Buying Process

As far as I can tell, there are a lot of lies in this hobby. "Water resistance of 50m." "Made in Switzerland." "No dear, that wasn't very expensive at all!"

But the biggest lies seems to be - 'When buying a new watch, we sit down with a short list, do a few months of research on the watch and movement and important numbers, check it and alternatives out in person to make sure it fits well, save for half a year and then reward ourselves with the purchase'. Really? Does anyone actually buy like this?

I tend to change (and therefore wind and set) watches each day, so factors like power reserve and accuracy are really not important to me. I have pretty average sized wrists and a high tolerance for watch sizes, so I will happily wear anything between 36mm and 44mm. I have a mostly desk job and nobody cares what watch I am wearing at work, so most styles are fine. So, the most important factor to me is often how it looks and which design really grabs me. And often, I will fixate on a specific watch for a while as I attempt to save the funds for it, but I usually limit myself to a maximum of about $2000 so saving time is manageable. In the meantime, my brain and attention is a kind of Thunderdome where many watches enter and only one survives. If I still really want that watch by the time I have actually saved up for it and not changed my mind several times in that period, its a good sign I really do want it. Often this feels very unscientific and even random and I find myself liking a variety of different types of watches, but so far it has resulted in a collection that I love with watches that I have no intention of selling.... so I might be doing something right!

What is your process?

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Usually from personal friends, who are also collectors, bringing something on my radar. YouTube is also become a good source for those “blips”. For example, I’ve never even seen this watch before, but after a friend of mine, purchased one I had to have it.

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I mean, yeah. I decide what fits into the collection, watch videos and read articles and obsess. I narrow it down to a couple options. I go back and forth about those until I finally decide to spend the money I've saved up for that purchase.

With the exception of that stupid white G-shock I bought in a haze of vodka and regret nothing

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I try to stick to a theme. I have an idea in my head what the collection needs and they're not related to specs or brand. I don't write anything down, I never save for watches. Either I can afford them at the time of purchase or I can't. If I can afford them, I buy. If I can't, I let go. Maybe I'll revisit a particular watch a few months later if my economic situation improves some (but I never ever ever save).

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The mental thunderdome resonates with me. I would describe mine more like Riley from Inside Out. Memories battle for attention and the ones that are forgotten fade away like Bing Bong :(

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Depends on my mood mainly, so if I’m feeling it I look what’s available and try it on if it fits (size, weight, thickness) I buy it. Only restriction at the moment is one per brand. And I don’t save up, if I can’t a buy a watch for any reason (availability or funds) I don’t buy it and move on.

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Its odd to me the number of people that dont save. I think that if I didnt (have to) save then I would make a lot of dumb choices and have a lot more regrets. That saving time is important for me to evaluate how much I really want the watch, and how much I am willing to sacrifice from other hobbies and other watches, to get it. But I dont research.... I just obsess.

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I am happy you said “ sure it fits well, save for half a year”. I have watches for the seasons, which comes down to NATO for summer and bracelet for winter with a mix for spring and fall.

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sammael

Its odd to me the number of people that dont save. I think that if I didnt (have to) save then I would make a lot of dumb choices and have a lot more regrets. That saving time is important for me to evaluate how much I really want the watch, and how much I am willing to sacrifice from other hobbies and other watches, to get it. But I dont research.... I just obsess.

If I had to save up for a hobby, it would mean I can’t afford the hobby. Things that aren’t a necessity should never be a financial burden.

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My wife and I are finally at a period in our lives that health and happiness are greater concerns than the dollars in our separate bank accounts. She looks after the small daily, weekly expenses, I am responsible for the major expenses so I pretty much buy a watch when I feel like it, I suppose I do save since I don’t buy a new timepiece every week. I remain loyal to a few brands that I stumbled onto during my decades in the hobby, investigating recent launches via emails from brands but much more significant for me are visits and discussions with a few trusted sellers who make suggestions, presentations and offer insights that they gather from dealing with the watch buying public. I was very much on the fence with Grand Seiko until I had many oportunities to examine, try on before purchasing a first high beat GMT iteration. With a brand like Breitling it is more about the look of the watch, do I want to add it to my rotation?

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sfreak

If I had to save up for a hobby, it would mean I can’t afford the hobby. Things that aren’t a necessity should never be a financial burden.

