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Editorial - Collect them all !

Editorial Collect them all !

Rethinking the nature and limits of our passion.

It’s inevitable. If you love watches, you want to have watches. This much is clear. It’s this principle that drives a significant percentage of watch marketing. First you buy one watch, and then you get another — maybe you start hanging out with fellow watch lovers, and you hear that your buddy is thinking of selling one of his watches (one that you really like) in order to buy another, so you get that one too. Your social circle and your purchasing habits become more and more horologically oriented. 

Before you know it, you’re a watch collector. Yes, you’re one of them now.  

People used to make fun of watch collectors, did you know that? Before the new millennium, watch collecting was rarely associated with the concept of being cool. You’d go to the newsstand, or wander around the periodical section of one of the bigger bookstores, and you could easily spend an hour looking for the watch shelf. And when you found it, it would be marooned in some kind of bibliological Siberia, next to the magazines about hand-painted sci-fi/fantasy figurines and exotic reptile husbandry. 

Things are different now, kind of. Mechanical watches are experiencing a cultural makeover, thanks to the proliferation of online communities, thanks to a younger generation of affluent luxury consumers, and — yes — thanks to a surge of creative and adventurous watchmaking that began around the turn of the century. 

A few things persist, perhaps because old habits die hard, and even new inductees to watch collecting will absorb the attitudes of the veterans. (The freshest converts are frequently the most hardline dogmatics, if you ask me.) People are still secretive and reluctant to talk about their watch collections, whilst simultaneously curating Instagram accounts dedicated to their fleet of supercars and hashtagging their cellars full of prime-vintage Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. Don’t ask me why, I don’t get it either. 

But it’s time to start talking about the things we love. Collector clubs are amazing (big up to our friends over at Fine Watch Club, check out our interview with the man who’s running the show, Julien Haenny), and the best thing about them is how more and more of them are comfortable discussing their passion openly. 

When people start to share about what makes them tick, you realise that there can be so much more to the labels that we take to ourselves. A watch collector isn’t just that guy with six figures’ worth of timepieces in his safe. It can be someone who specialises in mid-century American-made chronographs. It can be someone who pursues limited-run promotional timepieces from the 1990s. Someone who owns only two watches, but whose passion and knowledge are a cornerstone for his (or her, ahem) online watch discussion group. Why put limits on something that grows and flourishes by being more inclusive?

So, you’re a watch collector. But you’re not one of them, because there is no “them” anymore. You’re one of us.

Lecture 1 Comment(s)

19 August 2019
Jeff G.
Merci pour cet article qui inclut les "petits collectionneurs éclairés" à la communauté des passionnés qui ne sont pas systématiquement richissimes. Pour ma part, un chronographe Heuer Monaco et une Glycine F104 font mon bonheur 'temporel' de tous les jours. J'espère pouvoir y ajouter une Portugaise chrono IWC et un régulateur de la même maison dans un futur proche :)