02/28/2024
 4 minutes

The Best for $24,000 in 2024: Jorg’s Perfect Watch Collection

By Jorg Weppelink
Jorg’s $24,000 Watch Collection

Jorg’s $24,000 Watch Collection

Building a collection for a set budget is always a nice challenge. When it comes to compiling a collection, I usually have several go-to watches I would love to own. That list used to be pretty extensive because there are so many great watches to enjoy. But the danger of having so many options is that the budget can easily be reached by selecting only sensible picks. Over time, I think sensible choices won’t last for me. That’s why I focused on watches I am passionate about, and I can see myself wearing every day for the rest of my life. Without further ado, here are my picks for the perfect watch collection for €24K.

Rolex Sea-Dweller ref. 16600 – €8,500

The Rolex Sea-Dweller ref. 16600 was one of the first luxury watches I put on my wrist a little over 20 years ago when I got seriously interested in mechanical watches. The watch was produced from 1988 to 2009 and is one of the famous five-digit Rolex models that combine modern-day specs with that special vintage Rolex feel. Something clicked as soon as I put the Sea-Dweller ref. 16600 on my wrist. It was a feeling of falling in love with its looks, finding out that the size and proportions of the classic Sea-Dweller are spot-on for my wrist, and witnessing the magic of wearing a Rolex. I got to wear the Sea-Dweller for a couple of weeks, and every single time, I felt that this was the watch for me.

First off: Rolex Sea-Dweller ref. 16600
First off: Rolex Sea-Dweller ref. 16600

It’s a unique connection that I never experienced with any other watch. Thanks to multiple friends owning this specific Sea-Dweller ref. 16600, I could test whether that special feeling had faded over time, but luckily it never did. This is the perfect watch I could easily wear as my only watch for the rest of my life. That’s why I would gladly pay the €8,500 you need to get one in great condition with a box and papers. After 20 years, it is about time that it actually happens.

Tudor Black Bay Pro – €3,500

My favorite style of watch is the GMT watch. They combine the best in style and functionality by offering the opportunity to keep track of time in a second-time zone. A vintage Rolex GMT that I adore is the first-generation Explorer II ref.1655. As this classic easily goes for €24K in good condition, I’ll have to pass on that one for this list. However, Tudor did an amazing job bringing back the style of this iconic reference by introducing the Black Bay Pro in 2022. 

Tudor Black Bay GMT Pro GMT 79470
Tudor Black Bay GMT Pro GMT 79470

At first, I was not too impressed by the Black Bay Pro because it seemed to simply mimic the style of the Explorer II ref. 1655. After wearing the watch for the first time, my opinion completely changed. I discovered that the Tudor designers did a great job injecting the design with that typical Tudor style by using the famous snowflake hands. Additionally, they added a modern Tudor-style dial to a familiar silhouette to make it look even more like a true Tudor. After wearing the Black Bay Pro multiple times, it is now one of my favorite GMT watches currently available. Despite its chunky case, I adore its style, and it is super easy to wear. That is why I would gladly pay the €3,500 – €4,000 they go for on Chrono24 Marketplace. 

Zenith Chronomaster Revival El Primero A384 – €6,500

My next pick is the Zenith Chronomaster Revival El Primero A384. It is the modern version of the classic Zenith El Primero A384 that came out in 1969. The original A384 was part of the iconic trio of El Primero watches that were among the world’s first automatic chronograph watches. While the El Primero A386 has always been the most popular watch out of the three, I love the boxy case shape of the A384 over the more common round-shaped case of the A386.

The Chronomaster Revival El Primero A384 perfectly shows how the 37mm rectangular case is a great canvas for the panda dial to shine. The instantly recognizable white dial with black sub-dials looks super stylish. Additionally, the red central chronograph hand adds a nice touch of color to the design. To finish off the standout looks of the A384, the watch is fitted with the iconic Gay Frères ladder bracelet. The Zenith A384 is still as remarkable as it was almost 55 years ago when it was introduced. It’s why I would gladly add it to my collection for the €6,500 – €7,000 they are currently listed for on Chrono24 Marketplace.

Rolex Datejust ref. 1601 – €4,500

I would also like to add a more versatile daily wearer to my €24K collection that is perfect for various occasions, from casual to formal. The perfect watch to do that is the iconic Rolex Datejust. I love different variations and generations of the Datejust, but I will stick to the classic Rolex Datejust ref. 1601 with a silver “pie pan” dial and a white gold fluted bezel. On top of that, I would pick one with a Jubilee bracelet to complete the look perfectly.

Rolex Datejust ref. 1601
Rolex Datejust ref. 1601

Nothing beats the classic design of this 36 mm Datejust that was produced from 1960 until 1981. The Datejust is simply never out of place. By picking one of the older references, you get a ton of vintage charm on top of that. Because of the long production time, I have many options to find my perfect Datejust ref. 1601 in good condition for €4,500 on Chrono24 Marketplace. Maybe it’s time for me to make buying one a reality for myself in 2024.

There you have it, my perfect watch collection for €24,000. I left some wiggle room in the prices to be able to add watches in great condition. I would gladly own all four timepieces because I love how they look, wear, and tell stories. It makes for my perfect watch collection for €24K.


About the Author

Jorg Weppelink

Hi, I'm Jorg, and I've been writing articles for Chrono24 since 2016. However, my relationship with Chrono24 goes back a bit longer, as my love for watches began …

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