Thoughts on this addiction...
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  1. #1
    Member RuffRydas's Avatar
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    Thoughts on this addiction...

    It's been almost one year since I dove head first into this addiction called watches. Looking back, I've made some great choices and some equally bad ones. Unfortunately the more I look at vintage watches these days, the more I become hesitant to buy modern ones. To find the same level of excellent quality/craftsmanship seen in mid to high level vintage watches, one would have to venture into a MUCH higher price bracket in today's markets. Seems almost like a losing battle, we continue to pay more and more for less returns. After reading Ray MacDonald's recent thread on "The Elephant in the Room", I asked a watchmaker what he thought would be a worthwhile purchase in today's modern luxury market and he literally said NOTHING, it's all overpriced bull-doodle and once you buy into it, the big watch conglomerates will have you by the bullocks. Harsh words but it got me thinking for sure. My love for watches hasn't diminished the slightest from the day I bought my first watch but I am finding it harder and harder to justify the next purchase. I know it's silly to ask this question to a bunch of enablers, but have any of you ever thought about quitting?

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  2. #2
    KXL
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    Re: Thoughts on this addiction...

    Not a chance have I thought about quitting---and your watchmaker is flat out wrong. Maybe your/his definition of luxury brand is different than mine.

    In my mind anything over $2,000 dollars constitutes a luxury brand. Now if your talking the really high end [over 20 K] then I would say the resale value is the true indicator and quite frankly I don't know enough about them. I do admit to not understanding the watches in the 5-15 K range when I can find similar movements and craftsmanship for less than 5K.

    Many of the newer brands have simply outstanding value and capability---Bremont and a whole host of divers such as Zexen. No way could vintage watches come close to any modern diver. Many of the older but lesser known brands [at least here in the US] such as Oris, Doxa, Glycine also show great value.

    Just because I can't afford all the watches I want doesn't mean I'm not happily addicted...

  3. #3
    Member RuffRydas's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on this addiction...

    Quote Originally Posted by KXL View Post
    Not a chance have I thought about quitting---and your watchmaker is flat out wrong. Maybe your/his definition of luxury brand is different than mine.

    In my mind anything over $2,000 dollars constitutes a luxury brand. Now if your talking the really high end [over 20 K] then I would say the resale value is the true indicator and quite frankly I don't know enough about them. I do admit to not understanding the watches in the 5-15 K range when I can find similar movements and craftsmanship for less than 5K.

    Many of the newer brands have simply outstanding value and capability---Bremont and a whole host of divers such as Zexen. No way could vintage watches come close to any modern diver. Many of the older but lesser known brands [at least here in the US] such as Oris, Doxa, Glycine also show great value.

    Just because I can't afford all the watches I want doesn't mean I'm not happily addicted...
    It's not a diver but this Zexen (Zixen Watch) special edition model with a vintage Hamilton military 4992B movement costs $3295 while the EXACT same original Hamilton pocket watch in absolute mint condition goes for ~$500-$700. How's that for being overpriced? I doubt the case/band/hands cost over $2000 for Zexen to make.

    My watchmaker's words may have been extreme, but he's absolutely right in saying that most luxury watches these days are overpriced for what they are. The brands you named may offer good value, but only because they're being compared to watches from big conglomerates that are priced even higher.

    I'm guilty myself of buying into the hype and the addiction but let's not kid ourselves here, this hobby is expensive as heck and it's mostly because smucks like you, me and all the crazies here are willing to throw down the dough.

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  5. #4
    swo
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    Re: Thoughts on this addiction...

    Yeah, I agree in that there really is no practical reason for spending such large amounts of money on watches, I myself have thought about quitting the addiction---but this does not last for long and soon enough I am looking around. The whole "good value" concept makes sense in a way and in another way even the "good values" are completely impractical. I guess maybe we just have to accept human nature and sometimes we do things that do not makes sense.

    I wonder how the current marketing budgets affect the pricing structure.

  6. #5
    Member RuffRydas's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on this addiction...

