At A Cross Roads

Discuss Christopher Ward watches
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At A Cross Roads

Post by Peteo »

So 15 months after beginning my watch collecting journey, I find myself at a bit of a cross roads. I am writing this post largely as a way of getting my thoughts down, but also as a call for input on how you all have come to similar decisions about where to take your collection.

I currently own 8 watches (5 CWLs, 1 Seiko, 1 Magrette and 1 Steinhart). I have two spots left in my watch box, and one of them is reserved for the 2012 Trident FLE Red. I know that statements like this are routinely revisited and revised, but I think my sweet spot for number of watches is something around 12.

Where Does the Number 12 Come From?
1.) I don't really think I'm a collector strictly for collecting's sake. I think that there is a practical limit for me because I don't want a tremendous amount of overhead costs for maintaining my collection, and I'd like to wear a watch more than a couple of times a month. Doing that math leads me to think that 12 is a good number.

2.) I don't think I'd enjoy being a serial watch flipper. I understand that I will probably have to do some flipping if I want to keep buying watches 10 years from now, but I don't see myself as someone who will constantly be cycling through his collection.

3.) I think I have most of the "styles" covered. I've got 2 divers (3rd one coming), 2 dress, 1 sport, 1 officer, 1 aviator. I know that there are others out there and hybrids and such, but I don't think there's an obvious hole anymore in the collection as far as major styles go. I've also got quartz, auto and hand represented in approximately the ratios that I want. I'd like to see about getting some complications into my collection (e.g., moonphase, JH, etc), but I don't quite yet know if I'm willing to spend money on that.

4.) CWL will always be my first love, but I want to make room for other makes (I'm thrilled that I managed to find a Steinhart that I'm completely happy with). I think I'd eventually like to get my collection to be something close to 50% CWL and 50% Others. If 12 is my limit, this means that I'm already at my limit for CWL, so again, it looks like flipping will need to occur.

5.) I'd like room for 1 True Grail Watch. I don't know what that really is (other than if a C20 FLE were to turn up), but I want to keep a slot open for something truly special, but I don't want it to completely blow my maintenance budget out of the water either.

To Flip or not to Flip
So, my 8 watches so far have expected permanence (at this moment in time, knowing that it could change tomorrow) that looks something like:

C60 Kingfisher: Would like to Keep as Long as Possible
C70 US: Likely to Keep for a Good While
C9 FLE: Likely to Keep for a Good While
C5 Malvern: Likely to Keep for a Good While
Steinhart Nav B Chrono: Likely to Keep for a Good While
Magrette Bronze: Likely to Flip at Some Point Down the Road
C2 Lido Black: Likely to Flip at Some Point Down the Road
Seiko 5: Likely to Flip Soon

Conclusion?
I'm not sure if there's a concrete question that comes out of this thought process, but I think the cross roads essentially boils down to whether or not I am going to be more of a watch leaser than a watch buyer. Right now, I've been a watch buyer, approaching each purchase with at least some level of expected permanence, and I feel like that approach will need to evolve, and I'm just not really sure in which direction.
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Re: At A Cross Roads

Post by village »

You will inevitably want to buy many more watches as you discover other brands etc etc etc
There is no such thing as a 'Grail' unless you happen to be a Knight Errant*,just 'the next watch you really,really want'
If you already know you have an optimum figure of about 12 then you will have to sell watches in order to keep to around this number....it's also a good way to try different watches as long as you buy them used so as not to get a big depreciation. It's no biggie selling them once you get on with it. If you think you might want to sell one then write a sales post (a good,honest descripton and good pictures are all that are needed) and save it. If you are finding it hard actually posting the sales post then you probably aren't ready to see it go just yet.Once you've decided to sell something you'll be suprised how your mind gets into that 'set' and you'll probably just get on with it.
I personally wouldn't get hung up on 'a balanced' collection....you'll probably find that your tastes change. For instance,i used to have quite a few dress watches-i know have mainly divers. You might discover vintage-that open up a whole new world of stuff!




* actually,i think they were actually called Grail Knights specifically...a Knight Errant just roamed aimlessly around looking for adventure and damsels in distress to impress
If you can read this you are too close to your computer screen....
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Re: At A Cross Roads

Post by xtriple »

I initially wanted one watch for every day of the week. Then it was one a day for a fortnight. Then it was to fill the new watch box - 24 in the bottom row and 8 in the top. Then it was to fill my new, pretty watch box I bought from here another twenty spaces...

