The joy and uncertainty of watch collecting

This week I posted about my new addition, the Rolex Explorer ref. 14270. And it got me thinking. Which has led to me writing this small story about my watch collecting journey so far.

Regarding the title, let’s make a start with the ‘joy’ part. I’ve been collecting watches for the better part of 2 years now. And weirdly, it has taught me a lot about my life and the way I make decisions/think in general. Normally I make very impulsive decisions, I think about something for a small amount of time and it always feels like I have made up my mind in the matter of minutes. But when it comes to buying watches the price would, obviously, play a big part in this. In such way that I force myself to wait and think about it, think about and think about it some more… With buying and selling some watches I’ve noticed that these somewhat ‘impulsive‘ decisions were also affecting my work life and some other private situations. It has taught me to take more time and think longer about certain things. The hell, it actually helped me become a better decision maker at times!

I have thought long and hard about this Rolex Explorer and now that it is in my collection I really feel like I have made a good choice. So good almost that I am basically considering selling everything else (apart from my speedy)…

I have chosen the Explorer to be my new addition because a number of reasons being,

  • This year I went on a one-week holiday all by myself for the first time. So the ‘Explorer’ part of the watch really spoke to me about the adventure I had gone onto. And of course many more that are to come.
  • It is produced in 1996 wich means it has a T-serial. My first name starts with the letter T so this also has somewhat of a personal touch. Being from 1996 means it is one of the latest years Rolex had used tritium dials. Which then suits my tritium dialed Speedmaster from ‘91.
  • And last but not least, this is the lesser known Rolex among non-enthousiasts which also spoke to me. Whenever I go out at night there is a 90% chance I see someone wearing a Rolex. Being the Datejust, Submariner, GMT or even a Daytona in some cases.

These points combined really make it feel like my kind of watch. And I know, I am still in the honeymoon phase of owning it so the taught of me loving it would be certain. But sometimes it’s just love at first sight and I can already feel that this will be in my collection for quite a while.


Now for the ‘uncertain’ part in this story. Of course watch collecting is a great hobby, I have made many new friends from forums like these. And it’s something I can enjoy all night apart from laying on the couch watching Netflix. But like all hobby’s, it also has negative sides.

Of course we have the elephant in the room, but I don’t even mind the money part of it. The fact that watches like these are relatively expensive makes it special. There’s saving for months/years involved which seems hard at the time but makes up for emotional pleasure in the end. At least, that’s how I experience it. Though there is also a big dark side about this. There are a lot of scammers/fakes out there. I read about some horror stories from time to time that people had saved up a long time to only find out they’ve bought a fake, or that someting else horribly had happend.

Of course this is really extreme which can be prevented by things as a lot of research, asking questions, buying from a reputable dealer etc. But then also there, people can be mistaken. With my Explorer I had done the research and bought the watch from a reputable dealer. Now that I have it, I have noticed that something (probably the winding rotor) is loose inside the movement. Also the watch runs almost -90 seconds per day. Which means I now have to get it to a watchmaker and all the costs that ‘probably’ get involved with getting it serviced.

Also the bracelet and clasp don’t really fit my wrist well. I have pretty small wrists and this is almost always a problem for me. I like the watch best on the steel bracelet, but now I have it on a green NATO (which I also love by the way). These kind of things do take away a chunk of the joy when receiving a watch after carefully considering and saving up for a long time.

On the one hand I don’t really care that it needs a service, it feels good to get it back and know that I can take the watch on coming adventures without problems. It will only be hard to be missing it for some time after just receiving it. The bracelet bothers me more honestly, hopefully there are some kind of pills/diets that can make my wrists more swole so that watches will fit me ‘better’…

All-in-all I do love this watch and everything that I have experienced with watch collecting to this date. How are you guys’ experiences so far?

Thanks for taking the time and reading this if you have come this far!


You should consider keeping a back-up watch for when you have to service it. 

…and awesome watch!  Thanks for sharing!


Really great looking watch,as regards the service I have just had mine back from Rolex after a service and it's like brand new apart from the original scratches which I asked to be left on ,it has a 2 yr guarantee,the bracelet could be swapped for a jubilee which hugs the wrist or a good quality rubber ,I have put one on my sea dweller and love it 


Interesting. I don’t really think too much about a lot of my purchases… see watch, like watch, buy watch, wear watch. The main difference is that I buy a lot of vintage, so it’s always a chance for me to just learn something, even if it’s the fact that I can recognise an AS ébauche from 20 paces, it’s all part of the process. Most brands and watches I pick up are dead and out-of-style, and I like watches with scars and stories.

There is no right way to “watch”, so it is always interesting to know the thought process behind other collectors, even if there is none (this comment is not aimed at you). Some collectors on here are just mad, but you‘ll spot who I mean and why in your own time.


Beautiful watch you have there.  Good for so many occasions and adventures!  

As for the bracelet issue:  Take it to a rolex AD after the holidays and get it fitted to your wrist.  They can move the links around to get it to fit right.  You didn't pay thousands of dollars for it not to sit well on your wrist.  Yes I have a tiny penguin wrists too and did not require PED's to get it to fit right.

Gravity driven watch improvements:

To speed it up or gain a few seconds = lay the watch flat on its bracelet
To slow it down or lose a few seconds = lay the watch on its side