Watch collecting, in today's smartphone-dominated world where accurate time is always at our fingertips, can be a perplexing passion for some. But it's precisely in this seeming irrationality that watch collecting thrives, pulling in enthusiasts from diverse backgrounds, well beyond the limits of conventional reasoning.
A Love Beyond Rationality
While we can attempt to understand the appeal of watch collecting, it often doesn't seem to align with practicality. Unlike essentials, like a single reliable watch, the idea of owning multiple models might seem superfluous, especially to those less familiar with the details that make huge difference between (apparently) similar models.
But numbers don’t lie, and there are countless evidences that the popularity of watches is an ever-increasing love affair, tapping into something deeper than just rationality– a profound, almost inexplicable love for these timekeeping gems.
The prospect of investment and the enchantment of form
For some, watches aren't just beautiful accessories; they're a smart financial move. They're not just stylish accessories, but also a way to invest your money. The cool part? As other collectibles like fine art and cars, they follow the global market trends and rules and since the best specimens are scarce and sought by collectors all over the world, they can actually appreciate in value over time. But you know what's even cooler? Sometimes, it's not just about the money.
For many collectors, the main attraction is the heart of the watch, which beats with intricate mechanics—a small amount of gears, transforming the energy into precise measurements of time. It's the fascination with how human hands meticulously assemble these tiny components into a functional work of art that drives them to collect.
Some others are not just interested in what's happening under the dial; they're all about the exterior features. Check the vintage charm of this Le Coultre. The diamond mystery dial can easily transports you to a bygone era.
What about the elegant simplicity of a subtle piece like this Rolex Day Date ref.118026 in platinum and the sheer beauty of the materials used to create it? It still has the stickers!
It's like falling in love with a piece of art every time you look at your wrist. And it's not about logic; it's about that emotional connection.
From Novice to Aficionado
Watch collecting goes beyond just being always on the hunt for the next watch; it involves immersing oneself into a nearly infinite world of knowledge spanning numerous models, references, and intricate details that can greatly affect a watch's rarity. While the world of horology may appear mysterious to outsiders, it's a welcoming community where enthusiasts freely share their knowledge, respect each other's passion, and build global networks and strong friendships that extend far beyond mere trading.
Stepping into this world is like learning a new language (sometimes it really is, with all the lingo!), picking up on all those little details, and forming connections with fellow enthusiasts and, before you know it, becoming one of them.
But why do we even collect?
Many individuals embark on their collector's journey through diverse origins. Some inherit the passion for watches from family, becoming collectors to honor a shared legacy. Others are driven by curiosity, delving into the world of horology to explore its fascinating aspects and intriguing detail behind every piece.
Sometimes people are tempted to start collecting because of the vibrant community around it. People need to feel like they're a part of something, and identifying with a vibrant, global, and engaging community can be an immensely fulfilling experience. It connects them with like-minded individuals who share a common love for horology, and this shared passion creates a sense of belonging that enriches their collector's journey. Have you seen what happened during Rolliefest few weeks ago in New York? Read here what a real GTG looks like.
Where do you start?
Whether your reason may be, when it comes to sourcing timepieces, finding a trusted dealer is essential. Collectors often rely on reputable dealers and auction houses with established track records to ensure the authenticity and quality of their acquisitions. The hunt for the perfect timepiece is not just about the watch itself: it's about the stories, the memories, and the emotions it brings into our lives.
It has to be said, however, that the watch itself has to be evaluated carefully: expert advice can help us to make sure that all components are coeval and original, that the accessories are correct, that maintenance has been performed appropriately so as not to compromise the functionality or aesthetics of our beloved watch.
The emotions (and investment) at stake must not be jeopardised. Want to know exactly how to choose your first watch and what to look for? Stay tuned, as we’ll soon publish an article focusing on this topic.
Whether you're in it for the investment, the mechanical charm, or simply because you're in love with the design, watch collecting is a treasure hunt that can be as relaxed or as passionate as you want it to be. It's all about what makes your heart skip a beat when you spot that perfect timepiece.