In recent times, there has been a huge influx of YouTube channels that discuss about watches and all-things horology. This is perhaps attributed to the relatively lower barriers to entry, as long as one has the right equipment, as well as the necessary resources and knowledge on the field.
Of course, there are exceptional channels amongst the many, with contents that are constantly getting us hooked (and constantly going back for more). So, while we were binge watching these videos on a regular basis, a thought came to our mind: Why not do a reaction article to some of these contents that were produced by these watch influencers?
Hence, in this week’s article, we will put our thoughts into action and react to the watches that were selected by these personalities on their YouTube video. What is on the cards? Let’s find out!
The Video: Watch Shopping With Kirby Allison – Building A Four Watch Collection
We begin the first article in the series with a video from the well-respected Teddy Baldassarre, a content creator on YouTube who has amassed a subscriber base of over 805,000. Besides content creation, also leads an authorized dealer of 30 leading watch brands, as well as watch straps.
In this particular video, Teddy goes “watch shopping” with Kirby Allison. Kirby is also another highly regarded figure, albeit in the sartorial space. For this episode, both Teddy and Kirby are at Bachendorf’s, where they will be selecting 4 different timepieces each to build a four-watch collection. On the other hand, we will be commenting on their selection, and also give some of our thoughts and opinions on it.
We will first begin with Teddy’s picks:
Grand Seiko GMT (SBGM003/SBGM221)
We think that this is a great pick from Teddy. The Grand Seiko GMT (Reference SBGM003/SBGM221) is perhaps one of the timepieces with the best value proposition in today’s market. Priced at US$4,600 (approximately S$6,180), one will be hard pressed to find another timepiece that offers both functionality and quality. It is also quite a looker, perhaps largely attributed to the clean design and impeccable zaratsu finishing.
The 39.5mm timepiece is a classy watch, and it is an ideal pick for a collector who is a frequent traveller. It is a timepiece that works well in the boardroom, whilst at the same time, subtle enough without attracting the wrong sort of attention overseas.
Breitling Premier B25 Datora 42 Copper
Next, we have a slightly uncommon pick: Breitling Premier B25 Datora 42 Copper.
The Premier Datora is one of the brand’s latest additions (or reintroduction) to the line-up, following George Kern’s appointment as the new CEO of Breitling in 2017. The collection was first coined in the 1940s and refers to a timepiece with the complete calendar chronograph complication displaying day, date, month, and moonphase.
This is a nice addition to the space, in which the complications are typically featured by higher-ends maisons such as the “holy trinity”, or technical powerhouses such as Jaeger-LeCoultre. The Premier Datora certainly offers a reasonably-priced alternative at S$19,900, with a rather tasteful design and dial colour. For collectors who are looking for a complicated timepiece, the Premier Datora is a compelling choice to consider.
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Small Seconds
Following the first two watches, Teddy thought that he might have wanted something sportier, which led to the selection of the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Small Seconds (picture above courtesy of Omega).
The timepiece is available in two case sizes (38mm and 41mm) and dial options. Teddy’s pick, which is also our favourite, is the 41mm variant with the silver teak-striped dial. The contrasting blue elements also add a nice touch to the timepiece and accentuate its roots to the maritime heritage. Beyond its aesthetics, the timepiece is also extremely robust – it is Master Chronometer Certified, with properties such as water resistance of up to 150m, anti-magnetism, and shock-resistance.
Priced at S$9,600, the Seamaster Aqua Terra Small Seconds is a brilliant watch for someone who wants a timepiece that can do it all. This is a superb daily beater watch as well, if one is willing to spend close to a five-figure sum for a timepiece to knock around.
Longines Legend Diver Bronze
Finally, Teddy selected the Longines Legend Diver Bronze to round up his four-watch collection.
Since the reintroduction of the Legend Diver collection in 2013, we dare say that this is one of the biggest hits from the Switzerland-based watch manufacturer. The 42mm, in our opinion, is one of the nicest looking timepieces in the Longines line-up – which is actually quite a tall compliment considering the amount of great watches that the brand had introduced over the years. The bronze case and its dark green dial further add to the charm of this already-alluring timepiece.
