Hello watch gods. 28 y/o millennial male here looking for my 1st "real" & self-winding watch. Budget is $10-20K and would love to get some recommendations. Much appreciated! <3
Ps: I have seen the pinned post list, but Rolex seems to dominate in my target price range and I am personally not a big fan of Rolex because it's too "loud" and their looks just scream "old white dude" to me. idk.

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Very surprised that we’ve made it to this many comments without someone recommending Grand Seiko. So I encourage you to look at Grand Seiko.

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GS is a brand you buy after buying others and then gaining enlightenment on what a strong value GS is

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Rolex. No questions. Don’t be fooled by anyone else telling you otherwise b

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FYI, when you say self winding it would be better to say automatic, that's generally the lingo. $10k is a lot to spend on your first big watch. Nothing wrong with it but perhaps start at a lower level to figure out what you like. For 10k I would recommend Omega. For a lower level I recommend Longines.

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Absolution is yours, my fellow enthusiast. Live and learn.

I was just in the same boat, ended up buying a no date submariner. No regrets

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I also love my submariner on an Everest strap!!

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Check out various Panerais and the Breitling Premier B01 (green is best, but not very versatile)

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If you like this premier, you may really enjoy Breitling’s iconic Navitimer

You said you had the intent to start a collection, not go for a single watch, so I’m gonna blow your budget the way the masses start (with good reason):
Get a speedy and a sub (I’d go date because of the ease of use at work, but your choice). Then get something to add a bit of colour: Seiko alpinist, IWC pilot XVIII le petit prince, GS snowflake or Skyflake.
Boom, $20k spent.

Get them 2nd hand and you’ll have a trio of great watches, which you can easily sell again in 6-12 months without a loss and you’ll have experienced a number of horological directions, which should help you in your personal
watch discovery journey.

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Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Titanium 40mm

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These days Bvlgari is doing some of the coolest and most innovative stuff! Cant really imagine wearing most of it but their movements are awesome

Are you looking for a one watch collection or to start a collection?

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I could go either way on the reverso vs the Americaine. I love both. JLC has a little more chops from a horological standpoint, you could argue. But your budget allows for gold, and Cartier in gold is something special.

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Hard to beat the Omega Seamaster for versatility imo

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I was in a similar boat as you a few years ago. I researched everything I could. Ask yourself what type of watch you’re after. Ie dress, dive, tool etc then look at materials, maybe stainless steel but a precious metal might catch your eye too. After looking online, absolutely go to an authorized dealer (AD) or brands boutique to try on. Definitely have fun too. Most watch sellers love talking about watches.

Fwiw, this approach yielded a black dial and bezel omega seamaster 300M

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I think a sub, gmt, DJ without the fluted bezel, Tudor BB, Seamaster are all solid, versatile choices.
I absolutely love the JLC MUT Calendar (in fact, I own a MUT Moon), but that screams rich old white man a LOT more than a sub or gmt. Secondly, if you’ll only have one watch for a while and versatility is important, it’s Rolex again over the MUT.

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Assuming you have not made millions in Bitcoin or with GameStop or inherited, I guess your net worth is somewhere between 200 and 500k.. do you really want to spend up to 10% of your worth on a hobby you don’t know if you are into it? All your Non-Rolex Choices will lose value; like a lot.
I suggest starting with an entry level drug. Maybe an IWC Pilot or a Seamaster or a Tudor BB58. Once you realize this is for you - you can always trade up...

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Fair enough.

Do you want a dress or sports watch? Or something that’s more versatile. Maybe an example of something you’re thinking about.

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I’d go a bit cleaner and just get the MUT Moon.

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Does it have to be self-winding? Why not start with an Omega Speedmaster?

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Rolex Submariner would be my choice but if you want to avoid Rolex, I would look into Omega Seamaster 300M or the new Seamaster series if you’re into the vintage look. They also have a new 39.7mm Speedmaster that is gorgeous.

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More versatile please. Not at the level of picking watches for occasions yet, this would be my one-for-all watch not counting my Apple watch. lol

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Iwc or jlc all the way!!!

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If you are looking to spend $20k I would suggest go for AP, VC or JLC.

Glad to hear you are not chasing a Rolex like everyone else seems to :)

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Went to Rolex AD today, the entire shop has only 2 watches left. Lol

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