Just like Lex’s resolution for 2023, I am aiming to be ambitious this year (spoiler alert: Breguet Tradition) and not to be side-tracked by impulsive watch purchases that I don’t end up wearing. Ultimately, they are a waste of money, especially because I don’t sell them off. I am not sure why, but I am just not much of a watch seller. It also means I am not much into flipping pieces, unlike some of my colleagues. I hardly ever sell or trade a watch from my collection, but perhaps I should.

Wristshot Rolex Day-Date 18238 President 1991

My watch purchases in 2022

Anyway, for a long time, I didn’t have the itch for a new watch. It was a very comfortable feeling, yet I found myself buying several watches in 2022. Some were affordable — a few MoonSwatches, a Maurice Lacroix Aikon Benzilla, and a vintage JLC Master Quartz — and others were mid-range pieces like the Tissot PRX Chronograph and the Oris Divers Sixty-Five Fratello LE. Then there was the more expensive stuff, such as the Omega Speedmaster Silver Snoopy Award 50th Anniversary and the Rolex Day-Date 18238 (pictured above). Oh, and I also bought a vintage Omega Constellation, the first reference from 1952.

There wasn’t much structure there, I admit. Only the Rolex and Omega were watches that I had put some thought into when buying. And the vintage Constellation was something I had been after for many years, but watches like that just need to cross your path at some point.

My resolutions for 2023

For 2023, I want to do it slightly differently. I keep falling into the trap of getting very enthusiastic about a new watch, then picking it up and not wearing it as much as I thought I would. In hindsight, however, if I had given it a bit more thought in advance, I could have guessed I wouldn’t wear it very much. This is often because I already have similar watches and the new one doesn’t add much, or it is a watch that just doesn’t fit my style or mood.

That said, I also firmly believe that if you have to think long and hard about the one you “want” next, maybe it should not be your next one after all. Equally, there’s a fine line between being overly enthusiastic when you see and try a watch for the first time and still thinking about it with the same enthusiasm weeks and months later. And yes, dear Fratelli, I have found that watch.

Breguet Tradition 7027

I need a Breguet

Weeks ago, I was visiting a little meet-up organized by a Dutch podcast (Mannen van de Tijd, which translates to “men of time”) to celebrate the show’s third anniversary. The team behind it invited everyone who had been a guest on the show, including me (I don’t know why). Some of the other guests were the guys (and lady) from Tempus, a company that specializes in watch servicing and repairs. Although the company focuses on Rolex watches, one of the owners was wearing a Breguet Tradition 7027 (pictured above).

Breguet Classique 5157

Breguet Classique 5157

Leaving the thought of owning a Classique behind

Now, I have to admit that while the Breguet Tradition is a wonderful watch, my focus was on the brand’s Classique collection, especially the elegant two-hand reference 5157. But, after trying the 37mm Breguet Tradition 7027 during that afternoon’s get-together, I was immediately smitten. And now, several weeks and many searches on Chrono24 later, I still can’t get it out of my head.

Breguet Tradition 7027 yellow gold

Breguet 7027 — Image courtesy of Sotheby’s

Breguet Tradition 7027

The Classique can wait; I need the Tradition. The question is whether I want to go for rose, white, or yellow gold. The one I tried was rose gold, with the black hand-guilloché dial, which looks stunning, but the yellow gold version has the silvery-white hand-guilloché dial. It makes the motif more visible. Although I have nothing against rose gold (I have a watch in full rose gold), I prefer yellow gold. White gold is an option as well, but I am not necessarily a fan. I don’t have a white gold watch because I simply prefer rose or yellow gold.

Breguet Tradition 7027 white gold

Breguet Tradition 7027 in white gold — Image courtesy of Subdial.co

Breguet Tradition from 37mm to 40mm

Although I can easily handle larger watches with my wrist size, the Tradition’s 37mm case suited me well. The long lugs make it appear larger, as does the large dial aperture. The Breguet Tradition 7027 has been discontinued since I don’t know when, and the current version would be the 7057. It is a 40mm version with the same movement but with a slightly different power-reserve indicator or scale. The reference 7027 looks a bit cleaner.

Breguet Tradition 7027

Breguet Tradition 7027 — Image courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Buying a pre-owned Breguet Tradition 7027

A nice pre-owned Breguet Tradition 7027 from the mid-2000s will probably set me back €15,000. For me, that’s a big purchase, so something might need to leave my current collection. There’s enough stuff I have that I don’t wear (unfortunately), but I am also bad at getting rid of watches and find myself buying the same watches back at some point. On the other hand, it’s about the journey of collecting more than about the ownership of certain watches, I guess. Before I get too philosophical, let’s move on to the next watch.

Will there be a new Rolex Milgauss? Do I want the old one?

If the Breguet purchase takes place, I don’t think I will spend any more on watches this year. That said, I know myself too well, so I’ll buy the Breguet and then some. So it now depends on what will happen with some of the brands this year. I’ve expressed the wish to own a Rolex Milgauss, probably the black-dial version with the green sapphire crystal. Since my colleague Lex is convinced there will be a new one, now might be the time to pick up the one I am after, reference 116400GV. It’s a lovely watch, a bit of an oddball, and in a good size (40mm) for me.

Image courtesy of European Watch Company

Although I am also a fan of the current Air-King, the Milgauss speaks to me more. It might also be wise to wait for Watches and Wonders 2023 to see if Rolex indeed updates the Milgauss with a new-generation movement, for example. Another watch from the Crown that I’ve been contemplating for a long time is the current GMT-Master II in Everose gold and steel. I even might like it better than the full-Everose version. But that watch will set me back even more than the Breguet, and I have a clear preference for the latter. It might be my age or the fact that I already have a lot of sports watches (and owned three or four Rolex GMT-Master watches in total, and all got sold in the end). When it comes to Rolex and gold, there’s little that beats the Day-Date for me, and I already spent my money on that one last year.

Officina Creativo Watch box

A part of my Speedmaster collection

More Speedmasters?

The issue that I can see coming that keeps me from buying the Breguet right now is not if Rolex releases an updated Milgauss. Rather, it is if Omega breaks the internet with a new Speedmaster Professional that I want to have. I am a Speedmaster collector, so whenever one pops up that would fit my collection, it gets special treatment on my wishlist. On one hand, I hope that Omega will release something for Moonwatch fans and that it is also within my budget. On the other hand, I wouldn’t mind owning a Breguet Tradition sooner rather than later. It’s time to dress up.

What are your thoughts about going after one big purchase rather than buying a few things here and there? And if you’re about to spend a chunk of money, do you need (or want) to let go of some watches? Let us know in the comments.

*Header image of the Breguet is courtesy of Phillip’s.