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


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What you phsyically can afford to pay is normally/always different to what you are willing to pay. Salary, family comitment, financial comitment (mortage), time in life (retired or not) etc all play a part. 

I do ok in my job and could 'afford' to buy a Tudor GMT for £2800 but I wouldnt. I had the GMT itch and bought a Rotary for £89.99 which today I have put on a Nato becuase I had never worn it, now I really like it and have it on and think it will come into my wearable circulation from now on.

Since my collection of affordable watches (SARB017, Smiths Expedition, Seiko Baby MM, Hamilton Khaki etc) has grown and my total spend has hit about £5k I now understand why one of my friends bought an Omega Chronograph for £4k wears it all the time and only has and probably ever will have the one watch. 

I have types of watches I like, homages, make me feel likes and originals like the Seiko Alpinist but I cant imagine buying one watch for several thousand pounds. My step father was a diver with Comex, he had about 5 Subs he sold off including one Comex dialled and thought of them as just tools, which they were. I am making that point just to show I am not completely distant from high value watches. 

If you were to analyse your standard of living then you can afford a certain value house, car, clothes etc. You may not be able to afford a Rolls Royce but you spend the equivalent in watch terms on a 10K Sub etc.

I choose my daily watch from the box based on what I am doing, wearing etc. If I had one grail watch I thought I may wear very often I may push the spend but I like the choice and cant have 40 multi thousand pound watches. 

All that said going into a Rolex AD (im using Rolex because its easy for this type of question) and buying a Sub for £10k, if available, would scare me. What if I hit a door frame, caught the car door, got it stolen or the dog bit it again! 

I work hard, my kids go to a state school, we have everything we need and are probably Mr and Mrs average that lives in middle class ville. I have some money in savings like many do just in case but I would feel like spending multi thousand pounds on a watch is reserved for CEO's on milion pound bonus', celebritys, pop stars etc. 

How can you as Mr average have £10k on your wrist while your car is screaming our for some new tyres, your kids need new rugby boots and your wife is getting her hair done? 

Is it because you think/know you can get your money back any time by selling it on? Or that you may make some money in future? Am I just very risk averse? Am I not into watches enough (I dont think its that)?

Sorry for going on and on. 

Cheers.  20210422_135512.thumb.jpg.779114952b1fc10901beba7c9325c092.jpg

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9 minutes ago, Dilly said:

How can you as Mr average have £10k on your wrist while your car is screaming our for some new tyres, your kids need new rugby boots and your wife is getting her hair done? 

 

People should in my opinion live within their means. If you can't afford to pay up front for an expensive watch , or at least IFC credit it for an insignificant % of your income/assets then you should consider whether or not you can afford it. I bought my first "expensive" watch , A Breitling Colt around 1997-ish , had a Mortgage, no kids yet but my business won a decent contract so I went out and bought a watch. Fast forward a decade and the same thing happened , this time kids and no Mortgage and I was offered a ridiculous trade in for the Colt [ almost as much at it originally cost ] against an Avenger. Fast forward to 2016 when I "got into watches" again and my golden rule is don't stretch to buy a watch or anything for that matter.... Kids got to Uni, needed cars, liked to travel  etc etc so those priorities always come first. 

My next watch is equally as likely to be a £500 one as it is a £5000 one , but nothing else would be compromised to fund it.

 

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1 hour ago, Dilly said:

 ... my total spend has hit about £5k ...

I would feel like spending multi thousand pounds on a watch is reserved for CEO's on milion pound bonus', celebritys, pop stars etc. ...

 

I'm not sure that I really comprehend how you reconcile these two statements.  How is spending £5000 on one watch different from spending the same amount on  a group of watches?  :huh:

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42 minutes ago, JonnyOldBoy said:

 but nothing else would be compromised to fund it.

 

Youve probably put my long rant into a one liner here. I think this is my confusion, if nothing else is compromised to fund it which which would be the case, why do I think several thousand for a watch is scary. 

