My Ideal Summer Watch Collection (Tudor, Doxa, Cartier)

My Ideal Summer Watch Collection (Tudor, Doxa, Cartier)

June flew by far too quickly for my liking. Schools are out, the solstice has passed, but I’m looking out my window to a sky full of clouds. To get in the summer spirit, I decided to come up with my ideal watch rotation for the hottest months of the year. To keep myself from spending a week on this blog, I’m restricting myself to just three watches, all modern.


Doug Demuro Dougscore

Popular automotive personality Doug Demuro invented a rating scale for cars that he reviews called “The DougScore”. The scale is made up of ten variables split between two categories: ‘Daily’ and ‘Weekend’. The Daily category contains variables like ‘value’ and ‘practicality’ while the Weekend category contains ‘cool factor’, ‘fun factor’, ‘acceleration’, etc. 

In my opinion, a good summer watch prioritizes this ‘Weekend’ category. Of course, I’d still like a comfortable, practical watch, but I want something fun and sporty for the summer months. My approach to this article is far less analytical than the graph you see above, but with the Weekend score in mind, let’s get into my picks.

Tudor Pelagos FXD Chrono ‘Cycling Edition’ 

Tudor FXD Chrono Cycling Edition

This hyper-light chronograph came out in early May and it hasn’t left my mind since. The red subdial surrounds and matching spiral tachymeter scale explode off of the matte black dial, as do the blocky white indices: a Pelagos design cue that I’ve grown to love. I feel that this watch has just enough color to be fun without being considered a “colorful” watch. I'm saving "colorful" for my next pick.

The carbon-cased ‘Cycling Edition’ weighs just 77 grams and houses the accurate and robust Tudor MT5813 (based on the Breitling B01). Thanks in part to its fabric strap and titanium hardware, this FXD Chrono is the kind of watch you’ll forget is even on your wrist. Because it was designed for professional cycling, lightness and breathability are well-executed priorities.

Within my summer rotation, I see the Tudor 'Cycling Edition' as a go-to watch for most everyday activities. It’s comfortable, it’s understated, and if I’m manning the grill (which is admittedly a rare occurrence), I have a chronograph.

Doxa Sub 300 ‘Divingstar’

Doxa Sub 300 Divingstar

Whereas the Tudor FXD Chrono ‘Cycling Edition’ is my understated everyday wear, one that might perform better in the 'Daily' category than the 'Weekend' category, the Doxa Sub 300 ‘Divingstar’ is my true summer watch. This is the weekend warrior. It's coming to the beach, it’s coming with me on hikes, and it’s certainly going to take a beating.

The Doxa Sub 300 was one of the earliest purpose-built dive watches and its modern recreation is a faithful one. It’s tough, water resistant, and it favors practicality over “refined” aesthetics. Still, the Sub 300 is a delight on the wrist and I, for one, love its design. In person, the first thing you’ll notice is the bubble domed crystal. This bulbous vintage cue greatly contributes to the Sub 300’s charm alongside with the oversized minute hand, “no-deco” bezel, and beads-of-rice bracelet. The 42.5mm wide watch (45mm lug-to-lug) wears surprisingly well on the wrist thanks to some nice lug curvature.

In my hypothetical budgetless summer scenario, Sub 300 will give the ‘Cycling Edition’ a run for its money in terms of wrist time. I can confidently say that my last watch won’t.

Cartier Privé Tank Normale Skeleton

Cartier Prive Tank Normale Skeleton Platinum

What did you expect? Another sub-$5,000 tool watch? For my third and final pick, I’m filling a void created by the other two. I’m choosing a watch that I can wear to a nice dinner, a watch that will slide under a cuff, or simply, a dress watch. But don’t let its unassuming dimensions fool you: this isn’t just any dress watch.

The final watch in my ideal summer rotation is the limited-to-50 Cartier Privé Tank Normale Skeleton in platinum. When I saw this piece at Watches and Wonders 2023, I experienced love at first sight. The skeletonized caliber 9628 MC is not only beautiful with its symmetrical decorated bridges (more on those in a moment), it’s technically mind-boggling and was made specifically for this model. 

Cartier Prive Tank Normale Skeleton

While the minute hand behaves like any other would, the hour hand follows a 24-hour cycle. To add another twist, the 24 hour scale is inverted to what you might expect: midnight is at 6 o’clock. If you’re worried about forgetting this idiosyncrasy, don’t be. Those skeletonized bridges are shaped and decorated like the moon and sun, respectively. Daytime hours are on the top, nighttime on the bottom.

Of course, this movement sits inside the iconic, simply-finished Tank Normale case. I’d probably swap out the alligator leather for a suede/nubuck alternative. When I get bored of my other two watches’ practicality, I’ll throw this thing on.

What’s your three-watch collection for summer? Let us know in the comments below.

Images courtesy of the brands mentioned.

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