That was in the space of four months - I realised I had a problem :silent:

So I gave away a few, sold a couple and set a new rule : only buy what I will wear regularly. Still got quite a few in the watch box that have more chance of being worn by the Pope than they do by me, but I'm getting there.

I had a grail watch to fund (Speedy Pro), got it and love it. Now I have a new grail, a Sea Dweller. When I get that (and I will) there'll be another grail, and another...

Think, once it's in your blood, you're fekked and you turn into a flipper or a collector. Think I'm a collector.
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Re: At A Cross Roads

Post by mickarthur »

Since I have been interested in mechanical watches (less than 2 years), I have bought and sold many watches, mainly on WUS. I have more recently become more of a collector in that I own 4 CW watches (C60 GMT, Tri-Tech, C9 Auto, and C40 Speedhawk) and don't really plan on selling any of them anytime soon. I don't own any other watches other than the 4 CWs mentioned above. Part of this stems from the fact that one or two of my watches were gifts, so I would feel bad selling them for something else.

My main "problem" if you want to call it that, is that I ideally would keep all my watches running at all times, so that theoretically limits my collection to 2-3 watches, which I have alread exceeded, unless I go the watch winder route which is another big expense.

I have been buying more straps lately to mix up what I have a bit instead of buying new watches.

Good luck!
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Re: At A Cross Roads

Post by footycrazy »

Fixed a couple of typo,s for you XT :lol:

xtriple wrote: I realised I AM a problem :silent:

Think, once it's in your blood, you're fekked and you turn into a flipper or a collector. i know I AM FEKKED .

:thumbup:
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Re: At A Cross Roads

Post by atnits »

I recently went down from about 7 or 8 watches to just 3. I love those 3, but feel they're not enough. I think it's only a matter of time before I crack and start increasing the collection again.
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Re: At A Cross Roads

Post by nathanclarinet »

Interesting post Peteo, I am always interested to hear other peoples opinions on ideal numbers, flipping etc.

I have let go my DBR1 and given back my C9FLE this year so far with my only incoming to date being the Nav B Chrono DLC (which I have struggled to take off my wrist since recieving it a week and a half ago :thumbup: ). Although I liked the DBR1 and it was a great casual saturday watch, it was just that and really didn't get enough wrist time to warrant keeping it. As it happened, Macca came in at the time i was thinking of selling it and the rest is history.....

As for the C9FLE, it was a difficult choice but as time went on, I struggled with the AR and the case style as well as a couple of other niggles so it went back under the 60:60. I was a bit gutted about that given the lengthy build up and anticipation but I knew it wasn't for me and again, wouldn't get much wrist time.

So I am now down to 4 'decent' watches (only 1 CW, my trusty C8 mk 1) with 4 spaces in the box left to fill. I intend to aim a little higher each time from now on so maybe one a year or every two years depending on circumstances. Since selling my DBR1, sending the C9FLE back and receving my Steinhart, I feel a bit more settled with my set if that makes sense. I think I also appreciate what I have, more so this year than before and that has calmed my potential for contracting 'xtriplitis' to a large degree.

Whichever direction you go in from now, I am sure it will be fun and there will of course be lots of time spent researching :D
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Re: At A Cross Roads

Post by AliBar »

Good post Peteo. I am sure you'll have struck a chord with many a member on here who occasionally looks at their own collection then asks themselves "Why ?". The thoughts that go through my head at these times are something like:

1. Is this just a hobby that's no better/worse than collecting cars, stamps, beer mats, handbags or shoes (note to self: must cut down on the handbags :shock: )
2. Is this a collection that I am building and improving on ?
3. Am I collecting (acquiring) for the right/understandable reasons - not collecting's sake ?
4. Is the fact that I am collecting of no real detriment to me or anyone else ?
5. Do I enjoy the hunt, the browsing, the waiting for, the wearing of and caring for my watches ?
6. Do I check (many times) daily for updates on the 2012 FLE timescales ?
7. Do I feel safe on this forum along side other guilty parties who remember to take their meds ?

I am sure there are more questions I could think of but, when I find that I easily say yes to such challenges as above, I think I satisfy myself that my habit is under control :-k .

I have answered "no" in such circumstances in the past... when I was in a bit of a headless acquisition mode. The self prescribed meds then were not to buy every new CW that came along - but to cherry pick a) automatics, b) those I really, really liked, c) those that expanded the variety of the collection or d) preferably those that were a)+b)+c).

