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Discussion Starter #1
I hope this will be honest questions and a discussion about the world of watches and collecting them. I don’t wish to offend. Just gathering information and insights.

I’m a very recent arrival in the watch hobbyist world. I’m interested in watches because they are a fairly logical extension of several of my interests - history, technology, tinkering, engineering and building.

First, I need to go over a few measures used for watches - accuracy and toughness. Accuracy and toughness are very quantifiable measures. You are not going to find a more accurate watch than a fairly cheap atomic timepiece like my old Casio. If accuracy is the aim, then full stop. If you need a bulletproof watch, then G-Shock and Luminox military watches are the standard. In any case, both of these measures are applicable to specialized professional requirements. Almost no common person walking around needs to know the time with atomic accuracy or will be required to descend to 200m without notice. The point here is that arguing your new $1000 watch is worth it because it is very accurate or very tough doesn't really add up when inexpensive standards for both are readily available at ordinary retail outlets.

Now, I understand that people, and I’m in this club, appreciate the charm of old watches or less accurate mechanical watches. I have a soft spot for quirky and rare. When people show their old watches and rave about how they are still ticking after thirty years or whatever, I get that. Restoring old watches, I get that. The argument that a watch is made of higher quality components and therefore will last longer has merit up to a point. The argument that someone arbitrarily decided to make only 200 of this watch (and I have one) really does not compute as a measure of value for me.

What I do not get - help me out here - is an endless parade of new, expensive watches acquired, seemingly, just because they are expensive or limited in number. How is this different from collecting shoes or handbags? Maybe no one argues that it is different, but I see a lot of dismissive talk about ‘fashion brand’ watches. I’m not entirely clear on what that would be, but to me pretty much all of them are fashion brands given that they bring nothing to the simple task of timekeeping beside their expense and rarity and that these measures are often key qualifiers used to evaluate them.

So, is watch collecting fundamentally any different than collecting purses?
 

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A very intriguing question. “Collection, something that is collected; a group of objects or an amount of material accumulated in one location, especially for some purpose or as a result of some process: a stamp collection; a collection of unclaimed hats in the checkroom; a collection of books on Churchill”. (From dictionary.com).

As both a watch collection and a purse collection are the result of collecting, there’s no difference to the outside observer. The collector makes the difference. The same can be said for collecting cigar bands, baseball bards, records, etc. And because all people are different, all collectors are different as well. And so is the drive, the interests and the motives to collect. Watches, in this case.

There are the one’s with so much money they can afford just about anything. And they want to show it by acquiring (not collecting…) all that is expensive. No matter the brand, the construction or the heritage. If it’s over the top expensive it’s OK. But there are also collectors that concentrate on a single theme, like dive watches. The price it important because the budget is not unlimited. Only two, maybe three watches from small (micro) manufacturers per year. They pre-order a watch when a new model is announced and wait patiently. I fall in this category.

And there’s the serious (mostly anonymous) collector that is interested in stellar haute horlogerie pieces from the great houses. They bid on rare Patek Phillippe watches to add to their private collection. Or even more rare Panerai prototypes that almost never come up for sale, just to complete their Panerai collection.

There’s no ‘watch collector’. There are many, many watch collectors, all with their own drive and motive to collect. The main difference between collecting watches and purses is that I consider the latter hoarding, not collecting.
 

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What I do not get - help me out here - is an endless parade of new, expensive watches acquired, seemingly, just because they are expensive or limited in number. How is this different from collecting shoes or handbags?
There is a correlation between women collecting shoes, handbags, and jewelry.

Wrist watches are simply the male version of that proclivity.

They don't necessarily need to be expensive or limited edition to be desired though, just the itch.

There can be no rationale behind collecting watches, anymore then someone collecting stamps, coins or wind chimes.
 

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The main difference between collecting watches and purses is that I consider the latter hoarding, not collecting
Interesting anecdote, while I was still on the job working as a Homicide Detective in Chicago, I was sent out to an "Death Investigation". The area was one of large apartment buildings that back in the day, were an upscale neighborhood that had long since declined.

The deceased was an elderly lady who had died natural causes in her apartment. While there the officers had done a cursory search of the apartment looking for info of a next of kin.

The one officer told me, "go checkout the one bed room, you won't believe it"'

I walked into the large bedroom, and it was completely filled, four feet high with shopping bags, all containing unopened boxes of high priced shoes and purses purchased at high end stores from the Loop and Michigan Ave.

This woman for years would go out shopping, purchase hundreds of dollars worth of shoes and purses, come home and just throw the shopping bag up on top the heap of the one's already there.

There was probably a couple of hundred thousand dollars of purses and shoes sitting in that room, never used.
 
