I must say, 2022 was quite a busy one in my watch box. Three watches left my collection, and a whopping six new pieces (plus a bonus one) came in! So 2023 is definitely going to be about getting more familiar with the newcomers and less about adding more and more watches. Actually, that was also the plan for last year, but then, you know, things just kind of happened. But, as you’ll understand, my watch budget has pretty much been exhausted for now. So, for 2023, I’m more or less bound to simply enjoy the watches I already own, and that’s certainly no punishment!

I’m very happy with the additions from last year, and I do feel they deserve all the appreciation they can get. Besides, it has also been about two and a half years since I started my Instagram account, and I’d definitely like to take my photography to the next level. I’d especially like to take my own shots and use them for the articles here on Fratello, but that means I’ll have to get myself a new camera, and that’s going to cost me. So even if there is some money left for watches this year, I think the photography rabbit hole will probably suck it all up. But don’t you worry; there’s still enough to explore on the watch side of things as well! But first, let’s take a quick look at what exactly happened last year.

Omega Speedmaster Professional buy less, enjoy more

Looking back at an eventful year

Apart from the fact that I joined the Fratello team at the beginning of 2022, it was also quite an eventful year for me as a collector. The first addition to the collection, however, was directly related to the fact that I joined the team. On one of my first days in the office, RJ let me try his new 2021 Omega Speedmaster Professional on that sensational new bracelet, and I was immediately sold. At the time, I owned a discontinued Speedmaster First Omega in Space (FOiS) because I thought that, with its 39.7mm case, it was the best Speedmaster for my 17cm wrist. But RJ’s Speedmaster showed me exactly how wrong I was, so I decided to get that instead. I didn’t spend any extra money there, though, because I was able to sell the FOiS for the price that I had to pay for the brand-new Speedy.

So that’s one out and one in. The next one that left the collection was the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight in blue. I think many of you have already read my breakup letter, but if not, I’ll direct you to that if you’d like to read my explanation as to why I had to let that one go. Another blue diver took its place though, and that’s the Serica 5303-3. With its retro-inspired design, stunning mesh bracelet, and beautiful blue bezel insert, it was just too hard to resist. I can’t wait to wear it during the summer of 2023. And we’ll stay in the divers section for now as the next addition was the Seiko SPB317.

Seiko SPB317 buy less, enjoy more

Classics in the sports-watch department

Because what is a watch collection without a classic Seiko diver, right? That’s exactly the excuse I came up with when Seiko launched the SPB317 last summer. After having owned the SPB143, which was bulkier to me, this more streamlined C-cased diver was its perfect replacement. And what a dream it was to wear it almost non-stop over the summer in Spain. The next addition belongs to a whole different category, though, and I even think it’s in a category of its own. It is the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classic Medium Duoface.

JLC Reverso Duoface buy less, enjoy more

Soon after I got the watch, I ordered the Casa Fagliano beige textile summer strap for it, and it really makes for such a nice and sporty-looking combo. I’ve worn the Reverso a lot more than I expected precisely because of that sportier character (as opposed to the dressier feel that I expected upfront). And then we get to the ultimate sports watch of them all, the Rolex Explorer reference 114270. This one had been on my mind for about two and a half years. When the right one came up to me this year, though, I decided to pull the trigger, and it hasn’t disappointed me even for one minute.

From a Blancpain to a Breguet

So now we’re at five watches in and two out. The bonus watch that I mentioned before is actually the Omega × Swatch Speedmaster MoonSwatch Mission To Saturn. Because it’s a quartz watch and made of Bioceramic, I consider it a little add-on to the collection. I may not wear it all that much, but I do think it’s a nice souvenir that reminds me of one of the most extraordinary watch releases ever. So, that leaves us with just one more addition and one watch that still has to leave the collection. And those two watches are actually related because, in the last week of the year, I decided to trade my 38mm Blancpain Bathyscaphe for a Breguet Classique 5907.

Breguet 5907 buy less, enjoy more

I know, I had to pause for a minute there as well to understand what happened exactly. I still can’t quite believe it myself. But yes, I fell in love with the 5907 the minute I saw it at a recent get-together. Luckily, its owner also had a thing for my Bathyscaphe, so we decided to trade. I had already been toying with the idea of letting the Bathyscaphe go, but I had never thought that I would get a Breguet instead. Actually, I had never really thought of adding a watch from one of the oldest brands in horology. But now that I have one, I’m absolutely over the moon! I’ll write more about that watch and the trade in another article, but at least now you know all about what happened last year.

Sit back and recover

So now what!? Well, I think it’s time to sit back and recover from that rapid succession of events. As I mentioned in this article on why we tend to cling to the evergreens, I really feel like I own a great quartet of classics in the Omega Speedmaster, Rolex Explorer, Cartier Santos, and the JLC Reverso. I might even throw in the Breguet there as a fifth one on the team. And in addition to that, I have some more playful and colorful watches for the necessary variety. These include the Fratello × Oris Big Crown Pointer Date with its oxblood red dial and bronze case, the Serica 5303-3 with its beautiful blue tones, and the Nassau blue Autodromo Intereuropa on a bright orange leather strap. And let’s not forget about the all-time sweetheart, my Oris Art Blakey.

I truly feel like all styles are currently represented in my collection, and I honestly don’t have anything else on my wishlist for this year. Sure, I’d love to own a piece from Ressence at some point and a Girard-Perregaux Laureato from around the year 2000 as well. But those watches are in a different league when it comes to pricing. So for now, those are projects for the more distant future. And that’s totally fine because, as you can see, there’s enough to enjoy in the meantime. That’s why I’m not really planning to add any watches to my collection this year. But isn’t that what we all say to ourselves, year in and year out?

Explorer 1142706 buy less, enjoy more

Diversion tactics

There are, of course, always new releases that can spark our interest or vintage watches that we haven’t seen before. But I sincerely hope that I can focus my attention on the watches that I already own. I plan to do so by reading up more on the history of their designs and the technology behind their movements. But as that’s quite a passive activity, I fear that every once in a while I’ll grab my phone to browse for inspiration for the next addition. So to keep me busier, I’d also like to work on my photography skills. I hope the attention that is needed to get familiar with a new camera will be enough of a distraction to keep me away from new watches.

Well, this article turned into more of a retrospective exercise than I initially planned. Sorry about that. But I hope I’ve been able to explain why I think 2023 will be a quieter year when it comes to additions to the collection and why I intend to enjoy my watches more. Let’s see what will actually happen!

What about you? Do you have specific watch wishes for this year? Or are you also planning to enjoy the watch hobby from a different perspective? Let me know in the comments below.

You can also find and follow me on Instagram: @fliptheparrot