Digging the escape tunnel

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iain
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Digging the escape tunnel

Post by iain »

I’ve been doing a bit of thinking lately about my watch buying habits and the size of my collection. I tend to keep the numbers much smaller than many of you and currently only have 6 watches, with the FLE still to arrive making 7. I do have thoughts though that even this is excessive for me.

I’ve been buying and selling watches for about 10 years and a change of circumstances with a daughter to fund through university means I’m going to have to rein things in somewhat. I’ll have no watch funds for the next few years at least and I hope that by the time I come out the other side I will be cured.

A recent 3 week holiday during which I only wore one watch also opened my eyes a little to the fact I don’t really need multiple watches to be happy with what I have.

Therefore my thoughts have been turning to calling it a day with my collecting habits and settle on a few choice watches that I can keep long term and be happy with. Hopefully I can dig that tunnel and escape from buying and selling watches.

So I have a few options open to me.
Just call it day and stick with what I have.
Sell a few and stick with a smaller number of 3 or 4 max.
Sell a few, buy one last watch to keep longer term which still achieves the aim of downsizing.

Out of my watches only the IWC MKXVIII and the El Primero are 100% safe but all the others could make way.

My IWC pilot chronograph and Ingenieur are ones I enjoy but can’t help thinking they are a little on the large size. The pilot in particular isn’t very comfortable on the deployant and the thought of spending the amount it would take to get the bracelet is quite off putting right now. I don’t think realistically that these are long term watches I will want to wear in the future due to their size. Despite being happy, at least with the Ingenieur, for now.

My Bremont has been away for service/repair and I haven’t missed it at all, this could certainly go.

My new bronze Pro300 is safe, I’m really enjoying it and plan to keep it to wear regularly for times when my more expensive watches aren’t appropriate.

I’ve also got mixed feelings about the FLE. I’m certainly not wanting to cancel but the initial excitement I had back in December when I ordered and paid for it have long since passed.

I know a few have been at this crossroads and I’d welcome thoughts as to how you processed things. What was it made you go the way you did? And are you happy with the path you chose?

I’ve certainly decided that no more money is going into watches. What I want to do now is round off the collection so every watch is a long term keeper then sit back and enjoy them.
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Re: Digging the escape tunnel

Post by Martin »

It strikes me you have already answered your own question. Keep the IWC and El Primero. Sell the rest.
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Re: Digging the escape tunnel

Post by missF »

Martin wrote: Thu Aug 31, 2023 1:09 pm It strikes me you have already answered your own question. Keep the IWC and El Primero. Sell the rest.
Hmmmm. That struck me too. Plus the CW. This could be a lot easier than you think :D :thumbup:
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Re: Digging the escape tunnel

Post by NigelS »

I have been going through the exact same thought process over the last few weeks, except I really would like just one more before I go - a STOWA Marine Classic. I have four watches which are definitely out of the door as soon as I can get them photographed and advertised, with another four possibles to follow on. However, I have been tracking pre-owned watch prices over the last couple of months and they have fallen off a cliff, as have vintage cameras which is another area of interest. I certainly can't afford/justify buying another watch without realising some cash but thats a lot more difficult in these straightened times. I'm reviewing the situation (singing)
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Re: Digging the escape tunnel

Post by ajax87 »

I've reduced my collection from about 17 to 10 over the last 1.5 years. Some of them hurt to sell, but I feel better after letting them go. I now have more time to spend with the core. I haven't really made any "new" purchases in that timeframe, but for every new one that I wanted, I decided to let at least 1 or 2 go.

I made that decision because 1) I wanted to wear the watches I had more often than I could (I rotate to spread the love) and 2) I don't have the money to have an infinite collection, especially after having 2 kids in daycare for the last couple years.

If I want a new one now, I have to sell an existing one or several to cover it. That is getting more and more difficult. I think 10 might be my equilibrium.
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Re: Digging the escape tunnel

Post by StrappedUp »

I've been trying to dig my escape tunnel for some time now, although this year, it has finally been done for me.
I wasn't sure whether to post as I don't wish to derail the thread with sob stories, but it'll also explain why I've been quiet for a while.

My own attempt started with me reducing my collection a few years ago and going through a number of more expensive options hoping to settle down with a select few (3 actually).
I've had the privilege of owning and enjoying "classics" such as the Aqua Terra, Panoreserve, Explorer, BB58(s), El Primero to name a few, and while I truly appreciate the attention to detail you get with some of these, overall, I can't say that they have given me any more satisfaction than quality watches from the "lower echelons".
Nevertheless, I was pretty much ready to settle down with my EP and BB58 Bronze, then maybe add a Bel Canto/SH21-MKII for good measure.

