Organically, this process should be straight forward. You select the watches you love and your watch box blooms with weird and wonderful pieces from all price points and styles. However our human nature gets in the way, where public opinion and the approval of a select few on the forums clouds our judgement and makes the decision process difficult. When this happens, it’s important to ‘tools down’ and reassess. The cost of change can become significant, especially when constantly flipping pieces that don’t tick all the boxes. And for those of us living in corners of the world where access to some of the lesser known brands is non-existent, we go by dimensions, photos, anecdotal commentary and feedback from previous owners; and the risk heightens.
I’m writing this piece from my own personal qualms with watches at the moment. The last three purchases have been sold, at a small loss, but that’s not the issue. My gripe is that this process is wearing me down. Taking the fun out of the hobby. Pieces I’ve loved and analysed over for weeks have arrived only to be too big, not up to scratch, not what I wanted it to be.
In times like this I want to sell everything and just wear one watch (lol). However perhaps creating strict criteria that a watch MUST meet before going on the wish list would be more helpful. Here goes.
It must fit.
The Longlines Legend Diver & Seiko SKX009 are both 42mm. However one has a lug to lug width of 47mm and the other 52mm. That last dimension, the lug to lug width, is a critical one that can be a trap for young players. Don’t be fooled! Find out what your maximum is and stick within those boundaries. No matter how much you love a watch, no one wants lugs that overhang and a watch face that occupies 30% of your forearm.
One of the most common complaints is the brightness and coverage of a watches lume application. If you think that every watch is going to look like Seiko Lumibrite, then consider this a warning. It’s actually pretty rare to find an affordable watch with good lume. Even at <$1,000! That’s not to say that you can’t find them out there, but just be cautious. Some collectors don’t care and that is fine. But if it makes you sad, then please proceed with care and do your research.
Pay extra for the bracelet.
A little cheaper on a rubber strap or NATO? Think that’s okay? Well, when you want that OEM bracelet later down the track be prepared to pay close to the price of your watch! If its an extra $100 to get the bracelet, even if you don’t love it, buy it. It will help with resale later if you have the watch buying disease.
Don’t buy the watch TGV tells you to buy.
That’s not a bash against ol’ mate by the way, but it’s an important point. TGV loves Squale and that is totally cool. But TGV also has like 20 watches. If saving up $1,000 is a real stretch, then buy the watch you want and love. If that’s a Squale, then cool. Because, and this is the most important point – you will loose around 30 – 40% if you try to sell it. The worst thing you can do is buy a watch because someone else loves it, find out you don’t really like it and then loose your money. Don’t make that mistake.
Homage watches won’t actually make you as happy as you think.
Want a sub but can’t afford it? Then choose another watch! I’m in this boat. I can’t actually afford a Rollie and as it stands I don’t have a sub homage, because I know that I won’t be able to deal. Like I think about owning a sub every single day. I had a Glycine Combat Sub and whilst it’s not a 1 to 1 copy, it does pay obvious tribute to the sub. I don’t know – the Seiko SKX for $250 does everything an affordable diver needs to in my books. A much better use of funds. That’s my humble opinion. Buy the watch you love. But just remember, these pieces don’t hold their value. 30 – 40% is the risk you take.
You can’t live without Sapphire Crystal.
Or maybe you can, but you probably need to figure it out.
Acrylic scratches but won’t shatter. Sapphire won’t scratch but might shatter if you hit it hard enough. And Seiko hardlex will always need to be wiped because it collects so many smudges why does it do that??!! Anyway. You get the point. Make sure you’re comfortable with the pro’s and con’s of the crystal you’re buying. Some people just can’t do acrylic. I use polywatch every second day and it makes me happy. Go figure.
This was a strange list, but in the end, its all about sharing what we’ve learned along the way. Good luck! Also, everyone has made a few mistakes. I know it’s painful, but you’ll find a way to buy another watch and all will be well again.