Your Horology Collection
Like all collecting, a watch collection begins with a budget and a desire. Collecting starts with a single watch. As an extremely personal undertaking, selecting your very first watch is a monumental decision. Every new piece will follow suite. You can build your collection around a theme, price-point, or brand. Heck, you can even wing it, collecting randomly on a whim.
The majority of watch collectors collect based on a theme and/or brand.
Watch material e.g. only precious metals such as platinum, rose gold, yellow gold, white gold; or only steel, ceramic or titanium
Band material e.g. only watches with leather straps
Functions e.g. only watches with chronographs, perpetual calendars, minute repeaters, etc.
Dial markers e.g. only Arabic numerals, roman numerals or baton markers
Embellishments e.g. only watches with diamonds, gemstones, or crystals
Vintage watches, with some collectors focusing on a particular decade
Origin e.g. only watches from Japan, Germany or Switzerland
Some collectors only purchase watches from a particular brand, and in some cases only limited edition or limited production models from these brands. There are those who even restrict their collections further by purchasing only certain limited edition precious metal watches from a singular brand e.g. only limited edition platinum A. Lange & Söhne timepieces. Other collectors routinely sell part of their collection from time to time as they update or refine their collecting methodology.
There is no rule to amassing a watch collection, but if investment is a primary or even essential reason for collecting, it is wise to consider the preferences of the majority of the watch collecting community. This places you in the best position to benefit when reselling. Although the watch is the ultimate reason for collecting, the accoutrements that accompany the watch may also be valuable to collectors. These items include the original box, certificate of authenticity (if available), hang tags, instruction manual and sometimes even the original store receipt.
Most collectors prefer watches unrestored, with original (and often faded or oxidized) luminous material, and the case in as-is condition no matter the wear-and-tear. A watch in its original condition helps to validate its bona fides and assists in preventing fraudulent claims. A watch with all of its original or factory certified parts is also a preference. Purchasing a watch from a reputable auction house or dealer goes a long way to ensuring its authenticity, but it is by no means an absolute guarantee. There have been several high-profile examples of auctioneers or dealers unwittingly selling watches that were less than claimed.