Please take a look at Jenni's video about collecting

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FATpDmKEXD0

Check out this video by Jenni Elle released today.  Very insightful presentation about perceived authenticity in watch collecting.  Her thoughts and insights about watches and collecting have always impressed, but her ideas and the way they are presented in this video are really extraordinary.  There are many Youtubers out there that provide great insight into certain ideas, trends, and specific information about watches and watch collecting and I think Jenni is right there at the top!

What do you think about this video and her idea's?  What other watch community contributors do you like to follow?

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Alright, let me summarize:

a) I like Jenni's videos, as she very much reminds me of my sister-in-law, and I'm always amused by the similarities.

b) I think she is correct that there is no authentic and inauthentic way of collecting. I could start collecting a generic watch brand created for a teleshopping channel, and as long as I enjoy myself doing so, nothing really can be said against it.

c) There is a legitimate reason to dislike Rolex, and I believe the waitlist business, and the purchasing of less desirable watches to get a desirable watch makes for a very poor customer experience. However, I think in most cases the problem is that the watches appear to be unattainable, and that is just a question of demand.

d) You can't ruin a hobby with a single brand. There are plenty of great watches available. Given the current Rolex availability and price structure, I would probably look at a competitor.

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I don't get the point....my father was a one watch person and his Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust was presented to him by his brother-in-law in 1968 as his wedding gift...the watch did not die out and it survived him...I still covet a Rolex and will never dislike it...but my budget cannot afford it...

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Artificial scarcity is how diamonds are valued and sold. Rolex seems to be taking a lesson from De Beers. The only protest available is to refuse to participate in the false economy.

Hers is a more nuanced defense of the brand (masters level, one might say).  I enjoyed it, although as a Rolex agnostic it did not move me either way.

Let's tag her.  @JenniElle  Now she can enjoy the warm glow of WatchCrunch. 

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It’s a good video - I appreciate her trying to breakdown the psychology behind the backlash against Rolex from some in the watch community. I think the topic is pretty multifaceted but her argument in the authenticity behind collecting and this notion of cheating (when someone has the ability to essentially pay to “jump the line”) does resonate a bit.

I myself have no hatred in the brand or the people who purchase them... Its just all market driven to me. Maybe I’m a bit pragmatic  in my caveman collecting but when I have multiple watches out there I want to own, I just look at their prices and say “Is it worth it to me?” and then move on. I don’t dwell on the fairness of it all, besides how fair the price is to my own pocketbook (and occasionally my wife 😂).

I do think there are multiple reasons to collect anything - and money is absolutely a valid one. I don’t look at my watches as investments as I understand to several I may own a box full of “junk”. Maybe one day if I ever move into the higher tier of collecting I will be forced to view them that way just because the prices are that high, but even then, what I collect will be dictated by what I like and not the value someone else places on it. Having said all that, there is room for all of us!

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I have been a fan of @JenniElle for a while now, and I love her perspective on watches and watch collecting. This video is a typical example of her work, thoughtful and thought-provoking. She is capable of presenting and expressing controversies within the watch industry and hobby in a way that engages without being patronizing or divisive. Regardless of perspective on Rolex, well worth watching.

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There are a couple of points made by her where I do not agree, or rather where I'd say this is specifically an issue in the world of watch-collecting, perhaps also some other collecting hobbies, but it is not universal.

One is the social aspect of it, e.g. the Instagramization of a collection, the showing off your collection to other people. This is dependent on the personality of the collector, but also what kind of items a collection is made of. Many collections are simply solely for the pleasure of the collector, other people do not really come into it. Most of the collections I built and sometimes dissolved over my life were of this solitary kind. Sometimes we had a forum like this to exchange info and opinions, but the showing-off aspect of the watchcollectors' world appears rather idiosyncratic to me, compared to my other collectibles.

The authenticity theory of her's I did not really understand, and in particular I cannot relate to it from my other collecting habits. When and why is this ever an issue? What would it even mean to be an inauthentic collector?

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I enjoyed that video and agree with a lot within. I particularly like the insights about “cheating” and I’d love to see that point explored more because I think a lot of the resentment and subsequently the overuse (I’d say misuse, as Jenni implies) of the term authenticity is a reflection of the vast inequality in the world and the rapid acceleration of inequality through the pandemic. That goes for not only capital wealth, but also attention and status. Jenni used the word deserve (in air quotes) and I think that’s the big clue – people are sensing, as they do in many different ways, that society is rigged. It is. No one deserves to have vastly more than other people and no one deserves to have nothing. And all of this inequality has become more apparent in the watch world as new and wealthy watch collectors have arrived during the pandemic. 

I love how in so many was the watch world reflects the wider world. I’ve only been an enthusiast for about a year now, and as I explain to people who are not, my watch explorations, readings, studies, what-have-you overlap with pretty much anything and everything. The watch world is like a caricature of the greater world in many ways.

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uhrensohn

There are a couple of points made by her where I do not agree, or rather where I'd say this is specifically an issue in the world of watch-collecting, perhaps also some other collecting hobbies, but it is not universal.

One is the social aspect of it, e.g. the Instagramization of a collection, the showing off your collection to other people. This is dependent on the personality of the collector, but also what kind of items a collection is made of. Many collections are simply solely for the pleasure of the collector, other people do not really come into it. Most of the collections I built and sometimes dissolved over my life were of this solitary kind. Sometimes we had a forum like this to exchange info and opinions, but the showing-off aspect of the watchcollectors' world appears rather idiosyncratic to me, compared to my other collectibles.

The authenticity theory of her's I did not really understand, and in particular I cannot relate to it from my other collecting habits. When and why is this ever an issue? What would it even mean to be an inauthentic collector?

