I’m a new Watch Cruncher—very happy to have found this quality platform to enjoy the hobby with fellow enthusiasts. WatchCrunch seems to me to be a more friendly, engaging and less superficial community/environment for discussing and sharing watches than other places I’ve tried.
In a recent post about “diminishing returns” (https://www.watchcrunch.com/Munky1/posts/diminishing-returns-13162) there were discussions about the alleged merit of pricier watches compared to cheaper alternatives. I thought I would make a post about the story of my first luxury watch purchase. Warning: It’s a bit of a long post.
For my 40th birthday, I saved and saved and saved to purchase my first “luxury” watch, an Omega Speedmaster Professional (3570.50.00) from the secondhand market. I had read every online article on this and other Speedy references, and watched every YouTube video about how this is a “must have” in every serious collection. Prior to the Speedy, I’ve only owned Timex, Citizen, and Skagen watches. I also owned a Jorg Gray JG6500 (Obama Watch), and an “Akriboss XXIV” skeleton watch from my girlfriend. (OK, I may have also have bought a MVMT dress watch. 😂)
Anyway, I bought the Speedmaster Pro and I was over the moon (!) with it. My first Swiss manual wind chronograph timepiece! It was the nicest watch I had ever had my hands on, and I was charmed by its beautiful design. The contrast of the black dial and white hands and indices. Those sexy twisted lugs. The antiquated domed plexiglass with the laser-etched Ω logo. The font on the dial seemed old fashioned but classy at the same time. The case back with the Omega seahorse and the historical connection to the NASA moon missions. I enjoyed playing with the chronograph pushers and seeing the hands reset to zero. True to its reputation as a “strap monster,” the Speedy looked good on every strap I put it on. Brown leather strap. Yup. Bond NATO strap. Yup. It looked good on its own bracelet, too. And this watch, if needed, could survive a journey to the moon on a spaceship!
I was beginning to understand the love for this watch, and the appeal of luxury watches in general. An stylish design with so many interesting details to look at anytime you choose to glance at your wrist. A living, ticking, precision-made machine that is also a work of art and looks cool as hell on your wrist. And at that time, it was the most money I have ever spent on a non-essential item and it felt both exhilarating and a little dangerous. What if it breaks, what if it gets stolen? I was going to make sure I never lose sight of this watch!
I sold my Speedy 3 months later. I felt kind of bad because it was my “grail” watch at the time, but to be honest I didn’t know very much about luxury watches at all when I bought it and I probably did it because of its reputation rather than what I personally wanted from a watch within a relatively small collection. But I didn’t know that until I bought the watch and wore it for a few months. I just didn’t connect with it the way I’ve read that other people did.
All these reasons do not mean it is a bad watch, only that for a person of my financial means and having a relatively small collection, I wanted more functionality out my most expensive watch. But it was only because I spent a few months with the Speedy that I discovered that I wanted a more premium-feeling, more accurate automatic watch with sapphire glass and more water resistance. And it was only after wearing the Speedy that I began to understand the appeal of luxury diver-type watches.
It was a difficult decision to sell my Speedmaster, but I just couldn’t justify having the majority of my watch funds invested in a timepiece I have so many reservations about, especially when there were so many other good options out there. I don’t regret my purchase, though. The Speedy is a fantastic watch and would be an amazing part of any collection, but for me I wanted something different to be the foundation of mine. I still like the Speedy a lot and may buy it back one day as my collection grows, and I will always be grateful for the many lessons it taught me about watch collecting at the beginning of my journey.
Does anyone else have a similar story of getting an over-hyped watch only to find out later that it wasn’t for them?
(PS. I ended up buying a Rolex Explorer instead: Automatic/Hacking: Check. Superlative Chronometer: Check. WR100: Check. White gold applied indices: Check. Impeccable fit and finishing: Check.)