    Quote Originally Posted by swo View Post
    Yeah, I agree in that there really is no practical reason for spending such large amounts of money on watches, I myself have thought about quitting the addiction---but this does not last for long and soon enough I am looking around. The whole "good value" concept makes sense in a way and in another way even the "good values" are completely impractical. I guess maybe we just have to accept human nature and sometimes we do things that do not makes sense.

    I wonder how the current marketing budgets affect the pricing structure.
    Lol, every time I make a purchase I keep telling my wife "that's it, I'm done", and yet I keep finding myself being drawn back to this site, flipping through the pages and mumbling to myself: "Hmmm, it'd be pretty awesome to have an eco-drive minute repeater", "Oooo, I could really use another dress watch with a brown strap", "Boy, that white dial on the UN Maxi Marine Diver is really growing on me"...
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    Member Bronte's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on this addiction...

    Quote Originally Posted by RuffRydas View Post
    My watchmaker's words may have been extreme, but he's absolutely right in saying that most luxury watches these days are overpriced for what they are.
    I think he's far from absolutely right. Of course it's not "practical" to spend thousands of dollars on a watch or even hundreds of dollars. The only thing that's practical is to get a couple of quartz for under $100 bucks that match what you regularly wear and be done with it. And the practicality of even that is dubious: you can get along just fine without a watch at all these days.

    With that out of the way, however, it's absurd to say that all luxury watches are overpriced. In the $500 to $1000 range, you can get an ETA or similar mass-produced but quality movement with a nice level of craftsmanship, from the likes of Oris, Hamilton, Tissot, etc. Not to mention Seiko JDM. In the $1000-5000 range you're mostly looking at ETAs in watches with higher levels of craftmanship or more complications. This is probably the range where you're looking at the most risk of overpricing. Over $5000 you start to get into haute horlogerie where you're looking at in-house movements with a high-level of finishing and uniqueness. For example, I really do not think that a Grand Seiko Spring Drive or a Jaeger LeCoultre Master Control is overpriced.

    There are arguments in each price range that some watches are overpriced, but if you go gray market or get a good discount from your AD, or if you buy a pre-owned late model, there are plenty of good values to be had. Obviously, that "value" is value to the watch enthusiast, not practical value. It's the uniqueness of the design, the quality of the materials and craftsmanship, the history, etc. Of course, if it's not something you appreciate, then it is quite impractical to spend the money on it.
    Last edited by Bronte; January 30th, 2012 at 05:48. Reason: Spelling

  8. #7
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    Re: Thoughts on this addiction...

    Money pit. Any more than 2 watches is too many. Spending more than $150 is excessive.

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    Re: Thoughts on this addiction...

    well, we have to spend our money somehow ;)

    money pit if it doesnt have any returning value

    there's a lot of truth in what your watchmaker said, but he did not take into account the value put on by society

    a 5k watch may not be worth 5k when you look at material used and craftmanship - but it's worth that much because of the value put on the watch by society (sentimental, iconic, status symbol, demand, etc)

    there's more to a watch than a piece of stainless steel plated with gold made by machine

  10. #9
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    Re: Thoughts on this addiction...

    Great comments. I recently put a lot of thought on this and came to,the conclusion many only think watches with celebrity endorsements are worth owning with the exception of certain divers and micro brands. Ask anyone to explain why some German brands are immediately discounted, not by ADs but the people who want SMP or Breitling and do not know which movements are inside. I ran into by chance a Zeno Deluxe. Got it for a small amount as no one was bidding. I just liked the look. Then I found it was worth ten times what I paid and it so precise it runs cosc. It is a keeper for,me. Then a German watch, no one bid,on, again I liked the look, then checked the brand... Ended up buying two over the next few days. Awesome. Off went the SMP, the Tag, Hammy. I now,have a great collection, all exceptional and pleasing to me. I also found vintage and was able to buy a Omega for less than tax on a new one. It was as if they stored it in a are for the last thirty years.

  11. #10
    Member RuffRydas's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on this addiction...

    Thanks for everyone's thoughts so far. I want to make it clear that I'm not trying to slam this hobby at all, just wanted to get some fellow enthusiasts' candid opinions on the subject and at the same time, justify my addiction.

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