The mistakes we made on the collecting journey

Upon the recent realization of yet another mistake I have made when it comes to collecting, I thought it'd be interesting to share them here and get roasted by the community (and also hear what others may have to say regarding this topic). As a matter of fact, these are only "mistakes" in my opinion and it should remain subjective. They are more like shifts in mentality/mindsets along my collecting journey that most likely does not apply to everybody. Nevertheless, I feel there is bound to be some commonalities in the so called "mistakes" that people make when starting a new hobby, so take it however you'd like.

I think one of the biggest mistake that I have made along the journey is buying into microbrands, or rather, buying into them too early. The reason behind me saying this, is what IMO makes microbrands appealing in the first place. That is: the rapid evolution and refinement in their product designs. At least to me, it always leaves me looking at all the places in my watch that could have been better, and wanting the newer version of the same watch. However, I am also aware that if everybody adopts this mentality of "holding onto their wallet until the product reaches maturation", then the brands will not have the funds & feedback needed to improve upon their designs in the first place, which makes it kind of a catch 22. However, for my money, I will probably continue to stay away from up-and-coming microbrands until they reach a somewhat "equilibrium" in their evolution cycle.

Another mistake I have made (which happened to be my latest realization) is buying too many watches in the same category. By this I don't mean the categories in terms of their design (diver, pilot, etc), but more in terms of their intended function in my collection. This took me a while (too long if you ask me) to figure out, and is something I think not many watch influencers talk about (most of them do talk about this in terms of objective watch designs, but rarely emphasizes the subjective intention of the owner is what untimately put them into "categories"). Throughout my journey, I have bought too many watches in the "everyday watch" category (again, this is subjective to me). As a result, even though I once had many watches of different designs and objective "categories", I was still unable to find satisfsction because they all fell under what is essentially the same functional category for me. And at least for me, I eventually realized that I really don't need more than 2-3 watches as daily wearers (again, I know for a fact this does not apply to everybody). This has raised a series of questions and has led me to making major changes to my collection (which is still ongoing). Now, I ask myself these three questions before buying a new watch: 1. Is this inteded to be something I will wear everyday? 2. If yes, will I be willing to let me existing everyday pieces sit in the watchbox? 3. If no, is the style of the new aquisition too similar to my daily wearers so that it limits the excitement when I do occasionally wear it? Have not bought a single watch since I started asking myself these questions as most of the time it will be shot down at question 2. If I had known this since the beginning of my collection journey, I probably would not have bought more than half of the watches that I eventually did.

If you are here, I would first like to thank you for reading through my ramble. If you would like to share something that you wish you had known before starting your collecting journey (or you just wish to grill me), please comment below.

Reply
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Tim, I don’t think you are alone in this “problem”, I’ve done the same thing, but I think you are asking thr right questions. I also think you are spot on with microbrands, not all of them, but there are those that need to “mature” to offer a better product. I’d be willing to bet that a lot of the mature brands had to go through this at one time or another. Good luck with your future purchases and thank you for posting!

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I’m feeling the microbrand dilemma now. There are some great options out there. But you should always feel thr watch first. I have a few that aren’t as good of quality that I bought into the hype.

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swim97

I’m feeling the microbrand dilemma now. There are some great options out there. But you should always feel thr watch first. I have a few that aren’t as good of quality that I bought into the hype.

Care to share more?

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Scottswatch

Tim, I don’t think you are alone in this “problem”, I’ve done the same thing, but I think you are asking thr right questions. I also think you are spot on with microbrands, not all of them, but there are those that need to “mature” to offer a better product. I’d be willing to bet that a lot of the mature brands had to go through this at one time or another. Good luck with your future purchases and thank you for posting!

It's also difficult sometimes to tell where that "equilibrium" is with many microbrands. For example I have owned two CWs in the past, one had the infamous 9 oclock name text and one had the 12 oclock name only without the flag logo. I expected them to eventually transition to a logo only dial design, as they have stated themselves. I just did not expect them to come this quickly.

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Tim_L_09101

Care to share more?

Of course. I fell in love with a few MBs and realized the quality and build weren’t what I wanted. I’m not going to say which. However, online aesthetics don’t always translate to real quality.

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swim97

Of course. I fell in love with a few MBs and realized the quality and build weren’t what I wanted. I’m not going to say which. However, online aesthetics don’t always translate to real quality.

Can't agree more. Definitely been hit by that before.

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I love your "categories" theory and your scrutinizing questions💯

I too have my subjective "categories" based on situations and try not to have too many watches for one situation.

My current categories and watches are;

Dress (nice weather) - JLC Reverso

Dress (summer/rain) - Santos de Cartier

Work (nice weather) - JLC Master Geographic (year 2000, 38mm)

Work (summer/rain) - JLC Polaris

Mountain (no snow) - Explorer 2

Mountain (snow) - Sinn EZM3

Fun - SMP300m Seaweed

Most recently, I was torn between Lange Saxonia Thin pink gold and Santos de Cartier brown dial. It was love at the first sight with Saxonia. But considering when to wear, it completely overlaps with Reverso. So I bought Santos instead, which I can wear when I don't want to wear Reverso on a hot or rainy day.

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Nice Typsim. How's the lume aged?

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swim97

I’m feeling the microbrand dilemma now. There are some great options out there. But you should always feel thr watch first. I have a few that aren’t as good of quality that I bought into the hype.

Which brands didn’t measure up?

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SLA021J1, or the MarineMaster 300. I bet that Seiko spent a lot of marketing dollars on that stinker as Monotone, Hoodwinkee, and Bratello all wrote glowing articles about it. Specs looked good on paper so I bought one sight unseen from an AD. Watch was basically unwearable. The case was 45mm, 16mm thick, and 50mm lug-to-lug. It wore like a brick strapped to my wrist. The strap or bracelet had to be cinched tight or the watch would flop around every time I moved my arm. Bracelet was junk. Series was eventually discontinued by Seiko with no fanfare. 8L35 movement was as accurate as my 6R15.