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What to Know Before Collecting

Everyone has a hobby. However, some people have a hard time pinpointing it. Some like tabletop roleplaying games, some harvest honey, some enjoy puzzles, others enjoy hunting down and adding to their collections.

Collections can run the gamut from gemstones to stamps, but did you know that watches are a big collector’s item? Though not as widely known as some of the other collecting options, watch collecting is rapidly becoming more popular. If you’d like to try your hand (no pun intended) at watch collecting, this article is for you. We’ll cover the basics to help get you started.

What to Know Before Collecting Watches
(Pixabay / Glavo)


Why do you want to start this? Is it because you want to be posh? Or you just think watches are cool? Or you know there are so many different styles and you hope to go for the ones that really stand out? Perhaps you’re looking at this as an income opportunity and want to tap into rare items like vintage watches that can grow in value.

There are as many reasons to want a watch as there are people. So, before you start your collection, you need to find out your reasons because these will heavily impact the type you buy. If you want to look like a secret agent, need some heavy-duty watches for a rugged lifestyle or want to invest in them like real estate, there are specific styles and brands for all of these and more.


Be you

Once you’ve figured out why you want to do this, then you can figure out what to buy. But the first rule to note is to never buy what you don’t like.

If you’re hoping to fit into a certain mold of people and buy only the fancy watches, but your passion is Disney, don’t go where you don’t belong. You’ll just live with the regret of trying to fit in with the group you don’t truly want to be with, and you’ll have the rather expensive reminder of it. Make sure your watch collection is a reflection of you.

Find your niche

Along with “being you,” you need to know what exactly you want in a collection. Some will go a mile wide and an inch deep, while others drill straight down in one spot. For example, one thing you could do is buy only one brand, like Rolex or Omega and try to get every model of watch they ever made. Or you could go for strictly diving watches; get as many brands as you’d like but only the ones you can go under water with, and see if you can find some really unique ones with extra tools. Or maybe you care about the time frame and try to buy watches from the ‘70s. Or go solely by color.

It is a safe and smart idea to start with a theme to your watches because it will help guide you and prevent you from going haywire.

Buy wise

Another thing to know is that, where collecting is concerned, you rarely want to buy a brand-new watch. It’s often safer and smarter to buy a pre-owned watch. That’s because it’ll likely be cheaper, much like a car.

But not all pre-owned watches will be cheap. For example, vintage watches can cost thousands, and sometimes millions, of dollars. It all depends on the watch and brand.

However, if you hope to use watches as an investment, make sure you know what you’re doing. No matter what, you should always do your research. You can even have a third-party inspector take a look at a watch before you commit to buy it. Some watches will appreciate in value over time, you just need to find the right ones. So make sure you know what brands accrue value over time and get them while they’re cheap(er than usual).

Another thing you must be wise about is fakes. A lot of people will make phonies of high-end watches and sell them as the real thing, so make sure you trust the seller, or you could be falling for this trap. That third-party inspector can come in handy here.


One ultra-important factor to consider when starting your time-keeper collection is how you will store it and care for it.

If you want to trade it in for a newer (or just different) model, or you hope to sell it, make sure it’s still in a good condition. To keep it that way, keep it away from strong magnetic fields, water and chemicals like deodorants and hair sprays. If it’s a mechanical watch, make sure you wind it regularly; if it’s an automatic watch, you can buy a winder to keep it moving when not in use; if it’s electric, make sure the battery works before trading it over.

It’s also recommended that you get your watch serviced every two to five years to make sure everything is tuned properly. Times Ticking provides cost-effective and reliable watch tune ups and repair. Need a Rolex watch repair? We’ve got you covered. Citizen battery replacement? No problem.

A new year is coming (insert sigh of relief here). Why not start a new collection as you turn over a new leaf? Watches are a great bet. They’re interesting, functional, and can make great investments.