How To Start A Watch Collection
You want to know how to start a watch collection but with so many decisions and choices to make it’s understandable, you may be stumbling around trying to figure out where to start. I mean which path do you choose, Vintage or Pre-owned path, or buy new? There are two opposing schools of thought on this question, firstly, there’s the strategy of putting your money into one high-end timepiece that you wear all the time.
That would be your classic Rolex Submariner wearer which is possibly the most iconic diver watch in history. The second strategy is to spread your finances more evenly across several lesser timepieces of different styles and types, affording you more versatility. Once you have this stuff sussed you can go read about buying luxury watch from discount stores.
Starting A Watch Collection Is Easy
For the purpose of this piece, I’ll make the assumption you’re interested in the most cost effective approach of starting a collection of less costly pieces.
In certain ways starting a watch collection is relatively easy. The internet is buzzing with vintage watches, new brands are appearing, and the big brands fighting between themselves to produce more affordable timepieces for 2017. If you couple this with the rising number of collectors and the huge amount of information out there, there’s probably never been a better time to make a well-informed purchase to start your collection.
The difficult part is starting a good quality collection that will keep you enthralled for years to come.
What’s Your Interest Vintage, Pre-owned, or New?
A vintage watch could be a nice piece if you have a specific interest in a military or naval campaign and they can be more affordable and come with a great backstory. Taking this path you need to establish it still has its original parts because a Vintage watch with newly replaced parts are seen as a “franken-watch” and is usually seen as a non-starter. If you can find them, vintage OMEGA Seamaster or Rolex Datejust are great values with the added value of a recognizable brand name.
A Pre-Owned piece, not to be confused with vintage is a great way to enter what would normally be an expensive entry point, so never be ashamed of entering via the pre-owned method. In this approach, you can take advantage of market depreciation to walk away with more watch for your money.
A shiny and new Watch is always an exciting approach to take provided you have the budget or don’t mind a lower entry-level. After all, who doesn’t love buying something new that nobody else has used before? plus you have manufacturer warranty also. The only down side to this approach is having to take the hit of depreciation.
You have an idea of where to start regarding new, used, or vintage, but what about the brand? With so many brands out there, if you don’t have a specific idea of what you want, it’s a good idea to stick to the reputable, reliable names like Rolex, OMEGA, Breitling, or TAG Heuer.
If you have answered all your questions about watch style, new, used or vintage, and if you have a brand in mind, then starting a watch collection is easy. Do you want a watch for every occasion or one watch to wear all the time? Do you have the idea of a Motorsport or Diver watch that informs your choice of brand, like TAG for motorsport, Rolex for Diver. You may even have a hankering for a curiosity piece from Soviet-era from behind the Iron Curtain, but whatever it is, there is something for everyone.
So, one high-end or multiple less expensive pieces to start the collection, which strategy is better?
Unfortunately, no one can tell you this because this is a personal choice but in my mind, a small number of modestly priced pieces to create a little variety is the way forward. Perhaps if we look at the idea of building a collection of 7 watches, that’s a watch for everyday of the week?
The first step to starting the collection is tempering your logical side with your passionate side and to a small extent putting your passion in your pocket temporarily. Sounds crazy? Well, bear with me. The first piece in your collection should be chosen on grounds of common sense, practically, passion, and budget.
That sounds like a funny mix but what’s needed is a balance between common sense, practicality, and budget, but in the mix, there’s a need find a piece that keeps you awake at night wishing you had the piece on your wrist. So basically, we need to passionately about the piece while at the same time knowing it’s a piece that’s affordable within budget, and versatile enough to be wearable.
Make the first piece the base piece for your collection, something you love and need desperately, then start to build on the collections diversity. Let’s say the first piece is mechanical self-winding Dive Watch, the next piece could be a mechanical manual and possibly a different style such as Dress Watch.
As the process continues, the following piece may be an Aviation Chronograph, followed by a solar powered Sports Watch, the choice is yours.
What if you have a piece on a black leather strap, the next piece may need a brown leather strap for a different outfit! Really, the options are many, from materials, movements, styles, complications, and of course brands. Perhaps the best way to make these decisions is by creating a collection based on diversity allowing all the pieces to be used in every possible situation from weddings, business meetings, conferences, dining out, sporting events and so on.
As time passes and your collection grows so too will your understanding of brands, movements, features, and the development of new targets. In a perfect world, a collection should have pieces that represent quality over quantity but still offer the versatility for every occasion and every outfit. As I suggested a collection of 7 for each day of the week could be an idea, but it’s important to develop discipline and patience while building a small collection of good quality pieces, otherwise, it’s easy to become tired of the pieces and lose money selling them on.
What’s your budget?
We haven’t discussed a budget yet so let’s take a quick look at how you can approach this sometimes sensitive subject. The likelihood is your first watch in your collection will not be your most expensive purchase, and that is the right way to go about starting it.
Depending on the decisions you’ve made so far you may be starting the collection with a Japanese Automatic way under $500, or a British Automatic under $1000, but just as likely is the option to go for an entry level Omega or TAG Heuer who produce some nice entry-level pieces under $5000. If you’re starting a collection with a larger budget you’re truly blessed but that’s really out of scope for this piece for affordable luxury watch collections.
The Take Away
The most important ideas when it comes to starting your collection is maintaining discipline. Never buy a watch on an impulse or spur of the moment, never buy a watch just because it’s the latest model, don’t buy a watch thinking it’s an investment, and don’t buy a watch that doesn’t suit you. It’s nobody else’s collection, it’s your collection and it only has to make you happy, and don’t buy too cheap, too often, or too many.
This is your personal passion and you don’t answer to anyone.
So, if you’re looking for the perfect Watch at the perfect price, from a trusted source, you know it can be a stressful experience, with the right help and advice, you too can find your dream timepiece. As I’m considered an expert in my field and I write for other publications like Wrist Review I know you’ll benefit from my experience and avoid the pitfalls.
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