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Having bought most of my "endgames" for my other hobbies, I find myself spending time looking at watches since there are numerous ones which I'd like to own. But I'm curious the process others have for deciding what your next watch purchase will be, be it completing out a collection, filling out a certain style, based off a long standing desire to own, or some other metrics. It seems like many cast a net that's a bit too wide and end up with dozens of watches but decide to reduce later on to a smaller collection.

I'm not sure if anyone has any calculation they do as far as how much to spend on a watch based on income, net worth, or some other factor. For me personally there are watches over a certain price point that I just cannot ever see myself buying due to how much they cost and how many lower priced watches I'd fill the space with instead of one more expensive watch but I'm sure everyone has their own price point where this is true. I'm generally a quality over quantity, but I have a quality threshold that once met I don't really see the point in spending more. I have the ability right now to buy a couple of watches that I'd like to own and think would be watches I keep for life, though when I add up the total of those that price is not something I'm willing to pay all at once so I'd rather spread it out over time.

For those that do have some kind of system or process, what do you do? One watch per year limit? One per noteworthy occasion (age, career, personal accomplishment)? A dedicated watchfund that you put a little in at a time and only spend/draw from as much as is in it? I had let myself lapse on my interest in watches, and having rediscovered it some several months ago I'm trying to fight the urge to buy everything I might have bought over a few years all at once :) I'm not sure how good a job I am doing at this, considering I only owned the Avion in my signature if you go back one year ago and have bought all the others since - but I do rotate and they all see wrist time (even if it is just in the house).
 

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When I am out to buy a watch for my collection, it is a long process.

1. I eliminate down from my list of interests to a few watches. (My interests are just watches that have caught my eye on a watch channel or posts here or some other way).

2. I research those more in depth and see what I think. May or may not eliminate more at this point based on price/specs/brand or any other aspect that leaps out to me.

3. I wait. Then I wait some more. Then I wait even longer. If the watch or watches I was attracted to still interest me then I choose a purchase.

4. Then I look for a good deal. Used or new. Hit all the sites, watch recon it, etc.

5. One time I bought a homage as a trial (but that was because it was bigger than any watch I had ever had and before plopping a few K down I wanted to wear it - or close facsimile to see if it would work - it did as I am wearing my Tudor Black Bay Bronze almost daily - but 43mm is definitely my limit.)
 

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This probably won't be much help, but I tend to buy what I like when I see it...assuming I can afford it. That said, I'm of the ilk that would rather have multiple "affordable" watches than one expensive one. My collection is primarily Citizen, Seiko, Glycine, a couple of microbrands, etc. - and I lean toward diver-style watches (although not exclusively). My "top end" watches are Oris (2) and Longines (1) and a couple of TAG Formula 1s. All are nice, but not exactly in the luxury class. Their combined MSRP prices might get me a Submariner if I got a good deal on it.

Unless traveling, I rarely wear one watch for more than one day in a row. So, for me, it's a matter of if I like that watch, would actually wear/enjoy it, and can afford to buy it without sacrificing too much.
 

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I enjoy coming to the site because it gives me ideas. Some of them stick, others fade. That is the key--I wait quite a while to see if it's just an infatuation, or if it's deeper. I also am in a place where I want to save up, so even if I really like something after months and want it badly (e.g., the Rado Captain Cook) I will abstain because that money is needed for my grail.

I've had to adapt because previously I was purchasing mostly affordables; I am now trying to make the transition to watches I intend to keep for the long haul. So I'm still new at this part. The last watch I purchased was my Archimede last year, which was the most expensive I own and which marked the turning point.
 
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Tend to buy something whenever I see a good deal on watch recon and it will improve my collection (I cap my collection at 10-12 pcs so I will cycle out the least favourite piece in the process) b-)

Then again I'm ever ready whenever the AD calls :-d
 

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I have the two that I care about. Every year or so I'll "rent" another for a couple of months to scratch the itch, but they never stick around. It's usually another diver that catches my eye and pops up on watchrecon.
 

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I like the "endgame" word in the OP as I think it makes sense to my current approach. Initially when I got into watches and realized that I could actually own more than 1 watch at a time, I bought whatever looked good and was a great deal. I eventually got a 12 watch box and had the goal of filling it all up. So I would really just casually buy things when I saw them and were a good deal. I didn't have really any other specific goal. I ended up with half of my watches being pretty high quality and the other half cheap.

As I progressed through the hobby, I realized that A) 12 was too many watches B)I only really liked wearing the nicer stuff. So that leads me to where I am today. I sold off the cheap stuff and some other watches that I didn't like wearing. I added a dressy watch and am down to a manageable 6 watch collection. So when I buy a watch now, it's to refine the current collection. What does that mean? Basically, I wear my watches and the watches that rise to the top because of something negative drive the next purchase. But I replace them with a similar watch that's a better fit. So right now, I think my Seiko SUN023 might be the next one to go. It's now my biggest and heaviest watch and plays the role of beater. It's not a greater beater because it's too big. So next watch up will also be a beater, but of a smaller, thinner nature. I'm eye up a Weiss to replace it, but I'm far from decided at this point. I'd like to check one out in person.
 