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My advice

This is the advice that I give to new collectors or those that want to cross over to the darkside of horology so to speak.Buy what you like and buy what you can afford.Theyre are a lot of nice timepieces that can be had out there for under 1000,500 or even 100 dollars.Make sure it remains a healthy hobby and not some expensive obssesion where your skipping your utility payments or such to pick up that new watch or youre eating ramen noodles for a year.No watch is worth that sacrifice!!!
 

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There is no right or wrong answer. A Timex tells time and that is what a watch should do. A (insert high end brand name here) does it with style, history, craftsmanship and design. Why do you think kids don't even wear a watch when they have a cell phone? They don't appreciate the finer points of the craft. If you are happy with a Casio at a board meeting with a group of bankers then by all means wear it. But if you want to make a statement then throw on that (insert high end brand name here) and show them that you have arrived.

And the accuracy thing is all about quartz and automatics. That is another argument because there are plenty of high end quartz watches in the market these days.

Remember....it is all about the base. No treble for me.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
There is a correlation between women collecting shoes, handbags, and jewelry.

Wrist watches are simply the male version of that proclivity.

They don't necessarily need to be expensive or limited edition to be desired though, just the itch.

There can be no rationale behind collecting watches, anymore then someone collecting stamps, coins or wind chimes.
It would be one thing if people collected them and never really spoke of it, but displaying the latest along with the price and rarity belies a very different motivation than just satisfying an itch, unless that itch is called conspicuous consumption. It does not seem to be the fact it is a watch, but the fact it is expensive and rare.
 

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It would be one thing if people collected them and never really spoke of it, but displaying the latest along with the price and rarity belies a very different motivation than just satisfying an itch, unless that itch is called conspicuous consumption. It does not seem to be the fact it is a watch, but the fact it is expensive and rare.
I don't see that at all. I see people that are thrilled to buy watches in all price categories. I see the thrill of the chase, the thrill or the unpackaging and of course, the thrill of the new watch hitting the wrist. Some people buy in the $100 range, other in the $1,000 range and others in the $10,000+ range. But I think the thrill is the same for each.

Look at my list below. My watches range from very inexpensive, to moderately expensive. I enjoy them all the same.
 

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It would be one thing if people collected them and never really spoke of it, but displaying the latest along with the price and rarity belies a very different motivation than just satisfying an itch, unless that itch is called conspicuous consumption. It does not seem to be the fact it is a watch, but the fact it is expensive and rare.
#1. 95% of the people you encounter in life pay no attention to what kind of watch you are either wearing, or not wearing.

#2. The ones who do are usually WIS (watch idiot savants) who will understandably be drawn to another's watch if it is notable.

#3. A notable watch doesn't really mean it has to be expensive.

#4. I have never encountered anyone in person who, unsolicited, showed me their watch and then put a price tag on it, never?

Most people who I have encountered, whom I know to be snobs, will accordingly be wearing what they think is the Crème de le Crème of horology, and then know next to nothing about it, other then then paid a high price for it.

I have an casual acquaintance who is rather snobbish, and a few months ago I notice he was wearing a brand new two tone gold watch. I commented to him about the watch stating, "Nice Datejust", he looked at me with a blank stare for a few seconds and then stated, "No, it's a Rolex!"
 

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CRO MANGNAN man evolved to be acquisitive as a mechanism to insure survival...the dopamine response is activated by pulling the trigger...yeah you get the rush from buying watches/gambling/risky sex/trading stocks...yup addictive behavior in dudes is the male equivalent of shoes and pocket books in chix. The wrist watch is about the only universally accepted mode for male adornment. That is why the addictive behavior is focused on the object of watches.
Watches are like potato chips bet you can't just eat 1...and like the D.LLAMA sez; " you can not satisfy the desire for material goods through acquisition; you can only stoke the flames. "

NOW WHY THE DISPARAGEMENT OF "FASHION WATCHES" ?
OLDBIES have seen them pushed on TV. Sometimes claims are made that are exaggerated. TV watches are often bought on impulse and repented at leisure.

THE addiction... i mean "hobby" has a learning curve. It often commences with indiscriminate buying. After a few years many mellow and buy 1 or 2 pieces a year. They find their niche. My fetish is 3 hand tools (divers) and skinny case dressers.

So really watch collecting is a journey to KNOW THYSELF. AND yes living in a capitalist consumer society the ethos and values inherent in our culture are mirrored by the behavior patterns of participants on the forum.

So we can get all metaphysical about " what is the nature of reality ? "...we can spurn material goods and wander the path as a mendicant with a begging bowl...


or you can find your niche...buy what you like...get some pleasure from our brief time on earth...and share the excitement with our friends on the forum....and look at your wrist and know about what time it is.
 

