My Collection: Installment 2

This is our second installment spotlighting the stories of personal collections. This edition comes from Josh Gull who’s Instagram handle is @stuffandwatches.

As a kid in the 80s, I found calculator watches fascinating. They were time-telling devices that also served a function above and beyond their primary purpose (and let’s not gloss over how cool they looked). I was lucky enough to have gotten one early on—likely a flea market find from my grandmother—and I remember having to take it off during math class tests. I still get nostalgic thinking what a cool and useful tool that calculator watch was.

Fast forward to high school and my grandfather gifting me a G-Shock Illuminator for Christmas. I had wanted it for quite some time and to this day I’m not sure any gift has rivaled the excitement I felt when I opened that box. It looked awesome, it had an internal stopwatch, and I could operate it all in the dark at the touch of one big button marked with a “G.” I thought I was the coolest kid in class!

From those younger years of digital Casios to window-shopping Tiger Woods Tag Heuers I couldn’t afford in early adulthood, watches have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, and in many ways those experiences have shaped the collection I have today.

As a related side note, I’m quite enjoying sharing this hobby with my young daughter as well. She is an only child and six years old now. Since babyhood she’s loved playing with the different functions of each of my watches, she’ll often “wear” them at night when I’m brushing her hair after bath time, and I’m already grooming her to never trust a gentleman who doesn’t wear a wristwatch (kidding, of course… well, partially).

With all that in mind, let’s get to the good stuff:

Omega Speedmaster Professional 3572.50: This is the watch that pulled me into the world of mechanical timepieces. Not only is the historical gravitas of the Moonwatch undeniable, but I’ve been fascinated by space since my third grade elementary school field trip to the Huntsville, AL U. S. Space & Rocket Center, so naturally the Speedy Pro was the definitive choice for my first “nice” watch. Couple that with the fact that, for me, there isn’t a more useful day-to-day complication than a chronograph and the Speedmaster Professional ticks all the right boxes.

I looked high and low for this particular example—an original unpolished ref. 3572.50 “hesalite sandwich” variant, and being the stickler for maximum practicality that I am, I specifically sought out a luminova dial over the more popular tritium dial as I wanted functional lume. This particular watch was produced circa 2001, the year I graduated high school. This is my go-to casual watch and the piece my daughter calls my “clicking watch” as she loves the sound it makes when engaging or resetting the chronograph.

Rolex Submariner 14060M: I’ve always been partial to “Steve McQueen” Submariners but most 5512s are pretty rough around the edges these days. I heavily considered a ceramic 114060 Submariner but it wore really big on my wrist and I never quite got along with the maxi case visually. Enter the 14060M. While the SubC is a drastically better watch overall, I feel like the 14060M is a better Submariner. The tapered lugs, lugholes, the smaller proportions of the case and dial, the rattle of the tinny old bracelet, and the direct ties to the original Subs of the 1950s and 60s pack a ton of subtle charm that makes this the Submariner for me. It fits me like a glove, it’s the most comfortable tool watch I’ve ever worn, and stylistically it goes with anything from swim trunks to tailored suits if necessary. If I had to pick one watch to wear for the rest of my days, this would be the one. It’s a true GADA piece.

It came into my possession a few years back as a severance package of sorts. It was a gift to me from myself after running my own business for a number of years, and then—after becoming a father—closing the proverbial doors of that business in order to be a more present parent. It represents the incredible amount of hard work, hustle, and heart that I put into that former business venture as well as that same hard work, hustle, and heart that I put into being the best parent I can be for my daughter. She calls this my “turning watch” because of the dive bezel. There have been many nights where I’ve read her books while she turns the bezel and watches the lume glow.

Hamilton Khaki Automatic: I’m a big fan of the history of Hamilton as a brand and the understated styling of the Khaki line in particular. I knew I eventually wanted one in my collection. This particular piece was a gift from family a few years back and means a great deal to me. It’s also supremely useful in my current career. I work for a 24/7 operation that also functions on the 24-hour military style clock. When you’re working odd hours—sometimes across two calendar days—being able to quickly reference the date and appropriate time is key. As such, this is my primary work watch. The 38mm sizing also happens to be perfect for my wrist and this particular example is extremely accurate, operating well within COSC parameters.

Seiko SKX013: Every collection needs some Seiko representation if you ask me, and while the SKX007 is the usual recommendation, I much prefer the handset, case proportions, and lugs of the SKX013. My two Seikos are my vacation/light duty “beater” watches and probably the most fun pieces in my collection. On vacation it’s particularly easy to lose track of what day of the week and month it is, but Seiko has me covered with the day date complication in a rugged tool watch package that I don’t have to worry one bit about. Whether hiking, skiing, swimming, exploring, or simply being a tourist, the SKX is right at home.

Seiko SRPA21: The PADI turtle breaks almost all of my standard rules. I have a strong preference for smaller pieces with understated styling. A watch this bulky and bold would usually never fly in my collection. But as a poolside/beach vacation watch, I’m hard pressed to think of a more charming and capable timepiece than the SRPA21. The day date complication is extremely helpful on vacation and the semi-matte, texturized, sunburst blue dial is mesmerizing to look at in the sun. I’ve never seen anything like it on another piece, much less one at this price point. When it’s swim trunks and flip flops time, the PADI turtle is always on my wrist.

Longines cal. 284: While admittedly a tool watch guy, nothing looks better with a suit than a proper dress watch. Circa 1968, this one also scratches my vintage watch. At 34.5mm in diameter and 40mm lug-to-lug it fits my wrist just the way a proper dress watch should, and I like how the 3-6-9-12 markers are a bit bolder with black accent lines in the middle of them adding a bit of weight and masculinity to an otherwise very subtle timepiece. The hand wound caliber 284 has proven to be surprisingly accurate as well. This thing classes up the watch box nicely.

G-Shock DW5600MS-1: The G-Shock I was gifted in high school was lost long ago, but this is my ode to that memory. This is an all-out beater in the truest sense of the word. Whether a watch is worth $80 or $8,000 I still tend to wear them with a certain level of care, but G-Shocks I wear with reckless abandon, as I know it’ll handle anything I throw at it and then some. I still get a kick out of strapping this thing on my wrist. I’m not sure whether that’s because of the actual watch itself or because of those nostalgic memories of the G-Shock I was gifted in high school, and I’m not sure it matters.

I still have a few Kenneth Cole fashion watches from the dark horological days of my early 20s as well as some microbrand/homage pieces for fun, a Timex Weekender, a Casio AE1200WHD-1A “Casio Royale,” and of course a calculator watch (after all, without a calculator watch I don’t think I could consider this a complete collection). Ultimately very few collections are ever actually complete, but this one is pretty close.

There are a few key pieces I could see adding for some very specific purposes. I’d really love to have German watchmaking represented within my collection and I just so happen to want another Nomos quite a lot. I respect the company’s approach to their business, their craft, and the industry as a whole. Once upon a time I had a Club that I regrettably let go and I could see a Tangente in my future. At some point I’d also like to acquire a birth year watch from 1983 to mark a milestone birthday, perhaps my 40th or 50th? I think a Rolex Datejust ref. 16014 may just be the ticket for that occasion. And perhaps further down the road a Jaeger LeCoultre and/or IWC? And maybe… eh, who are we kidding? Once the watch bug sinks its teeth in it never really lets go, does it? I guess I was doomed from the start.

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