How much you desire or love something (a watch, a woman, a car) seems to be proportional to the effort required and the sacrifices made to get it. Desire for something when you think you might not be able to justify it tests the mettle of the individual almost to breaking point. If you deny yourself, you feel like a stronger person. If you give in, you get that which you desire but you might also feel guilty at having been so weak in succumbing. So, unless you're filthy-rich and can spend money with gay abandon, you can't win.
My approach to this problem is to try a different perspective. As people, we don't think we are inferior to others just because they are richer than us and wear expensive clothes. We have our own good qualities that we can be proud of despite our apparent lack of glamour, glitter and bling. A watch is similar in the sense that even if it isn't made of platinum and polished to an atomic level of smoothness, it can still be tough, reliable and trustworthy when you really need it. If it serves you properly and does its job well, then it's every bit the equal of a prettier, more expensive watch. While more money may well get you more style, i'm not at all ashamed of the quartz chrono Seiko i've been wearing on and off for fifteen years. It has serves me well despite some major knocks and has survived. It's a lot like me in that sense, and I respect it for that more than a $10,000 Swiss timepiece that needs regular maintenance and molly-coddling to keep it going.
I've been teetering in the dangerous zone between fun hobby and out-of-control insanity, trying to pull myself back into the fun hobby zone. Like any addiction, the best way might be going cold turkey for awhile (no purchases) and then finding a more moderate relationship with the hobby (only occasional purchases). What I find challenging is that every time I come to that point I start thinking, "OK, after these next three purchases I'll start." As an ex-smoker for whom it took maybe two dozen tries to permanently quit, I recognize the rhetoric of rationalization.
I've got a rare stainless steel bracelet Citizen Pro Diver with a 50mm case and 48mm bezel that barely gets wrist time because I'm always trying to keep my auto watches charged. Hard to know how much wrist time a $1,200 Seiko Tuna or some other Holy Grail watch would get.
I'd like to spend the next several months enjoying what I have before embarking on a big watch purchase.
I'll concede sometimes I try to delude myself for the sake of economic continence. Also, if I buy a Holy Grail watch, it had better be good because it's going to take wrist time away from my affordable Seiko Monsters.
True, I've been coveting the Seiko Sumo and Seiko Tuna and a few Panerai Luminor models as well. But having watches that pricey freaks me out when it comes to actually wearing the watch. When it comes to the look, feel, build quality and price point and having a watch I'm comfortable wearing all the time, then my favorite watch, my Holy Grail watch, is the Seiko Black Monster. No wonder I have generation I and II.