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🌱 My Watch Collection (Of Only Sub $100 Watches)

And my wife’s way nicer collection

Even though I like tech, and Apple gear, I don’t have smart watch. And the main reason I that I like (mostly mechanical) watches too much. But even though my dream watch is an old Explorer with faded Tritium, I only own very cheap, oddball watches. And I’ve greatly enjoyed finding bargains that still looks good and works well - several of them from Russia/USSR.1

Casio A500WGA-9DF

Every watch collection, no matter the budget, needs a digital Casio. And to me, this (and its silver sister) is, by far, the coolest.

Raketa Copernicus

This hand-wound beauty has some really unique hands, and a pleasing dial. And it comes in several (more or less original) dial and colour variations. As will become apparent, I really like smaller watches like this!

I also bought it in black, back in the day. But it was dead-on-arrival - which I guess is part of the joy of ordering old, cheap watches on EBay.

Poljot De Luxe

Another hand-wound watch Made in USSR. After about a year, I usually swap the straps on these two!

The watches are bought on Ebay. The butterfly clasps are the best ones I've found on AliExpress, and the straps are high-quality ones from Etsy. Still a very affordable package!

Vostok Amphibia x2

If you’ve ever seen the Wes Anderson film The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, this quirky Russian watch is the one worn by the main character. And actually with this specific dial as well!

I think he might have the blue version of the dial, though.

These automatic watches are very fun, cost “nothing”, and loves to be modded. And it can still go diving, if need be - even though the bezel is pretty shabby.

My first Vostok was the one on the right — but I found the cushion case too large, so bought the one on the left, and sold the first one. It bums me out that I don’t want to order from the factory anymore - because you could pick-and-choose the bezel, hands, crown, etc. on their site, and they would put it on before shipping! Because the stock options don’t look too great…

I don't have a current picture of this, as I'm trying to get the bezel repaired.
I currently have this leather strap on it!

My wife’s (way nicer) collection

As she’s a teacher, she also wears a watch every day. And while she doesn’t care as much as me about watches, she still has an opinion of what she wears. So these are some gifts and some “guide purchases”.2

Apple Watch Series 9

She prefers the analog watches - so this is mostly used for sleep tracking and workouts at the moment. She has a Solo Loop, and a more dressy leather strap.

Poljot De Luxe

Of course she also has a Russian watch…

Marathon General Purpose Mechanical

She likes to hike (often spending the night in the forest alone), and then this 34 mm army watch, is her companion. Enough water resistance for swimming, tritium lume, and small and light. 👌🏻

Nomos Tangente 33

When I wanted to ask her to marry me, I didn’t like the idea of spending tons of money on a diamond ring (for several reasons). So instead, I bought a vintage emerald ring and a really nice watch she could use every day. I also got in engraved with “for eternity”, which in Norwegian is a pun, as eternity directly translates to “eternal time”. 🤓


I’m still a bit torn between wanting a smart watch, and still rocking the analog watches… But at least I hope my collection can show that you can get pretty nice stuff very cheaply!


  1. I’m not blaming the Russian watch makers for the war — but I still don’t want any more of my money to go in that direction, sadly. ↩︎

  2. She really didn’t want to model the watches — but she did it when I asked her nicely. So when I saw, just now, that the focus aren’t the best on the images, I didn’t want to ask again. So sorry about that! ↩︎