So in simple summary, it's not the number of watches that would be my personal issue but accepting/realising that I was losing control over my hobby.
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Re: At A Cross Roads

Post by Peteo »

village wrote:You will inevitably want to buy many more watches as you discover other brands etc etc etc
There is no such thing as a 'Grail' unless you happen to be a Knight Errant*,just 'the next watch you really,really want'
If you already know you have an optimum figure of about 12 then you will have to sell watches in order to keep to around this number....it's also a good way to try different watches as long as you buy them used so as not to get a big depreciation. It's no biggie selling them once you get on with it. If you think you might want to sell one then write a sales post (a good,honest descripton and good pictures are all that are needed) and save it. If you are finding it hard actually posting the sales post then you probably aren't ready to see it go just yet.Once you've decided to sell something you'll be suprised how your mind gets into that 'set' and you'll probably just get on with it.
I personally wouldn't get hung up on 'a balanced' collection....you'll probably find that your tastes change. For instance,i used to have quite a few dress watches-i know have mainly divers. You might discover vintage-that open up a whole new world of stuff!
Thanks for the input, Andy. I definitely take your points, particularly about knowing that my tastes will change over time, and you're right that I might find myself looking at vintages one day or pocket watches or something else that I'm not really considering now.

I also fully recognize that the number 12 might be totally meaningless. After all, the number when I first started posting here was 3, and we've seen how that went!

I do think that there is such a thing as a Grail for me if for no other reason that I have made a conscious effort to not buy anything that costs more than $1,000 new. A Grail for me would be the one watch where I allow myself the luxury to spend significantly more. Now, if I am somehow able to luck myself into a situation where $1,000 isn't really a ceiling anymore, then maybe the Grail becomes something more than $5,000 new, in which case you're right, it just becomes a sliding scale eventually.
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CWs: C70US #702, 2009FLE #34, C65 S. Compressor
Non-CWs: AL&S 1815 A. Calendar, BREMONT Solo, CASIO G-Shock, GRAND SEIKO SBGA415 & SBGJ251, OMEGA Speedmaster Racing, SINN EZM13 & 103AB, TOWSON WATCH CO. C20 Chrono, TUDOR Black Bay Blue
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Re: At A Cross Roads

Post by Peteo »

nathanclarinet wrote:Interesting post Peteo, I am always interested to hear other peoples opinions on ideal numbers, flipping etc.

I have let go my DBR1 and given back my C9FLE this year so far with my only incoming to date being the Nav B Chrono DLC (which I have struggled to take off my wrist since recieving it a week and a half ago :thumbup: ). Although I liked the DBR1 and it was a great casual saturday watch, it was just that and really didn't get enough wrist time to warrant keeping it. As it happened, Macca came in at the time i was thinking of selling it and the rest is history.....

As for the C9FLE, it was a difficult choice but as time went on, I struggled with the AR and the case style as well as a couple of other niggles so it went back under the 60:60. I was a bit gutted about that given the lengthy build up and anticipation but I knew it wasn't for me and again, wouldn't get much wrist time.

So I am now down to 4 'decent' watches (only 1 CW, my trusty C8 mk 1) with 4 spaces in the box left to fill. I intend to aim a little higher each time from now on so maybe one a year or every two years depending on circumstances. Since selling my DBR1, sending the C9FLE back and receving my Steinhart, I feel a bit more settled with my set if that makes sense. I think I also appreciate what I have, more so this year than before and that has calmed my potential for contracting 'xtriplitis' to a large degree.

Whichever direction you go in from now, I am sure it will be fun and there will of course be lots of time spent researching :D
I'm sorry to hear that the C9FLE isn't a keeper. I definitely recognize that the watch isn't perfect, but there's something about it that captures my fancy, so I think it's a long-term one for me.

I think this essentially comes to the fact that I am done with the first wave of watch collecting, and it's time to pause and think about my buying choices. If I were faced with all of these choices again, I probably wouldn't buy the C2, the Seiko or the Magrette. I still like things about all 3 of them, but as you also say, I intend to aim a little higher from now on and not give in so easily to impulse.

As with most things that I start to do, I dove in head first into watch collecting, and I bought more watches than I should have, many of which were complete impulse buys. I got extremely lucky on two of them (C70US and C60), and not so lucky on others.

