Question about your collection? Focus or diversity

Poll: Diversity or focus. What is your collection?

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  1. #1
    Member 93EXCivic's Avatar
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    Question about your collection? Focus or diversity

    Does your collection have a focus on one or a few brands or a type/ style (ie chronos, trench watches, tuning fork movements, etc) of watch? Do you go for diversity with many different style and brands?

    I am just getting into vintage watches and have slowly been pulling together a want list but part of me is conflicted as to whether I want to focus on a few brands (there are a few brands I could see myself really getting into) or if that just means that I will miss out on so many good watches.
    Last edited by 93EXCivic; October 3rd, 2014 at 21:31.
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    Olma, Vostok, Casio, Smiths, Elektronika, Airavata, Elgin

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    Re: Question about your collection? Focus or diversity

    I buy anything by Certina as they are so many here in Sweden so it's just a great brand for me. I also into 1930-1950's Tissot watches as I love the design they had back then and the same goes for Olma, Orano and Longines.

    Chopard watches have somehow sneaked up on me so you could say it's a case of a brand choosing me.
    Last edited by Shum; October 3rd, 2014 at 21:48.

  3. #3
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    Re: Question about your collection? Focus or diversity

    My collection has focused in recent years towards vintage scratchproof Rado watches.
    I now aim for the rarer dials/models:

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    Member Paleotime's Avatar
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    Re: Question about your collection? Focus or diversity

    I go just for a couple of brands, and a limited number of years. I would say that I collect Bulova and Elgin watches from the 1920s to about 1950 - although the 20s to the mid-30s are generally my favorites. I do have some other brands/eras though - some of these are watches that I ran into locally for a good price. Others are gifts. Still others represent things that I think a watch collection should have - for example an early wire-lug (trench) watch, and a nice bumper auto.

    One of the major reasons that I became brand+time focused is that I work on my own watches - so keeping a reasonable stock of spare parts and such required specialization. But a side-effect of a brand focused collection is the depth of knowledge that allows you to recognize scarce watches and so build a collection that includes some rarities. Also, knowing the brand market helps with recognizing good (and bad) deals.

    Good luck in your collecting...Having fun is the most important part - so do what you enjoy.
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  6. #5
    Member 93EXCivic's Avatar
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    Re: Question about your collection? Focus or diversity

    Quote Originally Posted by Paleotime View Post
    One of the major reasons that I became brand+time focused is that I work on my own watches - so keeping a reasonable stock of spare parts and such required specialization. But a side-effect of a brand focused collection is the depth of knowledge that allows you to recognize scarce watches and so build a collection that includes some rarities. Also, knowing the brand market helps with recognizing good (and bad) deals.

    Good luck in your collecting...Having fun is the most important part - so do what you enjoy.
    That makes sense. One of my big goals for next year is to learn how to service watches. I mean I could see my collection focusing on a few brands (Universal Geneve, Omega, Vostok and maybe Doxa or Smiths) with a few other watches thrown in. To be honest, I am more of a hands on type person then a collector. So maybe focusing on a few brands and learning how to service those really well would be the ideal for me.
    Olma, Vostok, Casio, Smiths, Elektronika, Airavata, Elgin

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  7. #6
    Member Paleotime's Avatar
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    Re: Question about your collection? Focus or diversity

    One of my big goals for next year is to learn how to service watches.
    I found learning to service and repair watches really changed how I enjoyed my collection. Being a hands-on (and mechanical) person myself - taking part in the mechanical, as well as the cosmetic restoration process has been great.

    I would add that you should expect a pretty radical learning curve...for a seemingly straightforward mechanical devise, watch movements are tricky. Getting a watch to run is one thing (like car engines - they want to run)...getting acceptable performance is another-kettle-of-fish. Brand familiarity helps.
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  8. #7
    Member Sdasurrey's Avatar
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    Question about your collection? Focus or diversity

    93ExCivic - Your question is an interesting one for me as I have been bitten pretty hard by the vintage 'bug' this year and while this had been a great and enjoyable initial journey, I have spent a fair amount of time researching vintage watches and puzzling over what I like and what to collect.

    I think first, as Paleotime suggests, if you are going to work on watches that can have a Big influence - I'm probably anti-mechanical (as an Economist) so that's not a 'driver' for me.

    What I have found for me is the driving force is historical aesthetics and the enjoyment of wearing very unique pieces you won't find on someone next to you on a meeting but also when you have enough (I have purchased over 30 watches this year ! you can wear a different watch every day !

    So those are the main drivers for me personally, but if you saw my thread 'summarising my vintage experience' I have used a fairly simple taxonomy for collecting governed by what I like as the primary driver: (1) trench-style, (2) art deco and (3) 40s/50s chronos. I'm personally not much of a fan of anything after 1960. I have lastly, been gravitating toward Eberhard as a brand recently.

    But the main thing is to ENJOY this fascinating hobby which has tremendous diversity - and can be enjoyed every waking moment (except while in the shower!) - have fun ! Scott



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    Last edited by Sdasurrey; October 4th, 2014 at 07:00.
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  9. #8
    Member Emre's Avatar
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    Re: Question about your collection? Focus or diversity

    One brand, one love:)

    As paleotime rightly expressed,the vertical knowledge helps you build up deep knowledge and accumulate scarce timepieces.Also picking up a brand which speaks to you develops an emotional tie with the brand and its products.So you don't just buy and sell watches,they become your statement somehow.

    If the brand and its products chosen is not a front runner,it gives you a lot of room to research and explore.Vertical collecting has also the possibility having closed ties with the company which takes this hobby to a pleasant level.

    There are companies which may share their archives with you and handover their heritage,which is really rewarding

    Either way,it's joy and this fora is the best around.

    Some premium pieces from my collection:

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    Last edited by Emre; October 4th, 2014 at 08:24.
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  10. #9
    Member James A's Avatar
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    Re: Question about your collection? Focus or diversity

    Hi,

    For me its more about diversity. Collecting with diversity also helps me to understand the journey the wristwatch has taken across the 20th century. However it is not a total like it buy it , scattergun approach. I try to collect the steps, and sometime miss steps the watch has taken along the way.

    For example in my collection is a Harwood then a Mido with the 816 bumper (posted today in the WURW thread). I have the Eterna first gents with ball bearing movement, first Solar analogue by Citizen, one of the very first LCD's by Gruen. To collect this way gives me some understanding and lets me interact with the development of the wristwatch along the timeline.

    Regards,

  11. #10
    Member Emre's Avatar
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    Re: Question about your collection? Focus or diversity

    James,good point about the wrist-watch evolution.Worth to mention,I believe that we all change our path during the hunt.I don't know a person yet who said ' I will collect xyz and started buying a few dozen [insert brand/style].While developing our knowledge and increasing the watch inventory we start favouring certain aspects of certain watches and the whole direction tends towards it.I too started with early automatics,then went towards early chronos jumped to aviators and landed in brand oriented collection.It's a pleasant journey and the hunt is more joyful than the kill.

    We evolve,our tastes are evolving so does our watches :)
    Giotime likes this.

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