Mental ceiling for watch prices - anyone else got one?

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Thread: Mental ceiling for watch prices - anyone else got one?

  1. #1
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    Default Mental ceiling for watch prices - anyone else got one?

    I've never really thought about this before now but I seem to have a subconscious self imposed mental ceiling when it comes to watch prices. By which I mean watches over a certain figure make me a little watch/self conscious somehow. I begin to worry about possibly damaging them and subsequently don't wear and enjoy them as much as I should.

    Now I don't mind paying good money for the right watch and I have a modest little collection, but even though I could sell a few off and buy a much more expensive watch, I don't think I will. Even more bizarrely, with two exceptions, my collection is all vintage watches some of which are pretty rare with hard to source parts, but I don't think twice about wearing them.

    Maybe I'm just a tight **** or too sensible to be a serious collector, who knows. Does anyone else feel the same way or have the same affliction?

    Cheers,
    Gary

  2. #2
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    I used to have a harder ceiling, but these days it's more...frangible. I can recall ten years ago taking my Avenger Seawolf on a dive and worrying about it the whole time - so much so that I rarely dove it again. I'm an U/W photographer, often bump into things and my elbows and forearms are my fenders, so a dive watch is pretty exposed on my wrist.

    Yet more recently I've worn my IWC Bund around town and out in the yard working - on the nylon it's hard to beat for comfort! Yesterday I wore my Bradley (admittedly modern and replaceable) changing the oil in my front differential, washing & detailing the car and installing some seat risers.

    I will say that when I find a vintage piece in minty condition (I have an early Benthos 500 that has never been opened as far as I can tell), I do baby them a bit. But it gets worn when I know I'm going to be in a non-contact environment - gotta keep the oils stirred up!
    Cheers all, Colin

  3. #3
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    I do too. Not that I have enough spare scratch to go bumping up against that ceiling too often, mind you! If I'm honest, I'd start to feel a little squirrelly running around with a watch over $8k-ish USD.

  4. #4
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    Hi Gary

    Happy New Year !

    I don't have a problem in wearing an expensive watch - however , I have learnt that if you only keep them for a relatively short period then it is better to keep to watches probably in the sub 3k range....over that & I find 'placing' them a bit more tricky....

    As my daily job involves either sitting at the dining room table or perhaps traveling into the wilderness of London , I usually can get away with most things....although I don't wear any for maintenance work in the house , garden or car !

    All the best - Neil

  5. #5
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    I don't buy watches that can't go anywhere and do anything. The vintage watches I own don't get worn in the line of fire, but I also will wear my G-Shock for painting or anything messy.

  6. #6
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    I have a ceiling price for watches (never gone over 2k), but am probably going to break it soon with a piece I have been considering for at least 18 months. And it is certainly possible that a couple of the ones I bought below the ceiling have now risen through it.
    TBH, I have always looked at pieces worth 3k and up and thought what else I could have had for the money, with some lovely characterful watches coming in comfortably under 1k, a 3k piece would always struggle to have 3x the pleasure for me as a wearer, rather than a collector.

    Wearing them is a different matter (and possibly a different question too).
    I do wear most of my watches for appropriate tasks, and many have been surfing, diving, snowboarding and so forth with me. But these are well within the shock, WR and other capabilities of the watches I use for them.
    But I do wear a cheaper beater for climbing (not that I do much now), but also woodwork, DIY and so forth, which is the majority of my time now. This is the kind of thing where a ding, scratch, contact with glue, varnish and so forth is a many-times-daily occurence rather than the result of a (somewhat rarer) mishap.
    To wantonly damage a higher-end watch whilst wearing it for something like that would seem silly (to me at least).

    However, I suspect that what I am saying is the same for all of us, I don't see that any of us would wear a Speake Marin operating a grinder. All that differs between us I suspect is that appreciation of the "value" of a piece and the risk inherent in an activity varies between us.

    Dave
    If it's Lemania-powered, I'm interested. Tool Chrono - interested. Dive Chrono - interested. Interesting - interested

  7. #7
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    Not sure I have a mental ceiling any more, more of a funds ceiling. 2000 was always certainly a mental limit for me (as at one point so was 1000) but then a certain Beta21 IWC came along and ended that.

    It's definitely different dealing with vintage as opposed to new. Vintage price is set by the collector market and what it's willing to pay, and as such you only pay a premium for either something rare, highly desirable or in precious metal (or all three). With modern pieces the pricing is much more influenced by what the manufacturer thinks they can charge, at the moment that price seems to only go one way.

    I am actually in the process of looking at my collection, and rationally realising that many get worn very infrequently. There are some more expensive pieces I would like to own, and as such am thinking of letting go of quite a few of the Omegas in order to get a Snowflake and El Primero. Both of these will cost more than my previous mental limits, but the value of the collection may not really change, so at the end of the day the funds are not an issue (as long as I create them through sales).

    The mintier pieces get worn with more care for sure, but they all get worn. It's less the value of the piece I worry about, but the amount of damage I could cause. Not in a financial sense for myself as much, but just don't like the idea of damaging something relatively rare that has been clean for so long. In that sense, I would rather bash up a modern sports Rolex even if it is worth more than my most expensive piece simply because it would never be missed by the world.

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