How to build your watch collection
Watches can be worn to mark the milestones in your life, for example, a gift for graduating from university, a special wedding day gift from wife to husband, and of course a gold watch is still the most traditional tribute for years of dedicated service or retirement.
Watches have evolved from pieces of nostalgia into fashion statements and certain brands provide a sense of status and can even be investments, increasing in value over the years. In the age of smart gadgets and fast data, watches are increasing in popularity for a range of reasons. Some people own many different watches to complement the fast pace fashion culture, and some desiring a single traditional watch to wear every day.
You may have one or two watches, perhaps one for work and one for a special occasion, but to really build a collection, what are the ‘must haves’ to cover all bases and really invest in a new passion?
There happens to be an abundance of options to choose from. From dress to sport, new and vintage, when starting your watch collection, you may have a few questions about how to get the ball rolling.
Research is key. Take your time and learn as much as you can about watches and what makes them tick. Literally. A good place to start is our Watch Buyers Guide to help make a decision on what is the perfect choice for your new timepiece.
Firstly, what is your style? It can be easy to make a purchase based on the reputation and familiarity of the brand, but the investment in a quality timepiece has to be attractive to yourself, it’s how you feel about it, after all you will be wearing it!
Consider aesthetic preferences such as the age old battle of leather strap vs bracelet. If you have mostly bracelet watches, a little variety of leather or maybe even rubber strap pieces in your collection may be the way to go. It’s an easy way to change the colour scheme of the watch, especially as fashion colour trends change every 2-3 years.
If you are buying for investment re-sale purposes, it is worth noting some models retain value better than others, as you will find the more research you conduct. A Swiss manually wound or automatic watch from a known brand name will typically hold onto its value for a lot longer. Traditionally, a modest and classic style case with a medium-sized dial is likely your best option for re-sale. Remember, basing investment decisions on what’s in fashion now may not help values in 20-40 years’ time.
When adding to your collection, keep in mind what occasion you are planning to wear the watch for. For example, if you wear a suit to work every day, a dress watch will be best to compliment the dress code. Again, if you have an active lifestyle with outdoor hobbies that maybe require a chronograph function, and a high water resistance, a sporty diver’s watch is a staple for any growing collection.
Next it’s important to consider what’s inside. What movement will be best suited to you and your lifestyle? Are you an active person? If so, an automatic or kinetic could be a great option. These watches are powered by the movement of your wrist and avoid the necessity of a battery replacement every 18 months. Our Review of Automatic and Mechanical Watches will tell you everything you need to know about the pros and cons of owning an automatic watch to help make your decision.
The increasingly popular solar powered watches also avoid the inevitable battery change and are charged by indoor artificial light as well as natural sunlight. Solar powered watches tend to have an average power reserve of around 90 days. These type of watches could suit your lifestyle best if you work or travel abroad often, so it really is worth thinking about what is best and convenient for you.
Ideally, a solid watch collection will feature a range of different movements to suit every occasion and style that can grow with you and be passed on to future generations. We specialise in a wide variety of styles and price ranges, and can advise you on the best watch option for your needs. We have Birmingham’s largest watch showroom for you to visit, where you will be spoilt for choice!
Thirdly, what price point is appropriate for you personally? You should always be comfortable with the amount of money you spend on a watch. Some timepieces come at a huge price, however if your budget doesn’t allow for a brand new watch, you can always consider adding a vintage or pre-owned watch to your collection. Vintage and pre-owned are usually more affordable, can sometimes offer a style that is not produced anymore and have a little story and character to them. The price range you see these watches advertised for will give you a feel for how much value has been retained over the years. It’s very important to be wary of obscure brands that have no servicing dealership backup. This could prove very costly or impossible to repair if anything goes wrong.
When purchasing pre-owned or vintage, we would recommend seeing the watch in person before you hand over your money. Again, do lots of research to find a legitimate seller and consider having the watch examined by a watch specialist like ourselves to ensure the watch has all of its original parts and is not damaged inside or out. It might be an idea to check with the seller how many services the watch has had, just so you have an idea of the work previously carried out on your future timepiece.
Finally, once you’ve decided on the next watch for your collection, it’s important to know how to take care of it. To preserve your watch and ensure long-lasting value and wear for years to come, it will need appropriate cleaning and servicing. Particularly for quartz watches, changing the battery and ensuring the watch is water tight after is key to the long term health of the watch. Frequently we find poorly serviced watches where slow ingress of water ruins the movement and dial over a few years. Remember, you don’t need to go swimming to suffer from water getting into the watch. It only needs a little humidity to start causing damage.
Here at Creative Watch Co, we specialise in watch batteries and servicing and can provide this for almost every watch brand. If you pop in to see us in our showroom or head to our website, we can advise you on the best steps for caring for your new timepiece.
With these few steps, hopefully buying watches in the future will become easier and you will create an envy inducing watch collection!