How long will you really have your watch?
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  1. #1
    Member OnlyOneMore's Avatar
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    Feb 2018

    How long will you really have your watch?

    Realistically how long do you really think you’ll be wearing your current watch/watches? There are a lot of threads here about service intervals, winders causing wear, dried out lubricants etc etc, but not many discussing the realistic life span of a watch. Styles change, tastes change and with the life expectancy of most reasonable quality mechanical watches measured in decades (decades and decades) I’d argue many watches will fall from favour long before they fail mechanically whether they're regularly serviced or not.

    Let’s look at service. I have many vintage pieces that are 50-60 years old and running, in fact they are not only running they are running well. Were they all serviced regularly? Some were. Some weren’t. The point is they’re running and I picked them up for pocket change because they’re old and not the current style, just like many of our watches will be in 20 years. Many of us struggle with whether we should spend the money on servicing and I often wonder how much money is spent on watches that are 5 years away from being out of style and relegated to a drawer. It’s just a watch. Use it until it’s worn out (quite possibly in 50+ years) and then buy a new one. Many of us seem to be obsessed with preserving the value in an item that will have almost no retained value for the last decades of it's life... yes decades

    In terms of winders there seems to be a lot of concern about wear and tear that I question whether is misplaced. How much do you believe your’e shortening the useful life of your watch? By 20 years? By 30 years? In my mind you will tire of your watch long before a winder wears it out. Decades before… so why worry. If you find a winder convenient get one
    Last edited by OnlyOneMore; September 9th, 2018 at 03:46. Reason: Clarity

  2. #2
    Member rdoder's Avatar
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    Jul 2013

    Re: How long will you really have your watch?

    In terms of watch winder and wear and tear, I believe useful life of a watch could be shortened to 9 years? Evidence (?):

    Quote Originally Posted by krayzie View Post
    FYI I've dropped off my 9 year old 9S55-0010/SBGR001 at Seiko Canada / Odyssey Time back in late July to have the watch overhauled due to it slowing down to about -15 mins a day. <snip>
    I'm assuming the watch was worn relatively frequently? I don't know though.

    I have a ~20-year-old watch from my Dad that he wore rarely. It's ~+1 minute/day last I checked. Not as in need of service when rarely worn? I almost never wear it too. The watch seems to have shorter power reserve.

    I agree that a watch could fall out of favor long before it mechanically fails or needs service. One watch I bought two years ago has fallen out of favor with me. Honeymoon phase is over for sure. If I were more savvy with selling, or if I could give the watch away, I might have already. The watch game as some play it is not about long-term use of a watch necessarily. Sometimes it's all about the new hotness or high of buying the next watch. :)

    One time I bought a watch, and as I was leaving, another guy came in with a mechanical watch that needed fixing. Don't know how old that watch was. But this seems to be the thing with mechanical watches. They are kind of life-like, they get sick and need to see the doctor. Pricey like owning a pet! Like I was leaving with a kitten and the other guy came in with an old pet.

  3. #3
    Member Perseverence's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2016

    Re: How long will you really have your watch?

    As long as I want. The longer they're held on to, the more (sentimental) value they'll hold, stories they'll accrue, and become family heirlooms.

    I have plans for my Lum-Tec, RGM, and Smith & Bradley for when I pass from this world.

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  5. #4
    Member Raza's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Re: How long will you really have your watch?

    Well, let’s see.

    Monaco: 10 years
    Speedmaster: 7 years
    Black Bay: 2 years
    Ranger: 1.5 years
    Submariner: 1 year

    I plan on keeping all of them for the rest of my life. And my next purchase, which I hope to be making soon, I also plan on keeping for the rest of my life. I’m old enough to have gray hairs, but young enough to remember my college years, so I’ve got a ways to go, fingers crossed.
    TAG Heuer Monaco LE|Omega Speedmaster|Seamaster 300MC|Rolex Submariner|Tudor Ranger

    How did it get so late so soon?

  6. #5
    Member Blue Note's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016

    Re: How long will you really have your watch?

    I mostly have watches with classic styles such as Reverso, Datejust, etc. that I don’t see ever going out of the style that I favor and the vintage I own was already out of style and now it’s back. My issue is that to the next generation (mostly) watches are out of style. I offered my daughter one of my Datejusts before she headed off to college and she said she’d never wear it. I’ve given some of my divers to my son and after a few months he returned them. I look around a room with mostly young persons and maybe one in 12 or 15 wears a watch. This has got me wondering if we’re sitting on a bubble.
    Kaishakunin likes this.
    We may be lost but we're making good time.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Houston Texas

    Re: How long will you really have your watch?

    I buy them to keep unless the mfg makes a change to the model I have that I feel I have to have.

  8. #7
    Member odd_and_vintage_fan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    PA, USA

    Re: How long will you really have your watch?

    Haven't had any mechanical watches that long, but my quartz Skagen is at 14 years and my quartz Wenger is at 10 years. Both get their seals re-greased when I change the batteries. The Skagen gets worn when I need an under-the-radar dress watch and the Wenger gets worn for anything but swimming, though it used to swim all the time.

    Also have an Accutron that's 3 years into its 5 year service interval and that's 100% getting sent in for service when needed.

  9. #8
    Member yankeexpress's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013

    Re: How long will you really have your watch?

    Had this 7a28 for 40 years and counting. Got it new at the PX in Guam. Just keep a fresh cel in it occasionally. Still runs well.

    Have several solar G-Shocks that are 20 years old, still on original cells, running at full charge.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Southern California
    If you have classic timeless watches like Rolex Explorer or Sub, you will not have the problem of having out dated watches.

    Stick with Rolex and quality pieces. I have couple Rolex that I have not serviced for 12 years. Still running like a champ. I will probably sevice them soon

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2015

    Re: How long will you really have your watch?

    Depends on the watch. I have a couple I will keep until they are beyond repair. I've given two away, and have some autos I will probably get rid of.

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