The Legend Diver Bronze is priced at US$3,125 (approximately S$4,200). We opined that while the Bronze version is a great looking piece, collectors who are looking for a more modest alternative may find the stainless-steel variant to be equally compelling as well, especially with its lower price point. Either way, we believe that one will still be getting a damn good watch regardless.
We then move on to Kirby’s selection:
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Duoface Calendar
For most collectors, owning a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso is certainly a goal. For Kirby, instead of the usual time-only Reverso, he had gone a step further with the excellent Reverso Tribute Duoface Calendar. Reversos with complications is something that certainly excites us, and we love how JLC has seamlessly integrated the calendar complication into the classic design of the Reverso. Beyond that, the reverse side also features a second time zone display, with tasteful day and night indicator to boot.
The option that Kirby had gone for is the stainless-steel variant, which is a great option in our opinion. While the rose gold version exudes a certain sense of elegance, the steel version is excellent in its own right as well – without having to break the bank. Priced at S$23,900, we think this JLC offers great value for a collector who is looking for a complicated timepiece with a certain air of gravitas.
Cartier Ballon Bleu
Next on the list of Kirby’s picks is the Cartier Ballon Bleu, albeit in the rose gold version.
The latest variant, launched in 2021, is now available in 40mm. There is something charming, yet quirky, about the Ballon Bleu, although it is certainly not the cup of tea for everyone. We think that the Ballon Bleu might be an intriguing piece for a collector who wishes to showcase their personality, especially with its slightly unusual design and the rather interesting crown guard that is synonymous with the collection.
The 40mm Ballon Bleu, in rose gold, is priced at S$23,500. We do appreciate the Ballon Bleu, but we might have opted for a more iconic and classier model when it comes to Cartier – such as the Tank Louis Cartier. There is no right or wrong answer, but just a matter of personal preference in this case.
Breitling Premier B09 Chronograph 40
Surprise, surprise – we have another Breitling in the video, this time in the form of the Premier B09 Chronograph 40.
The Premier has been a rather underrated collection, but we reckon it certainly deserves much more attention than what it is currently receiving. We like its good looks, palatable 40mm case, and a well-made in-house vertical clutch chronograph movement. This particular model, with the pistachio green dial, certainly takes the watch onto another level with an uncommon yet soothing dial colour.
At S$12,100, the Premier B09 Chronograph 40 certainly offers quite a lot. This is a well-executed timepiece that ticks all the right boxes for most watch collectors. It may face some serious competition in the form of the Omega Speedmaster Professional or Zenith El Primero, but we do think that this Breitling should be able to stand on its own.
Grand Seiko SBGW283 “Kishun”
Kirby rounds up his selection with another superb timepiece: Grand Seiko SBGW283 “Kishun”.
This particular series of manual-winding Grand Seiko watches, with a 37mm case, is perhaps another favourite of ours. We love the simplicity of the timepiece, and for this model, it also allows the exquisite Kirazuri textured dial to shine. As Teddy pointed out, Grand Seiko is known to produce extraordinary dials, and the SBGW283 certainly allows the dial a brilliant platform to shine.
The SBGW283 “Kishun” is perhaps what most watch geeks will want in a timepiece. Simple timepiece, with great finishing, and an engaging manual-winding movement. It also works as a good dress watch, and at US$4,800 (approximately S$6,450), we dare say that this watch has the ability to punch its weight above some of the pricier timepieces with a lower five-digit price tag.
We thought that the selections from Teddy and Kirby are excellent. These eight watches are great pieces in their own rights, and we are quite glad that they have both gone for options that are beyond the typical mainstream picks. Again, there is nothing wrong with the mainstream options (they are popular for a strong reason), but it is also nice to see some of the underrated brands and models being represented on their videos.
We understand from the video that Teddy’s selection costs around US$28,225 (approximately S$37,925), while Kirby’s four-watch collection came in at about US$44,500 (approximately S$59,860). These are not small sums by any means, but what they have are truly magnificent watches that are worth their salt. In fact, a few pieces, such as the Longines Legend Diver and the pair of Grand Seiko, are relatively well-priced and are excellent options for someone who is looking to get an entry-level luxury watch.
So, what are your thoughts on their selection? Does it make an excellent four-watch collection, or would you have selected something else instead? Let us know your thoughts, as well as any videos that you might want us to react to, in the comments section below.