anything/else: Watch collecting, how much is enough?

Imagine you’re collecting a specific comic magazine. It’s inevitable that at some point you will have managed to find and acquire all editions of that magazine. You can fan out with extra merchandise etc, but essentially you will have reached the end of your collection journey, what I would call a closed theme. Watches on the other hand are different, more of an open, if not endless theme.

You can of course narrow down your interest but if you’re infected by the watch collection bug, it’s unavoidable that you will step outside of a narrow theme over time. So the eternal question is very valid for any watch collector: “How much is enough”.

When you meet with other watch collectors and frequently exchange ideas, I’m sure you’re familiar with mind games like “if you need to reduce your collection to 10 watches, which would it be”. You can replace 10 with any number and repeat this over and over again, but for some reason you never really get a satisfactory result, never mind really implementing it. Of course, I know collectors that have reduced their collection, but very often to buy new and more watches.

Sometimes you just need to own the same Reference multiple times to deeply understand them, like this Deep Diver with black and silver dial

However, let’s face it, most of us have limited resources, be it money or storage space and not to be forgotten the “wife acceptance factor”. In general, I firmly believe that the outcome is a very personal answer to that question. Some will reach their “enough” with fiveĀ  watches while others end up somewhere in a 3 digit number or more.

The joy of collecting, having 3 rare watches in excellent condition, like these 3 Damiers, all different

So how do I answer this question for myself? To be honest, I don’t know, or maybe I don’t know yet. I have reached a certain level of saturation with my Girard-Perregaux collection where I find myself becoming more and more selective for adding more, but by no means I would consider it “complete” nor do I know when I would reach that “complete” stage. Certainly the velocity with which my GP collection grows has decreased.

But for some reason, I get diverted and started to find new collecting themes, or at least I’m in the exploration phase. I don’t know where this will end, but that is exactly what makes it so interesting.

JLC vintage Memovox is an interesting area, which I may develop into a collecting theme

In conclusion, I cannot and I don’t want to put a single number as an answer to the question of “How much is enough?” Even further, I don’t think this is leading anywhere. You need to fuel the passion, which is not really about “acquisition” but more about the “research” and the “hunt” and I can likely not get enough of that and that is not necessarily contradicting with plans of limiting or even reducing the actual number of watches in my collection.

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