Watch Collecting : Confessions Of A Watch YouTuber

Is there a trend starting with Rolex fatigue among YouTube personalities? One of the pages I follow, Jimmy split 77, posted a video over the weekend about his “epiphany” about collecting and it is a good one.

If you aren’t familiar with the page, Jimmy collects all kinds of luxury timepieces, from vintage to modern. Of the collections inside of his collection, his collection of Rolex sport models is the most extensive. He has several (4 or more) of each of the Submariner, Daytona, and GMT Master II. He also collects Omega, Tudor, Audemars-Piguet, and several other brands including the one that started it all for him – Oris. If you haven’t checked him out, please do so he gives his impressions of the watches from a very direct point-of-view. He knows what he has is special. He knows it’s expensive, but he doesn’t come off as pretentious or egotistical. He’s just a guy with financial means that really like watches.

What makes his most recent post so intriguing is him speaking about becoming bored with collecting in a way that is new to my ears. He’s bored of ‘The Hunt’.

As we all progress in the hobby, we each have our reasons for continuing to search out different models. As he started buying watches he likes, he progressed to buying those that were hard to find.

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In that switch, he expresses that at first, the small details of each piece was what was most appealing. He enjoyed the small details in the craftsmanship and what each watch offered mechanically and aesthetically. Now, he looks for the ones that everyone else is looking for – simply because everyone else is looking for them.

” …It loses reasoning because you end up chasing it simply because it’s hard to get.”

In the pursuit of the unattainable, mainly his Rolex pieces, he lost sight of why he started in the first place. Then, he saw a new Seiko Sports 5 (SRPD61K1) and he did something he hadn’t done in a while – he bought a watch he liked, simply because he liked it.

Rolex is such a huge and unique brand even amoungst other luxury watch brands, everyone knows and equates it with excellence. It also isn’t priced from the factory completely cost-prohibitive to most of the developed world.

Once you add on the fact that nearly everyone in the watch community either wants one or wants them all, there develops an almost cult-like mindset of only being a ‘real collector’ once you own one, and in some circles not until you own several.

You see in almost every watch group online the common plea to every person starting to collect to “buy what they can afford and love what they buy”. Then, you see YouTube personalities who when they produce a video about Rolex get significantly more views than content about any other watch brand and so push for those likes ‘likes’ and ‘subscriptions’ thus completing the vicious cycle and self-perpetuating of the Rolex “magic” circle.

Is it even possible to be in this hobby and buy a watch you love without succumbing to the pressure to fit in or be a part of the hive? Are we collecting watches for their designs, innovations, history, functionality, and emotional impact… or just to be cool?

Regardless of what watches you own, I hope you bought them because you loved them and not because everyone said you should have it, or everyone said you should love it. I desire to make the community a little better by simply being honest about the hobby. We all can’t buy and share what we want. Let’s concentrate on buying and sharing only what we love.