We have a budget allocation each month for different categories like holidays, bills, travel, etc. Part of that is to allocate hobby money each. It just keeps it realistic.

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Mrs. SolidYett and I are working on becoming better at managing every last dollar of our budget.

We have pocket money set into the budget, for each person, to buy whatever they want.

There's a few more affordable micros I keep tabs on, if they have something coming I like, I get it.

But watches are not even close to being the expensive hobby for me.

More expensive stuff, we budget for if it is something wanted. Priority is food, clothing, shelter, saving, retirement, then other stuff.

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For me buying/owning watches is just one particular aspect of this hobby. Its fun learning and seeing other people’s watches too.

As far as buying goes, I try to set out a two year (ish) map of of how I want to divert my watch funds. Sometimes I deviate sometimes I’m pretty dead set on my ‘route’. I don’t really experience things like FOMO so if a watch I want to own, passes me by, then it just wasn’t to be. I tend to like certain types of watches as opposed to particular models so I’m pretty flexible. I’m more fixated on wearing and learning more about my own collection than stuff I don’t yet own

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Often this feels very unscientific and even random and I find myself liking a variety of different types of watches, but so far it has resulted in a collection that I love with watches that I have no intention of selling.

IMHO this obsession of ours can’t be scientific. If you look at this from a purely scientific/mathematical point of view, just buy a Casio, or a smartwatch, or just use the phone/computer. Being attracted to this archaic design is very much an unscientific and extremely emotional act… much like love 🖖🏾

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Have a budget and when I find something that I like and goes well with my collection I simply buy. Sure you do some due dilligence on specs and in person check if possible but available funds and my liking are main factors to buy.

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I’m like a lion in amongst antilope I start chasing one then a different one will cross my path so I will chase that one then something else until I finally catch one. Then it starts all over again

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I'll play along and chime in 🙂 I'm relatively new to the watch game (less than a year) so my approach is a little different now than say what I think it will be in 2-3 years. Over the last year, I've been building up what I will call a solid "base" collection, and will then add to it slowly over time. I'm not sure what number of watches that will be, but currently I'm at 10. I'm also like you and create lists, that I do a ton of research on before adding them to the list. I'm also constantly refining and changing it. This is my current "want to buy " list, not listed in any sort of priority order:

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and I also have a "maybe" list, all of which were on the "to buy" list but have been bumped down, and I haven't ruled out purchasing yet:

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Some of the items on the "to buy" list are just difficult to find. I won't use the "G" word here, but if I can find one, I will immediately buy it. For example the Ebel 3137240, is nowhere to be found currently, not surprising since there were only 40 made, but I know that if I can find one, I'll immediately jump on the opportunity. Others I want to wait and purchase on the secondary market when the prices eventfully come down. So the Breguet (2057ST/92/SW0) falls into that category. I also have enough wiggle room to allow for opportunities as they pop up, some might have seen my recent post where I have the opportunity to purchase an RGM Model 160. That wasn't even on my radar, but I'm evaluating that right now and might jump on it in the next few weeks.

Also at some point I'm going to try and limit myself to a rough yearly budget. But since I've been building the "base" collection, I'm not really limiting myself outside of what I considerable reasonable prices for the watches I'm interested in. I'm fortunate enough that I have the resources to do this. Cheers.

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Most of my watches have been emotional, in the moment, purchases. I'm cool with that. Yesterday I went to look at watches, just looking, and came out the store with these two.

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ChuffedBrah

The mental thunderdome resonates with me. I would describe mine more like Riley from Inside Out. Memories battle for attention and the ones that are forgotten fade away like Bing Bong :(

Bing Bong is the most tragic and beautiful character...

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I keep a giant image of screenshots resized similarly with models and prices under each. It is largely organized by color. Generally I buy the most visually appealing and least expensive. The affordable focus allows me a ton of variety. I have 20 watches after collecting 3/4 of a year. They mostly get wrist time. I have a few watches above $500 that id like to buy but probably never will. There's always a car that needs repairing, ac purchase, taxes, broken something that needs spending on instead. Next purchase will probably be a Casio A168.

Reading this back I sound really poor but I actually make 6 figures. Life is expensive these days!