Is less more?

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strapline
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Is less more?

Post by strapline »

That's the question I'm posing today, is less more where watches are concerned? And when I say 'less' I'm referring to the quantity in a person's possession. I have what I consider a daily dilemma, albeit a nice one, picking between my three watches...that's right just three. I know each of these watches intimately and still enjoy them as much as the day I first purchased them. I have examined each in great detail looking for something that might not be right, something that might make me consider flipping, but there is nothing there of the sort. With this very limited quiver I try to spread the wear evenly, which sees each watch seeing over a hundred days of active service a year. I know these watches like close friends, we are not like acquaintances passing time having a chat at the end of a supermarket aisle.

What is it like to own ten, twenty, perhaps thirty watches? There are many, many people on this forum that fall in to that camp. Do you ever build up that kind of attachment to each and every watch in your collection? There must be many days when you look at a watch and think I really want to wear you more but I have so many watches to try and rotate. I can't help wondering if having a great many watches inevitably dilutes your affections for some; are they just not merely treading water compared to others? Perhaps the sales corner of the forum is there to provide the answer to this question! And don't even get me started about potential servicing costs when you are responsible for an expansive stable of watches...aaaggghhhh!

Are there people here that have consolidated big watch collections down to 2,3,4 watches? Did that make you form stronger attachments with those that remained? Perhaps you had the reverse feeling, longing to have a more expansive collection again having shrunk it down?

Anyway...what works for you? Have you been a watch 'whale' that is now considering becoming a watch 'minnow'? Personally I don't ever see me owning more than 5/6 watches. I seem perfectly happy being able to vicariously enjoy watch collecting through this forum.

Des
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Re: Is less more?

Post by jkbarnes »

This is a very interesting question, and it raises a point I’ve often thought about when perusing this forum - clearly watch collecting for some is not simply about having a choice in what to wear. I suspect it’s about simply having something beautiful and interesting to appreciate, whether it gets worn with regularity or not.

While I’m not like that with watches (although I easily could be if I had the money!), I am (was?) like that with guitars. I’ve got a modest collection of guitars, most of which don’t get played regularly. I sold one and gave one away, and I’ve talked about selling others…but I won’t because they’re beautiful, and I love them. I love looking at them. I love handling them. And I love playing them, even if it’s not too frequently. I keep four of them hanging on my walls. They’re works of art that make me happy to see. I imagine it’s no different from keeping watches in a glass top watch case where one can simply sit and stare at those little works of art!

I’ve got a small collection of pocket items that one can’t talk about on the forum. Same thing - I rarely actually use them in any practical way, but they’re beautiful, and I love them, and I’ll collect more.

So in answer to your question, no, I don’t think less is necessarily more.
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Re: Is less more?

Post by strapline »

jkbarnes wrote: Sat Sep 11, 2021 4:22 pm (1)This is a very interesting question, and it raises a point I’ve often thought about when perusing this forum - clearly watch collecting for some is not simply about having a choice in what to wear. I suspect it’s about simply having something beautiful and interesting to appreciate, whether it gets worn with regularity or not.

(2)So in answer to your question, no, I don’t think less is necessarily more.
Thanks Andrew, I enjoyed your reply. And I think the distinction you draw between wearing and collecting is largely right. And, I think I have come to realise that I am essentially a wearer and not a collector. I want to build up a profound wearing history with each of my watches and this can only be achieved through their very finite number. More watches would only dilute this experience. So, I very much agree with your first statement, but not so much the second. Clearly, for me, the watch experience is about getting as much hands on wear as possible.

I think anything further that comes along for me will have to be grail type material. An El Primero, Cartier Santos, JLC Reverso, Blancpain...this type of thing.

Des
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Re: Is less more?

Post by nbg »

Is less more?

Maybe, but for many that number itself may still be a high number.

My way of looking at it is how many watches can reasonably be enjoyed, without getting into all the nonsense about rotation and picking a watch to wear just because it hasn’t been worn for a while. Again that number will vary and for some it will include watches that if it wasn’t for the event connected to the purchase they would no longer hold any particular attraction.

I do understand the mindset of keeping watches that are rarely worn. I have 12 CWs and have only worn 3 this year. Even if I get around to ditching the ones that I haven’t worn for 4 to 5 years, or only pick up about once a year I would still keep half of them, but if sold, I would only buy back 2.

I have also thought that if I had to sell every watch I own, how many would I look to buy back, notwithstanding that for sentimental/event watches it wouldn’t be the same watch.

My answer is 12-15. So I reckon that by a process of elimination my realistic “less is more” number would be 15.

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Re: Is less more?

Post by jkbarnes »

strapline wrote: Sat Sep 11, 2021 6:10 pm So, I very much agree with your first statement, but not so much the second. Clearly, for me, the watch experience is about getting as much hands on wear as possible.
Let me clarify, if you’re a collector, not just a wearer, then less is not necessarily more. If you’re wearer, less might most definitely be more!

I sometimes wonder if I were able to indulge my desire for a bigger collection, would I then face the dilemma of not being able to wear a particular watch as much as I wanted to because of all the others.
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Re: Is less more?

