Posted this as a reply in the Citizen thread but figured it would be better for public discussion.
The question: Why do we collect watches or more aptly: What causes us to go beyond the point of utility in watches (i.e. why do we buy a Sinn when a Casio does just fine). My reasoning:
I've thought about this a lot. What happens when you surpass the point of utility in an item (i.e. I have one watch that tells time, why do I need 3 or 4 other watches or 10 watches, etc)? I think there are two primary reasons:
1) We get bored easily nowadays. Think about how much excess time we have to surf the internet, watch tv, etc. 100 years ago, you did not have this ultra easy access to knowledge/information/consumerism/etc. So, we get bored and we start looking into things, say watches, and one thing leads to another and you find yourself all of a sudden with 10 watches because they are an extension of the massive amount of time and thought you spent while bored! "It's something to do"
2) Watches, or any other "refined niche" hobby is a symbol of our choices. For instance, if you have $5k and you plan to spend it on a watch, you have freedom to choose from thousands of watches within in your budget. And your own personal goal is to maximize it's personal value to yourself (i.e. I want a watch that is both flashy and mechanical or I want a watch that can withstand a nuclear apocolypse!). In the end the watch is not something merely on your wrist that tells time, but a symbol of the refined choice you've made that's taken you countless hours to whittle down!