This week’s Editors’ Picks feature three special timepieces for summer 2021: Seiko’s exotic classic, Universal Genève (“The poor man’s Patek”), and Omega’s Speedmaster Tokyo 2020 Limited Edition.
Great Watches Under $5,000
Seiko 5 Hindu-Arabic Dial
It’s a summer watch. It’s a starter watch. It’s a regret-free impulse buy. And it’s a watch that collectors old and new can respect. This Seiko 5 with Hindu-Arabic numerals comes in two sizes: the SNK063J5 at 34 mm and the SNKP21J1 at 42 mm. You get the same build quality, approachability, and in-house movement that watch enthusiasts unconditionally love but with an extra punch on the dial to make it memorable. You’ve seen a Seiko 5 before, but you probably haven’t seen this Seiko 5 before, and that’s why we love it. Want some anecdotal evidence? A fellow watch writer friend of mine owns a Nautilus, a Royal Oak, several Rolexes, and this timepiece.
Enthusiast’s Corner: Rare and Exceptional Timepieces
Universal Genève Tri-Compax
Universal Genève is often called “the poor man’s Patek” — which should be considered a compliment when you think about it (I would gladly drive a “poor man’s Ferrari,” after all). The two brands have a shared history, and UG was even sold alongside Patek Philippe in the latter’s boutiques for some time. The Universal Genève Tri-Compax has a distinctive “Grand Complication” air to it with a chronograph, annual calendar, and moon phase housed in steel or solid 18-karat gold. That’s not bad for the 1940s and not bad for an enthusiast-level piece under $10,000. Oh, and the brand has long been extinct (in Europe, at least), so these watches are only getting rarer by the day.
Iconic Timepieces: Great Value for the Money
Omega Speedmaster Tokyo 2020 Limited Edition
The watch world loves a misprint, an oddity, and most of all, a good story. In the runup to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Omega created five new limited edition Speedmasters, one for each color of the Olympic rings. Sure, Omega seems to release an unlimited number of limited-edition Speedmasters every year, but those are typically for historical events that actually happened. Plus, every watch lover deserves a Speedmaster in their lineup, and every watch lover with a Speedmaster deserves one with a twist. A crystal ball in 2019 would’ve told Omega not to create these watches in the first place. Your 2021 crystal ball, however, would tell you that the Omega Speedmaster Tokyo 2020 Limited Edition timepieces will be quite the collector’s items as the pandemic year we’re all working to forget fades into history.