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Ok so In the most simplest form i could put it. Basically what your asking/arguement is
"why buy a Rolex Presidential Day/Date for $15k-$25k when you can buy a classic casio indiglo at walmart for $15 & they both do exactly what there intended for & basically what is the purpose of collecting various time pieces or any other object for that matter"
Well i believe it simply comes down to preference. I own all sorts of timepieces from classic Casio, Seiko, Citizen, invicta etc. to a little higher end like Tag Heuer, Tudor, Omega, Ball etc. & its simply because i love each one for different reasons. I guess thats what a collector is. I believe its the same for collecting any other object. You like certain things for there individual characteristics or there features & detail. I mean other wise you would only own one item of that particular category. Its kind of like saying your only going to own one shirt & one pair of pants that you wear to every single occasion. Everyone has there hobby per say or there liking of certain things. Collecting several items of the same category just means you like difference in that certain particular subject/world & your classified as a collector due to your abundance of items in that specific category that your also passionate about what ever it might be. I would imagine that you could ask anyone on this forum the following question & get similar the same answers. "If you where financially well established would price drive you more to buying one watch vs. another? Or would your absolute preference and liking of a watch make your decision?"
For me if i was financially well established the price of a time piece wouldnt drive me to buy it more than another it would still be the same as its always has been for me, i buy certain time pieces because i love there specific characteristics & features not really due to its price.


C.m.T
 

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It would be one thing if people collected them and never really spoke of it ....
An essential part of the fun of collecting anything is being able to share the experience with others who have the same appreciation. When I was a kid, I loved collecting comic books. I could spend hours in our local bookstore paging through issues from every title, and I even enjoyed all of the fun ads I'd find there. I settled on a few titles to spend my money on, and I also "splurged" now and then on some more expensive and rarer graphic novels. I gingerly read them, then tucked them away in plastic sleeves and stored them in cardboard boxes.

As much fun as it was for me, still I hungered to share my collection and my passion with others, but my brother was more interested in sports, and my friends just didn't get it. I still have those cardboard boxes collecting dust in my basement, but I'll never part with them.

I guess I see my new interest in watches the same way. I thoroughly enjoy the few watches I have all by myself, but it's so much more fun to be able to participate in the forums, to see what other people are wearing, to hear their stories and learn about the people behind the avatars.

 

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There is no right or wrong answer. A Timex tells time and that is what a watch should do. A (insert high end brand name here) does it with style, history, craftsmanship and design. Why do you think kids don't even wear a watch when they have a cell phone? They don't appreciate the finer points of the craft. If you are happy with a Casio at a board meeting with a group of bankers then by all means wear it. But if you want to make a statement then throw on that (insert high end brand name here) and show them that you have arrived.

And the accuracy thing is all about quartz and automatics. That is another argument because there are plenty of high end quartz watches in the market these days.

Remember....it is all about the base. No treble for me.
 

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Well covered in previous thread replies
Odd though how it came to be
Collecting is a hobby and we all evolve
Some lose interest and go back to other activities

I think of Balad and George as examples, many more of course
Looking at old threads I see names Ive never heard of with many posts
All fell off the wagon, moved on.

Me, I have tried many times to quit recently but the hobby somehow drags me back

I learn about new watches... like just yesterday and deal on an Ebel came up.
After a few hours I was almost an expert on the watch ( Yeah sure )
But is it was fascinating to learn
 

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dont use logic to to justify what is basically a hobby that satisfies an emotional need which is to satisfy the infatuation with a material object which has little necessity/value to function and be productive in society. Lets face it, at some point in your life you spend more than you really need to.

What car do you drive

where do you purchase your clothes or food

how long do you keep your clothes

its a first world issue. Most people on the planet dont have these issues because they simply dont have the disposable income to experience it.
 

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dont use logic to to justify what is basically a hobby that satisfies an emotional need which is to satisfy the infatuation with a material object which has little necessity/value to function and be productive in society. Lets face it, at some point in your life you spend more than you really need to.

What car do you drive

where do you purchase your clothes or food

how long do you keep your clothes

its a first world issue. Most people on the planet dont have these issues because they simply dont have the disposable income to experience it.
1st world obsession & indulgence
 

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Guess it all really depends on the person, or how they view the hobby Jimmy. :) If they are like you, or us, and thoroughly enjoy the watches themselves in terms of history, technologies, engineering of, tinkering with, and just plain liking watches. Then it's very different from collecting shoes, handbags, purses etc. It's all in the mindset in the end.

Many people most likely do buy watches in the same way people might buy those handbags, or shoes you are mentioning. For them, it's not so much about liking watches, or the hobby. It's probably about doing something popular, or being part of something that's big, or in.

It's really interesting to think about. There's really no one answer to the question because there are so many ways people see watches, or the hobby in general. ..Think this is a really great topic, and question ! :thumb:
 
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