Are you a Collector or a User?
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  1. #1
    Member Jim44's Avatar
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    Are you a Collector or a User?

    In a different thread (I would link to it if I knew how :) another member -rdenney I believe - made what I thought was a very interesting distinction between collectors and users.

    If you are willing to share, I would be interested to know:

    1. Do you consider yourself a collector or a user?
    2. Do you wear your watches or are there some you never wear?
    3. Do you set a limit on how many watches you will owner any given time?
    4. Do you maintain all of your watches regularly?
    5. Is it important for you to have all original parts?

    Bonus points: what do you think of the collector/user dichotomy, and if you like it what other characteristics do you think generally distinguish the two?

    My answers, fwiw:

    1. I guess on a scale of 1 (collector) to 10 (user) I'm about an 8 or so
    2. I do wear all of my watches, some more frequently than others of course
    3. I have set a hard limit but haven't reached it yet :). Once I do though the plan is if one comes in, one has to go out
    4. The biggest reason for #3 is to control expenses related to ongoing maintenance, which I do because of #2 above.
    5. I strongly prefer all-original parts but not sure I have a good reason for that. It is fun for some reason to try to maintain a watch in as close to original condition as possible



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  2. #2
    Member joeabroad's Avatar
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    Re: Are you a Collector or a User?

    I'm about the same as you except as regards #3, since I've had to move the goal line a couple of times.
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  3. #3
    Member Jim44's Avatar
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    Re: Are you a Collector or a User?

    Quote Originally Posted by joeabroad View Post
    I'm about the same as you except as regards #3, since I've had to move the goal line a couple of times.
    That's what I'm afraid of too, tbh. My resolve hasn't actually been tested yet


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  5. #4
    Member mougino's Avatar
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    Re: Are you a Collector or a User?

    I'm a collector.
    I wear almost always the 2-3 watches but the other 15 rarely see the wrist. Heck, I even have some that never saw the wrist...

    I'm trying to set a limit (I first filled a 12-watch box) but I push the limit every time I reach it (another 8-watch travel box full, and more spare watches on the side...)

    I did maintain all my meca/auto daily, by winding then manually, but after I went to vacation 1 week, and following other users' advice, I do not do that anymore.

    I don't mind about original parts. I favour working order / functionality over pure vintage condition.

    Out of curiosity, what is your (current) hard limit of watches?

    Nicolas
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  6. #5
    Member odd_and_vintage_fan's Avatar
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    Re: Are you a Collector or a User?

    1. User, though I try to be a good steward of the watches I have.

    2. If it's working, I'll wear it. That includes my grandfather's Timex, a solid gold watch my boss gifted me, and a 1949 Bulova. Conversely, I have two in need of major overhaul and one in need of a COA that are in the box until fixed.

    3. The limit is my ability to keep them maintained. I'm just above that limit currently, hence the two in need of overhaul. I've limited new acquisitions accordingly and only buy straps when I need retail therapy.

    4. As best I can. The Accutron is on a fixed 5 year schedule, with all others on an as-needed approach based on timekeeping and power reserve. If one of them is in need of repair, it will sit until the funds are there to send it off. I'm not going to run a watch dry.

    5. Original is preferable, but having the watch working will always win out.

    For pictures, my poor little Vantage that I picked up for the cost of a movie without popcorn. The last one in line to be fixed. (Seller's pic)
    Attached Images Attached Images

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  7. #6
    Member Jim44's Avatar
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    Re: Are you a Collector or a User?

    Quote Originally Posted by mougino View Post
    I'm a collector.
    I wear almost always the 2-3 watches but the other 15 rarely see the wrist. Heck, I even have some that never saw the wrist...

    I'm trying to set a limit (I first filled a 12-watch box) but I push the limit every time I reach it (another 8-watch travel box full, and more spare watches on the side...)

    I did maintain all my meca/auto daily, by winding then manually, but after I went to vacation 1 week, and following other users' advice, I do not do that anymore.

    I don't mind about original parts. I favour working order / functionality over pure vintage condition.

    Out of curiosity, what is your (current) hard limit of watches?

    Nicolas
    Thanks for your reply!

    I'm currently planning on staying at no more than 10 watches, although I know that that will force some difficult choices down the line. But I think that I can't really justify the expense since, if we're honest, ten watches should be more than enough to have a watch for pretty much an occasion. And I also am a believe in quality over quantity (although I do admit that 10 is actually a sizable quantity when you think about it)

    I often have to remind myself that there are always going to be other watches that I want, but that I should focus more on what I have than what I don't.

    I also currently have a theoretical limit on how expensive a watch I would wear, even if money were no object (which, I am sad to report, it is). Would I enjoy a $30k Patel Philippe? Sure. But I just can't get my head around wearing tens of thousands of dollars around my wrist, just on principle. This is not meant as a judgement of those who do, just my own personal preference.

    Of course my attitude might change after I hit the lottery...




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  8. #7
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    Re: Are you a Collector or a User?

    I would never own a watch I wouldn't wear - to me things are worthless if not used for their intended purpose.
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  9. #8
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    Re: Are you a Collector or a User?

    Quote Originally Posted by KasperDK View Post
    I would never own a watch I wouldn't wear - to me things are worthless if not used for their intended purpose.
    Same here. I wear all my watches, even the solid gold ones on special occasions, and I carry all my pocket watches, even the early keywind Pre-Elgin 'National Watch Company' ones.

    I have no numerical limit on my collection though now that I've been able to complete my collection as originally defined, I've slowed WAY down. It's been a couple months since I bought a watch.

    I maintain them myself, because if I didn't my collection would be much, much smaller. Plus, it's hard to justify to the wife spending $150-300 servicing a watch that cost me $30, and once serviced I might be able to sell for $70. Furthermore, when you've taken a watch from a grubby, crud-encrusted, nonrunning lump and turned it into a clean, well running, attractive timepiece, it really IS yours!
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  10. #9
    Member Border-Reiver's Avatar
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    Re: Are you a Collector or a User?

    I am, in a few cases, a watch user, and in some 200+ cases a collector. Now in retirement and despite being financially in not such a bad position, I would have to deliverer Sunday's paper to pay for a regular service for all of them.

    Meanwhile, I also have a lot of nice equipment and tools in my workshop, which I use or just collect (I give of course everything difficult to my watchmaker). The individual watch means absolutely nothing to me (unless it's a family heirloom etc.). It's the compostion of everything, including history, theory etc., even a chat about watches with a friend.
    Last edited by Border-Reiver; September 1st, 2017 at 19:46.
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  11. #10
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    Re: Are you a Collector or a User?

    1-mostly a user, i love having the option of changing them!
    2-i wesr sll of the because what the point of owning them if they are stuck in a box... show them off you work hard to get these timepieces!
    3- my wife sets the limit hahahaha
    4- yes I do they all get check when they come in!
    5-as original As I can!!


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