Green Rambles: Is it All About the Money?

The question that I get asked most often on my Instagram account is the price of the watches I post. Some ask politely, others simply message me with ‘PP.’ In my world, this stands for Patek Philippe, in theirs for ‘Price Please,’ but in general, I think that ‘Public Problem,’ is perhaps the best description.

TAG Heuer Formula One Special Edition
Watch collecting seems to have become a game of Monopoly

I find it such a pity that beautiful objects of art (because that is what many watches are these days) are demoted to nothing more than their price tag. In a touch of irony, people seem most impressed when the price is very high than low, which is a strange kind of excitement. It is almost as if people want to wear something utterly expensive, in a twisted sense of ‘dress to impress.’ The buzz around the perception of the watch, rather than the timepiece itself, seems to be the most important.

In the articles I write, I rarely discuss price, and there is a reason for that. While the specs of watches may be compared, in the end, they are emotional products. If you want to make a rational decision, don’t buy a watch at all, as you probably already have a phone. Comparing watches is often like discussing the difference between a Monet and a Manet. While there is plenty to tell, determining which has the greater value is something for the eye of the beholder.

As a collector myself, I often first examine watches and study them before getting into financial matters of things. This way, I can determine the only value that matters to me: what I think it is worth. Then there is the whole contemplation of if I can and want to afford it, but all these are things that I soon forget once a purchase is made.

I don’t wear my watches with the price tag still attached to them, I don’t avoid wearing watches because of their (perceived) value, I simply want to enjoy the craftsmanship, excellent design, cool functions, and whatever more the timepiece has to offer because those values stay with you.

How do you relate to what is mentioned above? Let us know in the comments

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  1. Paul Shapiro

    This platform to publish your comment/editorial would y exist if resale of used watches was not a thing, and sadly that is only interesting if people at least think they can make money. So a bit biting the hand that feeds to rant about people asking price, no? Actual watch lovers read these sites got rid bits of information on watches and perhaps a bemused eye to the market. Comments on price anxiety not really interesting, even if a few hoarders, er collectors, have been able to rationalise their obsession to loved ones by claiming statistics on value appreciation even if we have little intention of selling any unless forced to do so!

  2. Excellent article and I am in total agreement. Price of a watch is a secondary consideration and I certainly don’t buy to impress. Thanks.

  3. Jeff Taylor

    If I’m researching a watch for a purchase, price one of the first things I look at. If I’m not able to afford it, why waste my time?

    I’m not trying to say that all watches should be inexpensive and I enjoy looking at fantastically expensive watches also, but not when I’m researching a purchase.

  4. Ever since Instagram became a place to show off your wealth, it’s all about the money. Expensive watches are a thing now, more than a trend, as many are “investing” in watches. Whatever. It was more fun when people posted a photo of a cool watch in whatever condition and shared some history of the development, or it’s provenance, and didn’t use hashtags.

    I sound old, and maybe I am. I collect watches that align with other interests. I am a collector by nature and was born during the International Geophysical Year period where countries were encouraged to explore, map, discover, climb, descend, and record information about unexplored or discovered places.

    There were watches developed at this time as well. The first automatic movements from ETA were being used, waterproof and dive watches were being developed, and anti-magnetic properties became important as well. it was a great time to be alive and wearing a mechanical wristwatch.

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