Watch addiction, moi? Yes. I have enough [stylish] watches in my collection to outfit the [stylish] Italian Army. I’m chaining myself to a chair so I don’t acquire a vintage Patek Philippe. Other than the M bit of S&M, being poor is a great way to cure your watch addiction. If neither of those options appeals, try these . . .
Establish a yearly budget
Treating your passion like a business helps keep spending in line and avoids serious “misunderstandings” that might arise – especially if your significant other has a limited understanding of the full cost of your horological addiction.
A yearly watch budget will get you out of denial and erect some financial guardrails. The amount you allocate depends on both your net income and the previously mentioned financial manager (i.e., the significant other who doesn’t think a $9,450 Jaeger LeCoutre Master Calendar is as important as a vacation to Hawaii. Or your mortgage).
Use a prepaid debit card
A prepaid debit card used exclusively for your watch buying “needs” is a handy way to resist raiding the cookie jar (i.e., your checking account and credit card). If you sell something from your collection, put the money back on the card. This helps keep sight of Step 1: admitting you are powerless over the Tudor Black Bay 41, that your collection has become unmanageable (another watch box?).
Yes, you can let that last gen OMEGA Aqua Terra go! Watching a watch disappear into another’s hands (and wrist) is therapy – it frees you from the chains of possession. I know it sounds horrible, but sharing is caring (your new mantra). You’re helping other collectors fulfill their dreams. Dealers trade. Addicts trade. The Oyster is your world!
Buy and Restore Inexpensive Old Watches
Finding old watches and resurrecting them to their former glory is a relatively inexpensive way to control your watch addiction. You can buy old, unloved watch for pennies at garage sales, antique stores and pawn shops. If you’re unwilling or unable to learn the watchmaking craft, an expert can make them tick and tock again, usually at a reasonable price.
Thrifting is also a good way to learn about practical horology. You’ll be doing the watch world a favor and you might earn some money on rescued timepieces – to put back on your card. You might even find a gem or two along the way (e.g., the Juvenia above). Just look at these spider lugs! Now take a break and go make a sandwich. Quick!
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