While I am not Jenni, so I can’t speak with complete accuracy or authority to her theory, I believe she was interpreting an ”authentic” collector as someone who has to work (or wait in some cases) to obtain a particular piece.

An example of this - for the sake of understanding the theory might be this: Let’s say Person A is someone who is into vintage watches and has been searching years to find a particularly rare piece (of a specifically good/pristine condition). I think this would be a person we could all agree would define a “collector” and someone you might argue has “earned” the fruits of his labor by doing the literal legwork involved to acquire the piece. Now, let’s say there is Person B, who is not be as well-read on this same watch and only knows it’s something coveted by others - but is put in a position where he has an opportunity to obtain the exact watch Person A has been searching for… all he has to do is buy 3 other watches from the seller and pay 20% more than Person A. Now, does this make Person B less of a collector? or less authentic collector than Person A? He may not have done the research but he has earned the money he is willing to spend. Its a gray subject all together.

Again, I could be completely misinterpreting Jenni’s theory but this is how I understood it. I enjoy trying to dissect it all but think staring hard at it for too long can’t be healthy 😂 

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bevelwerks

While I am not Jenni, so I can’t speak with complete accuracy or authority to her theory, I believe she was interpreting an ”authentic” collector as someone who has to work (or wait in some cases) to obtain a particular piece.

An example of this - for the sake of understanding the theory might be this: Let’s say Person A is someone who is into vintage watches and has been searching years to find a particularly rare piece (of a specifically good/pristine condition). I think this would be a person we could all agree would define a “collector” and someone you might argue has “earned” the fruits of his labor by doing the literal legwork involved to acquire the piece. Now, let’s say there is Person B, who is not be as well-read on this same watch and only knows it’s something coveted by others - but is put in a position where he has an opportunity to obtain the exact watch Person A has been searching for… all he has to do is buy 3 other watches from the seller and pay 20% more than Person A. Now, does this make Person B less of a collector? or less authentic collector than Person A? He may not have done the research but he has earned the money he is willing to spend. Its a gray subject all together.

Again, I could be completely misinterpreting Jenni’s theory but this is how I understood it. I enjoy trying to dissect it all but think staring hard at it for too long can’t be healthy 😂 

Well, the weirdities of the modern watch market aside, my problem is: when is the authenticity of collecting ever be an issue? Sometimes, a collecting habit turns into a level of expertise over time, and the concept of an authentic expert I get. But an authentic collector?  That only makes sense if the occupation of collecting itself is appreciated by some people. [which would probably be other watch collectors trying to justify their costly hobby to their significant other] That's a bit like like fans of sports fans denouncing one of their subsections as non-genuine, because they weren't fans of the team when them were sh...

With watch collecting there is no right of passage. Rolexes do not get any cheaper, because you have bought some Hamiltons in the past. To buy an expensive watch you have to have the funds (and be willing to spend them). So, there is the subtle distinction between someone who can afford a desirable Rolex, and one who can afford the extra watches to put them at the front of the waiting list or to buy them over-priced on the grey market. But attaching any kudos to such distinctions is weird to me.

Just try to teleport the concept of an inauthentic collector to other collecting habits, like stamps, magazines, beer mats, chess books, movie posters, pin cushions, music boxes, pinball machines, etc. What would an inauthentic beermat collector be like?

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uhrensohn

Well, the weirdities of the modern watch market aside, my problem is: when is the authenticity of collecting ever be an issue? Sometimes, a collecting habit turns into a level of expertise over time, and the concept of an authentic expert I get. But an authentic collector?  That only makes sense if the occupation of collecting itself is appreciated by some people. [which would probably be other watch collectors trying to justify their costly hobby to their significant other] That's a bit like like fans of sports fans denouncing one of their subsections as non-genuine, because they weren't fans of the team when them were sh...

With watch collecting there is no right of passage. Rolexes do not get any cheaper, because you have bought some Hamiltons in the past. To buy an expensive watch you have to have the funds (and be willing to spend them). So, there is the subtle distinction between someone who can afford a desirable Rolex, and one who can afford the extra watches to put them at the front of the waiting list or to buy them over-priced on the grey market. But attaching any kudos to such distinctions is weird to me.

Just try to teleport the concept of an inauthentic collector to other collecting habits, like stamps, magazines, beer mats, chess books, movie posters, pin cushions, music boxes, pinball machines, etc. What would an inauthentic beermat collector be like?

I think your sports analogy is spot on in this instance, at least in the sense of describing the mindset (wrong or right) of some of these watch enthusiasts who are angry at others for whats happening in the watch market and more specifically with Rolex. You have fans who have endured their team’s ups and downs, so when the team has finally finds success these same fans feel they’ve earned it and/or are entitled (they are the ”real” fans)… so when they find new fans surrounding them, there is a level of backlash for who they feel are bandwagoners. In fact, I think this exact scenario played out with the Golden State Warriors… when there was a bit of backlash when fans who used to be able get season tickets saw prices increase after Stephen Curry blew up. GS had a litany of new fans from the tech world who could easily pay the higher prices… of course, this doesn’t make them any less Warrior fans but to those who no longer get season tickets I understand the resentment (however illogical).

Don’t get me wrong - it’s not a perfect comparison. I also don’t think it can easily be transferred to other hobby/collectors, as I think it’s in part tied so-closely to popular-culture to some degree. To take your beermat example, there would have to be some scenario in which beermats were adopted by the wider popular-culture as a means to show off wealth and/or exclusivity… or in other words as a mean to “flex” on Instagram. Watches in general have always been expensive luxury items and now owning the right one can mean more than just having a nice watch. In the end, this is about fandom, gatekeeping, and some false impression that what’s happened isn’t fair... it’s all completely illogical, but humans are rarely logical when it comes to collecting things… see beanie babies, Pokémon cards, etc.

BTW… love that we are talking about this stuff!