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OK, Im not really sure where this post is going, Im just putting a few thoughts together from a complete newbie’s point of view.

Im roughly 3 weeks into my watch collecting career and feel like Im slowly drowning in information.
I decided I wanted a new watch, and that I wanted it to be a relatively nice one. Im not generally a watch wearer. , Im so new at this.
So I found this place and spent some time reading up and that is where some of the trouble started
I found out about quartz vs automatic vs hand wind watches
Movements – don’t get me started, Swiss, Japanese, Chinese, I gave up trying to rank them against each other
Watch Styles – there are just so many, but this is the easy bit, you either like it as soon as you see it or you don’t
Different manufacturers, so many all with their supporters and detractors

I saw all the super expensive watches which was a bad idea as it made me feel poor, and strangely enough, I have yet to see one Seiko that I like, and I absolutely hate Rolex watches, at least all the ones that I have seen so far. One of the problems with places like this is that you can get sucked in, and end up upscaling requirements to match what you are seeing other people do or saying, if it doesn't cost 2K then it isn't a proper watch etc etc..
Some luxury watches I like, but the thing I don’t like about them is that anyone with a bit of cash can have one, so Im guessing that my initial searches will be for little independent watch makers – at least to start my collection.

So I have chosen my first daily wear watch, it will be a Gerlach N97, so automatic, not quartz, independent maker and I like the style, and a limited edition, so Im not likely to see anybody else wear it.
I like limited edition as I hope (eventually) that there might be a small chance something I own will appreciate in value.
For a daily watch, I wanted something solid as Im quite hard on stuff and a bit clumsy! I will be getting a watchadoo strap for it.


I obviously have the bug, as Im already planning my next purchase which will be a chrono, as (at least for the moment), these are the watches that keep drawing me back so I obviously like them and I actually like quite a busy looking watch face, cue lots of research..

At the moment, Im just trying to ignore a lot of things and just base my decision for any watch to be non-quartz, a design I like, and a little bit different. The most important bit being that I like it..

So, for all you collectors out there, if you could go back to the start and start again with all the experience and knowledge you have now – what would you do differently and what advice can you give to complete noob’s like me just starting out?
 

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Take your time. Read lots before you buy. I've been at it 50 years and I'm still learning stuff.
 
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If I could do it all over again, I would hold off on less expensive watches and only buy things that I really love - even if they are pricey. As it stands, I like all of my watches but have several that I would not purchase again. Unfortunately, those are also watches that have little-to-no resale value.

In particular, I have watches that I wasn't crazy about but bought them anyway because they were relatively inexpensive. I also have a couple of watches that I like the design of but, now that I have them, realize that they don't fit my style or needs. I guess, I'd recommend against really unusual or strange watches that, while cool, you probably aren't going to wear very often.

An expensive watch that you wear a lot is much more economical that a cheaper watch you just don't use.

-Ken
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
An expensive watch that you wear a lot is much more economical that a cheaper watch you just don't use.

-Ken
Good point to make - I think that the only way though to find out what style suits you/your lifestyle is to buy and learn from experience and for that maybe cheaper watches are a bit better.
 

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Regardless of what advice you get here, you are going to go thru an experimental stage cos you just won't know what you like at first until you've had a chance try watches that you 'think' you will like. Maybe you will be one of the lucky (smart) ones that chooses wisely ;-)

The good thing is that WUS has a great sales forum for the ones that were chosen poorly.
 

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There are some good points here. As others have said, it's about learning what you like and realizing that what you like may change. A "wisely chosen" watch four years ago may no longer work for you because your tastes change - it may not have been a poor choice at the time given your taste or finances when you bought it. In my own case, you're right, I bought cheaper watches and they inspired me to get higher-end watches of the same theme. In that regard they weren't a waste. It's a catch 22!