However, earlier this year, my young Daughter suddenly became gravely ill and required emergency surgery to save her life. Thankfully she is now back stronger than ever, and I'm eternally grateful to the wonderful NHS staff that cared for her.
More recently, we tragically lost my Father-in-law on our family holiday abroad, something nobody expects to happen when you should all be having the time of your lives.
As you can imagine, the last couple of months have been a rollercoaster to say the least and has had me reflecting on what's truly important.
While I will still enjoy owning/wearing watches, I've decided that there will be no more expensive purchases for the foreseeable.
And having significant money tied up in watches suddenly just doesn't add up for me, so I've decided to sell my EP and BB58, buy a few "cheapies" and enjoy the leftover cash on more family trips/hols.

I've bought myself a C65 Dune GMT, a gorgeous, early ML Masterpiece which I intend to use for all family occasions, life events etc going forward, and also have lovely Citizen and Seiko GADA pieces arriving shortly. Still plenty of watches to enjoy, and will result in plenty of leftover money to enjoy even moreso.

Will post a new SOTC soon and perhaps briefly document the watches in between which should provide some light entertainment. :oops:
The last few years have been a wild ride, but I'm ready to jump off now.
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Re: Digging the escape tunnel

Post by missF »

@StrappedUp - Ryan, it’s been such an awful year to have to go through, and I’m not surprised it has you examining priorities. I’m glad you’re holding on to a small collection of watches that suits you better - it’s still good to have meaningful trinkets for difficult times. I hope so much that times are calmer for you going forwards.


@iain - I’m always a bit sad when someone bows out - and it’s purely selfish. I love the company of good people when I deal with my watch collection! I wouldn’t have a collection at all if it wasn’t for hanging around here. Funny to realise that. That might be an alternative way of saying ‘you’re all enablers’ but I think it’s more than that. Shared interest is a good thing. So - thanks watch buddy - there’s a mk xvi on my wrist thanks to you and a certain @stefs who used to be regular round these parts :D :thumbup:
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Re: Digging the escape tunnel

Post by NigelS »

@StrappedUp - I'm so sorry to hear of your troubles but very glad your daughter is back up and running now; must be a great relief. My wife and I too have had some issues over the last twelve months and sadly a couple of recent family losses - in fact I'm sat here now looking at which watch will go with which shirt and tie for a funeral tomorrow. We also don't have a lot of spare money as we retired a decade ago and pensions have definitely not gone up in line with the cost of living. What I'm getting round to is that one can still have a lot of fun with a small collection of really very nice watches all bought carefully at reasonable prices - for instance, a Seiko LE Alpinist 1959 Recreation which retails at £2,700 - boxed with tags, 18 mths warranty and still in its cellophane wrapping for which I paid £1050. Another Seiko Alpinist, SPB155 which retails at £650, brand new from Jura and I paid £468 in a special clearance sale, the second huge discount in six months from Jura, the previous one being an Oris Cervo Volante with 33% off! These may be 'lower echelon' watches but remember until just a few years ago Tudors came with the same movements as Oris. Keep going, show us what you get for your collection and above all have fun and hope things look up for you mate!
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Re: Digging the escape tunnel

Post by iain »

Sorry to read about your troubles Ryan and Nigel. It certain puts things into perspective. As for derailing the thread, this discussion can go any way anyone wants to take it so share away.

I’ve certainly made my mind up to downsize and put a stop to the buying and selling. However Lindsey, don’t think I’m leaving the forum, you’re not getting rid of me that easily. There are many on here who enjoy the discussions without buying numerous watches and I’ll just become one of those. You probably won’t know the difference.

As for selling everything apart from the IWC and the EP, I’m not sure I’m ready for anything that drastic.
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Re: Digging the escape tunnel

Post by strapline »

@StrappedUp Wow, your story is moving, sad and unsettling in equal measure. It really puts things in to perspective. Watches are just stuff, albeit nice stuff. Life experience, relationships with others and health will always trump stuff. So what if your stuff costs more than my stuff. When measured against the type of story you've just regaled here it has little importance. Own a watch, even a few if that's your thing, but keep a sense of perspective. A watch's remit is to tell the time; yours is to squeeze all you can it to the time you're allotted.

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Re: Digging the escape tunnel

Post by magicman »

Hello there

Some really touching stories, thanks for sharing.
As I've already (Over) posted previously, I won't go in to much detail about my trying to condense my collection.
It's been a rollercoaster.
I have 3 watches which have true sentimental value, so that's the smallest my collection will ever get.
My work watch, kindly gifted to me by a fellow forum friend, my most worn. My Rotary Elite, my first Swiss made watch, a fantastic watch that's taken a real beating, but still scrubs up well, and has great all round specs.
Then my Trident Pro, for everything and anything, except for work, gifted to me by my wife.

I was wondering, how often this type of thread appears, it seems this one has coincided, with a few other members having the same feelings, along with myself.
Although, I've been a regular on the forum for years, I don't remember too many. That being said, maybe I wasn't really engaging with them, if they were there, as I wasn't in that place.

