear I would buy and use, which stems from all the conversations and messages I have with friends and followers about EDC gear in general. Several times a week I get messages from someone wanting to know what I think about a certain watch, do I like a certain brand, or if I think something is worth the money, usually pocket knife and watch related.

Now, after a few years of handling and wearing a wide range of watches, I can definitely answer the question if something is worth your money. By worth your money, I mean a regular guy or gal who has to thoughtfully decides to spend their money on something none of us need. Let’s face it, that $35 Timex Scout sure keeps good time!

So, when someone sends me any type of gear to review or even just to post pictures on Instagram, the first thing I ask is “would I spend MY money on this?”. If I wouldn’t spend my money on this watch and I am attempting to be genuine in my reviews and opinions, how in the world can I tell you to spend money on it? 

Now after several years of watch collecting my desire for some higher-end pieces are very strong. I almost bought a Tudor Black Bay a few months ago. I have wanted one forever, but never had the funds to afford that kind of watch. Then, in a fit of wanting to treat myself, almost having enough money, and being one block away from a Tudor dealer I decided to pull the trigger. 

However, I stopped at the last minute because although the watch is truly stellar…it doesn’t have an “on the fly” micro adjust. What the heck? You would think a watch at that price would have a quick-adjust bracelet. I mean I bought a $450 Zelos two years ago that has a quick-adjust bracelet. I have a Christopher Ward that cost ⅓ the price of the Black Bay that has it….and is in titanium. 

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So, as you can see the more you go down this rabbit hole the easier it is to realize that the perfect watch you want most likely does not exist. I thought the Christopher Ward C60 Elite 1000 was going to be the watch that finally quenched my thirst and would be my ultimate “do-it-all” watch.

Wrong again! The dam thing is over 15 mm thick and on the wrist just looks too tall. I knew ahead of time it was 15.4mm thick, but I thought it would be ok. I wear it all the time and continue to force myself to like it more than I do, but it has its shortcomings. It also doesn’t change the date and day very nicely, taking several hours for the day wheel to finally click over.

There have been a few others that have also got within striking distance, but for one little thing or another, they aren’t perfect. Sometimes it’s a crunchy crown that never threads right or a great watch with a lousy movement, or the dial markers look weird in the overall presentation. With me, it’s always something.

The funny thing about this whole article is I started writing it on October 11, 2019. A lot has happened in that time. My business has grown and I can afford more than a Timex from Walmart. I almost died from the Kung Flu spending 11 days on a ventilator and the kids keep getting bigger. What has changed is the realization that the perfect watch doesn’t exist, but my Seiko Turtle is mighty close!

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