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What makes you buy a watch running into several thousand pounds?


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I've paid up to $4k for a watch. I regretted that one, but my pieces around $2k each I'm good with.

Personally, I see no point in spending that kind of money (several thousand) when there are so many watches in the hundreds even that truly are just as good in most ways, objectively speaking. They might not be completely on par in every aspect, but they're up to snuff enough in every aspect to be, comparably, a better value, to anyone thinking rationally.

The problem is that value is subjective and passion, typically, is not rational. That's why I've paid about $2k for a few watches I currently own and didn't bat an eye, so to speak. Nor do I regret them. As well as those I've spent $400 on and exactly the same avenue and outcome.

Also, the reality is, income drives these subjective values, as does cost of living, which varies based on location and personal situations. I still find value in sub $500 watches even though I make $150k a year and the fiance $85K. I do live in a high cost of living state, but I have no children and don't make terrible choices in life. That's also what allows me to be willing to stretch my purchases up to a few thousand.

If I saved for maybe 4-6 months I could easily afford a standard Rolex sub or other, but why spend my hard earned money that way? I could have several to dozens of watches for that, most of which would make me extremely happy, as have so many of my current watches at those price points. Thus I cannot and will not go there.

Look, I've tried them on. I've worn, for even a few weeks, a few of a friend's (a Platinum Daytona, an Explorer, a Hulk sub and a Datejust2) and I've got to say, I'm not impressed at all. Sure they're extremely nice watches, if they cost a couple grand maybe, but at their price point they aren't worth a red cent to me. Don't get me wrong, the finishes were spot on! The movements were quiet. The bracelets were butter smooth, solid, but light and almost unnoticeable. The sub bezel was flawless in function, although slightly misaligned to my eye. Yes they're amazing watches, but no more so than most watches I've seen and bought, and that's the reality and fact of the matter.

I just don't respect these gouging brands enough to pay their prices. That goes for pretty much everything over $3k. No watch is worth that to me, never has been or ever will be.

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Mine was a wedding gift to myself. I didn't have upfront capital to pay it off in one go but knew with interest free credit (I actually got a interest free credit card instead so I could get the AD to discount the watch) that I could afford the repayments. If I couldn't have afforded to buy it responsibly I wouldn't have.

For me, I'm not really bothered what other people see/say about what I wear, I like to know that I've worked hard, bought something well made and I appreciate. I'd rather buy one (for example) Paul Smith t-shirt for £40 than 8 Primark t-shirts for £5 each and that is purely personal preference, each to their own and all that.

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2 hours ago, JayDeep said:

Look, I've tried them on. I've worn, for even a few weeks, a few of a friend's (a Platinum Daytona, an Explorer, a Hulk sub and a Datejust2) and I've got to say, I'm not impressed at all. Sure they're extremely nice watches, if they cost a couple grand maybe, but at their price point they aren't worth a red cent to me. Don't get me wrong, the finishes were spot on! The movements were quiet. The bracelets were butter smooth, solid, but light and almost unnoticeable. The sub bezel was flawless in function, although slightly misaligned to my eye. Yes they're amazing watches, but no more so than most watches I've seen and bought, and that's the reality and fact of the matter.

I just don't respect these gouging brands enough to pay their prices. That goes for pretty much everything over $3k. No watch is worth that to me, never has been or ever will be.

What youve said here is the background to my intial question really. Some watches you have to pay the going rate for like Smith's. But black friday deals, older models etc have significant discounts on 'affordable' watches. The most Ive ever paid is £580 for a RADO Hyperchrome from Jomashop. They seem to be priced at anything from £900 to £2000 for the one I have in the UK. I like it but when I think some people may have paid top book for this watch a year before I bought it I think wooooooooooo. There is no way I would pay 2 or 3 times what I have paid for the watch. 

I am a bargain hunter, I always make hard earned cash go as far as possible. But its pushing the spend price thats my biggest concern. If I was to buy a Tudor Black bay 36 at £2200 will I think its no better than my Smiths Expedition at £325. BALL is the other brand Ive always 'nearly' bought. 

I supposse I get so much enjoyment from my decent sized collection of sub £600 (my spend ) watches the fact im shying away from spending £2k on a single piece means I probably shouldnt. Maybe as others have said if I sell off some and consolidate I will then 'try' a more expensive single piece. 

