While many have turned towards smartwatches, the wristwatch isn't going anywhere soon. A smartwatch may have many functions but the one thing it truly lacks is style. An Apple watch is not a fashion accessory.
Some people buy only one wristwatch and wear it daily. Others (especially women) like to have a number of different watches in different styles to complement their wardrobe. Many men will have a work watch and a dress watch. Then, there is a particular breed - the watch collector.
For the watch collector, the allure of a vintage Rolex, Audemars Piguet or Patek Philippe is irresistible and they will part with thousands of dollars to acquire a watch they covet. For these people, watch collecting is a hobby pursued with passion.
You don't have to be a hobbyist or harbor ambitions to become a dealer to want to build a watch collection. Having a small selection of luxury watches means you can be dressed for any occasion. A small collection can be an enviable collection if you make informed choices and watches you love to wear.
Reasons to Have a Watch Collection
Versatility: One watch is never going to be suitable for every occasion. With a modest-sized collection (experts recommend three to six watches) you can cover practically any lifestyle event.
Personality: Like any other accessory, your watches are an expression of your personality and style. You don't have a jewelry box with just one item so why would you apply that to watches?
Investment: If you aim to acquire luxury watches rather than fashion watches, there will be value to your collection. The preowned market for luxury watch brands is very buoyant so your watches are far more likely to hold value or even appreciate.
Fun: You can acquire a number of watches for the sheer fun of collecting. How much you get immersed in choosing the watches is entirely down to you. You can do research from the huge amount of resources available online or you can simply set your own criteria.
This handy guide will give you the best tips and tricks for putting together a watch collection that will leave others enviable, as well as advice for the main five types of watches to get you started.
Tips for Creating a Watch Collection
If your goal is an enviable watch collection, you will need to spend some time investigating your options and putting together a set of timepieces that match your needs, as well as your personal preferences. The following tips will put you on the right path.
Create a Budget
It's no secret that you will have to spend some money to build a luxury watch collection. With that in mind, think about what you are comfortable spending, which you can then allocate to the various watches you want to add to your set, allowing you to have the timepieces you desire without spending more than you want to. Once you have a budget set, you can start shopping for watches that can be accommodated within your set limit.
Keep in mind that you don't have to spend a fortune to curate a watch collection that speaks to you. Of primary importance is that you choose watches that you love. It doesn't make sense to spend money on something you don't like or won't wear, just for the sake of a collection. There are many notable models that don't come with a hefty price tag, so feel free to add them to your set. However, you do want to pay attention to quality. A cheap watch that doesn't last isn't worth a place in your collection.
Don't Rush Anything
A watch collection is an investment so it pays to take time to ensure that you're adding only those pieces that mean something to you or that you really love. It can be tempting to go on a buying spree, just for the sake of having a larger collection, but it's better to spend some time thinking about exactly what you want and then shopping around until you find it.
There is a niche but busy and lucrative market for buying and selling used watches. This is a great place to see what's out there and research notable models as you decide what you're looking for. It's also ideal if you want to save money on a timeless design that would otherwise be out of your budget. Joining this community also gives you an idea of what the cost of some of the best watches is so that you can start saving if they are on your bucket list to add to your collection.
Consider Your Taste
Just because LeBron James or Serena Williams is wearing a certain watch, doesn't mean you should automatically choose that one. If it's not your style or you simply don't like it, that doesn't make sense. While seeing which notable models your favorite celebrities are wearing is a great way to develop your personal taste, it's not a rule that you must have what they are wearing.
It's a much better idea to build your perfect watch collection by investing in the timepieces that fits your style and taste. Whether you want to stand out with luxury watch brands or you are specifically interested in Swiss watches, your taste should have a large impact on the watches you choose.
Think About Brand
Some watch collectors build their set from a specific brand, something that you may be interested in. Every brand has its special innovations, designs, heritage and craftsmanship, which could be what's speaking to you when you decide to create a collection of watches. Maybe you have an original model that you want to build upon. If that's the case, you may want to curate different types of watches from one brand.
This is a fun way to learn more about the evolution of a specific brand and its watches, allowing you to incorporate some historical significance and value to your watches. If you're new to watches, this would be the time to research the brands that are available and see if you can find one that speaks to you. If you are already attached to a specific brand, you are in a good place to choose additional watches from that name to add to your set.
While curating your collection based on brand is a great idea, perhaps you'd prefer to build your collection with a certain style in mind. Maybe you gravitate toward elegant designs or you feel an affinity toward mechanical watches. Maybe you love a specific time period, be it the 18th century, the 20th century or the most current 21st-century timepieces. Whatever it happens to be, letting that style guide you is a great way to start creating a watch collection that you love.