If you said jeans id say £60, walking boots id say £200, bike for my kids at their age now £200/300 etc. But us normal people spending £5000 or even £10,000 on a watch blows my mind. Possibly I get so much enjoyment from affordable watches my expectations of an expensive watch would be so high I know it couldnt deliver. And I think I cant see how a watch 10 or 20 times more expensive than some of my own could be that much better. 

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10 minutes ago, artistmike said:

I'm not sure that I really comprehend how you reconcile these two statements.  How is spending £5000 on one watch different from spending the same amount on  a group of watches?  :huh:

Perhaps he means the 5k on a group of watches was spread over a few years, a few hundred here, a few hundred there, and not in one splurge.

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, artistmike said:

I'm not sure that I really comprehend how you reconcile these two statements.  How is spending £5000 on one watch different from spending the same amount on  a group of watches?  :huh:

Im thinking now and understanding it is possibly to do with the amount of watch types I like and have, GMT, Diver, Flieger, Explorer, Chrono, Military etc

So because I want a collection of watches that are all different having £5k watches isnt possible. If it was my collection would be worth £210k. 

But having a £5k 'collection' of watches is possible. 

Maybe youve nailed it, I have a subconsious budget total and ive spent it on several watches rather than one. 

I think I struggle that an average person will spend so much on one watch though. A bit like having a set of salt and pepper mills in Silver costing £500, Id think that was excessive. 

I want a Rolex Explorer 36mm, or think id like one. Im trying to justify in my head. Thats a question. If someone said you can have this Rolex Explorer 36mm for your entire watch collection. 

Its not easy. 

 

Edited by Dilly
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13 minutes ago, Dilly said:

 why do I think several thousand for a watch is scary. 

 

I don't think several thousand pounds for a watch is scary. I do have an upper limit though .... I personally would not spend more than £6k on a watch .... given the quality available in the £2k-£6k bracket [ assuming around 20% discount , so RRPs of up to £7.5-ish ] ,,, Currently though there is much more fun to be had for me in the sub £1K playground , I suspect my next couple of watches will be a Certina and a G-Shock .... 

Edited by JonnyOldBoy
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17 minutes ago, Dilly said:

I want a Rolex Explorer 36mm, or think id like one. Im trying to justify in my head.

Seriously, get a Seagull ST 5. You can still get NOS ones for £50-£80 (last time I looked). The Chinese used them on their Antarctic expeditions surviving use at -40°C, and they have well proven accuracy/reliability. I have a 36mm Explorer, but often wear the Seagull out of preference. I have 2, and both are around 40+ years old.

large.20210214_094132_kindlephoto-991627.jpg.3c17a219224dae29e8a96bdb6e37031d.jpg

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The majority of watches I bought initially when I started to collect were around £50 second hand watches, as that is what I could afford at the time. Occasionally a new watch around £100 or so at Christmas or around my birthday. I'd clean them and care for them, replace straps and look to locate the correct boxes and manuals wherever I could.

Over time I ended up with 35-40 watches, picked my favourite half a dozen to keep and then sold off the rest using that money to buy 3-4 more expensive watches (£100-200 each, still second hand). My income had increased a little over time, and so I now found myself in the £100-200 per watch bracket for shopping.

Over another period of years, the collection again started hitting that 30+ bracket, so I again cleared out the majority, retaining the favourite 5-6, and re-invested into 4-5 watches that were creaping up towards £500 each. Now regarded as "pre-owned" rather than second hand, usually better condition and quality watches tat might have been around the £1,000 mark when new. Income by the allowed me to be looking at watches between £250-500 each as I continued to collect and add to the box.

This year I once again found myself with around 40 watches, I sold off 30+ for around £6,000, put a big chunk of that on a Birthyear DateJust (which for all their press, had been a long standing grail for me personally) and added in a handful of pre-owned watches around £1,000 each. I could probably get away with £1,000 on a watch 2 aybe 3 times a year at a push (if my wife is not paying close attention), and think I will likely continue this progression, building up numbers in a price bracket, then having a clear out and reducing the numbers for fewer more expensive watches.

To be honest, each clear out has been a little harder as the watches become more special, but at the same time, if I had the opportunity to unwind and go back to the 40 I had at the start of 2021 at the expense of the few I now have, I would not need to consider for more than 2 seconds before sticking with where I am now.

