A watch collection should reflect your personality over a broad spectrum of moods. Some watches may serve for formal occasions. Others, for a sporting look. Perhaps a collection could have a dual time zone watch for traveling. And, there’s always the guilty pleasure of a cheap watch with garish looks that just fits in perfectly on certain fun days.
How do you build a watch collection? Start with watches you like to look at. Forget about investment watches. Despite what you might read, too few will make a profitable return on your investment, especially if they are ever worn. Choose watches that give you what you need, like a certain look, date, chronograph, or enhanced luminescence. The return on investment (and it can be a small investment) is the joy you derive from wearing the watch.
What are some watches to consider? Here are some ideas:
- A dress watch with a leather strap. The case could be gold, stainless, or 2-tone. It should have a simple, uncluttered face with just the time and possibly a date. A seconds hand isn’t a necessity. A watch with just the hours and minutes hands possesses an austere elegance. They are typically thin.
- A chronograph, which, is a watch with stopwatch capability. It has subdials that record elapsed hours, minutes, seconds, and sometimes, fractions of a second. The stopwatch starts when a pusher is depressed and stops when the same pusher is depressed a second time. Another pusher resets everything. These watches are sporty in nature and fun to use. They look great in any design with a bracelet, rubber or leather strap. Some think their faces are cluttered. Others, like myself, think they’re similar to cockpit instrumentation.
- A diver’s watch for wearing in the water. These robust, heavier timepieces are designed to wear underwater from depths of 300 meters to beyond. They have screw down crowns to seal out water. They are easy to read at a glance and have exceptional luminescence. They have rotating bezels that tell you how long in minutes that you’ve been doing something, such as, diving below the surface. These bezels are great for educators that have to time tests. (A NOTE ABOUT WATER RESISTANCE RATINGS: A watch is tested for water resistance in one position, on its back. It doesn’t move. Therefore, a watch rated for water resistance to 100 meters means it was watertight at 100 meters, on its back, without moving. You can safely wash your hands with it on. Swimming can force water into the crown opening or where the back seals with the case. Only dive watches or watches with screw down crowns are designed for movement in the water, like diving, swimming, snorkeling, fishing, water skiing, gardening, etc. NO WATCH IS 100% WATERPROOF.)
- A pocket watch. It’s much more rewarding to pull a pocket watch out of your pocket, open the case and view the time than pulling out your cell phone to see a digital time display. Checking the time with a pocket watch is a ritual that is savored and deliberate.
- A dual time zone watch. In one face you can display both the local time and the time where you’re traveling, where a loved one lives, or where your company’s home office is. Some elite watches feature multiple time zones with the names of the foreign big cities on the outer ring.
- An alarm watch. Since most dial style watches show 12 hours on their face, most alarm watches must be set with that in mind. In other words, if you want to set the alarm to go off at 6:00 a.m., set it the night before after 6:00 p.m.
- A digital watch. They have features too numerous to list here. Just plug in “multifunction digital watch” into a search engine and start reading.
- A watch with diamonds, for ladies and/or men, will wow everyone at the ball!
- A mechanical watch…or 2…or 3…or as many as your spouse will permit before threatening to look for the divorce attorney’s business card. In another posting down the road I’ll elaborate on mechanical watches. For now, just know that they don’t have a battery, can completely unwind and stop running in as few as 36 hours or as much as 8-days, and are more expensive that quartz (battery operated) watches. How much more? From a little bit more to, “Are they kidding? I can buy a mansion in Boca with a new Mercedes in the driveway for that amount!”
What’s left? A lot. Collect watches that you want to wear, enjoy looking at, look forward to showing off, and can’t stop talking about. Every watch I own has its own personality. Each one represents a perfect companion for the right event, mood, and function.
Beware and tread carefully because watch collecting is addicting. Now, get going…time’s wasting!