Buying Watches vs. Building a Collection - My Experiences
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  1. #1
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    Buying Watches vs. Building a Collection - My Experiences

    I am going to share a little bit about my experience in collecting and would love to hear if any of you have traveled down a similar or opposite path. I am very analytical by nature, so when the watch I think will be my last purchase for many years arrived this week it naturally caused me to reflect on the process that got me to where I am. I have purchased many watches in the past couple of years and have now consolidated down to 4. I am considering moving 1 more out in the coming weeks and ending up with three.

    As I took the first picture of the Pelagos, Aqua Terra, and SMPc yesterday I was struck by how truly unbalanced my collection was. Like many on WUS I have spent hours probably days actually looking at posts about peoples dream collections, best collections under $10,000, best 3 watch collection, perfect 4 watch collection etc. All the while, I was plotting what my perfect collection would be. I was pulled between having a pretty narrow stylistic preference in watches and feeling like I was suppose to add a dress watch, chronograph, GMT, etc. to diversify the collection. Dipping into these waters a bit I realized that having a more well rounded collection didn't make me as happy as having individual watches that I truly enjoyed.

    The turning point came for me last year when I brought 4 watches on a 3 day trip to Las Vegas. Deciding that was ridiculous, I implemented my own "Vegas Rule." What I decided is that I would no longer buy a watch if I didn't think I would be happy if it was the only watch I brought with me on a trip to Las Vegas. We do Vegas trip a couple of times a year and it is the closest I get to the James Bond lifestyle. It is a place where I may be by the pool, hike, be in a race car, gamble in jeans and a t-shirt, or put on a suit for dinner and a night out.

    In essence, this rule changed me from buying watches that filled gaps when they were next to the other watches in the winder, to buying watches that I truly love wearing in a variety of situations. It also had the practical results of reducing the size and increasing the quality of my collection. It created a collection that fit my own definition of GADA watches. I can now acknowledge that while a JLC Ultra Thin, Speedmaster, and any other number of models would create a more balanced collection, I don't like them as much as the narrow range I have bought. I have decided to have watches I love and can do anything with instead of building a collection without gaps.

    So where do you fall on this . . . do you buy the watches you want regardless of how it fits with your collection? Do you enjoy a wide enough range of styles that there is no difference between buying the watches you love and building a balanced collection? Have you ever bought a watch that wasn't the one you wanted most because it worked better with your collection? If so, did it stay in your collection long term? Have you ever had a collection that was so similar in style that it caused you issues? I would love to hear your experiences!

    Also, just because a post needs pictures. Here are the four I currently have, and the three I am contemplating ending up with.

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    mfunnell and slcbbrown like this.
    Current Rotation
    Tudor Pelagos 25500TN, Omega Aqua Terra 8500, Omega SMPc, Eterna Kontiki Date
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    Hexa Osprey, Armida A1 (42mm), Certina DS Action Diver, Christopher Ward C60 Trident Pro, Orient Mako, Alpha Seamaster, Bernhardt Binnacle Anchor III, Orient Chicane, Davosa Ternos, Tisell Marine Dive, Davosa Ternos Pro GMT, Longines Hydroconquest, Christopher Ward C65 Classic, Christopher Ward C1000 Typhoon Cockpit Edition

  2. #2
    Member Chris Stark's Avatar
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    Re: Buying Watches vs. Building a Collection - My Experiences

    A chrono, a blue, a sports, and a diver. Doesn't sound unbalanced to me. You may be over-thinking this one.
    bwedlund likes this.
    "Nothing happens until something moves." -Albert Einstein
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    Member cel4145's Avatar
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    Re: Buying Watches vs. Building a Collection - My Experiences

    Why does one have to build a "balanced collection?"

    Why can't one buy "watches that filled gaps when they were next to the other watches in the winder" and "buy watches that I truly love wearing in a variety of situations?"

    I see no reason to restrict myself
    Tanker G1 and bwedlund like this.

