quality over quantity - building a collection of keepers
Updated: Mar 23, 2019
I often see the question posed on various watch forums, from newer collectors to the watch hobby, on the best approach to building a collection of keepers? The short answer, there is no one blueprint or template, that is applicable to all watch collectors. And for reference, my definition of a "keeper" is a watch that could easily stand on its own as a daily wearer, or could have sentimental value, placing squarely in the "no sell" zone.
My first rule, when it comes to selecting brands to add to your growing collection, there's nothing that beats hands-on experience. Soliciting brand opinions from various "forum" experts, is great, but should be taken with a grain of salt, because along with opinion, comes biases, good and bad. And bear in mind, many of the people giving you their opinion (solicited or un-solicited), are doing so with no real, hands-on experience, but rather repeating what they've heard. The last thing you want, is to build a collection of opinions, because your collection won't denote your individual style, but rather everyone else's.
There is a wealth of brand knowledge to be found on the world wide web. Utilize all of the net resources, mainly to garner an understanding of various pricing levels, retail sources, availability, and the service / repair processes. There's nothing more frustrating than having to wait months for a pre-ordered watch purchase to be filled, or being blindsided by an intricate, lengthy, service and repair process and service costs. Doing your due diligence in fully researching a brand and timepiece prior to purchase, will make for a more fulfilling buying experience.
The more time you put into doing research and legwork into the brands and the timepieces you covet, the more centered and confident you'll be, that the purchase made is the right one for you. There's no question, the timepieces you feel more connected with, will be the keeper cornerstones within your collection. Whereas, the shiny new objects that inundate your social media news feeds, ultimately leading to impulse buys, will soon find themselves on the "flipped" or sold scrap pile.
Lastly, experiment and have fun with the hobby. The only opinion that matters about a watch or brand that you like, is your own. Be methodical on your approach, do your research, and don't follow the herd. Before you know it, you'll amass an entire collection of keepers, that will speak to your unique, and personal style taste.