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Do you specialise or generalise in your collecting?

508 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Mrs Wiggles
I always preferred dive watches and I guess that came about in the late 60s when owning a special looking and 'waterproof' watch was quite rare. Especially for the snotty nosed brat I was at the time :). After I found a job with a temp agency (before I was enlisted) I bought my first dive watch, a 150m Quartz Seiko (don't know the type any more) and in 2004 (after having bought a few watches) I started collecting. Almost exclusively dive watches and preferably mechanical ones.

Micro brand offering from the likes of H2O/Helberg followed and after a couple of years ago I shifted my attention to homages of the rarer type of dive watch, like the Helson Turtle (Certina DS-2 SuperPH 1000m) and Helson Sharkmaster 600 (Omega Ploprof). The main reason being that I like those kind of watches very much and I just cannot afford the originals (and are they still usable in real life situations?). Borealis and C.R.E.P.A.S. are prime examples as well. And after that I started with collection re-editions of vintage dive watches made by companies that once purchased the rights to use those brand names. Alsta is a good example of this, one of my favourite watches.

And now the market has been introduced to Chinese made watches that pay homage to the most rare of rare (dive) watches. Perhaps homage is somewhat generous in this respect, some of them are relatively accurate copies (but just not accurate enough) of the real and ultra rare and expensive originals. Up until now they have chosen very simple and plain looking watches that sill are special in their own individual way. Like that RDUNAE (what an awful brand name...) I recently ordered and is on its way. I ordered it with a sterile dial because of that, only to find out later that Tornek-Rayville actually produced a small batch of watches with a similar dial. And, important to mention, all these watches are very affordable (< US$200, including shipping).

So: do YOU specialise or generalise?
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In vintage, I look for various movements and unique or textured dials. I try to get a variety of brands.
Like I got a Cricket alarm textured, a Hamilton textured micro rotor, a Louvic Reverso mystery dial, a Nivada textured dial Antarctic, the 430 movement ultra chron Longines etc…. I try to spread it out with movements and brands.

My traveling and vacation watches are micro brands or Chinese homages that are a variety of colors. I don’t care if they get lost or stolen because they are replaceable.

The new watches are hard to vary movements on. There just aren’t as many in-house movements as in the vintage world. I try to get watches I think are cool looking. I only have a couple of quartz watches, so automatic or mechanical is what I prefer. I dont like more than 2-3 of the same brand, but Seiko messes that up. I look for the 4s15 movement watches by Seiko and I have a thing (probably stupid to most) where I look for decent looking watches of brands under Seiko like Alba, Pulsar, J. Springs etc.. or Seiko collaborations with designers or company’s like Honda and Issey Miyake.

I have at least one watch from most countries who put them out, a few more to go and I might be happy.
I also have a small collection of vintage and newer Chinese watches that are decent, like the Maison Celadon with the gold balance cock. An anniversary Beijing Beihai in which the quality was a surprise.

I have 12 true 24hr dial watches, a few more and I will be happy in that department.

Because I want one of everything, I have a lot of watches in my collection. I was looking a few weeks ago and trying to decide if I want to down size or keep it growing.

I guess I generalize, but I have fun.
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Alright, now this is honestly fantastically fascinating Frans ! :D
Not to mention tremendously terrific Trip ! :giggle: I was going to
ask if it as possible to be both?! 😊(y) Because to be totally
honest I feel I have been both ways. And honestly it goes all
the way back to when I was as a kid. When I remember liking
mostly digital watches.

I mean I think I had an analog Mickey Mouse watch when I was
super young. But then I literally had found a digital Timex on the
side of the road one day in the early 80’s and it was still ticking,
even though it had most definitely taken a licking. 😄 It had a
button to light the display and everything and I loved it. And
it made me kind of focus on digital watches after that. Which just
happened to be those cool calculator looking Casios. And then
after that I remember getting a Swatch from my grandmother,
so I shifted to that trend, and they were analog. But after that
I really seemed to stay with analog watches.

Honestly, I didn’t get a ton of watches when I was a kid. With
the next style of watch being a wild Fossil if I recall. And I had
that for years until finding Invicta on ShopNBC. 😀 Where I was
all over the place with styles. From divers to dress, I liked just
about everything I saw. And the same happened when I moved
to Zodiac and Seiko. 😉😉 I mean I guess you could say I had
specialized in mostly divers, but I did end up just gravitating
toward nice designs in general. So it’s a bit of both worlds in
the specialize or generalize zones I think.

Even with my vintage journey I am currently on lately I think I
I am both specializing and generalizing. (y) Because I will go
for a diver one time, but then an odd or outside the box TV
case, or UFO style watch too. :alien: So honestly I can be really
focused, but also am all over the place. 😄😊

What a topic ! ..So cool, thank you so so much Frans, AND Trip !!!
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I am most certainly a generalist in my watch collecting. Skeletons, divers, dress, field, quartz, mechanical, minimalist. I buy watches just because I find them pretty or interesting, and have a small, oddball collection of vintage watches and newer watches that inspire me.

I am a generalist with one exception: I mostly I wear what I make myself. I love making dials and decorating and modifying movements and cases. I love building watches that are just the way I want them. I can honestly say that I am much more of a watch parts collector (movements, dials, indexes, hands, cases, lume, buckles, crowns, crystals, leathers...), parts and materials that might eventually become a new, unusual watch. I will even buy an entire watch just because it has hour markers or a movement that I would like to use or modify.
Very seldom will a brand I can afford make me happier than I make myself, and therefore... I am by default, a specialist collector of my own watches 😂
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I own dive watches, sports watches, pilot watches, and sports watches. Some of my sports watches can for something dressy, but I am not into purely dress watches as such. It's different strokes I suppose, but I always struggle to understand anyone who only wants one type of watch.
I guess I'm pretty much like you Frans. Divers from late '60s on into the early '80s dominate my collection. Vintage with a couple of homages in there. I have a few other tool (pilot, chrono, field) types but the divers are what I typically reach for. I've never felt right looking down my arm and seeing a dress watch, so none of those save for some gifted to me which forever live in a drawer.
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Specialise - I like older (vintage) Seikos, divers and chronographs, so they make up the majority of my small collection.

A few Swiss watches are in the minority
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I own dive watches, sports watches, pilot watches, and sports watches. Some of my sports watches can for something dressy, but I am not into purely dress watches as such. It's different strokes I suppose, but I always struggle to understand anyone who only wants one type of watch.
Years back I wanted to build my collection on different complications, Date, Day-Date, retrograde, dual time etc... but then I see a cool but different three-hander which creates a change in my habits
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I am not a lover of out and out dress watches, although I like a nice dressy sports watch. I wouldn't say I am lover of chronographs either, although I do own one. Other than that I have a decent selection across the board, especially <40mm divers
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