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.
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.
Adam is a 39 year old software engineer who bought his first watch at age 21. Once finances allowed he began to collect dive watches in interesting metals. Today his collection is mostly dive and dress watches. He intends to slow down at 30 watches.