If you've been with me for a bit, you know that wristwatches have deep meaning for me - every timepiece I own marks a special moment in time or people who are important to me.
I don't have the most extensive collection, but as someone who wears watches every single day, when I plan for extended travel, I do like to bring a few pieces along - four to be exact. A fun watch, a dress watch, a sports watch, and a daily beater.
I'm headed on a 6-month journey throughout Asia starting in mid-January and these are the four I've decided to bring with me...
Ethics Statement: Some of the links below are affiliate links which means if you use them and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at absolutely no extra cost to you. It's the easiest way to support my work! 🙏
The Fun Watch
My funky fun watch is my "sibling watch". It's the Casio G-Shock GMW-B5000 in gold that my sister bought for me. I love this timepiece and as Hodinkee's Week-On-The-Wrist video said in the script, it's a watch "... that doesn't take itself too seriously" and I couldn't agree more.
The loud gold is bordering on obnoxious and the full steel case and bracelet has some serious wrist-presence - much heavier than I like in a daily watch, but for Saturday strolls through shops downtown, or, for a casual first date at a coffee shop, it's nice to pair with just a white t-shirt, jeans, and white sneakers. Check it out on Amazon!
The Dress Watch
I'm going to be honest, typically when I go for long extended travel, I rarely have a formal event that I'm planning for. I like travelling to more off-the-beaten path places. For example, when it comes to Indonesia, it's a hard "no" to the over-touristy city of Bali, but a "hell yes" to the grimy alleys of North and West Jakarta.
Even the client work I do in video doesn't need me to wear a suit since as a "creative", even formal dress-code client offices know to expect me in jeans and sneakers.
But there was one time when I was invited as an impromptu plus-one to a wedding by a super cool lady I met in Singapore and having a dress watch with me was a surprising opportunity to wear it "for real".
My travel Dress Watch of choice is the Seiko Presage Open Heart Blue Moon (Seiko SSA405J1) - a tributary watch for my late father. The reason I love it is that despite it's faux gator strap and dressy dial, it still works with slightly more casual outfits - like something I'd wear to a steak dinner with friends or clients.
That open-heart on the dial really adds so much for me, being able to see the inner-workings while I wear it on wrist, and as a distant secondary bonus, has opened up the door to questions from dinner companions allowing me to share my love of mechanical watches and tell the story of this one. You can learn more for yourself on Amazon.
The Sports Watch
This category of watch is probably the most ubiquitous nowadays. With most workplaces no longer "requiring" a dress-watch (even law firms and management-consulting shops), and the versatility of a dive watch or chronograph just makes sense as the first watch in any collection - even as a "one-and-done" watch for those who aren't watch-obsessed but still want a timepiece to just be a damn grown-up, lol.
My Sports Watch of choice is the Hamilton Intra-Matic Automatic Chronograph and I can't say enough good things about this timepiece. Most of the love I have for it is for the moment in time it commemorates. As Casey Niestat said when he hit 10 million YouTube subscriber, "... getting to 10 thousand subscribers is the hardest thing to do on YouTube" and his words stuck with me.
So when I finally hit that milestone for my own YouTube channel, I marked that moment in time in buying this panda-dialed automatic chronograph. I frequently swap the strap out between a black leather and a camel leather one, and it's awesome how drastically different the overall vibe is with just one simple swapover. That's why, when I travel, I bring both straps along. Check it out!
The Daily Beater Watch
The one on my wrist in the main photo at the top of the post. My beloved Seiko SKX007 on an OD green nato strap. This is the first "real" watch I bought in 2015 and I actually picked it up at a camera store (BIC Camera) in Shibuya, Tokyo. I can't believe what I paid for it at the time (18,000 yen - or about 180 USD), and now, after it's been discontinued, the amount of money people are charging for it is insane.
Since I'm not a diver by any stretch of the imagination, I did a very small modification, swapping out the original dive bezel-insert marking 60-minutes, to a dual-time bezel-insert to help me keep track of Toronto time when I'm abroad in case I have Zoom calls scheduled with clients back home in Canada when I'm travelling.
Although the SKX007 is discontinued, you can get the Seiko 5 Sports version that mirrors this one's design language with reference number Seiko SRPD55K1.
I'm curious, what are your favorite watches in your collection?