Post by Dickchins »

Interesting question......

I only started "collecting" watches about 2 years ago. Id never had the money, nor the time to wear a nice watch in my last job so never bothered looking at many. There were always the watches in jewellers windows and advertised on tv etc, that caught my eye, but I never thought id be in a position to own one.

My first real watch was my CW Saphire (which has recently been moved on). I paid full price for it, as I knew nothing of the forum or sales/vouchers etc, and when it came, I thought it was too expensive to wear anywhere and it'd be worn when going out etc.

Forward that on 2 years or so and I currently have 23 watches! Never in a million years did I see myself collecting them, but since gaining a true appreciation for them, I now cant help buying them when one really catches my eye! Im a watch magpie!!!

Ive realised 23 is FAR too many for me. I do find myself wearing some, just because ive not worn them in a while. As ive thought through that, ive realised less is more in my eyes and a cull is on the way....! Im planning on having around 6 or so, as they seem to be the ones I wear regularly.

Im smiling as I write this as I have 2 more incoming hopefully pretty soon, and a Nardi...... nuf said ](*,)
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Re: Is less more?

Post by Sarod Kapad »

i thought the rule was "the optimal number of watches you should own is x + 1, x being the number of watches you already own"
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Re: Is less more?

Post by Kip »

I am both a wearer and collector and have a modest collection of CW and other brands both new and vintage. When I was in the working world a lt of them would get an outing at one time or another. Now I would say that there is a core of about 12 that see regular usage.

The rest of my collection sits in my office and continues to please me when I wind them all periodically and review the history and acquisition of each one. This is also a time when I usually rotate few in and out of the core group. It like discovering an old friend all over again.

I don't think I am a good candidate for "less is more". :problem:
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Re: Is less more?

Post by strapline »

Dickchins wrote: Sat Sep 11, 2021 7:29 pm Interesting question......

Forward that on 2 years or so and I currently have 23 watches! Never in a million years did I see myself collecting them, but since gaining a true appreciation for them, I now cant help buying them when one really catches my eye! Im a watch magpie!!!

Ive realised 23 is FAR too many for me. I do find myself wearing some, just because ive not worn them in a while. As ive thought through that, ive realised less is more in my eyes and a cull is on the way....! Im planning on having around 6 or so, as they seem to be the ones I wear regularly.
A watch magpie, ha, ha. That's an image that came to my mind too when I thought about some of these bigger collections Twenty-three watches in two years, that's some going.
Sarod Kapad wrote: Sat Sep 11, 2021 8:23 pm i thought the rule was "the optimal number of watches you should own is x + 1, x being the number of watches you already own"
I think that formula is likely to lead to the outcome of xs. Isn't maths mean to be logic based? :lol:
Kip wrote: Sat Sep 11, 2021 11:14 pm I am both a wearer and collector and have a modest collection of CW and other brands both new and vintage.

I don't think I am a good candidate for "less is more". :problem:
A very modest assessment of what constitutes a modest collection, from a mod and ultimate forum deity - he who shall be obeyed. :clap:

Des
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Re: Is less more?

Post by magicman »

For me Less is definitely more.

If I got dressed up for work I think my collection would be bigger.
If I went out more and got dressed up, the same.

I have 2 work watches, I really only need 1.
Then I have 4 more decent watches and honestly could probably trim that down to 2.

It's taken a long time and money (some wasted) to arrive here.
But I enjoyed the journey.
No doubt I may jiggle things a bit, but I think the current SOTC will remain very similar in style and function.

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Re: Is less more?

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

More (more more more more more more)…or less (less less less less less less)
And after all, it’s always down to you, I guess

Lots (lots lots lots lots lots lots)…or few (few few few few few few)
God only knows, it’s just what you would choose (would choose, would choose) to do…

Sorry Dave, Roger and the lads. That’s all I can say…More or less… :ka:
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Re: Is less more?

Post by missF »

Less is more for me too.
It seems quite common for forumites to reach a point where they have ‘too many’ watches and then do a ‘cull’ or ‘consolidation ’. Robotaz called this Rotation Drama:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=56497&hilit=Rotation+drama

If we’re watch aficionados I think this has something to do with the number of watches that we can have a ‘satisfactory’ relationship with. Satisfactory being in the eye of the beholder of course. Relationship being in the eye of the beholder too! :lol:

I form a bond with the watch I’m wearing that means I enjoy it warm and ticking and alive on my wrist. I really dislike changing watches - until the point where the new one is warm and alive and ticking on my wrist. A daily watch would be too traumatic for me! I’m best with an almost-one-watch and a few bright things that I love wearing for a change from time to time.
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Re: Is less more?

Post by strapline »

Have just realised that by having less watches, which seems to work for me, I'm never going to get to post a SOTC post which is one of my favourite threads on the forum. I really enjoy those back stories to watches, many of the stories are as engaging as the watches themselves. :lol: :lol:

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Re: Is less more?

Post by Richard D »

‘Is less more’ is not in my DNA.
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Re: Is less more?

Post by stefs »

That's a definite yes for me. Much happier enjoying just one or two watches properly rather than not wearing for weeks on end.
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