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14 minutes ago, Dilly said:

What youve said here is the background to my intial question really. Some watches you have to pay the going rate for like Smith's. But black friday deals, older models etc have significant discounts on 'affordable' watches. The most Ive ever paid is £580 for a RADO Hyperchrome from Jomashop. They seem to be priced at anything from £900 to £2000 for the one I have in the UK. I like it but when I think some people may have paid top book for this watch a year before I bought it I think wooooooooooo. There is no way I would pay 2 or 3 times what I have paid for the watch. 

I am a bargain hunter, I always make hard earned cash go as far as possible. But its pushing the spend price thats my biggest concern. If I was to buy a Tudor Black bay 36 at £2200 will I think its no better than my Smiths Expedition at £325. BALL is the other brand Ive always 'nearly' bought. 

I supposse I get so much enjoyment from my decent sized collection of sub £600 (my spend ) watches the fact im shying away from spending £2k on a single piece means I probably shouldnt. Maybe as others have said if I sell off some and consolidate I will then 'try' a more expensive single piece. 

My current collection of 14 watches have/had an RRP of almost £30k, which is mad as they have actually cost a shade under £9k in total and only breached the 3 figure price bracket twice.

That nearly £1,000 of the £9k came as gifts or funded by an inheritance, that brings my actual outlay to around £8k (across 15-20 years).

I'm a little over £3k up on the watches I have bought and then sold on over the years (I'm a sad man that keeps a spreadsheet on these things!) to all told I figure, I'm actually in for around £5k (so around £250-350 per year) for my collection as it is.

I am (as we all do when trying to justify a behaviour) going to conveniently ignore the servicing, and additional bits and bobs (straps, tools, etc...) that I have purchased, and also the fact that being a watch idiot means that there are times that instead of spending £ on a bottle of wine for someone's birthday/christmas/anniversary/other occasion I have decided to get them a watch and ended up spending significantly more to get something that I feel they would like or would suit them :laughing2dw:

 

 

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I didn't expect this thread to be so expansive and interesting. It just shows that there is no such person as an "average" watch collector and that the price of a watch is not a particularly accurate guide as to the pleasure derived from purchasing it. I have always preferred to collect inexpensive pre-owned and sometimes new watches rather than follow what some might regard as the "correct" procedure of saving up and buying something top of the range or horologically superior. This mode of collecting has gone hand-in-hand with much research on many of the watches I have collected, and I enjoy the research as much as the initial acquisition. This thread exemplifies the strength of the Watch Forum in that it caters to all of our idiosyncrasies, and allows us to enjoy whatever watches we collect, however cheap or expensive they may be.:)

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I’m working class, but have moved up in my career to afford small luxuries.

I used to have a E350 Mercedes, as I don’t smoke, gamble and only drink on very rare occasions, that was “my treat”. After many ridiculously high prices bills from Mercedes which seemed never ending I decided to sell the car, which although was pre owned was still losing £500 a month in depreciation.

now I think.. what do I appreciate as much as a nice car, but won’t drain my hard earned cash.

watches were my obvious choice, when you see the reaction people have to spending £5k on a watch and explain that the watch WILL depreciate (most of the time) but not half as much as the car they drive which is most likely on HPI, they have no comeback.

my kids get everything they need, my mortgage gets paid, my house gets decorated as required.

my watch collection has so far cost me @£8k but I have heirlooms to pass to my children, and there children and so on. Not even a rolls Royce has that longevity, unless it’s driven once per year!
 

* I actually bought a oyster perpetual in 2005 for £1790, from an AD on 24 months 0% finance.

I sold it last year for £4500.

so my watch collection is looking like a pretty sound investment, even though I buy watches for enjoyment and appreciation of fine craftsmanship.

i know people who would call me a t*#t for paying £4K for a Speedy moon watch..... as they smoke there way through £3k of death sticks a year!!!
imagine getting lung cancer at 60 and thinking.... “ I could have had an extra 20 years with my children and grandchildren, and had a Daytona, GMT, JLC and a moonwatch to pass down to them”!!!
That is what wasting money looks like.

my kids love sitting with me and cleaning the watch collection, great memories and legacy,  that’s what a watch collection can give.

 

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On 23/04/2021 at 13:18, krissy1301 said:

Mine was a wedding gift to myself. I didn't have upfront capital to pay it off in one go but knew with interest free credit (I actually got a interest free credit card instead so I could get the AD to discount the watch) that I could afford the repayments. If I couldn't have afforded to buy it responsibly I wouldn't have.

For me, I'm not really bothered what other people see/say about what I wear, I like to know that I've worked hard, bought something well made and I appreciate. I'd rather buy one (for example) Paul Smith t-shirt for £40 than 8 Primark t-shirts for £5 each for  backwoods merch and that is purely personal preference , each to their own and all that.

