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Thread: How do you mentally make sense of your collection?

  1. #1

    How do you mentally make sense of your collection?

    Some lucky people have a big spread of watches, and each day pick the one they fancy and off they go, seemingly without a care in the world. The recent musings of whatmeworry and OhDark30 make me think that making sense of all one's watches can be a hard task.

    How do you rationalise your pile of watches?

    (The rest of this post is veryyy skipable.... )

    I own 16 watches, but only regard the 10 that get worn as my collection.

    These ten consist of an inner set of six:
    * 4 daily wearers in strict rotation, one a week, changing each Sunday, two new autos, two vintage manuals, all four different sizes
    * 2 prettier weekend vintage watches, taking it in turns.

    and four occasional watches:
    * 2 quartz (one with rubber strap, one with good WR) they sit ready for distinct purposes
    * 2 older vintage manuals that only get worn for a day here and there when the mood takes me.

    Of the other six watches I own
    * 3 are retired from wear, but I'm hanging onto them for sentimental reasons
    * 2 I've never worn, but have the intention of giving away
    * 1 was forced on me by Matt at the g2g, and thus is a momento of a happy day.

    So I have four levels to my ownership,
    * regularly worn
    * occasionally worn
    * never worn
    * on their way out
    Last edited by Der Amf; Mar 26, 2015 at 11:43 PM. Reason: Formatting

  2. #2
    Another Member crownpuller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Bristol UK

    Some people have opinions - The rest of us have taste.

  3. #3
    My collection makes no sense and there is absolutely no way I can rationalize any of it.

    I have way too many watches. Every time I buy something new, I promise myself that I will sell one I already have. I'm not good at keeping promises and should have learned long ago not to trust myself. I'm a slow learner, too, and maybe someday I'll figure that out.

    I have a lot of watches I don't wear but I get emotionally attached to them. When I even think of selling them, I find some excuse not to go through with it. It's too hard to replace. I have some memory associated with wearing the watch. It has a great set of hands. Or I'm just too lazy to actually get around to selling them.

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  5. #4
    I think I probably have similar categories, just higher volumes

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  7. #5
    Right now I have

    6 daily wearer watches
    1 fun weekend/ evening watch
    1 occasional wear vintage (may move to the daily wear category when my bund strap gets in)
    3 beaters
    1 sentimental watch
    1 watch that was given to me for Xmas that I don't know what to do with
    Olma, Oris, Vostok, Casio, Smiths, Luch, Elgin, Fossil, Orient

    IWL DIY, Restorations and Mods subforum

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  9. #6
    wind-up merchant OhDark30's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    I just need to get a grip :-)
    Realistically, I've worn the Strela uninterrupted for several months
    While it is nice to discover on unearthing my collection that I have some very cool other watches, I don't actually *need* any others
    I think I *want* to keep a few more though
    The irony is, I've got into full-blown minimalism on the rest of my stuff. I've had a mega clearout, ditching over 80% of what I own, and feel much happier and lighter without it. (I used Marie Kondo's method)
    So, I'm sorting the watches now, now that I've got the mental and actual space to do it
    I think watch collecting is a simple pleasure, and I still love discussing design, history and mechanics
    But now I no longer need many of the physical watches to bring them to mind - photos recall many of my highlights.
    It's the final countdown! PM me before they're all gone!

  10. #7
    I tend to categorize my collection in my mind, although there is some overlap in the categories. I've concluded that I don't want many more watches than I currently have, because if I had more, I wouldn't wear each of them as much as I'd like to. That's why I just did a 3-for-1 swap to get my Glashutte Original. My total watch count shouldn't increase this year on a net basis. (Rationalization much??)

    My categories:

    1. Dressy watches that get worn with suits or business casual, which is 80% of the time
    2. Sporty/casual watches that get worn mostly on weekends
    3. Travel watches with a way to show two time zones for when I'm overseas (10-15% of the time)
    4. Sentimental/older watches that are not worn but won't be sold (only four in total)

    There is definite overlap between categories 1 and 2; for example, my Zenith and Omega chronos sometimes get worn at work (but not when I'm in a suit). And my gold Maurice Lacroix will sometimes get worn to work even when I'm not in a suit. I don't really have a dress watch (as opposed to dressy), if you define one as a dressy watch on a strap that doesn't have a date. I have one on the radar but it's very pricey and I don't know if I'll pull the trigger this year (or at all). But otherwise, I'm perilously close to the point where I'm just happy with what I've got...

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  12. #8
    Moderator - Central tribe125's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Kent - UK
    Yes, the watches are one thing, but then there's the collection. How does that look? Is it the right size and shape? Does it have the features you like? It's not quite the right word for me, 'collection', but I do like to see (or impose) some structure. It brings a bit of focus and direction.

    Well, sometimes it does. Looking back over the years, my collection has gone through cycles of careless growth and determined pruning. I've just started pruning, with the intention of going from fifteen watches (sixteen if I count the one I keep abroad) to five plus a vintage.

    Not everyone will think this way, but it makes me slightly uneasy to have more things than I can justify. I wait for shoes to wear out before buying more, even if I've tired of them. It's nothing to do with economy, more a sense of tidiness. It's a quirk.

    If I manage it, the five might represent:

    • Everyday watch and chronograph in mechanical and quartz, plus a beauty.
    • Two Swiss, two Japanese and a German.
    • Two 'one word icons', the best from Japan, plus a beauty and a beater.
    • Two cost a bit to maintain, two just need batteries, one doesn't cost much.

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  14. #9
    Mountebank MarkO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Turks and Caicos Islands
    4 Autos worn in rotation when ever I fancy.
    I often pick the Bremont for my night out watch for no good reason.

    My Victorinox Quartz is my pool/beach watch. I was wearing this week. It has a harder life than the rest. But still looking good.

    MB2, SOH, Aquascope, Tangente, MM300, Blackbay, North Flag, Officer, Visitor.

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  16. #10
    I guess I could have done a little better in describing how I think about my collection rather than tangentially rambling as always.

    I have two different ways of looking at my watches.

    First there are keepers and the transients. The keepers were those given to me (I can never part with a gift) or that I have attached my own sentimental value (I bought a watch to wear and give to each kid when they are old enough to appreciate them). The transients are everything else that can be put on the chopping block at any moment without regret.

    My other way of thinking about my watches are those I can wear to work and those I wouldn't wear to work.

    Beyond those simple characterizations, it gets too complicated for me.

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