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    Member Tricky73's Avatar
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    I buy watches I like and don’t buy into all this category rubbish and the need to fill each slot eg dress, diver, chrono, and so on. So it’s easy for me to build a collection, I don’t worry about what others think and purchase what I like.
    All the gods, all the heavens, all the hells, are within you...

  6. #5
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    Re: Buying Watches vs. Building a Collection - My Experiences

    I came to a similar realization as you when I was looking at a Sub. I started looking at the Submariner Hulk to “add more color to my collection”. I admit, the hulk would have looked better in my watchbox, but I realized I’d wear a normal black one more. So that’s the one I settled on.

    Like you, i have a similar question I ask “can I wear this watch for a month straight with all my outfits and not have it stand out”.

    That being said, your collection would be better with a Nomos on leather :D :D
    bwedlund likes this.
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  7. #6
    Member EnderW's Avatar
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    Re: Buying Watches vs. Building a Collection - My Experiences

    I buy what I like. If that means 5 dress watches - so be it.
    Balanced collection is usually nonsense to me. Divers - how often do people dive? Pilots? Do nothing for me.
    On the other hand - multiple chronographs - sure, love them. Bunch of dress watches - bring it on, very comfy and can be worn in almost any situation

    At the end of the day - there is no worry about redundancy - if I like 2 similar watches - I can wear them still in alternating fashion.
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    Re: Buying Watches vs. Building a Collection - My Experiences

    If you buy what you know you'll enjoy wearing, you won't go wrong, whether that's a collection with some variety in it or ten divers.
    bwedlund and 41Mets like this.

  9. #8
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    Re: Buying Watches vs. Building a Collection - My Experiences

    I started with trying to have a perfectly balanced collection. Now my strategy is just buy what I like and would actually wear a lot. I have gone back to enjoying the more affordable options as well so its made it easier to justify having a bit larger collection
    bwedlund and 41Mets like this.
    Current collection: Tudor BB 36 |MKII Hawkinge| Seiko SARB017 | Seiko SARB035 | Seiko SBDC053| Seiko SBDC059|Seiko SBDC061| Stowa Antea KS
    wishlist: Tudor BB Fifty-Eight, Omega Planet Ocean 39.5mm, Omega Aqua Terra 38, Grand Seiko, SBGR251, Grand Seiko SBGN005, Sinn 856 UTC, Sinn EZM3F, Damasko DA38, DH1.0 , Stowa Baumuster B, Flieger A,

  10. #9
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    Re: Buying Watches vs. Building a Collection - My Experiences

    Quote Originally Posted by Silent View Post

    Like you, i have a similar question I ask “can I wear this watch for a month straight with all my outfits and not have it stand out”.

    That being said, your collection would be better with a Nomos on leather :D :D
    I actually agree with that and think it is a great example of the progression that I’ve gone through. A year ago, I was strongly considering adding a Nomos Club or Grand Seiko to the collection. Looking back, if I had done that I think the picture of the collection would look better. As much as I like the Nomos Club, I don’t know if there would ever be a time that I would have put that on and not had some part of me rather be wearing the Aqua Terra. The Nomos is a watch I really like. It would have added a watch with a more casual feel. It would have made a more well rounded collection, but i don’t think it would have every gotten to the point that I was as excited to put it on as others in the collection . . . even if they are more similar than the Nomos would have been.
    mfunnell likes this.
    Current Rotation
    Tudor Pelagos 25500TN, Omega Aqua Terra 8500, Omega SMPc, Eterna Kontiki Date
    Come and Gone
    Hexa Osprey, Armida A1 (42mm), Certina DS Action Diver, Christopher Ward C60 Trident Pro, Orient Mako, Alpha Seamaster, Bernhardt Binnacle Anchor III, Orient Chicane, Davosa Ternos, Tisell Marine Dive, Davosa Ternos Pro GMT, Longines Hydroconquest, Christopher Ward C65 Classic, Christopher Ward C1000 Typhoon Cockpit Edition

  11. #10
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    Re: Buying Watches vs. Building a Collection - My Experiences

    1. You are overthinking this.
    2. Your collection is neither well-rounded or balanced. But that's my opinion of course.
    3. Buy what you like.
    Neognosis likes this.

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