So mine is a progression, and probably a never finishing project.

Enjoy

 

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The Sea-Gull chrono, the old style that everyone goes on about 1958 maybe, I wanted that but after looking into the sites it became difficult to trust what was real, fake trustworthy for a purchase etc. 

I love that ST5, I have rubbish eye sight (probably need reading glasses) and veer towards watches that are very legible. 

Can you share a trustworthy link for these?

Thanks

4 minutes ago, Bricey said:

The majority of watches I bought initially when I started to collect were around £50 second hand watches, as that is what I could afford at the time. Occasionally a new watch around £100 or so at Christmas or around my birthday. I'd clean them and care for them, replace straps and look to locate the correct boxes and manuals wherever I could.

Over time I ended up with 35-40 watches, picked my favourite half a dozen to keep and then sold off the rest using that money to buy 3-4 more expensive watches (£100-200 each, still second hand). My income had increased a little over time, and so I now found myself in the £100-200 per watch bracket for shopping.

Over another period of years, the collection again started hitting that 30+ bracket, so I again cleared out the majority, retaining the favourite 5-6, and re-invested into 4-5 watches that were creaping up towards £500 each. Now regarded as "pre-owned" rather than second hand, usually better condition and quality watches tat might have been around the £1,000 mark when new. Income by the allowed me to be looking at watches between £250-500 each as I continued to collect and add to the box.

This year I once again found myself with around 40 watches, I sold off 30+ for around £6,000, put a big chunk of that on a Birthyear DateJust (which for all their press, had been a long standing grail for me personally) and added in a handful of pre-owned watches around £1,000 each. I could probably get away with £1,000 on a watch 2 aybe 3 times a year at a push (if my wife is not paying close attention), and think I will likely continue this progression, building up numbers in a price bracket, then having a clear out and reducing the numbers for fewer more expensive watches.

To be honest, each clear out has been a little harder as the watches become more special, but at the same time, if I had the opportunity to unwind and go back to the 40 I had at the start of 2021 at the expense of the few I now have, I would not need to consider for more than 2 seconds before sticking with where I am now.

So mine is a progression, and probably a never finishing project.

Enjoy

 

Im with you on this path. I wanted every type of watches and got them by buying cheapish. I have ones Id keep but deffo ones id sell. 

Where do you use to sell, ebay?

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5 minutes ago, Dilly said:

The Sea-Gull chrono, the old style that everyone goes on about 1958 maybe, I wanted that but after looking into the sites it became difficult to trust what was real, fake trustworthy for a purchase etc. 

I love that ST5, I have rubbish eye sight (probably need reading glasses) and veer towards watches that are very legible. 

Can you share a trustworthy link for these?

Thanks

Im with you on this path. I wanted every type of watches and got them by buying cheapish. I have ones Id keep but deffo ones id sell. 

Where do you use to sell, ebay?

Yeah, Ebay.

The last few times I've had a clear out, I have just sold 8, 10 or 12 watches as a collection. Probably means not getting top price for them, but saves on all of the p1ssing about, means they are almost certainly going to a fellow collector and saves a fair bit of time.

I've even ept in touch with one of the buyers as he was buying them for his own collection, and it was probably discussing watches with him over emails that lead me to venture into the watch forum for the first time last week.

 

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24 minutes ago, WRENCH said:

Seriously, get a Seagull ST 5. You can still get NOS ones for £50-£80 (last time I looked). The Chinese used them on their Antarctic expeditions surviving use at -40°C, and they have well proven accuracy/reliability. I have a 36mm Explorer, but often wear the Seagull out of preference. I have 2, and both are around 40+ years old.

large.20210214_094132_kindlephoto-991627.jpg.3c17a219224dae29e8a96bdb6e37031d.jpg

WRENCH where can I buy SEA-GUL from that youd trust?

Thanks

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Nice one, @Dilly. I was about to ask @WRENCH the same question... Apart from a nice Vostok which I was kindly gifted by Roy, I haven't added to my watch collection for ABSOLUTELY AGES. 

