Watch collecting – An obsessive-compulsive disorder?

Oriental simplicity needs manual care for the inner beauty to show.

Firstly, it is important to understand that collecting is different from buying in gobs and that pretty much answers the question. Yet, there are hobbyists with tons of cash who like to lay hands on every watch available simply because they can. That is indulging. Being a true collector means being a discerning collector who owns pieces others would give their right eyes for. Watch collecting, in its truest sense, is not a blatant show-off in wealth but a display of passion, good taste and understanding both art and technology. Unless you can grab fairly the skill and knowledge that went into (which requires the passion to stick to the learning curve for indefinite periods) watch collecting would give you half as much satisfaction some lactose-intolerant fellow would have after a milk-shake. Name-dropping doesn’t make for a hobbyist or even owning unless you understand and admire the inner architectural intricacies. And that’s a hell lot different from being able to distinguish between a purely manual winding and an automatic with manual winding. Unless you know why it stands out from the rest, reciting a lot of watch-terminology won’t take you anywhere. Anything that we might call irrational about this hobby? The rest of the world might perceive it as just repeated acquisitions, and that pretty much draws the line between the connoisseur and a moneyed buyer. Why? If that needs explaining, you probably wouldn’t understand. Go figure it out yourself while the rest of us engage in further discussions. Next is, a true collector always has a goal and here he may go to such heights that can be mistaken as OCD. For example, I personally have a thing for Citizen

A flight of fancy

Eco-Drive multifunctions and Seiko Flightmasters (even for the Invicta) and would work to get paid by them and also treasure them by keeping the dust off. But it’s not so with somebody buying Patek Philippe Calatrava-s for daily use just because he can, without caring a bit on the years of expertise, innovation and craftsmanship that went into it. This is collecting watches just to wear and it is not how the hobby is supposed to be, even if he sticks to Patek even for a lifetime. A true Patek (or in that case, any brand) admirer would rather get real deep in its history and won’t make it the brand to wear in daily life. A classic doesn’t stay that way once it becomes an everyday thing. You must respect that. If you can’t and put up some logic that’s hard to digest, then as Benjamin Franklin would say – “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”

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