I am, unfortunately, susceptible to great affection for most of the items you listed; I am, at heart, acquisitive as all get out, although I do so only at what I think are really good prices. Â I love fine watches, but also shoes and suits/sportcoats. Â While I own plenty of shirts and ties, these are not items I lust after, though I do appreciate the finer products in these categories. Â As with you, it makes me happy to see a nice watch on my wrist, but also nice shoes on my feet and nice clothes on my body. Â Also, the superior fit and comfort of the latter products to me is wonderful to experience. Furthermore, I would take issue with the implied equivalence of the watch and clothing/shoe fascinations. Â As you noted, the expensive mechanical watches are in fact inferior to modern quartz ones in terms of timekeeping accuracy. Â The same is not true where clothes/shoes are concerned. Â While your personal value equation/and or circumstances may not lead you to spend more money on some of these products, don't tell me you can't tell the difference between a Brioni/Kiton/Attolini/Oxxford suit and a $700 Joseph A. Banks (or whatever). Â If you've ever tried a properly fitted, high-end garment on, you'll know what I mean. Â Likewise for high quality, benchmade shoes, which will both look better and last far longer than the cheaper brands in the market. Â Finally, I think it is possible to get great shoes/clothes at a great price, if you know what you are doing and care. Â The great thing about this type of forum is that people can learn to distinguish true quality/value from hype. Â So, when you see that $2500 Oxxford suit on sale for $700, you'll know it' a great buy (assuming you like its fabric and fit), whereas the $2000 Armani Collezione or Prada might not seem like such a great deal for the same price. If you are interested in watches, I recently bought and read a book I would recommend: Â A Revolution in Time: Clocks and the making of the modern world.
by David Landes. Â It is available used on Amazon cheap - make sure you get the revised edition, published in the late 90's/2000. Â It is what I found to be a very interesting description of the evolution of the clock and watchmaking industry, from both a technical and economic perspective. Â Also amazing is the under-appreciated impact that this industry had on the development of the modern economic and industrial world. Â I might also recommend a book about John Harrison called Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time
by Dava Sobel, a fascinating look at an incredible clockmaker. Â Finally, I assume you are familiar with Timezone.com. Â It has some great forums, both with respect to specific brands and more general topics; furthermore, some of the archived posts are great. As a business person and generally quite rational individual, I must say I find the whole fine watch fascination intriguing. Â Clearly the Swiss watch industry has done a great job in marketing the notion of their products as both luxury goods and works of art; I have bought some watches that I found beautiful to look at but that I know also house great movements (Patek, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Audemars, Breguet, Zenith). Â Therefore, I like to tell myself that I have bought them because they are works of art, not because they are luxury goods per se. Â However, more rationally, I know I have fallen prey to the Swiss marketing message, since, realistically, the watch movement is not a work of art, but rather a finely tuned engineering product, highly elaborated by hand. Â I don't want to drive a Morgan or an older Rolls, even though they were hand-made --but clearly inferior to the modern, assembly-line competition -- so why do I care about this on my wrist? Â Oh well, enouth introspection for now, and at least I do find them beautiful to look at. Also, if bought at the right price, they hold their value reasonably well.
Too much of a good thing can be wonderful. Â Mae West Moderation is a fatal thing... Nothing succeeds like excess. Oscar Wilde