Interesting debate on this thread, although I have noticed that my own personal "drive" to collect interesting watches that I can easily afford has recently diminished, partly for health reasons and also a feeling that the future for Kristina and myself is better served by reducing the number of items in our rather crowded house, most immediately when the guy comes to sort out our central heating system. :biggrin:

 

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This is a well timed thread because today my new Zenith A386 manufacture revival arrived and it cost £7.5k. Why did I buy it? Because I love it, I love the watch, the movement, the history and the Company.

I consider myself very lucky that I am able to afford it. My wife and I both work in good jobs, we don't have children or a mortgage and in a lot of other areas of our lives, we live fairly simply. But to any sane and non watch enthusiast,  it is crazy purchase.

The argument about spending a lot less on a watch that basically does the same thing is interesting.  I think the same about cars. I have a Toyota Yaris and wonder why people drive BMW's or Mercedes. The answer is simple economics and the fact that everyone has different financial and lifestyle priorities and they choose to spend their money as they want. A person who buys a low cost watch may drive a nice car, or drink expensive wine, or play golf at posh golf courses. Alternatively they may choose to have children or live in a big house and so invest their money in those things. Thankfully we are all different. 

Incidentally,  I also bought the same Rotary GMT earlier this year for £80.

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3 hours ago, Dilly said:

What if I hit a door frame, caught the car door, got it stolen or the dog bit it again! 

On that basis you should only buy the cheapest available. Spend money on a car and you could have an accident, have some low life key it so best only buy an old banger. New pair of jeans - tesco etc rather than Levi just in case you snag them on a nail and rip them. If you can afford the watch whilst still putting food on the table, going on a family holiday etc then go for it. Otherwise wait until you are in that position.

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I am poor.

Its a solid fact.

I have also bought (on occasion) an expensive whisky that would cost me a few days worth of food, or a few days worth of rent.. probably equivalent to the watch I am wearing just now.

I have also given away a good few hundred ££'s to people that need it.

Being poor and being affluent are both the same things. You have X amounts of money to do X amount of things with X amount of 'spare' cash.

Nobody, and I literally mean nobody 'needs' a watch BUT we all have at least one. 

My idea of spending money on watches is not an idea for furthering an objects worth based on its monetary value and I would be blind if I did not accept that this happens. My idea of spending money on an object is based on its enjoyment for me. For example, I recently spent money on buying a wrist sundial because it will give me great enjoyment using it.

What we have as surplus to life is equally divided on how much and in which direction we want to aim that surplus into life.

I have seen a valuable antique rolex from 100 years ago selling for £600. If you are a fan of antique sales shows from TV you can see that price at cost is 'random and I feel sorry for people expecting their 'investments' given to 2-3 generations giving them anything better than 1/4 of its price and even less reverence to their great grandad.

Tv or no tv, if you look at most online auctions you clearly see that 'investment' does not equal money gains after 60 years. 

Whatever you spend on that item (proportional to your life surplus) better bring YOU pleasure in direct relation to the benefits of aiming that money at an object. 

My biggest 'surplus investment' saved a family. I have nothing to show for it.. but it was the right thing to do.

Will I ever spend thousands of pounds on a watch?.. I doubt it. I have 30+ timepieces in my meagre collection, including a solar powered piece that should never be de-magnetised.

 

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Interesting. Originally I had the usual mortgage etc so could only watch while others paraded around their expensive wrist pieces. Then I found I could afford some and my interest started as did my appreciation of quality watches. 

As a result I now have a decent collection which I can also treat as convertible assets and wear when I fancy. My best purchase was probably my grail Zenith El Primero Triple date moon phase and most expensive my Rolex Daytona. This was partly funded by a tax rebate after I retired. 

I also play guitar and wanted a Gibson ES335. This entailed selling two watches to fund but was well worth it in my opinion. 

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3 hours ago, artistmike said:

I'm not sure that I really comprehend how you reconcile these two statements.  How is spending £5000 on one watch different from spending the same amount on  a group of watches?  :huh:

I suppose the rationale is building a collection of 10 £500 watches might take 4 years whereas saving up for one big hit £5k purchase can be daunting. Also some people just like to be able to change their watch depending on outfit and occasion and maybe would get frustrated just having the one option.