Regards Steve
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Re: Digging the escape tunnel

Post by tikkathree »

NigelS wrote: Thu Aug 31, 2023 1:58 pm I have been going through the exact same thought process over the last few weeks, except I really would like just one more before I go - a STOWA Marine Classic. I have four watches which are definitely out of the door as soon as I can get them photographed and advertised, with another four possibles to follow on. However, I have been tracking pre-owned watch prices over the last couple of months and they have fallen off a cliff, as have vintage cameras which is another area of interest I certainly can't afford/justify buying another watch without realising some cash but thats a lot more difficult in these straightened times. I'm reviewing the situation (singing)
Ah you too? :oops:

psst! Wanna buy a Mamiya 'TLR and three lens sets? Half a dozen Soviet rangefinders? :lol: :lol:

I can't decide whether to flip out several CW watches or Omegas: it's a bit like "Shall we feed the cave troll with your puppy or your kitten?"
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Re: Digging the escape tunnel

Post by downer »

I've been in my own personal escape tunnel for way too long. :) Determined to reduce the overall value and quantity of watches in my collection, I have had some success but my tunnel has taken a few detours along the way, which may explain why it's taken so long.

My latest decision is to offload a couple of my more expensive watches - simply because I rarely wear them as they no longer fit into my retired dosser lifestyle. Clearly, the market for second-hand watches has gone a bit soft recently, which requires an adjustment in thinking concerning their worth, but as I purchased them before the values went crazy, it's easy enough.

Can I see light at the end of my particular tunnel? I can, but it's still a bit feint! :lol:
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Re: Digging the escape tunnel

Post by tikkathree »

magicman wrote: Thu Aug 31, 2023 6:45 pm Hello there

Some really touching stories, thanks for sharing.
As I've already (Over) posted previously, I won't go in to much detail about my trying to condense my collection.
It's been a rollercoaster.
I have 3 watches which have true sentimental value, so that's the smallest my collection will ever get.
My work watch, kindly gifted to me by a fellow forum friend, my most worn. My Rotary Elite, my first Swiss made watch, a fantastic watch that's taken a real beating, but still scrubs up well, and has great all round specs.
Then my Trident Pro, for everything and anything, except for work, gifted to me by my wife.

I was wondering, how often this type of thread appears, it seems this one has coincided, with a few other members having the same feelings, along with myself.
Although, I've been a regular on the forum for years, I don't remember too many. That being said, maybe I wasn't really engaging with them, if they were there, as I wasn't in that place.


Regards Steve
Steve, it's a merry-go-round! I reckon I do it every three years. I can't count the watch models I've sold and replaced more than once! :oops:
StrappedUp wrote: Thu Aug 31, 2023 4:11 pm I've been trying to dig my escape tunnel for some time now, although this year, it has finally been done for me.
I wasn't sure whether to post as I don't wish to derail the thread with sob stories, but it'll also explain why I've been quiet for a while.

My own attempt started with me reducing my collection a few years ago and going through a number of more expensive options hoping to settle down with a select few (3 actually).
I've had the privilege of owning and enjoying "classics" such as the Aqua Terra, Panoreserve, Explorer, BB58(s), El Primero to name a few, and while I truly appreciate the attention to detail you get with some of these, overall, I can't say that they have given me any more satisfaction than quality watches from the "lower echelons".
Nevertheless, I was pretty much ready to settle down with my EP and BB58 Bronze, then maybe add a Bel Canto/SH21-MKII for good measure.

However, earlier this year, my young Daughter suddenly became gravely ill and required emergency surgery to save her life. Thankfully she is now back stronger than ever, and I'm eternally grateful to the wonderful NHS staff that cared for her.
More recently, we tragically lost my Father-in-law on our family holiday abroad, something nobody expects to happen when you should all be having the time of your lives.
As you can imagine, the last couple of months have been a rollercoaster to say the least and has had me reflecting on what's truly important.
While I will still enjoy owning/wearing watches, I've decided that there will be no more expensive purchases for the foreseeable.
And having significant money tied up in watches suddenly just doesn't add up for me, so I've decided to sell my EP and BB58, buy a few "cheapies" and enjoy the leftover cash on more family trips/hols.

I've bought myself a C65 Dune GMT, a gorgeous, early ML Masterpiece which I intend to use for all family occasions, life events etc going forward, and also have lovely Citizen and Seiko GADA pieces arriving shortly. Still plenty of watches to enjoy, and will result in plenty of leftover money to enjoy even moreso.

Will post a new SOTC soon and perhaps briefly document the watches in between which should provide some light entertainment. :oops:
The last few years have been a wild ride, but I'm ready to jump off now.
Man, I'm sorry for the year you've had and you deserve a better year ahead.

A dear pal of mine has just passed while abroad on holiday; maybe it's a function of being an older man with similarly older man mates....
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Re: Digging the escape tunnel

Post by stefs »

We are all very different Iain but speaking personally I now have just 2 watches plus my Apple Watch .( the doxa finally sold!) To be honest i feel much happy with this situation. I wear my apple a lot of the time but still have 2 fantastic watches for when I want something nice. I am wearing my zenith now and will be until Monday.
I finally feel I am well on the way to coming out the other side of the hobby/addiction. I still look in every so often but feel pretty content.
Keep the iwc and EP and sell the rest and see how you feel. You can always add something if you need to.
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