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Watch buying - the questions we ask ourselves

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This arose out of something I was reading earlier today on another platform, where a person was discussing his criteria for watch buying.

When a new purchase is being considered, I guess there are a number of questions we tend to ask ourselves. These are the questions I tend to ask, but I hope others will chip in, add their own, and comment.

1. Do I like it? If the answer is “No, it’s awful” or “Meh, nothing special” the rest is academic. Move along, sir, nothing to see here. However, let us suppose that the answer is yes. What next?

2. Do I need it? This question is largely irrelevant because the answer is always no. Of course I don’t need it. I have plenty of other watches that tell the time, go underwater, time things, look smart if I’m going somewhere, and so on. Does that deter me? Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t.

3. Can I afford it? Which to me always means, can I afford it without prejudicing other projects and ideas that I might have for spending my money? That is one I have thought about a few times; if the alternative has been a holiday, the holiday has always won. And I certainly wouldn’t harbour any thoughts of sacrificing what I might regard as essential in order to buy a watch. I’ve never done 0% because I’ve never had to and I’ve always chosen to pay up front. However, just because I can’t (either comfortably or absolutely) afford certain watches doesn’t preclude my lusting after them.

4. Where would it fit in my collection? I have tried more recently to buy watches that don’t really compete with one another in terms of style or function. I have fairly recently passed on buying a couple of watches that I really did like, simply because I understood that they probably wouldn’t get worn very much.

5. Is it good value for money? This is a very open ended question. I’m not really sure that most watches are very good value for money at all, and certainly not if you are looking at them as potential investments. There are of course quite a few very notable exceptions to that rule. I’ve never actually bought one and ended up selling it for a profit. The value for money question doesn’t really resonate with me to any great extent, because whilst someone might point out that watch A is better value for money than watch B, if watch A failed to provide a positive answer to Question 1, then I would be a chump indeed to buy it.

6. Will it be THE ONE? I guess we’ve all been guilty at times of thinking that the next acquisition, be it watch, car or anything else, will suddenly render our lives complete (Buddhists call it Samsara, or at least an aspect of it). Most of us, myself included, are so far gone in this game that we understand perfectly well that no watch will really ever be THE ONE!

7. I like it, I know I don’t need it, it won’t put me in poverty or debt, I know it will fit in with my collection and get worn, it seems to represent reasonable value for money as far as I can see, and I’m perfectly aware that it will not change my life significantly. So do I buy it? Occasionally I do, far more often I don’t. But at least I have thought about it.

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21 minutes ago, AVO said:

1. Do I like it? 

Most important.

21 minutes ago, AVO said:

2. Do I need it?


21 minutes ago, AVO said:

3. Can I afford it?

Can I justify it ?

21 minutes ago, AVO said:

4. Where would it fit in my collection?

What ?

21 minutes ago, AVO said:

5. Is it good value for money?

Never, don't kid yourself.

21 minutes ago, AVO said:

6. Will it be THE ONE?

Never thought of that.

21 minutes ago, AVO said:

7. I like it

Yes, why would I want it otherwise ?


8. What's the maintenance costs ?

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1 hour ago, AVO said:


. Do I like it?  - key question

2. Do I need it?  If I have something similar then it's a no.

3. Can I afford it?  The answer within reason is yes, I am quite happy to save until I can buy one.

4. Where would it fit in my collection? I do try to balance my collection...see 2.

5. Is it good value for money? If it is going to sink like a stone or it is extremely unsaleable 99% chance I won't buy it.   There are so many watches that when bought second-hand are going to retain or increase in value there's no reason to buy one that won't.   If profit was the be all and end all I would only buy Rolex and Patek but equally if I know a watch is a pig to sell I'd have to like it an awful lot to buy it.

6. Will it be THE ONE? I already have the one so it won't be.   

7. It's all a question of priorities... I think I am going to take a hiatus from watch buying because there's other things I want to concentrate on but who knows what I might see and fall in love with.

Edited by Daveyboyz
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I have plenty of watches for which this is not true, but recently I have been asking, does the minute hand hit the minutes track, and does the hour hand hit the hour markers?  I like that.  Hang on .... Phew!  just been to check up on my next dream acquisition.

It's still on!

Anyway, this is the maximum gap I can tolerate between minute hand and minute track, the hour hand is good for the hour indices too:


Just getting away with it - a little guilloche ring to fill the gap, graduated appropriately (ie every 3 degrees = 120 'pips'):


However, this next one is terrible! Hands ridiculously short, by at least 1mm, probably 1.2mm:




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23 minutes ago, Shoughie0 said:


I agree. A watch manufacturer's reputation for after-purchase customer care and reasonable servicing costs should be considerations for any watch purchase over a few hundred pounds.

Unless you are nearly 60 and wear your watches in rotation.  If I make 80 and wear my watches equally that's only 6 months per watch.  It better not need a service after 6 months! 

I need to start selling watches ...

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See for me on my watch hunt it started with budget, they watch size due to large wrists, then finding brands which cater for the strap as I like original.

then thinking about resale

Its clearly working for me OVER A YEAR LATER STILL NO WATCH

im clearly not a collector, just looking for a penis extension on my wrist :crazy5vh:



Edited by Guest
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Can I afford it is the first question, do I need to sell something is the second question but the third and most important question before I pull the trigger is have you had a second look?

I have bought watches in the past with a less than critical eye only to be disappointed or have the realisation that something detracts from my enjoyment of the watch.

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1 - the only thing that matters ! 

2 - no - nobody needs a watch.

3 - am fortunate enough that this little hobby has in no way outflanked my wallet.

4 - am not a collector , dont have a collection.

5 - nah - nothing over £ (insert random amount here) is good value - its mostly just bling folks !

6 - nope - currently the one is a MM , but tomorrow ?

7 - this, quite a lot as it happens.

8 - not been a serious issue as yet thankfully - it is more of a consideration now though as i move away from quartz and nowt seems to be getting any cheaper. biggest hit was a few years ago getting some work done on a pre bond seamaster to sell it to break even (now there is a watch i never should have parted with).




i need coffee , ttfn :thumbsup:



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Although i do research on a watch i like for me personally its all about looks and if i can afford it i`ll buy it, i would imagine that `initially` thats the same for most people, i get that reliability, maintenence costs, reputation etc are all important to a degree.

To me though rightly or wrongly everything else comes a very poor 2nd. 

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Lume, good night visibility is something I don't need from every watch, but I am more likely to buy a well lumed piece.


That said, a couple of my favourite watches don't even have good day visibility - they are both gold hands on gold dial.  But as a rule, good contrast.

Name on the dial?  Not really for me, The only Swiss 'standard' I like is the Speedy, maybe a Rolex Air King.  But since I am not chrono mad any more, I probably won't bother with a Speedy, and the Air King is nice, but a little low on punch, visually.  It's not that I like a watch to stand out, my eyes are just definitely dimmer than they used to be.

A watch can be punchy without being 'extra'.


OK, so the strap is a bit extra.  


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Once upon a time it was 'See it, buy it'...no questions asked.

Then there was a period that was 'Yeah, I haven't got one of those, so I'll get it'

Now I'm retired, I don't care anymore. All I'm interested in these days is 'Where is the sun, and can I go there'....:laughing2dw:


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