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A Beginner’s Guide to Watch Collecting

Collecting watches may be an unusual pastime, but it’s gaining in popularity. And it can be very fulfilling if you do it for the right reasons.

Unfortunately, many people buy watches for the wrong reasons. For example, they think an expensive Rolex is a status symbol they can use to impress others. Or they have a wealthy friend with a Rolex and don’t want to be left behind. (Research suggests that the preferred watch brand of millionaires is actually Seiko!)

Genuine watch collectors collect watches for their satisfaction and enjoyment and not to impress others.

In this article, we’ll share seven watch collecting tips that will help you avoid the common pitfalls of collecting watches and ensure that your journey is both memorable and satisfying.

A man fastening the strap of a collectable watch on his wrist

Different Types of Watch Collectors

Watch collectors typically fall into one of two main categories that can overlap, namely:

1. Love Watches as Practical and Enjoyable Accessories

Most collectors view watches as jewelry. Telling the time is of secondary importance.

They feel you don’t only have one pair of shoes for all occasions, so why should you only have one watch? They typically have watches for all events, such as formal dinners, leisure activities, sports activities, and to wear to the office.

2. Passionate About Collecting Fine Watches

Many collectors are passionate about collecting fine watches. They are willing to pay top dollar for a watch they must have in their collection and can sometimes spend years searching for it.

They appreciate the quality, design, and craftsmanship of their watches. They often collect rare vintage watches from world-renowned manufacturers with interesting stories. Unfortunately, the watches are often locked up in a safe and seldom worn.

Collection of watches

7 Tips on How to Start a Watch Collection

#1. Buy What You Like

Many collectors have strong opinions about what watches new collectors should buy. You are welcome to hear them out and learn from their experience, but in the end, you should buy what you like.

It doesn’t matter what other people think of your choices. You don’t need their approval. You are the one wearing the watch, not them.

#2. It’s Not a Race

Take your time to find the right watch. Part of the enjoyment of watch collecting is looking at different watches, learning more about them, finding out their market price, and searching for the watch you want.

Delayed gratification is much sweeter than buying a watch on the spur of the moment without fully understanding what you’re buying.

#3. Wear Your Watches

Not wearing a watch you’ve bought is like having a nice car in your garage but taking an Uber when you go out. You can never get the same satisfaction from looking at a watch compared to wearing it.

#4. Don’t Break the Bank

If you have the money to buy a nice watch and really want it, go ahead and buy it. But don’t get yourself into debt or max out your credit card. A fine watch is a luxury, not a necessity.

You should either save up for a fine watch you want but can’t afford right now or find another one you would also love to own that’s more affordable. There are many watches on the market with reasonable price tags.

The stress of overextending yourself to buy a watch you cannot afford will only diminish the experience for you.

#5. Don’t Expect the Watch to Appreciate in Value

You should buy a watch because you love it and not because you think it will appreciate in value over time. There’s no guarantee you will even get the money back you paid for the watch. There are better ways to invest your money than buying watches.

It’s best to assume you won’t get your money back. If this puts you off from buying it, walk away.

#6. Look For Good Pre-Owned Deals

Watches are similar to cars in that they lose value immediately after you buy them new. This is due to tax considerations, the profit the dealer is making, etc. Once you buy it, it automatically becomes pre-owned. Nobody will pay you the same price they can get it for at a dealer.

As mentioned in tip #5, it’s best to assume you won’t get your money back. But by buying a pre-owned watch in good condition, you can get more value for the same amount of money.

And according to Insider Inc.: “New watches can be very pricey and collectible, but vintage watches are the ones that almost dominate the watch sector.”

#7. Document and Keep Record of Your Purchases

Always keep your receipts and any documentation you have about the watch.

The provenance or history of a watch can have a huge impact on its value. If you’re buying a pre-owned watch, always try to get more information about it. Who owned it before? For how much was it previously sold? Has it been featured anywhere? Has it ever been appraised or evaluated?

A watch with a good, documented story is more valuable than one without a story.

Wearing watch collection

Where to Buy Collectable Watches?

Buying a good pre-owned watch is the best value for money. Two of the best places to find good deals on pre-owned watches are antique shops and pawn shops. In most cases, pawn shops are your best bet as they are more experienced in authenticating and dealing with watches.

That’s a Wrap

Watch collecting can be very satisfying and enjoyable. We trust the tips we shared in this article will help you on your journey.

Maxferd specializes in buying and selling fine watches. If you want to buy or sell a fine watch, we can help you. We also offer free evaluations and collateral loans on collectable watches.

In addition, if you find a must-have watch in one of our shops but don’t have the funds to buy it right away, we have a great layaway program. It allows you the opportunity to secure your watch at today’s price and pay it off in monthly installments. Once it’s paid in full, you can pick it up.

Call us at (800) 888-7296 or visit one of our five locations in San Francisco and Los Angeles to find out how we can assist you.

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