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Thread: Watch fund - how do you guys do it?

  1. #1

    Watch fund - how do you guys do it?

    Hi all.

    Just wondering how some of you afford/justify/save for your pieces. I am on a very moderate salary which goes straight into a joint account for our mortgage, bills etc. We have a decent amount of savings but this offsets our mortgage and is a buffer fund in case of emergency etc.
    (I should point out that my wife is the chief financial officer - a situation with which I'm perfectly happy because if it was left to me, I'd have a kick ass watch collection and a Porsche but nowhere to live....)

    So, I've just set up a little savings account to put towards watch purchases. It's involved making a couple of small sacrifices (weekday takeaway coffee at $3.50 per day and Monday $10 sushi lunch). This gives me $30 a week which, while not a huge amount, gives me the option of a few affordable pieces a year or save up towards something more significant.

    How do you do it? I know some of you earn great money and don't need to justify it to anyone but I'm sure there are some who have needed to make a "plan". Keen to hear...
    Cheers, Mat.

  2. #2
    rolex pic as answer guy mikeylacroix's Avatar
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    here's something I do
    whatever I feel like getting, the following questions are asked:

    is it a diver?
    will i wear/chose it over a rolex?

    and if i decide to pull it after finding the best $ possible
    I put away 3x the cost of the watch in savings before I pull the trigger

    thats just how I roll

  3. #3
    I make some money selling paintings. If the painting is a watch movement painting, 2/3s of that money can be used to buy watches, or bbq equipment, or a new turntable.The other third is put into savings that help offset the taxes I have to pay for selling the paintings.. If it is an architectural painting roughly 15% can be used for watches( or not), 33% is invested and the rest is for vacations and such.

  4. #4
    If it's doesn't affect my life in the least bit and have achieved my savings and investment goals I splurge on a watch. I love watches but I like and need money more and plan to have more money then more money in watches. Buy within your means and budget. That's been my watch buying philosophy since I started this madness 20 years ago. When I was younger putting myself through school I still enjoyed and rewarded myself with watches. They were Seikos, Citizens, Timex and G Shocks. Now as a more established adult I can move up a notch in what I buy but the great thing about this hobby is you can buy and hunt down watches that you can afford in any price bracket and love them. I remember buying a Timex weekender it was so much fun in the 90s and that was big money for me back then! You don't have to spend outside your means to enjoy this hobby but it sure is nice getting watches you dreamed of as a young kid and with hard work making it a reality!

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  6. #5
    Happily unadjusted 😜 popoki nui's Avatar
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    My partner and I are by no means rich, but after careers that were resonably good to us financially, we have no real debts now. Home, cars, etc are all paid off; we both have part-time incomes now which covers utilities, taxes, vehicle expenses, and vet care for the cats, with decent savings and enough left over to indulge in watches pretty much as I wish. But we're both at the (semi)retirement stage of life, so it's been a long road to get here. Still, I don't go nuts buying watches. I certainly could, since I like so many different brands, styles, and so on, but I try to keep it reigned in to watches I really must have.

    ~Sherry.
    Eterna | Tudor | Seiko | Casio | G-Shock | Orient | Swatch | Mondaine | Zodiac (pre-Fossil) | Rolex | Wenger | Pulsar Time Computer | Omega | Timex | Bucherer | Citizen I Bulova

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  8. #6
    Super Member Raza's Avatar
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    The great thing about this hobby is that there are pieces to love at any budget, really. $50, $500, $5,000, and beyond. There's no reason to need to feel that you need to put thousands and thousands away to get a nice watch. And don't overlook preowned. If you end up not liking the watch or need a change, going preowned is a great way to minimize your risk/losses. Just like buying a used car, someone else took the majority of the depreciation. Vintage comes with some headaches (usually no lume, possibly no water resistance, generally all on the smaller than 40mm side, may need costly service), but you can find some gorgeous pieces at affordable prices. If all else fails, Timex still makes the Weekender and Seiko still makes the Seiko 5. Be sure to buy some cheap NATO straps and a decent springbar tool, and you'll have all the tools you need to change your look up with just one watch for around $100.

    I am in a weird position, personally. A year ago, I was making good money working in finance, but then I quit to change careers and I'm back in school now, and will be for another two years. So how I do the watch fund is easy. $0 in, $0 out. So my current system may not work for most, especially if you don't already have some nice watches.

    One thing that's important is not to jeopardize your buffer fund to splurge on a nice watch. Watches just aren't all that important.

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  10. #7
    I'm a keep it simple kind of guy. And I apply the same philosophy to everything I buy.

    1. Do I want this thing - watch, kayak, bike, etc.?

    2. Can I buy it without hurting myself financially? This is a know it when you see it proposition. There's no algorithm. There's no hard and fast set of rules. Think about things like savings and retirement and safety funds. But don't let them completely dictate how you approach life.

    3. Can I buy it without impacting the well being of people and things I care about. If I buy this, will my wife and I have to do fewer things we enjoy together? Will I have to give less to causes I support? Will my other hobbies take an unacceptable hit?

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  12. #8
    Porous Membrane skywatch's Avatar
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    As a professional musician, I probably make about as much money as a postal carrier, and my wife is basically retired now. I can't really justify this hobby (addiction?) on any logical grounds, although I keep my collecting in the affordable category. Only a handful of my watches cost me over $500, I buy most of them used or vintage, and I get pleasure out of finding a bargain. I sell lesser-loved watches to fund incoming purchases. It doesn't hurt that we have no debt, paid off our house, don't go out to restaurants much, and don't have other expensive behaviors. I guess I'm a bit of a Hobbit. :-)
    Too many watches, not enough wrists.

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  14. #9
    A watch fund is like a poker bankroll. To be successful, you must separate it from your daily budget. Often that simply means putting a small amount away periodically ("saving") until you have capital that you can spend without impacting your daily life.

    Most of the joy comes from the hunt, and dealing with constraints - and NOT with simply buying the most expensive thing you can afford (or not...)

    Cultivate the attitude that "any fool can buy $X,000,000 watches - it takes real skill to put together a collection of interesting watches on a budget of $X00"

    Individual means are measured on a log scale - it's the number of 0's that matters. Pretty much up and down the line, there will always be folk who have 10X the budget
    you have, and others with 0.1X the budget you have. It's not always the case that those with 10X (or 100X, or even 1000X) your budget will have a more successful collection than you do.

    Can't afford a Rolex? Collect Timex!

    By the same token...20 Rolexes do not a "collection" make. *which* Rolex, and *why* are more interesting questions than *how many*.

    Finally, beware the "GRAIL" which is defined as "more expensive than the rest of your collection combined" - instead, define it in terms of rarity and significance. If you ask the question: "would you sell everything else to buy your 'GRAIL'", then I submit that you have an impoverished view of what a 'GRAIL' ought to be.
    La lutte elle-mme vers les sommets suffit remplir un cur d'homme; il faut imaginer Sisyphe heureux.

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  16. #10
    Sounds like you're going about it the right way.

    $30 per week is roughly $1500 per year. If it were me, I'd save for 3 months to get a nice affordable, then I'd save for like 2 years to get a higher end watch. Or maybe your higher end want takes 4 years. If so, I'd allow myself about $300-500 per year for a new affordable, with the balance for the high-end watch.

    Very reasonable and enough fun to get a new nice watch each year!

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