One thing that social timepiece collectors notice early on as they meet fellow watch lovers is that people buy watches for very different reasons. The wide net of the watch collecting hobby draws a range of personalities and acquisition goals even if people are nevertheless interested in the same exact products. Historically, this discussion was probably less interesting as people’s primary reason for purchasing a watch was practical: to tell the time or assist the wearer in some other data-related or performance task. Today, we exist in a world where few people “need” watches — rather, they want them.
Have you already had the chat with yourself where you try to reconcile the practical reasons why you like watches with the impracticality of purchasing many of them? It is a healthy conversation to have in your head because you’ll ultimately discover what really inspires you to enjoy these little wrist-worn luxuries. At the very least, understanding your own collecting behavior will help you make wiser purchases and avoid putting money into temporary flings that will never make you happy in the long run. For example, if you really like watches as a means of expressing your distinct taste and personality, then wearing a bland/generic (albeit popular or amazing) watch might end up doing nothing for you.
The poll below is intended to see if the particular reasons that you purchase watches are shared equally by your peers. As I write this article, I can guess as to the outcome, but more so, I relish in the notion that I really have no idea why many people share my particular reasons. In fact, my responses to many poll questions on aBlogtoWatch do not go with popular behavior. That’s probably mostly due to the length of time I’ve been involved with watches, as well as the fact that I’m both personally and professionally interested in timepieces.
As I wrote the poll, I actually nearly forgot to add an option that suggested you buy watches in order to tell the time. Consider me only a little bit embarrassed to have almost neglected this reason, as I think it will be among the less chosen options. No doubt, once a watch is on your wrist, its ability to tell the time becomes welcome. That said, how many people these days actually pursue purchasing a watch strictly because they need the time on their wrist? At least that is probably a rarity among the aBlogtoWatch audience.
Note, as well, that I’ve allowed poll entrants to select more than one response. This is because while I firmly believe only one of the options below applies to each individual watch purchase, it is very likely that among their timepiece collections, buyers acquire new pieces for various different reasons.
While we might like a lot of the same watches, differences in why we buy them can have a major impact on our ability to relate to one another, or even form friendships. Consider one person who purchases timepieces almost strictly for their aesthetic value and the quality of their construction. This person is probably going to seek lesser-known watches that are of good value because they lack demand. Now, consider a second person who purchases timepieces because they are convinced they are a wise financial investment. This buyers seeks to learn what is popular and tries to anticipate what can be readily purchased and perhaps made more popular in the future. These two people both like watches, both might buy around the same number of watches, and might also purchase some of the same watches, but in conversation and personality, they are likely to disagree on many topics, including what interests them in a particular watch in the first place.
In my opinion, the goal of this mini-personal psychological profile isn’t to later surround yourself with people who purchase watches for the same reasons as you. Rather, it is to be more aware of your interest in a particular watch so that you can be more open about that when sharing your enthusiasm for something with the rest of the community. I think doing so will help us get to know each other better and finally figure out why some people go so crazy for watches that do next-to-nothing for us.