Building a compact collection that ticks all the boxes is a recurring challenge in the world of watches. And whether it’s hypothetically whittling down or building a dream draft of watches, it can be a lot of fun. Today, we kick off a series in which members of the Fratello editorial team hack through their private stock to build five-watch collections that are perfect for them. And though you should never pick favorites, in this series, we’re doing it anyway.

Picking five favorites from the watch box certainly isn’t as challenging as some of the other well-established consolidation exercises. The two- or three-watch collection comes to mind as significantly more difficult, let alone the admirable impossibility of becoming a “one-watch collector.” But for most, five “core” watches may even be more than we own and certainly enough pieces to build an ideal collection. In this series, we’ll offer you a peek into some of the Fratello team members’ watch boxes as we each select our core quintet of timepieces.

Morgan's five-watch collection

Morgan’s five-watch collection

The five-watch collection

If you’re one of the many watch aficionados who stay tuned in to the world of watches via Instagram (as well as Fratello, of course), you might have spotted a trend these past few weeks. People are posting their five-watch collections. Well, as it turns out, the reason why they’re doing so can be traced back to Fratello’s very own photographer, Morgan Saignes. He snapped a shot of the five timepieces that make up the core of his collection. That same day, I received a DM on Instagram challenging me to do the same. I decided to pass the challenge to a couple more Instagram watch photographers, who were happy to join in using #fivewatchcollection in their posts. It snowballed from there, with hundreds of watch enthusiasts sharing shots of their five-watch collections.

Over the last few weeks, seeing the variety of watches and creative approaches to putting them on display has been great. In addition, seeing the community enjoy this exercise inspired us to dive deeper into our five-watch collections, inviting other Fratello editors to join in. So we won’t just share a picture of our quintets; we’ll also walk through the picks and share their stories and the reasoning behind their inclusion in our lineups. I have the privilege of kicking things off, but keep an eye on the site over the coming weeks as others also share their five-watch collections.

Breitling Aerospace Nacho's five-watch collection

The Breitling Aerospace F65362

Going from left to right, I’ll begin this run-through of my five-watch collection with one of two quartz watches included in the lineup. Before that, though, let’s address the 44mm elephant in (or, rather, not in) the room, my Breitling Avenger E13360. The reason why it didn’t make the cut was simply because, out of my two Breitling watches, I still favor the Aerospace. Many reasons give this analog/digital titanium tool the edge. It’s beautifully proportioned, 40mm in diameter, and just 9.1mm thick. Due to its lack of a mechanical caliber and thanks to its titanium case and bracelet, it’s incredibly light and comfortable to wear. I also can’t fault anything about its looks. It’s rugged yet elegant and unmistakeably imbued with Breitling DNA. But the Aerospace is not just a pretty face.

It’s also a feature-packed tool watch with a lot of street cred. Or should I say “sky cred”? It’s a watch often found on the wrists of commercial pilots, who likely appreciate it for many of the reasons listed here. Access to an alarm, countdown timer, chronograph, and second time zone at the spin of a crown would be handy for anyone, especially for pilots. The fact that the thermo-compensated quartz movement inside is certified as a chronometer adds to its long list of impressive features. I think that the sleek look created by the lack of pushers, with all of the watch’s features accessed via the crown alone, is also a rather cool and unique feature. Besides that, the Aerospace offers 100m water resistance, a sapphire crystal, a 60-click bezel, and the pièce de resistance, its digital minute repeater, triggered by pressing the crown!

Reliable, accurate, feature-packed, and handsome, my Breitling Aerospace is a cornerstone of my five-watch collection.


The Panerai Luminor Base PAM00055

Up next is a watch that came into my possession rather spontaneously in mid-2023. It was a matter of the right time, the right place, and a more-than-right price. I must confess, I was always a bit curious about Panerai. But having been exposed to the brand’s modern offerings at Watches and Wonders (and their respective prices), it didn’t feel like a brand that I was in a rush to get into. However, having had a look at Gerard’s PAM00176 a few months before opened my eyes to the appeal of Panerai’s past offerings. When I came across a deal too good to turn down, I decided to go for it. If I hated it, I knew that I could always sell it and, worst case, break even. But as it turns out, the fact that it was so different from all my other watches made it stick.

The watch arrived in June and spent almost all summer on my wrist. During these short-sleeved days, it was a perfect companion. It was a reliable timekeeper during my summer break in Spain, where its lack of running seconds was a welcome feature. I wore it during sweltering days on the beach as well as scuba diving 30 meters down to the wreck of a cargo ship turned contraband runner known as the Boreas. There’s something uniquely appealing to this watch, with its unmistakable case shape, enormous crystal, hand-winding caliber, distinctive locking crown, and the simplicity of the wonderful chocolate-brown dial. To me, the PAM00055 is Panerai perfection. Though it started as merely an opportunity to satisfy my curiosity, it has firmly established itself as a favorite.