So, if I am to make any real effort at sticking to some sweet spot number, the C2, Magrette, and Seiko will need to move or else they'll be taking up a quarter of my collection space when I don't really want them as much as the others. Flipping will need to occur. I'm just trying to get an idea of how much flipping I'm willing to do, which also informs how many watches I'm willing to lease (or buy to keep) in the years to come to keep the cycle going. That's mostly what this post is about.
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Non-CWs: AL&S 1815 A. Calendar, BREMONT Solo, CASIO G-Shock, GRAND SEIKO SBGA415 & SBGJ251, OMEGA Speedmaster Racing, SINN EZM13 & 103AB, TOWSON WATCH CO. C20 Chrono, TUDOR Black Bay Blue
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Re: At A Cross Roads

Post by Kip »

I think I can safely say that I am a collector. I buy what I like. I obviously prefer CWL, but my collection is quite eclectic.

I run the gamut of pocket watches to CWL......in between I favor vintage.I do have other new watches from Stowa, Steinhart, Oris and Maurice Lacroix to mention a few. I also have novelty watches as well as wood watches, mother of pearl, aluminum and titanium. I have 2 goals......To represent all models in one form or another in the CWL line and to represent various periods of timekeeping with classic, novelty and unique pieces. I have no preset ceiling as to quantity and plan on doing what I am doing for as long as I am able.

I restore what I can to bring back to life these magnificent machines.

The crossroads for you may not be the crossroads for anyone else but your thoughts are suited for your ideals.

For me, the pride and joy of gazing at and wearing these pieces brings joy to my soul. I cannot and do not wear all of what I have. Some are just to fragile...this does not mean I do not derive joy from them. All watches that require it are wound every couple months for excerise purposes. What brings joy to you?

The thrill is really in the hunt and being able to rescue a well worn piece from from obscurity or in the pride of ownership knowing that you took part in creating a given watch or have some sort of emotional attachment to one as it represnts a certain period in your life.

Ultimately you will decide what your personal, emotional and financial limits are despite what we may say. Perhaps 12 is enough and you shall flip because you tastes change. Perhaps you will reduce your collection size or even increase it because there is a must have and you cannot part with anything you have. Whatever your decision...it will probably change a year from now.

It is not about quantity at any level. It is not even about how much your collection is worth. it is about what is right for you and what you like and what works within your means.

I wish you joy in your decision.....please report for treatments...they won't hurt. :)
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Re: At A Cross Roads

Post by Peteo »

Kip wrote:
It is not about quantity at any level. It is not even about how much your collection is worth. it is about what is right for you and what you like and what works within your means.

I wish you joy in your decision.....please report for treatments...they won't hurt. :)
I think that this is obviously a core point that you have put very eloquently, Kip. I don't mean to put a hard and fast number on my watch collecting. It's just something to guide me and help me keep things realistic and fun. I would feel a need to wear everything I own at least every now and again, so that, combined with maintenance costs, are what really bring me to a rather soft number of 12. Twenty years from now, if I end up with 14 watches that I absolutely love, then I wouldn't just arbitrarily get rid of 2 to stick to some number. Although, I do hope that 20 years from now, I'll have a son or daughter to pass a piece on to.

I think this is just the next logical step after I have admittedly outpaced myself with 8 watches in 15 months. Some combination of slowing down and / or flipping will need to happen because I don't see myself quitting this forum when I get to 12! 8)
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Re: At A Cross Roads

Post by Loddonite »

I have 40+ watches.
I have never sold one.
I wore one a day for the first 40+ days if the year. It was hard.
I have not yet bought a watch this year. :shock:

Peteo, I think I am at a crossroads too and I'm not sure what will happen when the lights turn green.

Good luck with your quest.
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Re: At A Cross Roads

Post by Kip »

Loddonite wrote:I have 40+ watches.
I have never sold one.
I wore one a day for the first 40+ days if the year. It was hard.
I have not yet bought a watch this year. :shock:

Peteo, I think I am at a crossroads too and I'm not sure what will happen when the lights turn green.

Good luck with your quest.
:shock: Pent up purchase power! :lol:
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Re: At A Cross Roads

Post by Russ-Shettle »

footycrazy wrote:Fixed a couple of typo,s for you XT :lol:

xtriple wrote: I realised I AM a problem :silent:

Think, once it's in your blood, you're fekked and you turn into a flipper or a collector. i know I AM FEKKED .

:thumbup:
Yea, watch out for the typo's. And don't trust spell-check either.