Calling all watch collectors! No matter where you are in your collecting journey, novices and experts alike, we’re offering you our tips and tricks for watch collecting so you can make the journey as smooth as possible.
Regardless of your experience in the hobby, we are all prone to making mistakes. That said, watch collecting can be an expensive hobby, so making mistakes isn’t ideal. So, this is an outline of what we’ve learnt and what we try to focus on when buying, selling and collecting our watches.
“Buy what you like and like what you buy”
Image Credit: Fine Watch Club
Although the word investment often gets thrown around in watch collecting, watch collecting, at its core, is about enjoying the engineering masterpiece that’s on your wrist.
This may offer an added bonus to collecting, knowing that your initial investment may stay the same or increase over time, but it’s important to remember the true meaning behind collecting.
Often, we are distracted by what other people think and sometimes forget what we truly want. You should never buy to satisfy someone else, always buy for your pleasure, after all, it’s you who is buying and wearing the watch.
“Never stretch too far”
Image Credit: Zeitauktion
I know we shouldn’t make watch collecting all about the financial aspect. But I once received a great piece of advice which will always ring true, not only in watch collecting but also in life in general.
That piece of advice is ‘buy the best of what you can afford’. And that is possibly one of the best pieces of advice you can hold onto in watch collecting.
Don’t forget that it is a journey, being able to instantly buy a Paul Newman takes all the fun away from this journey. I’d say collecting is not about the destination but the journey you go on to find and define your tastes.
But this quote does have a serious aspect to it too, you should never stretch too far, watches are, after all, not the be-all and end-all.
Be patient, don’t spend too much money and try to find the best possible watch within your price bracket (We’ve put together a range of guides that might help you with that decision).
Watches aren’t about the cost but about your level of enjoyment and appreciation after all.
“Start broad and work your way in”
Image Credit: FashionBeans
Eric Wind received a great piece of advice and I’ve heard it from other people as well, so it’s a widely known philosophy.
Start broad and work your way in.
Throughout this watch-collecting journey you will come to know your tastes, but early on this isn’t always the case. It’s almost always guaranteed that your tastes will change over the years and something you once liked may no longer interest you.
It’s always advised to try and be as open with your tastes as possible early on. Consider chronographs as well as dive and dress watches. Consider as many brands as possible too.
In doing so you’ll work out the ones you love and the ones less so. Collecting is transient for most people, collections are prone to change and will adapt over time allowing you to refine your tastes.
But, by starting broad and working your way in, will allow you to experience some options that you may never have considered. You never know, you may end up focusing solely on something that you never intended to collect. Watch collecting surprises you, be open and adaptable.
“Knowledge is power”
Image Credit: Bob’s Watches
In vintage collecting, as well as modern watch collecting, knowledge is power. When high-value watches are involved, the risk is always there. Therefore, knowing as much as you possibly can is a great way to be sure of the authenticity of the watch you’re buying.
It’s not always about the authenticity and the buying process though. Knowing as much as possible about your watches makes the hobby all the more enjoyable.
If watches intrigue you even the slightest, finding more and more about them will only fascinate you more.
Sometimes by reading about watches or brands, you find small bits of information that completely surprise you and make you find out more.
Quite quickly, watches can become a passion and by knowing watches inside and out you will only become more and more passionate about collecting. It’s a vicious cycle but one undoubtedly worth the effort!
“Each to their own”
Image Credit: Time and Tide Watches
I’d like to end on a point that I think is frequently overlooked within the industry but nevertheless is very important.
Sometimes the community may seem slightly exclusive, reserved for those with Patek Philippe Grand Complications or Tiffany-stamped GMTs.
But actually, this hobby is open to a wide range of people with a varying range of financial capabilities. There are brilliant watches at every price point and no matter how much the watch is worth, if you like it then that’s okay.
The community shouldn’t be about judgment or exclusivity but about the enjoyment and shared passion for anything that ticks. Sadly, watch snobbery is a thing but throughout your collecting journey always remember that each to their own and everyone is buying what suits them.