There’s no doubt about it: the watch hobby is an expensive one. Buying a luxury watch easily sets you back a few grand or, potentially, a lot more than that. Last year saw several acquisitions and changes within my collection, and, to make matters worse, my wife and I also bought a new house this year. So buying new watches wasn’t anywhere on my list of priorities in 2023. That was fine after such an eventful 2022, but as is the case for most of us, there were a few times that I couldn’t resist adding something fun to the collection. Let’s take a look at my bonus watches of 2023.

If you read about my watch resolution for this past year, you could already tell that it wasn’t going to be a very busy one. There were enough new watches to enjoy, and, of course, you don’t have to buy new watches all the time to enjoy the hobby. But, as the commenters under that resolutions article already mentioned, distractions happen. And there were some great new distractions this year, including the TAG Heuer Carrera Glassbox, Zenith’s new Pilots, and the SpaceOne, which is a complete guilty-pleasure watch. However, the new house also needed some remodeling, so I couldn’t justify spending that kind of money on watches. That didn’t stop me from adding the new Blancpain × Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms Arctic Ocean and the Timex Easy Reader × Keith Haring to my collection as bonus watches, though.


The definition of “impulse buy”

I already shared the story of why and how I got the Blancpain × Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms Arctic Ocean. Looking back at it now, it really was the ultimate example of an impulse buy. The watch had just been launched that week, and I got a sneak peek into its development from Gregory Kissling, VP of Product at Omega. I also happened to be in a place where the watches were sold and more or less available. Let’s just say that all the stars aligned in exactly the right order. I still think it’s a nice and fun-looking Bioceramic edition of Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms, but it’s most definitely a bonus watch.

That means I have worn it maybe once since I bought it, and I probably won’t wear it that much in the future either. The competition in the watch box is simply too strong. That doesn’t mean I’ll get rid of it any time soon, though. I exchanged my 38mm Blancpain Bathyscaphe last year for a Breguet 5907. In a way, then, the Scuba Fifty Fathoms feels like a placeholder for that watch. Besides, the Arctic version will work great on the Dutch national day, Kings Day, when we all dress fully in orange.

Recognizable yet not too obvious

Another impulse buy was a more recent one. I was scrolling through my Instagram feed when I came across a Timex watch with a funky font on the dial. Its style immediately reminded me of the street art that Keith Haring used to make. And indeed, it was a design inspired by the very same American pop artist. As a child, I used to have posters of his art hanging around my room. I think this was inspired by a trip to New York City with my parents. I just love how simple, cheerful, and colorful his work is.

There have been multiple watches with Keith Haring’s work on the dial. Look, for example, at the ones Jorg mentioned in his article on Swatch’s 40th anniversary. But I’ve never felt the urge to buy one simply because they didn’t seem like things I’d actually wear. As I said, I like the colorful artwork on posters and such, but I’m not sure if I would want that on the dial of my watch.

This more modest black and white Timex model looked more like something that I’d want to wear. Its 38mm case seemed perfect for my wrist, and the 20mm lug spacing would make it easy to change out the boring black strap. I checked the price, and even though it had to be shipped from the US, it would still only cost a little over €100. So I bought it right then and there. It took a little while to arrive because of the Thanksgiving weekend in between. Oh, and it was stuck at customs for about a week. But it immediately put a big smile on my face when I finally opened the package.

Daan bonus watches 2023 Timex Keith Haring pocket shot


The numerals are big and look just as if Haring painted them on the dial himself. The hour and minute hand match the overall style perfectly, and even the Timex logo got the Haring treatment. The 38mm Easy Reader case is all polished, but its understated character ensures that the dial gets all the attention. It has Keith Haring’s signature on the case back, and the black leather strap features his signature as well. Admittedly, the strap is my least favorite feature by far. And as I rarely wear black straps, let alone black in general, I’ll soon change it out for a beige or green nubuck strap, for example.

Daan bonus watches 2023 Timex Keith Haring indiglo

When I bought the watch, which is powered by a quartz movement, I saw that it came with a night light called Indiglo. I’d never actually seen a Timex with this feature before. The light is activated when you push the crown and switches off immediately when you let go of it. As you can see in Morgan’s picture, it fully lights up the dial in a bright blue shade. I haven’t shown it to my kids yet, but I’m sure it’ll turn this watch into their favorite one of the collection right away. I will probably use it sporadically, but it’s a nice and quirky feature.

Daan bonus watches 2023 Timex Keith Haring on wrist

Bonus watches

As with the Scuba Fifty Fathoms, the Timex Easy Reader × Keith Haring will probably never become my most worn watch. But that’s not what these bonus watches are about. They serve as quirky additions that are fun options to put on the wrist every once in a while. Besides, they also help to put this very peculiar hobby into perspective. You don’t always have to spend thousands of euros to get a little piece of fun on your wrist. And that’s especially nice to know when you’re a little restricted in terms of budget, as I was this year.

What about you? Have you also got a little collection with bonus watches on the side? If so, let me know about them in the comments below.