The people have spoken, and it is clear that within the Fantasy Watch Collection 10K I was the people’s champion. I take great pride in my victory, listening to Queen’s “We Are the Champions” as I type this story. But I recognise I could not have won without your support, and thank you, the readers, for declaring me the winner of this segment. While I must confess that the two watches I selected were safely definitive crowd-pleasers, I truly stand by my choices and picked them without a desire to win the competition – these are genuinely the two watches I would pick within the 10K parameter. Let’s quickly explore why the two watches — that are seemingly similar — actually complement each other and make for a diverse and all-purpose collection.
The case for the Black Bay Fifty-Eight “Navy Blue”
Full disclosure, I was a tad biased in my BB58 Navy Blue pick as I actually own the watch on a bracelet – and it has had a lot of wrist time (arguably the most) throughout the course of the pandemic. It was really my first thought when tasked with building a Fantasy Watch Collection 10K, as its price gave me a fair amount of leeway for the second watch, without having to compromise on horological value. It really does wear like a better-built vintage Submariner, and you wouldn’t blink twice if the watch was branded Rolex instead of Tudor as the build quality is really high for the dollar. It’s like going into a time machine and buying a Submariner 10 years ago. The Navy Blue of the dial is incredibly dynamic, and ranges in tone depending on the lighting of the setting you’re in. It truly is the blue stainless steel diver you will never see from Rolex, that technically on paper stacks up to its Wilsdorf siblings. The silicon hairspring really provides a great level of anti-magnetism, and the 39mm case and 47mm lug to lug makes it an incredibly wearable professional sports watch – especially for my smaller wrist.
The case for the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36mm Silver Dial
My logic here was simple. Could I have worn the BB58 in more formal settings? Sure. But could I do better? Especially considering the fact I had more than half of my budget left to spend. By choosing the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36, I am able to have a watch that seamlessly integrates into smart casual and formal settings while maintaining a level of robustness that caters to a twenty-something’s lifestyle. As an example, this was a leading factor when I leveraged my Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse 3548 for a Rolex Submariner 114060. Having a luxury watch you don’t have to worry about during wear is an incredibly nice feeling. The yellow gold hands against the silver gradient dial ooze vintage OP vibes, and the classic 36mm case size really flatters any wardrobe. It strips away the professional sports aesthetic, while having the robust qualities of a professional sports watch – making this a great buddy for the BB58 in less active moments.