So I started late in the watch game and got my first watch (a fashion piece--Penguin!) after college when I had $150 to spare! Since then, I've gone through a total of 14 watches, and have now reduced to just 4! With each piece you learn a little bit about yourself and tastes and quality. I started with a couple fashion watches and a Mako. Then progressively moved into the "boutique" category (sinn, doxa, archimede, etc). Finally, I have moved into what I call the "majors" (omega, breitling, cartier, etc.). I've learned that fashion watches quickly lose their luster and don't have the staying power or quality of the "boutique" category. I've learned that while excellent in value the "boutique" mechanical watches, they can't transcend beyond the simple beauty of a high quality built watch. I've realized there is a reason why watches like the Omega Speedy or Cartier Santos will be on my wrist more than any prior watch, they have a proven history of 50+ years of the same design that still looks incredible today and have some weird sort of metaphysical aspect to them--yes, the santos is basically a simple eta, but the perfection in its overall presentation represents very high achievements by man in terms of engineering, art, design, and beauty.
So, yes, I've become "that" watch snob, but I have grown to understand the reason why certain brands have iconic designs and why they have staying power. After coming to the realization I could literally where a speedy every day on different straps for almost any look or need, I really had no need for 10 other watches that got no wrist time. So I started thinking about each watch's purpose. Is there a point to having 3 divers? Is there a point to having 3 dress watches? Why not choose a max of 5 or less watches that each have a different purpose--that purpose could be type: chrono, gmt, dress, diver, etc...it could be color: blue dial, black dial, etc. And I think the key is to finding the right watch that fits each category appropriately without a ton of overlap in terms of features with your other watches.
Anyways, enough winded talk, lets see the refined collection and their unique attributes:
Cartier Santos 100 (dress watch, roman numeral dial, white face, black strap, can also be slightly sporty as well)
Omega Speedy Pro (chrono, no numbers on minute/hour dial, black face, versatile with any strap and any occasion)
Breitling Emergency (quartz watch, orange face, numbers on dial, ultimate tool watch, titanium)
Moma wood watch (the anti-watch, case and strap is wood or wood veneer, very artistic, very much a symbol of contrast)
So, next natural choice is a diver with a blue face
Anyways, just wanted to share my experience and of course thank all other forum members for giving me lots of information and help and guidance through my years of collecting. And I'm sure in another decade I'll have 12 watches and have to reduce again.
I'd also love to hear what other members have learned throughout the years of collecting!