Was collecting always this extensive or "obsessive"?
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  1. #1
    Member Shockwave's Avatar
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    Was collecting always this extensive or "obsessive"?

    Good day,

    I have come across numerous threads and members touting their collection of watches on here, which one to get next. People wishing they could skim their collection down to just one watch or several. There are many desired pieces and understandably why one would want more then one.

    My question is, was watch collecting always this extensive? Back in the say 60s, 70s or earlier or later was there a community of collectors that had a collection in quantity to what many have today? If no, did people value the limited collection they had more?

    Interested to hear some of the responses, guess I'm turning to some of the more "seasoned" members haha

  2. #2
    Member yankeexpress's Avatar
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    Re: Was collecting always this extensive or "obsessive"?

    The internet changed everything in watch collecting for me. Went from a few dozen to many more.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Was collecting always this extensive or "obsessive"?

    The internets has allowed more of us weirdos to come out from the dark. It has also dis-inhibited many of us. Back in the day you couldn't shop this quickly and easily. If you wanted to buy 10 watches in one day, you'd actually have to get in your car and drive around all day. Now, you could do that in minutes.
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    Re: Was collecting always this extensive or "obsessive"?

    Quote Originally Posted by yankeexpress View Post
    The internet changed everything in watch collecting for me. Went from a few dozen to many more.
    For me, internet and social media platforms

  6. #5
    Member Ray916MN's Avatar
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    Re: Was collecting always this extensive or "obsessive"?

    Collecting or owning?

    Collectors have always existed and have built impressive collections. The most serious collectors I know have little to nothing to do with Internet purchasing or forums. Guys with collections worth 7 digits or more. Most started as pocket watch guys and expanded into wristwatches. They have been collecting since the 50s and 60s.

    People who own a variety of recent production watches OTOH are likely a relatively new phenomena enabled by access to a wider variety of watches and easier purchase and resale.
    Last edited by Ray916MN; April 6th, 2015 at 04:34.
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    Member Intrepid04's Avatar
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    Re: Was collecting always this extensive or "obsessive"?

    Quote Originally Posted by sleepyhead123 View Post
    The internets has allowed more of us weirdos to come out from the dark. It has also dis-inhibited many of us. Back in the day you couldn't shop this quickly and easily. If you wanted to buy 10 watches in one day, you'd actually have to get in your car and drive around all day. Now, you could do that in minutes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ray916MN View Post
    Collecting or owning?

    Collectors have always existed and have built impressive collections. The most serious collectors I know have little to nothing to do with Internet purchasing or forums. Guys with collections worth 7 digits or more. Most started as pocket watch guys and expanded into wristwatches. They have been collecting since the 50s and 60s.

    People who own a variety of recent production watches OTOH are likely a relatively new phenomena enabled by access to a wider variety of watches and easier purchase and resale.
    Even though I kind of understand the logic of your rationale, I have to disagree. It gotta a be something else, a "conspiracy theory" of some sort, and I'll explain you why:

    I have never ever yet bought (nor sold) a watch or a watch-related item on the Internet (not a single one yet!). However, I was for more than 20 years having and wearing only one (1) watch but in the last one (1) year alone I have bought almost 20 watches all of the sudden!!!

    So, if I'm still an "old fashion" type of person (still buying local), there's gotta a be something else not that simple but way more complex (?).
    Last edited by Intrepid04; April 6th, 2015 at 22:57.
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  8. #7
    Member Memento Vivere's Avatar
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    Re: Was collecting always this extensive or "obsessive"?

    I really think this is something where every individual is a little different and you have to distinguish from the serious "collectors" and the watch enthusiasts who just like owning multiple watches. Everybody is a little bit different, but for me personally the more years that go by since I first got *really* into watches, the less and less watches I want to own (in terms of collection size).

    At one point, I had over 30 watches, and now honestly having more than 10 is a no go for me. Ideally I'd like to get down to 3-5, but I sincerely doubt I'll be able to accomplish that. It's always a trade off between quality and variety for people like me. But then you have guys with 50 ~$300 watches who are happier than a kid in a candy store - everyone is different.

    There is one universal truth in this hobby; the internet is a tremendous enabler. I can spend all day staring at pictures of the next watch I want, leading to (sometimes) compulsive purchasing.
    Last edited by Memento Vivere; April 6th, 2015 at 21:53.
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  9. #8
    Member Ajax_Drakos's Avatar
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    Re: Was collecting always this extensive or "obsessive"?

    I would agree that the Internet has made watch collecting much easier and, therefore, much more expensive. We have access to watches now that it would have been much harder to find many years ago.

    With respect to cost, I think there's plenty of evidence to suggest a great deal of price inflation over the past several decades, and this of course takes into account inflation.
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  10. #9
    Member Wibbs's Avatar
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    Re: Was collecting always this extensive or "obsessive"?

    My dad was very much into watches and that's what got me hooked and normalised when very young. At a peak he would have had six or seven, all but one bought new by him and when quartz came in he was on that boat too. He even had a couple of digitals *jaw drop* (and was in his 60's when he bought them). That was before the "soul" stuff came out of the Swiss marketing chaps of course*. Whatever about the rarified and rare very high end collectors, he would have been unusual enough back then for an ordinary bloke to be that into watches. Most had one or two in a lifetime and when replacement time came they went for the new and usually quartz when they did. In the early 80's in my neck of the woods and among my peers anyway, me being into "old watches" was considered a tad odd.

    I'd reckon that stayed that way until around 2000 as a general thing. After that access for both sellers and buyers exploded. That old crap in the back of a drawer suddenly had value and there were buyers lining up.

    What was said about access is a biggie. Pre interwebs I would go to house clearances and general auctions to see if vintage watches might come up. It's a mouse click away these days and sooooo much easier, though sooooo much more expensive.

    That was the vintage market anyway. With the new buyers, advertising and marketing really kicked in and was and is more targeted and much more widespread. Back in the day the most you might see were paper adverts in Time, Readers Digest or newspapers. Digitals held the TV market. For most guys looking to buy a watch, the display in their local family jewellers was the extent of their exposure to different brands. After that came "value" versus quality.

    Today is very different. One just has to look at the major price increases over the last 15-20 years on the back of that marketing, often for the same watch, to see that. Not that long ago a Rolex Sub was a tool watch, more expensive than the usual stuff on display, but not to the degree of today. Something like the Speedmaster was only a little more expensive to buy than a time only 9Kt gold dress watch. Pateks APs and the like were names the vast majority had never even heard of. That goes for more mid tier makers, now exalted like IWC. I noted in another thread hereabouts that I turned down an IWC for around 100 dollars in the early 80's because I wasn't pushed on the watch itself and neither me nor the dealer had heard of the brand at the time. Ads in newspapers in the mid 80's for their Da Vinci changed that. For me anyway.


    *which he thought BS and his son takes after him on that score. When I was about 15 and hooked on whatever fad was in at the time I remember him telling me that this was fine, so long as it was relatively cheap and in the moment, but to beware when companies; watches, cars, clothes, whatever, start to bring in ideas of exclusivity, image, soul, authenticity, because that's when you know what follows is guaranteed to be something you'd step in if you followed a male member of the bovids around a field for the day and an excuse to up the price.
    Last edited by Wibbs; April 7th, 2015 at 00:35.
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  11. #10
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    Re: Was collecting always this extensive or "obsessive"?

    collecting is so wasteful. why buy watches that are just going to be unworn 99% of the time? if you aren't wearing a watch at least once a month you should sell/flip it.
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