Inside A Novice Watch-buyer’s Mind:
I have always loved watches. From the time I was young, I loved the different styles and colors, chronographs vs. dress; hell, I even loved pocket watches. But, it wasn’t until recently that I started to appreciate the engineering that goes into making a quality watch.
Luckily, I get to hang out with the creator of spazz.com on a regular basis, so I get schooled on the in”s-and-out’s of a variety of different watches. There is so much to learn and understand, and I am taking it all in little by little.
So, I decided to write this article to help others like me - the guys who love quality watches but don’t have the money to buy the best of the best. The good news is that you don’t always have to buy the best; just buy the best in the range that you can afford.
If you’ll indulge me, I want to take a step back before I get into my philosophy on buying watches. To me, a watch is an engineering marvel. The ingenuity and precision that it takes to design and manufacture a watch is nothing short of genius. It is one thing to design a system of gears that are the size of an apple or larger, but it is something entirely different to shrink that scale down to several millimeters. To that end, I have a tremendous respect for all watch manufacturers, but some are truly better than others.
I have come to realize that what matters most to me in a watch is the movement. I know that is not a novel thought, but there are many, many sheeple (sheep + people = sheeple) out there that base their decision to buy a watch strictly on brand name. I am not one of them.
I base my decision mainly on the type of movement (the gears and guts of the watch) that powers the watch. For example, did you know that the Swatch Group has put the same base ETA movement in some Breguet’s that they do in some Tissot’s? But the cost between the two is thousands! That would be like Ferrari putting the engine from a Ford Taurus into a 458 Italia!. Would you pay $200,000 for a Ferrari nameplate, without the expected performance. If you would, please stop reading and go to your nearest big-box jewelry store and buy a watch. If you wouldn’t dream of it, continue reading.
The movement is the key for me. If I am going to part with hundreds or thousands of dollars for a watch, I want to be sure that it will stand the test of time. I want to be positive that it will last for my grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and whoever comes after that. I’m sorry, but a Fossil or Michael Kors watch will just not do. I want an Omega, IWC, or Seiko. Yes, I said Seiko.
My philosophy is actually pretty simple: I want to pass my watches on to the generations that succeed me, so that they can have a physical reminder of my legacy. Pictures fade (ok, not so much in the digital age, but damn, just humor me), money comes and goes, but a watch is something that can be passed on from generation to generation. A physical reminder of my existence. This is why I buy the best watch that I can, in the price range that I can afford. I may never be able to afford an A. Lange & Söhne, but if I can pass on a 1979 Omega Speedmaster, I will die a very happy man. Oh, and did I mention that I refuse to buy brand new? (see spazz.com for further info on that topic).
Every watch has a story. And I, for one, want my story to span the test of time.