 

I personally have a mint vintage Omega Geneve with a lovely face which cost £450 but will retain or appreciate in value, a Ltd edition Seiko blue lagoon diver which was £450 but again should retain value and then a Oris Atelier which set me back about £900. Probably that will have taken a fair hit if I move it on. I like that I have a dressy watch, a diver and a day to day steel sports watch. Could have probably got a Tudor for all that but I am happy with my little collection. 

Each unto their own.

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It’s taken me a few years but I’ve always saved a few quid each month and tried to buy pre owned at the right price. I keep my watch fund separate from everything else and when it gets close I normally sell one to to get the next one my list. Dropping a few grand out of my bank account in one go would feel over the top because thats money for bills, car, house, kids etc. I find the opposite is true if the funds are separate and have built up over time... then it’s exciting to blow it on a watch. 

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57 minutes ago, SolaVeritate said:

I am poor.

Its a solid fact.

I have also bought (on occasion) an expensive whisky that would cost me a few days worth of food, or a few days worth of rent.. probably equivalent to the watch I am wearing just now.

I have also given away a good few hundred ££'s to people that need it.

Being poor and being affluent are both the same things. You have X amounts of money to do X amount of things with X amount of 'spare' cash.

Nobody, and I literally mean nobody 'needs' a watch BUT we all have at least one. 

My idea of spending money on watches is not an idea for furthering an objects worth based on its monetary value and I would be blind if I did not accept that this happens. My idea of spending money on an object is based on its enjoyment for me. For example, I recently spent money on buying a wrist sundial because it will give me great enjoyment using it.

What we have as surplus to life is equally divided on how much and in which direction we want to aim that surplus into life.

I have seen a valuable antique rolex from 100 years ago selling for £600. If you are a fan of antique sales shows from TV you can see that price at cost is 'random and I feel sorry for people expecting their 'investments' given to 2-3 generations giving them anything better than 1/4 of its price and even less reverence to their great grandad.

Tv or no tv, if you look at most online auctions you clearly see that 'investment' does not equal money gains after 60 years. 

Whatever you spend on that item (proportional to your life surplus) better bring YOU pleasure in direct relation to the benefits of aiming that money at an object. 

My biggest 'surplus investment' saved a family. I have nothing to show for it.. but it was the right thing to do.

Will I ever spend thousands of pounds on a watch?.. I doubt it. I have 30+ timepieces in my meagre collection, including a solar powered piece that should never be de-magnetised.

 

Very humbling, thankyou.

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5 hours ago, SolaVeritate said:

My biggest 'surplus investment' saved a family. I have nothing to show for it.. but it was the right thing to do.

 

 

Our family's monthly donation to Plan International over 30 years will eclipse all I ever spend on watches .... and well it should .... I really enjoy this hobby, but its not a Primary concern...

 

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As @JoT put it on another thread;  I wouldn’t want to be discussing my finances on a public forum. 

 But, in answer to the OP I would ask what constitutes the average man?  I suppose I live in a fairly average house (fortunately I happen to own it these days) and I certainly drive a pretty average car.  I have dabbled in watches for years, but often at relatively inexpensive levels. I have done it for the pleasure of owning the watches, with no intention to make money from it, and if I have taken the odd hit it has always been something I could afford to take. 

 But life is by no means a level playing field. Sometimes (and this happened in my case) bereavement and legacy leave you devoid of someone you loved, but enable you to do things you could not otherwise have done.   Add in retirement, and you do certainly have more disposable income if you have planned well.  I bought my two most expensive watches as a result of legacies, and they bring me great pleasure when I remember the two people I lost. 

 My biggest indulgence however is holidays. Normally I have 10 days or so in the Canary Islands at Easter, two weeks in Greece in the summer and two weeks in Cyprus for Christmas and New Year.  Some people will have noticed I took delivery of a new (to me) and rather fine watch yesterday.  Had I not missed out on four consecutive holidays as outlined above, I might not have bought it. Swings and  roundabouts. 

Edited by AVO
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