The three watches D.C. wore most in 2022 – Seiko, Omega, and G-Shock The three watches D.C. wore most in 2022 – Seiko, Omega, and G-Shock

The three watches D.C. wore most in 2022 – Seiko, Omega, and G-Shock

D.C. Hannay

Any watch worth keeping in the collection has a story. Or at the least, a defined purpose. Some are sentimental: an heirloom, a gift, or one that marks a significant moment all fall under this category. Others are purely practical: the beaters. The quartz grab-and-gos. The piece you choose when you don’t have time to agonise over the contents of your watchbox. My most-worn watch roster features both the storied and the pragmatic, and sometimes, the two are one in the same. So without further ado, here are the top three watches I wore most in 2022.

#1 Seiko Prospex “Turtle” SRP787K1

Numero uno is both practical, and a bit sentimental. My personal connection to Seiko is quite strong, as the brand was my gateway drug to the wider world of watch collecting.

I’ve been fascinated with watches since childhood, but my first “real watch” was a 1979 vintage Seiko 6309-7049 Turtle diver, which my wife traded a gold bracelet for at a neighbourhood jewellery store… now that’s true love. Those were the days before “vintage” was really a thing, when you could find one for around $100 dollars… my, how times have changed. Anyway, as it’s now 40+ years old and features a healthy dose of wabi-sabi, I’m very happy to have its present-day doppelganger as a daily driver.

Just for a bit of diversity from my vintage model’s all-black colourway, I opted for an Asian market version, the SRP787K1, nicknamed the “Batman”, due to its black-and-blue aesthetic that echoes the modern Rolex GMT-Master II. The Prospex version’s cushion case is a smidge bigger than the OG at 44.3mm, but just as comfortable. I’ve swapped the bracelet for a rotating cast of straps, currently a basic black tropic that suits the tool watch vibe perfectly. The reasons for its outsized prominence in my wear schedule are many: the colour scheme goes with most things I wear, it’s super-legible, the movement and overall durability are pretty much worry-free, and I’m constantly finding new uses for a timing bezel. Yes, the vintage version is near ideal for my tastes, but the new Turtle takes me 95% of the way there, with 0% of the worry, and that’s why it’s on my wrist more often than not.

#2 Omega Speedmaster Reduced 3510.50.00

My second choice is certainly not a rare watch, but it’s dear to me for two reasons. One, it has a sentimental connection, not because it was an heirloom, but it does have a special connection to a departed family member. Secondly, it’s just the watch that fits me and my particular wrist better than any other I own. It actually feels like a part of me when I have it on. The 39mm Omega Speedmaster automatic “Reduced” isn’t a Moonwatch, but it easily gets more wear than my Speedy Pro. Derided by some as the junior sibling to the manually-wound Pro, I’m here to tell you it’s a flat-out great watch in its own right. I love a good chrono, and the dimensions of the Reduced are right in my sweet spot, especially the shorter, sharper twisted lugs, as well as the less bulky bracelet. In fact, it’s one of the few watches I own that never leaves the bracelet.

I reckon mine is considered “neo-vintage” now, being from 1996, but since it’s an absolute keeper, I no longer worry about wear. Scratches and scuffs on the clasp and bracelet abound, as well as the domed Hesalite crystal, and I couldn’t care less. I certainly have more valuable and more emotionally significant watches in my collection (my father’s Navitimer above all), but those are largely relegated to “occasion watch” status. Because the Reduced is such a perfect fit for me (in so many ways), it just seems to get more wrist time than most things in my collection.

#3 Casio G-Shock “Casioak” GA2100-1A1

Now onto the take-no-prisoners watches, better known as the “beaters”. There’s one for every taste and budget, and I have an assortment of G-Shocks, a bulletproof Citizen Promaster Diver (with Eco-Drive, the Toyota Land Cruiser of watch movements), and some well-worn Seiko mods for those days when sporting a fine Swiss timepiece would be an exercise in true dullardry. Inexpensive tool watches are everywhere. So if you’re playing football on the weekend, and don’t want to bash on your Vacheron, you’ve literally got thousands of budget-friendly alternatives to choose from.

And the one I seem to reach for most often is the original, murdered-out Casio G-Shock “Casioak” in all black. It’s pure, unrepentant evil on the wrist, with no prominent branding or dial markers jumping out, just a sleek menace that does, in fact, bear a striking resemblance to a futuristic AP Royal Oak, but at less than 1/250th the price.

It’s superlight, thanks to the Carbon Core construction, yet could fall out of a 10-story window without worry. Although it resembles the exterior of a stealth fighter, if I’m doing something outdoors, the monochromatic look doesn’t really present an issue with legibility. But if you’re not feeling the Darth Vader look, you are truly spoiled for choice these days, as there’s an ever-growing roster of Casioaks to suit any style, with more coming all the time. But there’s just something about the original, without any contrasting colour infill on the debossed bezel lettering to distract from the octagonal case that just does it for me. The muted dial details fit the brief as well. Bruce Wayne would wear this one, as might the ghost of Coco Chanel. It’s one of those rare pieces that looks amazing, even artful in its form, while simultaneously existing as a truly functional beast.