Originally Posted by apropos
It might just be me, and I totally understand if anyone disagrees with me, but I find collectors like that slightly disturbing.
I know he takes pains to mention that he tries to wear every watch, but when your collection is 140+ and growing, you're only going to wear any given watch once or twice a year if you rotate them daily.
What I am trying to say in a roundabout way is that past a "certain point" (which varies for each of us), it becomes more about collecting stuff
, and less about watches
.Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
I'm not saying that I begrudge him his ability to afford that large quantity of watches (I don't), but that I find it disturbing that he has that many watches. It's like watching an upscale edition of Hoarders, or a grownup (presumably) Big Law/Finance version of a Pokemon card collector.
I can safely say that even if I had unlimited funds I would keep my collection tightly focused, by which I mean probably < 10 (sentimental watches exempted). Every watch wanting to enter this hallowed company would have to knock another one out... Iron Chef style.
... like I said, it might just be me.
I have a few watches, and I enjoy them all. However, I did notice once I had more than 4, I just did not have as much time to wear all of them on a regular basis. Maybe its because now I have less free time to choose different watches during the week, maybe its also I now have some watches that are dress watches that I wouldn't wear for bang around the office or for more physically active events.
I don't think there is anything wrong with collecting things, even if its just for the sake of collecting, and you don't get to wear them all. People collect art and they can look at it, but they don't wear it, they don't get to spend the time winding it or setting various complications, and when they are not home they can't look at it. At least some watches are like a wearable piece of art that a person can bring with them and quietly enjoy all day.
I can't see myself ever having a such an insane number of watches even if I had unlimited funds. Sure I would have more watches than I do now, but I don't wear all the ones I have now on a regular basis. I also like to take my time and really choose pieces that I really like and want. I can't imagine the guy put a lot of thought into collecting or researching the watches if he amassed 140 in 3 years. Thats like a watch a week. To me it take more time to look, learn, and decide...unless he just goes into a specialty shop and says I want to have 1 example of each sought after and currently made piece from Lange and Patek. I would have little or no attachment to most pieces if buying that way....but to each his own.
Originally Posted by in stitches
also, collections like that can be a form of investment. it will become part of his estate and could bring tens of millions of dollars to his family in the future, or more. now, i dont know the full worth of all his models, or if they are the type to gain value over 20 years + or how well they are all cared for (though they look immaculate), nor can i speculate what that money would be worth if held as an investment, and would the investment be successful, but its certainly plausible that its a net gain for his estate. its all speculation, but its not out of the question.
i know that there will be many opinion on this, and this is just mine.
I don't know that one can say he has bought watches that are going to return tens of millions of dollars. That is presuming he bought at a decent price and all of these pieces will increase in value. Some watches, if he purchased in the last 3 years have already increased signficantly since they were originally produced, such as Lange Pour le Merit (not sure if I spelled the correctly) so he currently paid probably top dollar for that one. We don't know if that one has already seen the bulk of its appreciation or if it will continue to go up modestly, remain the same, or drop over time. In addition, althought great watches, most are relatively recent pieces. These will never have the appreciation or rarity that say a Patek minute repeater or grand complication from the 1950s would have. Not that they are not nice, or special, but most modern pieces are built in larger numbers than they were made in during the 1930s -1980s. Furthermore, from the 1930s-1980s before watches truly became thought of as investments people wore these watches, they were not babied, and some were damaged or lost over time....making vintage pieces in mint condition truly rare. Over the last 20 years or so many collectors bought watches and put in a safe to wait. So there will always be a larger supply of great condition relatively modern watches.
Beyond that, as Belligero suggested the maintenance costs will be quite substantial. Figure a basic service on a time only Patek or Lange is about $1,000 (and thats not taking into account the added cost of servicing complicated pieces) and servicing this collection is a minimum of $140,000.
His collection could increase in value, but its a ton of money tied up in watches, and if his family isn't into watches and doesn't know much about thme, its could be a pain for them to research and make sure they are getting appropriate prices for the watches. Also it could take some time to liquidate such a collection.
Just playing some devils advocate. There are definitely some nice pieces that could or should continue to escalate in value.