The Opportunity Cost of Watches
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  1. #1
    WnS
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    The Opportunity Cost of Watches

    Let's face it, almost every WIS is plagued with the opportunity cost of owning expensive watches. Whether your collection is 20x affordables averaging $200 each or 2 Omegas at $3000 each, there's no denying that this is serious money being poured into non-essential items.

    This really set in when I attended a business seminar with about 200 well dressed people. Of the watches I could identify, none of them appeared more expensive than my humble Lum-tec. Maybe there were some Rolexes in the far corners of the room, but it certainly seemed that even successful (in general) people aren't that well vested in watches.

    So what is my opportunity cost?

    I could have:

    1. Put my watch money into a stock that recently tripled. This wasn't a hypothetical hindsight scenario, I was ready to buy into that stock while it was low.
    2. Sold my car, added my watch money, and bought a nicer car.
    3. Bought ~7 years of gym membership.
    4. Added it to my "travel North America" fund - worth 2-3 weeks of additional vacation time.
    5. 50 poker buy-ins at well known Sydney Casino.
    6. Bought a pet dog and paid for food, medication, a kennel, etc. with cash to spare.

    Of course, I'm not going to dwell in regret, but this opportunity cost is nothing to scoff at.
    I'm content with my watch collection

  2. #2
    Member Coffeeshopman's Avatar
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    Re: The Opportunity Cost of Watches

    I'm finding it difficult to justify more watch purchases at this time.


    Bought a really nice bike for less than half the cost of a watch I was contemplating.


    Absolutely no regrets.

  3. #3
    Member camb66's Avatar
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    Re: The Opportunity Cost of Watches

    Never really look at things like that. I only buy what I really want and only buy when the funds are there. I also know that if I really needed the cash I would get some, not all, of my money back if i sold my watches.
    I don't sacrifice anything to buy watches, i do it because its my hobby, I have no regrets and still get my thrills out of all my watches.
    Regards Cam

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    Member dunl12496j's Avatar
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    Re: The Opportunity Cost of Watches

    If I enjoyed those things as much as watches, that's what I would buy.
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  6. #5
    Moderator Public Forum GlennO's Avatar
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    Re: The Opportunity Cost of Watches

    I do think of the opportunity cost occasionally. I'm currently saving for a house deposit, and there's no doubt I would get there a bit quicker if I wasn't spending money on watches. But you only live once, and it's the only hobby that I currently spend much money on. Besides, it's not like I'm blowing it on gambling on anything. If I wanted to, I could sell off my collection and recoup most of the money spent. That's how I justify it anyway.

  7. #6
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    Re: The Opportunity Cost of Watches

    I have heard in a dogs lifetime, they cost on average $16000. I have two dogs, and I believe it. And I haven't even gotten to the end of life huge medical bills that are normal to spend around here $2000 a piece if you are lucky!

    That said! I am planning to sell a bunch of my watch collection to fund a new washer, dryer, and refrigerator for my house. Seems like a better use of the money than having thousands wrapped up in watches.
    -However that is due to where I am at in life. Once I am done raising children and my retirement goals are met and on track, and my house and vehicle situations are completely satisfactory, I will definitely have a couple of sweet watches then!

    But I have owned and tried almost every watch that interested me, aside from the omegas and rolexes. And I have realized which ones I like best, and that I can only wear one at a time. So I am ready to get rid of the watches that aren't my favorites. When I was in the middle of figuring it all out, I would not have been ready to shift the money out of watches.

  8. #7
    Member nightwalker's Avatar
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    Re: The Opportunity Cost of Watches

    I tend to think of watches being bought out of 'disposable income'. People with higher incomes will have more money to spare but for the regular guy it might to come from savings.

    I would only worry if the latter was affected.

  9. #8
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    Re: The Opportunity Cost of Watches

    Watches are not an investment, but a luxury.

    It is quite possible you were wearing one of the nicer watches at your seminar, and all that means is that the rest of them don't really appreciate a nice watch in the same way you do.

    All of the other items you mention the money could have been spent on end up either being a big risk (poker, investments and stock [whether they one you missed may have won, the next one might not]) or something you know will eat up your money like a nicer car (the fancier the car, the higher the depreciation), the gym membership or the dog. What you have to do is decide whether you would get more enjoyment out of playing poker than your watches. If the poker sounds better, sell some of your collection and enjoy spending the money elsewhere...

    It all comes down to what it is worth to you...

  10. #9
    Member Spit161's Avatar
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    Re: The Opportunity Cost of Watches

    Quote Originally Posted by Coffeeshopman View Post

    Bought a really nice bike for less than half the cost of a watch I was contemplating.


    Absolutely no regrets.
    Are we talking road bike, mountain bike?
    I've just bought a Cove Handjob frame, and am building it up with Hope, Shimano, Mavic, FSA etc.. parts (to go with my other bikes!)
    Total estimated built cost: £6000.

    cheers,
    Jake.
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    Casio G-Shock Aviator GW-3000B
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    Suunto Core "All Black"
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    "When the weight of the paper equals the weight of the airplane, only then you can go flying."



  11. #10
    Member Coffeeshopman's Avatar
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    Re: The Opportunity Cost of Watches

    Diminishing returns.


    When I had 2 watches, the next purchase and arrival was a big deal.


    Now I have 9 and the "next watch" will not really be that big a deal comparatively speaking.

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