2020 FANTASY WATCH COLLECTION PART 2 – What watches would we buy with a budget of $10,000 USD?

2020 FANTASY WATCH COLLECTION PART 2 – What watches would we buy with a budget of $10,000 USD?


Like we said in the previous instalment, 2020 has been so bad that fantasy is often all we’ve had left. Fantasies of leaving our houses are still being had daily in Melbourne, and fantasies of new watches and sunny days are not far behind. So, to try to make something good of the bad, we’ve set ourselves a challenge as a team today, and that is to buy as many, or as few, watches as we’d like, up to the value of $10,000 USD. There’s only one rule. They had to be released in 2020. Here’s what happened. Coming soon, the MILLION DOLLAR VERSION.

$10k 2020 watch collection

Andrew McUtchen’s Picks

Glashütte Original Sixties Chronograph Glacier Blue

Image: Kristian Haagen

I got pretty excited about these watches in the Virtual Baselworld Watch & Chill Episode, and that excitement hasn’t left me. We’re all, at the end of the day, dial people. And this one sends me wild. That utterly beguiling mix of sunburst and dégradé finishings, with the perfect symmetry of the Bi-Compax chrono dial, and the quixotic personality of the numeral font. It’s superb. RRP: $8300 (P.S. With the remaining $1300, I’m going to buy a bag of GO straps to go with this model – because it will look amazing on black leather, a chocolatey brown, as well as fun on a navy blue NATO. Let the games begin.) 

Nick Kenyon’s Picks

DOXA SUB 300 Carbon Aqua Lung US Divers Limited Edition

$10k 2020 watch collection

One of the greatest challenges facing watch brands with historically popular designs is how they continue to evolve as a brand, and how that evolution is reflected in their new releases. This year, DOXA expertly walked the tightrope between past and present with the release of the DOXA SUB 300 Carbon Aqua Lung US Divers Limited Edition. Maintaining the classic sloped tonneau case shape that the brand is so well known for, DOXA launched the design into the 21st century, executing the entire case, dial and bezel in forged carbon. Arriving on a comfortable rubber strap, and powered by a COSC-certified movement, the watch also celebrated the decades-long relationship with the scuba diving company Aqua Lung. Price: USD$4790

Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36mm Coral dial 

Image: bobswatches.com

While many were worried that Rolex would hold all 2020 new releases after the cancellation of Baselworld this year, the Big Crown didn’t disappoint and launched their new novelties in September. While 2020 was all about the updates to the Rolex Submariner, the entry-level Oyster Perpetual collection was also refreshed with five colourful new dial choices in the 36mm size. The winner for me was the coral-coloured dial, bringing to life a reddy-orange hue in Rolex’s most celebrated case size. Stella dials FTW! Price: USD$5600 

Zach Blass’s Picks

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Navy Blue

The Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Navy Blue is an amazing watch. It is personally my favourite of the two Fifty-Eight watches so far (used to own the original, now own the navy blue). Whenever people ask me what I think about this watch I tell them that this is the best-value diver under $5000. It is basically a modern watch built in vintage Submariner proportions. Until the recent release of the 2020 Submariner it had a power reserve 24 hours longer than 3130-powered Submariners. It also has a silicon hairspring, something that even the latest from Rolex do not include. It’s high-tech and extremely high value. Why buy a Submariner just shy of $10,000 when you can grab a formidable Tudor diver and a sleek sexy Rolex Oyster Perpetual for the same budget? Price: $3700

Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36mm

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36mm is arguably the perfect one watch for a one-watch collection. With a variety of dial colours and sizes, there really is a flavour for everyone. To cover my bases for a more formal desk diver, I am going to opt for the silver dial version in 36mm. While not as colourful as the others in the lineup, it stands out among the rest as the only watch within the collection to have yellow gold hands and markers. This contrast provides a nice vintage/classic vibe while being packaged with the latest modern tech from Rolex – including the new Chronergy escapement, which provides 72 hours of power reserve. While the watch is more formal looking in appearance, this watch is a 100 metre water resistant beaut (with screw-down crown) that can take on just about anything in store for the day – ready for the beach or the boardroom. Price: USD$5600 

Thor Svaboe’s Picks

Daily – Lorier Neptune black gilt

I already have the second version of this vintage-styled diver, and with the reduction in thickness to only 10.3mm + crystal, this 39mm slim late ’50s-looking diver is constantly sold out for a reason. It has the best flat link bracelet in the microbrand sphere, and sharp details with that oh-so-classic black and gold dial. Price: USD$499

Diver – DOXA SUB 300 Sharkhunter on rubber

$10k 2020 watch collection
The DOXA SUB 300T Sharkhunter on beads-of-rice bracelet.

The tool with a capital T– here underlined by an unusually monochrome colour combination for a DOXA. This will remind me that I CAN jump on a plane to a small island outside the Seychelles where my diving gear awaits, or have that bright red pop of a minute hand remind me that I’m alive — even at a lockdown desk at home. This is slightly over 40mm, but with DOXA’s classic cushion case, it never feels it. This blows my budget by about $400 (please don’t tell the editor) … it’s a lifeline as much as a tool watch. Price: USD$2400

The Top – Grand Seiko SBGH281

My selection of three timepieces is shrewdly devised by my diverse taste, and angled towards budgeting for a Grand Seiko. I would gladly blow most of my budget on the Grand Seiko SBGH281. This is a limited edition of three 60th anniversary models released earlier this year, with a typical Grand Seiko sharpness of line and a welcome pop of colour. The dark blue dial has a gorgeous gold GS appliquè logo at 12, with the seconds hand and text at 6 in an eye-popping red. This is a perfect 40mm, and is dressed in the razor-sharp 44GS case – with its TIE Fighter frontal look and the sharpest angles this side of a Stealth Bomber. Pièce de résistance? The Hi-Beat 9S85, 36,000 vph movement. Price: USD$7500