My obsessions with radios and watches often proceed a huge epiphany of some sort: "I need this!"
Behind a lot of consumerism, especially in the realm of obsession, lies the search for comfort, unconditional love, belonging, self-image, "excellence of the past," etc.
Now I've come back to flannel shirts, my favorite type of shirt as a high school student in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The difference now is I'll research the fabric and insist on only 100% authentic Portugese flannel as tauted by L.L. Bean.
At least my new obsession makes it easy for my wife to find me a Christmas present.