Article : Beware Instagram or How I Became A Watch Collector

I have loved watches for a long time. I bought my first watch at the age of twenty one.

It was a Citizen Eco-Drive, solar powered, and had a date window. I remember feeling very proud of walking out of Macy’s wearing my new watch. I felt that a man should have a watch. I knew nothing more about watches at that point. I was satisfied with my purchase. This would be the extent of my interest in watches for a while. I reasoned that I had a watch, it worked and I didn’t need any others. This would all change when I unknowingly started my first collection.

Simply put, I got bored. By this time, my Citizen was scratched up and something was wrong with the dial. It began to not charge properly and I started to look for another watch. During a trip to some outlet stores, I walked into a Movado AD and purchased an ESQ chronograph. It was quartz and also had a date window. Shortly after I would get married and my fiancé purchased a titanium quartz Zodiac Speed Dragon chronograph.

Scottish Watches and Moritz Grossmann

My father in law gave me another Movado as well. Now I had three watches and enjoyed switching them out though I noticed the Speed Dragon got more wrist time.

My father in laws gifted Movado didn’t get much wrist time.

I have a big wrist and it wore too small. Its lack of date window didn’t help either and I would go on to sell this watch.

I began to experiment with eBay, picking up a full tungsten Oniss which was a Swiss Rhonda quartz. I also bought my first Tissot in 2017, a quartz PRC100. At this point I unknowingly had a collection but still didn’t think of myself as being a watch collector. This would change in the fall of 2017 when I joined Instagram.

I joined Instagram to display my drawings but when I started following others I came across watch companies and collectors. Now I had a name for my hobby and with this new understanding, I began to research my preferences in earnest. I decided that my future purchases must make sense. This “sense” is defined by me as being a watch that has a date, is easily read, and doesn’t contain unnecessary complications. For example, Chinese watches are guilty of this; a tourbillon should not also have a second hand. All of my watches are required to have date windows and must be at least 40mm in diameter. Once I had a baseline watch requirement I set out with purpose.

The end of 2018 would mark the formal beginning of my watch collection. I started in affordable Chinese watches, quickly picking up a Guanqin, a  Parnis, an Invicta, and a Fossil from AliExpress and T.J Maxx.

I also bought a few Winner Watches from Wish. At this point all of the new watches were mechanical and I began to collect for movements and appearance.

None of these affordable watches seemed to scratch the itch caused by viewing fancy timepieces on Instagram so I decided to proceed up market.

My first less affordable acquisition in 2018 was a bronze San Martin with an ETA 2824 Swiss movement with a date window. My next was a Tissot chronograph with a Valjoux 7750 which serves as my formal dress chronograph.

My latest and most expensive purchase is a Tag Heuer Aquaracer. This watch, in my opinion, marks the maturation of my collection.

I have four more desired slots to fill. These are a Rolex Datejust 41mm 126300BLSJ, a tourbillon, and a regulator, and finally something bespoke probably from Garrick.

My perception of watch collecting is that it is a hobby for those who appreciate finer things. I love tiny machines and enjoy looking at the movements. I am enjoying this hobby and hope to spend many more years and dollars completing my collection.