The three watches Zach wore most in 2023 – Rolex, Cartier, Piaget The three watches Zach wore most in 2023 – Rolex, Cartier, Piaget

The three watches Zach wore most in 2023 – Rolex, Cartier, Piaget

Zach Blass

Well, it is that time of year again. This will be the fourth time I share my most worn watches of the year on Time+Tide, but this year’s batch of my most worn take a strong turn in a different direction. Up until now, all of my most worn pieces were modern watches on a bracelet. In 2020, my most worn were the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Navy Blue, Grand Seiko SBGA211 ‘Snowflake’, and Rolex Submariner ref. 114060. In 2021, when the team all in one go shared their single most worn watch, it was the Grand Seiko ‘Shunbun’ SBGA413. Lastly, in 2022, the three watches I wore the most were my Rolex Datejust ref. 126234, Zenith Defy Classic Skeleton ‘Night Surfer’ Time+Tide Edition, and the Grand Seiko SBGA413 ‘Shunbun’.

zach most worn watches 2023

Of all the aforementioned watches, only the Tudor BB58 Navy Blue has since left the collection. That being said, all of the watches previously listed did not make the cut this year. I typically do a good job of rotating between my watches daily, so it is not necessarily the fact this new batch of three most worn watches were all worn more by a mile. But, with each of the soon-to-be-revealed three being recent additions that were brought into the collection within the last year, they each had the advantage of a honeymoon period. And, this year for me was the year of wearing more of my strap-watches. I typically favour bracelet watches and their more robust specs. But, largely finding myself behind a laptop, or at more formal watch events this year, the strap watches, along with a vintage piece, got a ton of wear – clinching the top 3 most worn spots.

Piaget Altiplano Ultimate 900P ref. G0A41011

Piaget Altiplano Ultimate 900P

No watch on the market is better built to be worn with a suit than this Piaget Altiplano Ultimate 900P. I am well aware the ‘slide under the cuff’ lingo is as much an overplayed buzzphrase as ‘pop of colour’ within the watch world. But, at just 3.65mm thick, this watch truly slides in and out beneath a shirt cuff with unparalleled ease. Yes there are watches that are thinner on the market, but keep in mind this watch is 38mm in diameter, with a conventional circular case, that actually looks like a wristwatch – rather than the Richard Mille wrist-cuff that holds the record at 1.75mm thick but is 51mm in diameter (albeit 39mm lug-to-lug). So pretty much every event I have been to since July when I acquired this watch, where I have suited up in some form or another, I have strapped this watch onto my wrist. It is incredibly comfortable, and I feel it fits me like a glove. Also, while this watch definitely has a formal tuxedo vibe, I have really dug the clash and contrast of simply wearing it with a T-shirt and jeans as well.

I also love the fact it is the antithesis of wearing a modern Rolex to a watch meetup. I have only met one or two people in the wild who have told me they also own one, so there is also the appeal that 99% of the time I wear it it will immediately stand out as a conversation piece. This is the one watch I wore pretty much throughout all of Dubai Watch Week 2023, and, in this locale with an unparalleled attendance of diverse and exceptional watches on journalists and visitors, I was glad I got a lot of props from my peers and inquiries from people wanting to know more about it.

Cartier Santos Dumont Limited Edition ref. WGSA0054

Cartier Santos Dumont Limited Edition ref WGSA0054

I am well on the record having lusted and drooled over this watch when I first saw it at Watches & Wonders 2022. Fortunately, I was able to get an allocation for one, and since its arrival in November 2022, I remain equally smitten with this watch as the day I first encountered it. In a marketplace filled with designs that can look like one another, this beige-lacquered case, while an iconic case profile, is just so distinct. While the ‘large’ size, we all know Cartier sizing runs small proportional to their nomenclature. Its dimensions are perfectly suited to my wrist, with a 31.4mm diameter and 43.5mm lug-to-lug measurement. At just 7.3mm thick, it is also very slender and has been a go-to for more smart-casual attire moments throughout the year. This is a watch that just pops, and one, I joke, punches above me in terms of its coolness factor. I love how confident I feel while wearing this watch, and this will always be a piece I gravitate to. It is a one-of-a-kind, or technically one of 250, beige-beaut. Simple as that.

Rolex Explorer ref. 1016

Rolex Explorer 1016

Last year my Rolex Datejust 36 ref. 126234 was my most worn watch, and it still has had a lot of wear time this year. But, I found on days where it was not raining, or where I did not have to be concerned with the fragilities of a vintage piece, I just kept picking up my Rolex Explorer ref. 1016 in its place. While it is a very well-known reference within our niche world, it is a very discreet Rolex to the mainstream. An if-you-know-you-know Rolex. On its jubilee bracelet with a white gold fluted bezel, my Datejust 36 is anything but discreet – rather a bit of disco ball on the wrist with its light play. The 1016, however, I wore on a press trip to Paris – something I would have felt less comfortable doing with the Datejust 36. I can’t say I have kept a detailed record of the watches I wore each day, but I firmly believe I wore the Rolex Explorer ref. 1016 the most this year.

Final thoughts

Cartier Santos Dumont Limited Edition WGSA0054 2

I think finally acknowledging the fact that, more often than not throughout my daily life, at least in my current routine, a 100 metres water-resistant watch that is more commonly considered a ‘daily’ is not something I need to force myself to wear all the time has left me feeling more comfortable wearing more delicate pieces daily. Though, if I am off to a beachside vacation, and only taking one watch, it would be none of the above.

Of course, as I mentioned in the beginning, the three watches listed above had the advantage of being new additions throughout the year. But, with my latest ‘exit watch’ acquisition there will be less novelty within my collection. I suspect my Credor Eichi II will be one of my most worn for 2024, the question is which two will join alongside it in the top 3?