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Simple system for me. I have a number (currently six) and when I see or want something else that would put me above that number, I have to sell something to make room. This forces me to weigh the pros/cons and likes/dislikes. If I can't pick something to get rid of, that means I don't really want or can't justify that "something else" sufficiently enough.

All that said, I'm still new to this hobby and could see my approach changing over time.
 
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Re: When/how do you decide to buy another watch?

Answer: When I see something I like, can afford and won't have the wife put hot irons on me as punishment.
 

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For me, deciding to buy a watch is totally spontaneous.

I like a lot of watches, but sometimes I see one that is so cool it overrides all the logic of decision making and I just buy it.

If I was to base watch purchases on anything but emotion I would not have any watches.
 

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I like these threads, because they make me question my intentions and why I collect what I collect.

After 3 or 4 years of being consumed by watches my choices and methods have changed drastically. Currently I am in the stage where I seek significant watches of higher quality, usually higher cost, as opposed to more variety at less cost. I don't have unlimited funds and want $100,000.00 worth of watches, so I have to be disciplined or Ill wind up back in stage 1, which was quantity over quality. This also limits the amount of watches in my collection. After all other obligations are met, then comes watches. Depending on the price of my next watch, dictates how long until i can make a purchase.Where I screw up is not spending to much on a single watch, but increasing the frequency of my purchases, depending on future earnings to meet my expenses. Situations like this current economy, can cure that mistake in a hurry.

I have a general list of the collection I would like...

1. Identify the watch I want next
2. Research research research
3. What is the maximum I am willing to spend?
4. patience patience patience
5. Will it delay my next purchase?
6. If yes, hard decision; which one do I want more?
7. If no, buy buy buy
 

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I have a list of watches I like or that piqued my interest, every time a new one comes out it goes on the list. I then proceed to do research and if everything is right then it's up to 2 things:

1) price (anything bellow $600 is a potential spontaneous buy)
2) an imaginary scenario in which I would never be able to sell that watch and if I can live with that.
 

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When i see something that interest me i research and shop and research and shop some more. I no longer need a watch it is just wants. I also have my luxury watches so i am now more interested in affordables, which are easier to swing.
 

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My system is pretty simple. I ask myself a bunch of questions

(1) Is it different from what I already have?
(2) Will it fight for wrist time with a watch that I already have that is better? (pretty similar to 1, I know)
(3) Is it in the same quality neighborhood as what I already have?
(4) Does this make my collection more complete/better/more diverse?
(5) Do I like this enough to spend money on it?
(6) Will I actually wear it?

There's no right order for me to ask these questions, even though I numbered them. But what it comes down to is that I only have the one wrist, so the more watches I own, the less wrist time each one is going to get. So before I add a watch to my collection, I want to make sure that it's worth the wrist time. That means a lot more than "I like it, I buy it"--I like a lot of watches that wouldn't ever get wrist time in my collection. I've sold many watches that I like. Most recently, my Tudor Black Bay Blue; I love that watch, it just couldn't get wrist time because it was too similar to both my Submariner and my SM300 (it's both Submariner-like and vintage-feeling). So, rather than letting it sit in my drawer indefinitely, I decided to let it go to someone who would wear it, hopefully.

Overlap is one of my main concerns. And it's not by type of watch, either. It's more of a vibe. I already mentioned that I have a Submariner and a Seamaster 300. Their vibes are completely different, though, so even though they're both dive watches, they fit completely different moods. My Submariner is all business, no nonsense, toolish, and almost blends into the wrist. The Seamaster 300 has that vintage vibe, with the lume and the broad arrow hands--it is, after all, a reissue of an old diver--and unlike the Submariner, the SM300 is happy to be on leather or on a NATO, whereas the Submariner lives on it excellent bracelet. They're both of similar quality, too, so it works. Same sort of situation with my Speedmaster and my Monaco. Both are chronographs, even both racing chronographs, both are essentially living vintage pieces, but their whole approach to existence is completely different. Plus, let's not forget that the Monaco is a square and the Speedmaster is round. So while they have some similarities, there are enough differences that they don't really overlap with each other. And again, they're of similar quality. For the most part, there will be similarities--not every kind of watch appeals to me, so if I really mostly only like sport and dive watches and chronographs, there's bound to be some overlap. So there's a fuzzy line of what's too much overlap.

So the overlap is really the driving force--if it doesn't overlap, there's a much higher likelihood that it'll hit that other big one. Will I actually wear it? Now, there are going to be watches I naturally wear less often. My Monaco is an older watch, so it's the model with 30m WR and an acrylic crystal, and it's also chock full of sentimental value, so I'm much more careful with it because it's both physically and emotionally irreplaceable (it's also an LE that's long since sold out). I am planning on adding a dressy watch as well, again, with the understanding that I will wear it less often than my Submariner, Seamaster, and Speedmaster. I also want a travel watch, which I've already decided on, the Tudor Black Bay GMT.

Once I've decided on a watch, it's all about availability and funding. When am I ready to buy and when are they ready to sell it to me? I won't go into that, though, because that's personal finances and that's boring.
 
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