Nacho's GADA Watch Omega Seamaster Professional 300M 2254.50.00

Omega Seamaster Professional 300M 2254.50.00

Where should I start with this one? I wrote a significant article waxing lyrical about the Seamaster 2254 as my GADA watch last year and also did a YouTube video on what makes the reference great. However, it’s been a little while since all that. After making a full trip around the Sun with the Seamaster on my wrist, I can say that this is my ideal watch. You might compare its specs on paper to the modern Seamaster 300M and conclude it’s a lesser watch. However, I think all of its “weaknesses” are strengths in disguise. To me, modern Seamasters are a bit far removed from their tool-watch origins. The ceramic dials and bezels and a few too many polished elements give them a bit too much of a blingy look. I’ll take an anodized aluminum insert and a matte wave dial over ceramic any day.

To me, the 2254 ticks all the boxes. It has character thanks to its big bezel numerals and generously sized hour markers, including the slice of lume pizza at 12. The sword hands hark back to this watch’s military predecessors from the 1960s. And finally, proportionally, it hits a sweet spot. At 41mm in diameter and just over 11mm thick, the size is what I would consider timeless. If a five-digit Rolex Submariner sets the standard, this Omega offering is not far off. And as much as the Sub is a classic, I prefer the slight oddball looks of this SMP. These include the helium escape valve and the oddly gripless scalloped bezel. When you embrace a watch not despite but because of its imperfections, you know you’ve found the one. I mentioned earlier that it’s not good to pick favorites, but this one is mine, no doubt about it.

Cartier Tank Solo

Here’s another watch that’s no stranger to the pages of Fratello. I told the story of how I ended up winning my Cartier Tank Solo in an Instagram photography competition. But why do I like it enough to include it in my five-watch collection? Well, it’s simple. Like the Panerai, this watch is an outlier in a group of otherwise rather similar watches. It also serves a very specific purpose as it’s the one dress watch in this collection. Now, I don’t dress up often, but when the occasion does arise, not just any old watch will do. The brilliant thing about the Tank Solo is that it takes dressing up just as well as dressing down. Giving it a sportier look is just a strap-swap away.

This Cartier Tank is also the second quartz watch in this lineup. Would I go with a mechanical version instead? No, I honestly wouldn’t. I quite enjoy that every time I grab this one, whether from the safe or my sock drawer, I know it’s running on time. There’s no need to wind and set it. I just strap it to my wrist, and I’m ready to rock and roll. The last thing left to do with this watch is to have something engraved on the back. I promised I’d never sell it, so I might as well commit to making it mine. Hopefully, someday soon, inspiration will strike, and I’ll find the perfect memento to have etched onto the case back.

Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 3570.50.00

Finally, we arrived at my Omega Speedmaster. This watch has been with me for almost three years now, and in those three years, it has become no less special. I also can’t take the fact that this was my first luxury watch for granted. The memories of taping the backs of lugs and creating a shroud of masking tape over the bezel when I first used Polywatch on its Hesalite crystal are still fresh in my mind. But the days of babying it have long been left behind. I guess that happens to all watches sooner or later. In my opinion, that’s when you truly begin to enjoy a watch. And with a watch as classic and iconic as the Speedmaster, I’m in it for the long haul.

I don’t know what else I can add about the Speedmaster. It feels like just about everything that can be said has been covered by RJ here on Fratello. Still, it’s a watch that captivates people in a truly special way. Thanks to both its unique history and impeccable design, the Speedmaster Professional has stood the test of time with minimal changes. Even the current iteration is just one small step removed from the overall looks of a Speedmaster from the ’60s or ’80s. It’s a clear case of a formula that doesn’t require changing. And this is the reason why I decided to make this my first luxury watch. Everything that came after, from working at Fratello to attending a #SpeedyTuesday event in Tokyo last year and even that time Jean-François Clervoy had it on his wrist, has just been the cherry on top.

Nacho's five-watch collection

Final thoughts

That’s it from me on my five-watch collection! Hopefully, you had as much fun going through it as I did. In hindsight, I’m very happy with this baker’s quartet of watches. They may not be everyone’s favorites, but they’re all pieces that I genuinely enjoy and connect with. And ultimately, I think that’s all that everyone can hope to be able to say about the contents of their watch box. Would I settle for just these five as a perfect five-watch collection? Sure, I think so. But I’m also thankful that this is just a hypothetical. It’s still the early days of my watch journey, and I hope this snapshot of its current state will be one to look back upon fondly a few years from now.

Remember to tune in over the coming weeks to check out other Fratello editors’ five-watch collections. But in the meantime, let me know what your ideal five-piece collection would be in the comments section below. Whether hypothetical or from your existing collection, anything goes.