About four years ago, I compiled a wish list of my Exit Watches. Here is another edition in a different context.

Imagine I were super rich, or a wealthy friend shared the same taste as mine in watches and a common desire: collect just a few watches and be done. That is, although it’s obvious so many great watches are out there, this small collection will be the endgame and even future proof for the rest of my or my friend’s collector life.

Therefore, the intention is to build a minimal collection, which is strong enough to enable the owner to live happily ever after, and resist any further temptation to add in any more watch in the foreseeable future.

I have ended up with one independent, two Patek and four Rolex references — total twelve watches:

Patek Philippe 2499 Second Series Pink Gold

Photo Credit: Christie’s

The crown of the crest, the star of the stars, as written in cclub.com/patek2499.

Patek Philippe 5004s

5004P and 5004G

5004P and 5004R, Photo Credit: Patek Philippe

My favorite modern Patek, and among all types of 5004 that I am aware of, including the Only Watch 5004T, the regular production version always looks most beautiful and perfect to my eyes. Patek certainly knew it and did it right when they released the first 5004 in 1994. And talking about rarity, the total production number of 5004G and 5004R black dial may well be less than that of 5004A.

While I only pick two Patek references, I do need to include in this minimal collection five 5004s in white/rose gold and platinum, with silver and black dials (except for 5004G which only comes with silver dial), as shown above. Each has its own beauty, with the 5004P black dial being super cool, 5004R black dial extravagantly exotic, 5004R silver dial exquisitely romantic, and the silver dial 5004P and 5004G like identical twins with the classic monochromatic look.

Rolex 6200, and 6538 Explorer dial red depth

If I could have only one Rolex, it would be a Submariner. So no wonder, for this collection, I need two Big Crowns: a King Sub and an equally magnificent yet a bit more colorful million-dollar Sub.

Rolex 6241 PN JPS

Photo Credit: Phillips

Even a minimal Rolex collection could not do without a Daytona. While I absolutely love 6265 PN, I decide to go with 6241 JPS, which serves as the only gold Rolex in this list. Neither 6265 nor 6241 is most conveniently practical for daily wearing though, due to the manual winding Valjoux movement encased with Oyster crown.

Rolex 5514 Comex Big Number

Now this would be my daily beater, so I need two pieces: one to wear and the other one to keep in safe.

Christian Klings Open Version

Photo Credit: pplatter

This is my most beloved watch in Top 10 of 2010s, a piece unique which at the moment is still with the original owner, a true connoisseur collector.

Klings has officially retired, so quite unlikely we will see another similar watch from him, and this watch will remain as a truly distinctive masterpiece of this century. It is also arguably the most-difficult-to-get watch in this list, followed by the rarely seen 2499 second series, which is the most expensive, then the 6538 Explorer dial with red depth. The other watches in this list are not so hard to find. So overall, this watch list is not totally unrealistic, albeit excessively costly.



  1. While I was compiling this Exit2 list, I learned from the owner of the Open Version that it would be consigned for public auction soon. So here it comes — it will be auctioned next month in Geneva by Phillips. The estimate is only CHF50,000-100,000, but I guess the hammer price will be many times more……

  2. The absolutely unique, beautiful and important Open Version was just sold at Phillips Geneva Watch Auction: XVIII today for CHF 222,250 including buyer premium (hammer price CHF 175,000). This price is certainly lower than what I thought it should be. Good for the buyer, who happens to be a friend of mine. Glad this watch goes to a world-class collection.

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