As my esteemed colleague from Ohio pointed out, the sales corner is great for unloading (and picking up) assuming you want to bother. I also like to look at the various "what are you wearing today" threads to see watches in the wild and not just in advertisements.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Agree with you there Ken, the WAUWT thread is good for spotting makers that I have never heard of as well as getting an idea for the various styles out there..
 

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I would suggest that you slow way down on the purchases and read up on watches and manufacturers on this forum and others. When I started with pocketwatches in the early 1980's I don't think it would have been possible for me to define a collection to be acquired. Certainly not the ecclectic collection of vintage and new wristwatches I now enjoy. Take the time to really enjoy the watches you have rather than trying to identify the next purchase so quickly.

Like most of us your interests in watches will change as you become more focused and aware of what really interests you. Try to avoid spending money on several big name watches costing several thousands of dollars. Rather look at some of the smaller high quality brands like Oris, Christopher Ward, Epos, etc. Also look at Seiko watches in the Sarb series. And do look at the interesting bargains available in vintage watches. For example it is possible to acquire several nice older Omega watches for the price of a new one.

You mentioned being intrested in a chrono. One way to find out if that complication really interests you is to buy a nice Seiko or Citizen quartz chrono. It will do at least as much as the more expensive mechanical and will give you a taste for what it is like having a multiple dial timer. And won't tie up a bunch of money.
 

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I'll add to what most have already pointed out, the biggest mistake made at the beginning of your watch collecting interest is buying. The best thing you've done for your collection thus far is joining this forum. While initially initimidating because of the plethora of data- various brands, thousands of opinions, auto vs quartz etc increasing your knowledge base is the first step in getting a watch you'll be happy with for more than a month or two.
Take it from a fellow newb, there's a lot of wisdom on these boards and you can save yourself some headaches and a lot of moolah by reading the reviews and posts here...



I would suggest that you slow way down on the purchases and read up on watches and manufacturers on this forum and others. When I started with pocketwatches in the early 1980's I don't think it would have been possible for me to define a collection to be acquired. Certainly not the ecclectic collection of vintage and new wristwatches I now enjoy. Take the time to really enjoy the watches you have rather than trying to identify the next purchase so quickly.

Like most of us your interests in watches will change as you become more focused and aware of what really interests you. Try to avoid spending money on several big name watches costing several thousands of dollars. Rather look at some of the smaller high quality brands like Oris, Christopher Ward, Epos, etc. Also look at Seiko watches in the Sarb series. And do look at the interesting bargains available in vintage watches. For example it is possible to acquire several nice older Omega watches for the price of a new one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
well Im sort of agreeing with you, Im getting the Gerlach N97 as I like it and I need a watch, but Im quite happy to wait and research for my Chrono. Battery powered watches just don't interest me at the moment, but Im prepared to change my mind once I have researched things a bit more.
I have no idea where this journey will take me, so Im happy to tread carefully and take my time once I have my first purchase out the way and Im definately steering clear of the big names for now, as I would have to be 500 percent certain before parting with that sort of cash and it is far too early for me to be that at the moment.
Thx for the tips, some wise words of wisdom in this thread
 

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Im so new at this.
So I found this place
Bad decision (or best decision you ever made). The folks are nice here. Welcome

I absolutely hate Rolex watches, at least all the ones that I have seen so far.
Maybe you will grow to appreciate the brand. No need to "hate" a brand - maybe save for Invicta. :)

if it doesn't cost 2K then it isn't a proper watch etc etc..
Absolutely not true as you have chosen. Plenty of nice watches under that price.

Most important thing (to me) is to enjoy the hobby wearing the watch. The greatest watch in the world is lost to me if I am not going to be wearing it.

Good luck.
 

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I think the first mistake is the idea that you are starting a collection. Unless you are buying for a science and technology museum, that's just the wrong way to look at things.

Buy a watch you like on its own merits. Something that expresses your history, your personality, your aspirations, or whatever...expresses it to you I mean.

