When it comes to watch collecting, everyone has a slightly different approach or even philosophy. Let’s face it, there is a huge amount of options and without some focus, you can easily get lost. One criteria you often hear is Diversity.
There is a large dependency on what your overall objective is. If you buy watches as an investment to make money, then your criteria are likely different than someone buying watches to show off his wealth. Passionate watch collectors on the other hand often have a distinct philosophy and taste that also is not static but evolves over time.
Of course, nobody wants to throw money out of the window, so some stability in value is appreciated and we are also humans and feel pleased if someone admires a nice watch we wear. In this post, however, I want to focus on the subject of Diversity.
Not putting all eggs in one basket is in general a good advice, but how should this influence your watch collection and the theme or focus you have? I know people who basically only collect Speedmasters. And if you say that all Rolex look alike, Speedmasters are the next level. However, they can and in fact are still be very happy with their collection and admire all the little details that differentiate Speedmasters for the trained eye. And even from an investment point of view, that person did rather well, very well. But what made it for those collectors is not the point of diversity or investment, they simply love Speedmasters and developed a deep passion for those watches over the years, something very admirable.
For another perspective on Watch Collecting Philosophy and Rules, read what The Watch Baron thinks:
The other extreme I know I would call “diversity for the sake of diversity“. I often hear the arguments, I bought a sports watch, so now I need to buy a dress watch to have diversity. But what if you really like sports watches and almost never dress formally? This approach often will end up with watches spending time in the safe or finding themselves soon again on the collectors market. More extremes are rules like “I never buy the same Reference twice” or “my next watch must be from a brand I don’t own yet”.
You can achieve great diversity with that approach, but will you have some consistency within your collection? Will you enjoy all your watches? I have some doubts on that. What has become clear over the years to me is that watch collecting is a journey. It is very rare that when you start with this hobby you have a laid out strategy and plan that holds steady for decades. We step in, test the water, learn more and more and also change our tastes as we get older. Frankly, I think that is a good thing and part of the fascination with watches. Discovering new things you had not looked at before and evolving your collection over time is part of the pleasures in this game.
However, most collectors I know have eventually narrowed down and collect largely within a theme or at least a limited number of themes. This can be very diverse and individual but what you usually find is that a theme provides focus, but at the same time also Diversity within that theme. Diversity in a very individual sense.
For me, I can say that my collection is focused and themed around Girard-Perregaux watches. It’s a passion and focus that developed over time and I’m very happy with that outcome. I do have some other watches and I can see me venturing out more in the future, but Girard-Perregaux will always be my passion and the core of my collection. And what about Diversity? I feel I have great Diversity in my collection of Girard-Perregaux watches, vintage Chronographs, Chronometers, Divers etc. and very different modern watches. I think I can say that I found my theme and Diversity then just comes naturally when you go deep into a theme.