Some other styles to think about might be sporty watches, or large, rugged watches. Maybe you like a refined look that you can pair with your business wardrobe, or perhaps you love gold watches because they speak of sophistication. Considering style makes a lot of sense if you plan to wear your watches with your current wardrobe, which allows them to fit in with what you already wear.
Your Needs and Habits Matter
Your lifestyle plays a big role in what kinds of watches you add to your collection. Think about this way. The watches that Arnold Schwarzenegger wears are much different than those that Adam Levine would choose. Why? Because their daily pursuits and styles are vastly different. If you are athletic and spend a lot of time in the gym, lifting weights or running, the kinds of timepieces that suit your needs and habits won't be the same as someone who spends most of their day in an office, working on their computer.
Depending on how you live your life, choose watches that go with you. If you travel a lot, a GMT watch can keep up with you. If you live your life on the trails, a rugged and durable watch is one you will get more use out of. In this case, you can feel free to explore watches that come from notable models, or you can look at options from an independent watchmaker that caters to your specific desires.
Reputation is Vital
One more thing to keep in mind is the reputation of the seller. If you're buying brand-new from one of the many notable models on the market, you should be in good shape. However, if you plan to buy used or from a private seller, it's important to make sure you know exactly who you're buying from and exactly what you're getting. While this is a great way to get affordable luxury watches to build your collection, it's also a good way to get duped if you're not careful.
Look for authorized and established dealers. If you buy online, make sure you only use trusted platforms. Take time to read reviews from other buyers to find out more about the reputation of a given seller or dealer. If you're unsure or something doesn't feel right, it's likely best to buy somewhere else. In most cases, you want to buy when there is a warranty, proof of authenticity, and after-sales services available. While there are always exceptions, these offers typically indicate that you have found a reputable seller or watch dealer.
The Five Watches to Include in Any Collection
Now that you know how to start a collection, you are ready to start buying. In general, the following five kinds of watches should have a place in any set so they are a great place to begin curating your timepieces.
A Well-Rounded Watch
Any watch collector should have an all-around, basic watch that has a decent amount of complications (the word used for "features") and that can be worn in a variety of settings and events. That includes going to work and spending a night on the town without looking strange or out of place in either situation. Luckily, this type of watch can be found in a variety of brands and styles. You can also consider a wide range of materials, such as white gold watches, stainless steel watches or rugged watches with nylon straps and advanced house movements for all of your purposes.
A Diving Watch
You don't have to be a diver to enjoy what a diving watch has to offer. Not only do you get a unidirectional bezel, but the use of illumination of dials, numbers and hands makes a diving watch great for wearing at night, no matter what you happen to be doing, whether it's going for a run or looking for your dog that got out. Of course, it's great if you swim at all. Because it's designed for the depths, you can also count on a diving watch to be highly resistant to damage, completely waterproof, and long-lasting. You'll find diving watches in a broad range of styles and price points, so it shouldn't be difficult to find one that has a place in your collection.
This refers to a watch with all of the bells and whistles. That could be time zones, calendars, a chronograph or a tourbillion. Beyond that, you can mix and match the features you want with the style and type of watch. Perhaps you need something that accompanies you on your travels around the world. Or maybe you just want something that takes you up the mountain and back down on the weekends. Whatever the case, explore the extras that are available to you so that you can make the most use of them as you build your watch collection.
An Heirloom Watch
If you need a watch to wear for a night out on the town, or you want a watch for your next formal event, the heirloom watch fits the bill. Whether you choose one from a Swiss watchmaker or you opt for something a bit closer to home, there are loads of options out there. You want something timeless here - a three-hand watch with a classic design, perhaps metal with a leather band. Something you can pass down to the next generation and beyond is the name of the game here. There are plenty of luxury watch brands to choose from, but you can also find fantastic timepieces in this category with affordable price tags.
A Discovery Watch
In terms of finding a watch you love, this category refers to "discovering" your niche, brand, style, etc. Whatever you love about a watch will fit in this category, whether it's the material it's constructed from, the functions it offers or just the way it looks. Use your creativity and have some fun as you explore the world of watches and you try to find the one that suits you best. This is a category that gives you lots of options, in all price categories, so it shouldn't be hard to find exactly what you're looking for.
So what can you learn from all of this? What it mainly comes down to is finding what you like. Don't make it a chore, though. One of the best ways to build an epic watch collection is to have fun with it. Try not to buy into the hype around a given watch if you don't like it. Opt instead for something that you do love so that you can wear it with pride. Building an enviable watch collection won't happen overnight so take the time to curate it well and then spend your time enjoying what you've chosen.