If you enjoyed buying and owning that watch, start planning for the next. Remember as you look at the price tags that some of those nice watches cost as much as a vacation. Think about the enjoyment you'll get per dollar, relative to travel, learning a new skill, etc. Personally, I'd probably get more enjoyment touring Switzerland wearing a $100 Seiko than touring Walmart wearing a $10,000 Breitling. I know I got more enjoyment learning to fly than than I would've from spending that money on a Breitling. Both would be great of course but for most of us both takes time. YMMV, which is the point.

Eventually you will have a collection. If you do it right, you'll have a collection that is meaningful to you, one you enjoyed building.
 

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If I had to start again I'd make less impulse buys. I think I sold all but 1 watch from when I started. Haven't sold that one cause it's dressy and 'rare' so I keep telling myself I should keep it.
 

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Yes, as above really. I think you're over thinking it. It almost sounds like work!

I would buy a watch you like, one day you might buy another (because it catches eye or because you need a certain type), then another etc.... You'll soon have your collection naturally...
 

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I would suggest that you slow way down on the purchases and read up on watches and manufacturers on this forum and others. When I started with pocketwatches in the early 1980's I don't think it would have been possible for me to define a collection to be acquired. Certainly not the ecclectic collection of vintage and new wristwatches I now enjoy. Take the time to really enjoy the watches you have rather than trying to identify the next purchase so quickly.

Like most of us your interests in watches will change as you become more focused and aware of what really interests you. Try to avoid spending money on several big name watches costing several thousands of dollars. Rather look at some of the smaller high quality brands like Oris, Christopher Ward, Epos, etc. Also look at Seiko watches in the Sarb series. And do look at the interesting bargains available in vintage watches. For example it is possible to acquire several nice older Omega watches for the price of a new one.

You mentioned being intrested in a chrono. One way to find out if that complication really interests you is to buy a nice Seiko or Citizen quartz chrono. It will do at least as much as the more expensive mechanical and will give you a taste for what it is like having a multiple dial timer. And won't tie up a bunch of money.
The caveat to buying mid range boutiques is that I wouldn't purchase them at new value, they will take a hit that top tier brands wont in depreciation, but represent a fantastic value on the gently used market. I wouldn't buy a 3k new Oris, but at 800-1000 they are a great value and give tremendous value for money.

That being said, I'm relatively set in my collection building ideas and am pretty much focused on buying high quality pieces as I get the money for them instead of scratching the itch with a lower end piece. This is very trying on my patience when I don't have 50k to throw around right this instant.
 

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I think the first mistake is the idea that you are starting a collection. Unless you are buying for a science and technology museum, that's just the wrong way to look at things.

Buy a watch you like on its own merits. Something that expresses your history, your personality, your aspirations, or whatever...expresses it to you I mean.

If you enjoyed buying and owning that watch, start planning for the next. Remember as you look at the price tags that some of those nice watches cost as much as a vacation. Think about the enjoyment you'll get per dollar, relative to travel, learning a new skill, etc. Personally, I'd probably get more enjoyment touring Switzerland wearing a $100 Seiko than touring Walmart wearing a $10,000 Breitling. I know I got more enjoyment learning to fly than than I would've from spending that money on a Breitling. Both would be great of course but for most of us both takes time. YMMV, which is the point.

Eventually you will have a collection. If you do it right, you'll have a collection that is meaningful to you, one you enjoyed building.
Good points here. I would agree that rather than focus on a collection, focus on what you like and want to wear, recognizing that your tastes will change over time. Also, avoid the temptation to overspend, and stay within your means. Owning a Brequet doesn't make one more worthy than the guy that owns a TAG and enjoys it. Every once in a while I'll see a watch for sale because the seller has to pay a car repair bill or something like that. If you find that that is you, then you have spent beyond your means.

Also, don't be put off by quartz watches. They have their place just as mechanicals have their place. I have both quartz and automatic dress and casual watches, and wear them interchangeably. Nobody every comments that one of my watches is quartz as opposed to a "more proper automatic."
 
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