Do I really want to move from having a collection that I wear in rotation to being a collector?

May 10, 2022,18:54 PM

Am I willing to buy watches that I probably won't wear? 

What you see here is the first watch I have procured that I have never worn! It sits in the safe and brings me joy from there. I always think about wearing it, but it is so valuable as a collectible, I am quite shy to do so. I bought it because it is such a beauty and for sure it looks great on my wrist (as you can see), but I have so many watches that are also stunning and this one never beats them to my wrist. I love this Journe and I cannot imagine letting it go, but at this point, it is a safe queen. And my first one.

I was inspired to write this post because I am about to pull the trigger on another watch that may share the same "fate" as this one: a first generation platinum A. Lange & Sohne Datograph with black dial. And I honestly don't know if I want to go there because I have always been a guy that "uses" my stuff. When I had three pre 1970 automobiles, I drove them all in rotation. (I now have the one first generation 911 that I take out almost every weekend.) So, I like the idea that I wear all of my watches. But I do enjoy this Journe, and I am in love with the Datograph already.

If I tell the truth, I have other pieces I never wear and just enjoy -- I recently bought a ladies Borel that I am very proud of and love to look at it. I also have several Heuer stop clocks built around the same time as my Porsche 911 (~1970). These sit in my safe as well and get admired from time to time.

I guess the question that I am trying to send out to the purists here is this: should I go for the Datograph even though I will rarely wear it? I have several other chronographs and don't "need" to wear this one. Should I still get it?

Thanks for reading this!


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I think I'd need a little more context here...

 By: mdg : May 10th, 2022-18:58
...are you talking about being a collector to buy and sell and make money? Even if you have a very large collection you can still wear them...

Thanks for the question @mdg --

 By: Jim14 : May 10th, 2022-19:18
I am not talking about making money on these pieces -- it is more that I have pieces in the collection that serve a similar "purpose" be it "dress" or "chrono timing" and there is no great reason to wear these watches that are in mint condition and will l... 

If you're worried about them retaining value then you are thinking that you might sell them...

 By: mdg : May 10th, 2022-21:18
...but it also depends on your level of wealth, age, etc. My wife asked me recently, 'what are you going to do, die with a bunch of money on the table?' I've always said that if I were really rich (I have a number in my head that I'll never achieve), I wo... 

For me the answer is no

 By: takman : May 10th, 2022-19:02
I try to be mindful of pieces I choose so that everything in the collection is unique in its own way. Some are worn more than others but I keep them all wound and taking time. Only 4 slots in the watch box so that helps a bit from over expanding 😉

@takman I have been of the same mind as you for many years, but I am still strongly compelled to expand my collection.

 By: Jim14 : May 10th, 2022-19:25
I cannot wear all of them often enough to make me feel like they are getting the use they deserve and yet I don't want to move them on because many took many years of hunting to find.

Me? No.

 By: myles721 : May 10th, 2022-19:14
But no one can answer that question except you. Plenty of people own art that they keep in storage as an investment.

Thank you @myles721

 By: Jim14 : May 10th, 2022-19:28
This thread is helping me reach a conclusion!

Buy what you like and love i would say .

 By: Watchonthewrists : May 10th, 2022-19:21
Like you and i think many collectors we all have these ,,safe queens,, . I enjoy thinking about them and see them from time to time and am proud to own them but hardly wear them . Thats the downside of being a collector (hoarder 😉)

Thank you @Watchonthewrist

 By: Jim14 : May 10th, 2022-19:31
I was hoping to hear from someone who enjoys his "safe queens" -- I believe my experience with the FPJ is telling -- I enjoy it very much even though I don't strap it on. I believe the Datograph will bring me joy, so I expect that I am going to go for it.... 

Do what makes you happy as happiness wherever found is priceless IMHO especially in the world we found ourselves in now.

 By: marcobermann : May 10th, 2022-19:44
As long as owning these watches makes you happy and if you just look at them occasionally or wear them in rotation is only for you to decide as to what is right for you. Me I would wear them all as and when I wanted to but as I said your watches your deci... 

I think you have answered your own question already

 By: Poky : May 10th, 2022-19:57
You like and enjoy your watches whether you wear them or not. So buy the Dato if you like it, irrelevant if you will wear it often enough or it will be in the safe. Who cares what other people do/think; sometimes it is best not to shop around for ideas. Y... 

Of course you have to

 By: piccolochimico (aka dsgalaxy1) : May 10th, 2022-20:16
Buy it now and you'll never regret it. Life is short, if that Journe is not even one of the best pieces of your collection (holy cow, mate 😎), you definitely need the Dato (first serie, isn't it). You have the means, you should get every watch you like. T... 

That Journe is stunning- really!

 By: ChristianDK : May 10th, 2022-20:20
I think the point is to do what makes YOU happy! You have a way that works for you. You have answered your own question as Poky say. I think it’s so interesting how we learn about ourselves when we collect. I think it’s a huge reward of this hobby. To me ... 

Whatever you think/feel now will change.

 By: Uncle Chico : May 10th, 2022-20:36
Tastes, values, goals change over time. As someone who collected many different categories of “things” over the years, there was a time when ownership brought joy. I’ve now entered the life phase of divesting and have gifted many things I couldn’t imagine... 

Yes, that’s an other good point.

 By: ChristianDK : May 11th, 2022-06:56
It’s the journey that is the reward. We all experienced these changed phases along the way. The right answer will change eventually. Great point Uncle C!

Tough question, that like others have stated only you can answer.

 By: jp884 : May 10th, 2022-20:51
Personally, if I'm not using something I sell it. Life is too short to not enjoy these little luxuries. It really wasn't until recently that watches were viewed as investments and that to could change once again. So if there was a watch in my collection t... 


 By: amanico : May 11th, 2022-06:25

Perfectly stated my friend!

 By: jp884 : May 11th, 2022-17:25
Like I have said before, on the Porsche forums, one collector said: Not driving your Porsche for fear of putting miles on the car is the equivalent of not sleeping with your wife so the next guy can enjoy her. I like to drive and ummm yea the other thing ... 

I would not buy a watch if not to wear it!

 By: Chronometer (aka yacomino) : May 10th, 2022-22:02

Great topic.

 By: MilDiver : May 11th, 2022-06:54
We collectors buy watches that makes us happy. Happiness has many forms, Owning a rare watch, completing the journey of finding it, is also part of the “happiness package”. It doesn’t have to cost too much, a vintage IDF kontiki is let’s say sub 10k watch... 

Well! I have learned something about myself through this thread and am much obliged to the collective wisdom on the forum:

 By: Jim14 : May 11th, 2022-19:18
I have decided against the purchase of the Datograph at this time. I came to realize that the fact that it is increasing in value was swaying my interest. I have always been an adherent to the idea that you should buy what you love and, quite frankly, I d...  

Bravo, Jim!

 By: ChristianDK : May 12th, 2022-03:24
The Journe You have is one of my all time favorites. It is STUNNING. I am green with envy. the embossed numerals is really a special detail that I love so much.

I’m so happy to hear that, Jim. I hope you enjoyed it 🤗

 By: ChristianDK : May 13th, 2022-15:00
Maybe join us for FP Friday.