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August 28, 2015

Comments

Lee_K

In my economics classes in college, we learned of a concept called "diminishing marginal return", which simply stated is the phenomenon where one has to spend ever increasing amounts of money to get smaller and smaller improvements in a product. If we take brand and status out of the equation for a minute, I'm sure an Omega Seamaster's finish, crystal quality, bracelet, and movement are a notch or two above that of say a Tag Heuer Formula 1. But it takes $4000 more to get to the level of the Omega. And then another $5000 is needed to get to the level of a Panerai Submersible. Is the Panerai worth $9000 more than the Tag Heuer? To a horologist, perhaps so. But one has to really appreciate the art of watchmaking to enjoy that, I believe.

My personal enjoyment of the hobby comes at the Tier two level. I can buy a Seiko Monster, BFK, Sumo, Shogun, Tuna, Cocktail, and an Alpinist for what it costs for ONE Omega Seamaster. I will never project my judgement on others and say something is or isn't worth it. But for me, I can derive a lot more enjoyment from those seven Seikos than that one Omega, as beautiful and awesome as I think it is. And I really do think that: the Planet Ocean is a spectacular piece.

Ulysses

The law of diminishing returns is very real and can be applied to a myriad of different contexts. I agree with Lee, but not everyone is wired in the same way. For some, that "what-if" is a nagging, irritating little stone in the back one's mind, and it cannot be overcome by reason alone - sometimes you have to indulge yourself, or at least handle/wear that watch you desire just to see what it's like. You can oscillate between different positions - that a "tier 4" watch is too expensive, that you'd want to discuss such a purchase with your spouse (perhaps secretly wanting her to talk you out of it to nudge you out of your cognitive dissonance), but the defining characteristic of an oscillation is that it returns to where it began, then repeats. You don't want to be stuck in that cycle forever. The alternative is to come to a Zen-like realisation, a moment of clarity, but those are notoriously difficult to come by. I'm not trying to be an enabler, or wanting to encourage Jeff into blowing a chunk of money on something, I just don't like seeing someone suffer so much - perhaps it's empathy, or perhaps it's coming from my own personal experience.

herculodge

I don't feel so haunted by the what if question that I'd spring 4-6K or even more on a watch. I'd rather suffer my first-world problem with my chin up.

Angelo

Lee: I'm in the situation where thus far, I'm happy with watches in the same price category as the Seiko Monsters (I have two of those, black and orange). Some of my Invicta watches sell for more than the Monsters, ditto a Movado that I have and a few others. Many of my watches sell for less than the Monsters. But that category suits me very well. It's important to note that for me, quantity and frequent buying is a big factor in me being excited and happy with the hobby---watch COLLECTING. If I were to step up to watches that cost $2500.00 or more instead of $250.00 or a little more----I wouldn't be able to buy nearly as many, nearly as often----it would choke the life out of the hobby for me. So your post, in some ways, validates what I'm doing. Others would say I'm wasting my money buying so many Level II watches when I could deploy the money to buy Level III or even a Level IV watch by liquidating. But I wouldn't be satisfied, no matter how great those were---because I couldn't be as active as I am now, looking and buying.

Lee_K

Angelo, there are lots of valid ways to enjoy this hobby and it sounds like you are maximizing your enjoyment through collecting, which I think is great. My orange Monster goes on my wrist first thing each morning and it comes off my wrist last thing at night. It's the middle part of the day where I try something different when I go out for coffee or into town for cultural events. The Monster really is as good as its reputation.

Ulysses, I have been watching Jonny Casual's videos because Jeff refers to them so often and I think I understand where Jeff is coming from a little better now. Jonny started his quest at the Fashion watch level, graduated to Japanese watches, and then stepped up the Tier 3/4 Swiss watches. He says that he doesn't think he can go back, at least not seriously. I believe this is what is tormenting Jeff. He has pretty much exhausted what Seiko, Citizen, and Orient can provide and is curious about stepping up a level to see what all the fuss is about.

I still think Jeff should do it by liquidating all of his collection except one or two beaters and seeing for himself if living with a single Tier 4 watch is worth not having all those other ones around. I myself have wondered about making such a move. It may very well be a logical progression that we will inevitably succumb to. We shall see...

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