Whether you’re a dedicated horophile (that’s a timepiece lover to you and me) or just have one beauty that you keep in style in your Barrington watch winder, there’s no denying the pull of watches. Small, beautiful, unique and extremely covetable, there’s something about watches which begs you to buy more. As watchwinder artisans, we’re all for it, but launching your collection can feel a little daunting – especially with so many experts and obsessives out there.
This is a blog for all the ardent watch-lovers who are yet to take the jump to becoming a fully fledged collector. You may think you need to have a huge disposable income, an encyclopaedic knowledge of timepieces throughout history and a faultless eye for design and mechanics in order to become a collector of watches. In fact, all you need is a love of research and an enjoyment of these amazing pieces of machinery.
These top tips will help you to start building your watch collection…
1. Do your research
A good watch collector knows his onions. You don’t need to know absolutely everything about watches to collect savvily, but you do need to know a little bit about the current market. Take some time to find out which watches are perennial value-holders and which watches are enjoying a recent peak in value before you make your first investment. Starting off with a “safe bet” such as a Rolex Sports watch (i.e. a Submariner or a Daytona) or a Patek Phillipe is a shrewd move. From sturdy foundations, you can start looking for ever rarer and more interesting pieces.
2. Keep everything
We all know how much collectors like to keep their stamps, action figures and comic books in mint condition. Hardcore watch collectors are no different. If you want to ensure your watches retain their maximum value, make sure you keep their original boxes and papers. Some collectors will love simply owning these timepieces, others will want to wear them. Unworn “as new” pieces will have a greater resale value, but many will get less pleasure out of them. Decide on your approach, but make sure you keep your watch in good condition whichever route you choose.
3. Beware fakes
Splashing out on a bogus watch can crush your collecting, so take every possible step to avoid buying a fake. Start by ensuring you only buy from trusted, accredited sources. If you’re buying from a private seller, check their background and reviews. If you’re still uncertain or don’t trust your judgement, meet the seller at an authorised dealer so that an expert can conduct an independent check.
4. Spot opportunities
Much like any investment (property, stocks etc.) building a successful watch collection is all about spotting those golden opportunities before everyone jumps on the bandwagon. There are plenty of undervalued watches which are ripe for a rise in popularity (Rolex Explorer II 16750 is a prime example right now). Keep your eyes peeled for quality watches likely to grow in value and you’ll soon have the resale value with which to grow your collection.
What was the first watch you added to your collection? Do you have any tips for new collectors?
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