I'd be interested in hearing how the other members' tastes in watches have changed over the period in which they've been interested in collecting them. Be sure to include how long you've been interested in the topic.
I've been interested in collecting watches for about a year and a half. I received my first "serious" watch earlier this year, a Rolex GMT Master II in black ceramic. I love its subtle class, it's robustness and its overall flexibility practicality. I think my experience with it has changed my perspective on collecting overall.
Some things I've noticed:
-I'm less interested in grail pieces. I'm a 23 year old right out of college, so I'm not going to buy any Langematik Perpetual any time soon. I still admire those pieces, but am more satisfied with the ones I might actually purchase in the next few years.
-I still like the clean, subtle look of a classic dress watch, but in actual use, chronographs give me more pleasure. I like being able to actively interact with the watch's functioning.
-I'm more interested in situation-appropriateness. I used to pine after the Patek Philippe Nautilus and Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. I still love the look and style of the Nautilus, but I wouldn't ever buy a fragile sport watch. Also, after the stories I've heard about excessive fragility in AP pieces, I've decided to never purchase one.
-In general, complications for the sake of complications mean less to me. The only reservation I have with my beloved GMT IIC is the independent hour change/full time change settings are easy to slip between when setting the time, so I might have been better off with the Green Submariner 116610LV I was considering. (I use the GMT complication occasionally, but it still might be a net negative in terms of daily use.)
-Prestigious brand names mean less to me. I used to be obsessed with Patek Philippe. Now, when I consider a classic dress watch for purchase, I'll consider things like Jaeger-Lecoultre and Glashütte Original: Great watches, even if they're not peak luxury. My personal enjoyment trumps the prestige of the manufacture.