That's the reason everyone buys a watch for himself. I also buy for my satisfaction. Its all about personal preference.

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9 minutes ago, Brett Maldonado said:

That's the reason everyone buys a watch for himself.

I've bought my 5 "best" watches in the last 5 years and not one of them was for my wedding!:laugh:

Edited by AVO
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1 hour ago, AVO said:

I've bought my 5 "best" watches in the last 5 years and not one of them was for my wedding!:laugh:

I married in my early 20's if I bought myself a watch then it would have been one of these

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On 23/04/2021 at 07:28, JayDeep said:

If I saved for maybe 4-6 months I could easily afford a standard Rolex sub or other

If you really wanted a Rolex Sub, because you thought it was beautiful, or thought it would be ideal in your line of work, or that somehow it is the best watch in the world, then you would 'need' it, and get it. You don't need the cash in the bank to buy things these days.

There are people who get them and decide it is not that beautiful, or ideal, or the best watch in the world, and sell them.  Or may have only seen them as an investment in the first place.

I buy watches because I like them, or perhaps I have a strap hanging around that needs a watch. Or because they are technologically interesting or a bit of fun.

 

It cost me over a grand to find the right watch for my CWC vintage grey NATO, and about 75 of your American green ones to find the right watch for my Dassari Vintage camel strap with rose gold ironwork. So I have been pretty busy offloading on the Bay before the IFC deal runs out too ha ha ha ha

Edited by Jet Jetski
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  • 5 weeks later...

Well I love to buy more and more watches but not as much expensive, actually I love to but those too, but can't afford these types of watches. Last week my omega watch were broken and I'm searching for xxxxx xxxxxx xxxxx because I was going to the party. :(

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Interesting thread that seems to suggest that we all have different circumstances, motivation and values and there is no one right path but generally there is a good appreciation of the differences and as a forum it is good to see limited levels of judgement. 

So, I’m fairly new to the forum and I guess I fall into the “one watch guy” category. 

I was bought an Omega as a graduation present which lasted 30+ years and was on my wrist pretty much every day until it finally started to become too costly to keep going in first class order. No idea what the original RRP on this was as it was a gift but over 30 years this must be less than £100 per year even taking inflation into account. 

Roll on to the present day, I have reciprocated the graduation gift for my Son (Bell and Ross BR05 with rubber and bracelet straps) as I am in the fortunate position of being able to afford such luxuries without compromising living expenses (and would never do so, I am of the opinion that you save up and buy outright or do without). He is also getting a bit of collection having inherited an 1980’s omega and a 1950’s Rolex which he treasures for who they belonged to and not for their monetary value.

So my next watch (thread already running) will be a similar class of watch that will hopefully see out my days and still be in a state to pass on. On a practical point this outlay will amortise at around £150 per year which is what many people spend on a night out.

 

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This is a really interesting thread.  My interest in watches was sparked by a £12 smiths 'braille' watch I spotted at a market as a student many years ago.  As my finances have improved I've raised my 'upper limit' for a single watch, but I still get as much pleasure from a cheap watch that calls to me as an expensive purchase.  Good to see that no one seems to be putting the rest of their lives 'at risk' to buy that next watch - or at least i hope not!  Friends tend to laugh at my choice of car (a series of skodas), but don't understand why I would spend a 4 figure sum on a watch (that wasn't a rolex).  Frankly, I love watches and spend what I'm comfortable with.  I worry a little about damaging expensive watches, but they are for wearing, not investment.

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4 minutes ago, borobiffa said:

This is a really interesting thread.  My interest in watches was sparked by a £12 smiths 'braille' watch I spotted at a market as a student many years ago.  As my finances have improved I've raised my 'upper limit' for a single watch, but I still get as much pleasure from a cheap watch that calls to me as an expensive purchase.  Good to see that no one seems to be putting the rest of their lives 'at risk' to buy that next watch - or at least i hope not!  Friends tend to laugh at my choice of car (a series of skodas), but don't understand why I would spend a 4 figure sum on a watch (that wasn't a rolex).  Frankly, I love watches and spend what I'm comfortable with.  I worry a little about damaging expensive watches, but they are for wearing, not investment.

Pretty much sums up my position as well, I have never had a new car and am cheap to expensive when it comes to watches, Iike them all!

One good thing about watches is that for the most part they keep or appreciate in value and if you need to sell them they are reasonably liquid

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