Watch Collecting Made Easy

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Watch collecting made easy? Not if she/he/them can help it! But I can. Let me put it this way. You’re a collector. I’m an enabler. Let’s get to it . . .

Watch collecting the five v2

Money is the single greatest obstacle to watch collecting. Unless you’re the proud owner of f*ck you money, your horological habit is bound to put you in direct conflict with your significant other’s financial needs/wants. After all, no one needs more than one watch.

To keep watch collecting while maintaining a relationship with an SO who considers your precious assortment of timepiece only slightly less objectionable than a black lawn jockey, you need a strategy to overcome objections to your spendthrift ways. Here are my three favorite arguments for watch collecting:

1. Watch collecting is cheaper than cocaine

Watch collecting vs. Cocaine

I hit on this strategy when I was fueling my Ferrari 550M in The Land of Hope and Glory, where a gallon of gas costs more than a gallon of Maker’s Mark. Watching the counter drain my wallet, contemplating depreciation that made a cliff look like a bunny slope, I consoled myself with the thought that my Ferrari thing was cheaper than a coke habit. Then I did the math on luxury watches.

A gram of cocaine costs around $100. If a Rolex Stainless Steel Submariner (approximately 153 grams) was priced like cocaine, it would cost a mere $15,300. Ah, but a line of coke stretches from here to eternity – whereas a paid off Rolex doesn’t ask you to buy it again eleventy billion times. (When it comes to grams of cocaine, one’s too many and a hundred ain’t enough.) Unlike [most] watch collectors, coke addicts have a funny way of losing every penny they own.

If you’ve ever done lines with your SO, he/she/them will immediately grasp the logic behind the coke/watch comparo. ‘Cause they know that Bolivian marching powder is addictive AF and you’re no stranger to it. If not, well, start there. JK. Make the simple case that collecting watches gives you a safe, legal and relatively inexpensive high. And move on to strategy number two . . .

2. Watch collecting is an investment!

Watch collecting via Phillips

Our man Adams’ post A Watch Is Not An Asset puts paid to the ridiculous notion that watches are an investment. Ridiculous yes, but it’s an easy enough proposition to sell to someone who doesn’t know any better. Just dial up recent auction prices and tell your SO how much the timepieces sold for at retail.

Rolex watch collecting

I know what you’re thinking: showing the sky-high prices of 80k+ Pateks won’t help my case. Hello? That’s just your warm-up. Bring up watchcharts.com and powerpoint the F out Mr. Tian’s ascending data points. Don’t worry about showing the value of your watch. If it’s not on the upswing simply just say it’s headed that way.

But lying ruins marriages! If we’re going to be honest – a risky business when trying to justify watch collecting – experiences are a better “investment” in mutual happiness than things. But if you’re going to buy things, buy things that make you happy! Happy people make for happy relationships/marriages. Says the man who’s been divorced twice.

3. Tit-for-Tat!

Watch collecting vs. Imelda

If you’re a Brit, that’s a funny expression. “Tat” meaning rubbishy cheap stuff, tit meaning, well, tit. That’s not what we’re talking about here; no exchange of sexual favors for cheap *ss watches (assuming you have tits). In this case, we’re talking about mutually assured financial destruction.

Worst case! Best case: you get to buy watches and he/she/them get to buy whatever flicks their Bic – as long as it’s of equivalent value. Yes, there is that. Are you willing to get out the receipts and go toe-to-toe for tit-for-tat? This “conversation” can easily devolve into “it’s my money!” Leading to “and this is my divorce lawyer.” Yeah, it’s that serious.

The trick: negotiate a budget that satisfies both parties – remembering that the only power you have in any negotiation is the power to walk away. In other words, if you’re going to play this game you better have a killer poker face. But at least the tit-for-tat strategy rests on the bedrock of truthfulness, rather than cunning and deceit (see: above). At least at first . . .

5 COMMENTS

  1. There is the option to focus entirely on the very low end (see most of my reviews). I notice on the Instagram that I’m not the only one gathering low two figure watches with enthusiasm.

    I’m glad that the advice of trying to get similar looking watches and hoping that nobody notices, or silliness like hiding the stash somewhere, was not proposed. Personally, I tried ‘spreading the joy’ by suggesting watches for her, which prompted a reply that this fascination was my thing and not hers. This kills the old “watch that’s (not really) for her” ruse, but is presumably a carte blanche otherwise.

  2. If you have to negotiate that way with your SO, you’re already SOL.

    If it flies, floats or fucks … rent, don’t buy.

    • I take it you’ve never been in an adult loving relationship. Or been married (not necessarily the same thing).

      If finances are co-mingled it’s about mutual respect (lawyers work out the small details).

  3. Making some assumptions – the watch dude is a dude and the wife is not a watch dudette…

    Smart wives understand that men are into “things.” It could be watches. It could be cars or boats. It might be guitars. Or bikes. Or fishing gear. Or a combination of those and more. Hell, some guys collect flashlights! Really expensive flashlights! Who knew?

    As long as it’s not interfering with putting food on the table and the roof over their heads, then why not?

    They say, Happy wife,happy life.” I dare suggest that it MUST go BOTH ways. Unfortunately, nothing rhymes with “husband.” But, we could say, “Happy spouse, happy house.”

    My wife understands that my hobbies keep me not only happy, but they keep me MOTIVATED. Motivated to work hard. Also, perhaps more importantly, DISTRACTED from the vicissitudes of life… the challenges of running a business… raising kids… ESPECIALLY in this crazy fucking time where it seems the forces have aligned to destroy our American way of life.

    I agree with Oscar, that fortunately, the watch hobby doesn’t necessarily mean 4, 5, or 6-figure pieces. One can have quite a bit of fun collecting and using budget level watches. Ask me how I know! There is the argument of “quality over quantity.” I can easily make the opposite argument. Quantity can be fun. Quantity = variety. That said, they are not mutually exclusive. You can have one or two “quality” pieces AND many budget-level pieces for variety and fun.

    I’ve always been a “watch guy,” literally since I was about 5 years old (and have photos to prove it). But, I’ve never had a “collection” until July of 2020, when I went down the rabbit hole. It became a refuge from the insanity of the sequelae of the “plandemic.” I’ve had a lot of fun with “budget” level pieces. It provides me with the enjoyable hobby, while wifey-poo doesn’t worry about food on the table or the lights getting turned off.

    Then there is the adage: “I hope that when I die, my wife doesn’t sell my watches / fishing rods / guitars / tools / etc. for what I told her I paid for them!”

  4. Yeah, what Oscar and Racer88 said. It is possible to buy nice watches on a budget. There are Casio watches that cost less than fifty dollars and look better than “fashion” watches that sell for two or three times that amount.

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