Why do you buy watches?

One thing that social timepiece collectors notice early on as they meet fellow watch lovers is that people buy watches for very different reasons. The wide net of the watch collecting hobby draws a range of personalities and acquisition goals even if people are nevertheless interested in the same exact products. Historically, this discussion was probably less interesting as people’s primary reason for purchasing a watch was practical: to tell the time or assist the wearer in some other data-related or performance task. Today, we exist in a world where few people “need” watches — rather, they want them.

While we might like a lot of the same watches, differences in why we buy them can have a major impact on our ability to relate to one another, or even form friendships. Consider one person who purchases timepieces almost strictly for their aesthetic value and the quality of their construction. This person is probably going to seek lesser-known watches that are of good value because they lack demand. Now, consider a second person who purchases timepieces because they are convinced they are a wise financial investment. This buyers seeks to learn what is popular and tries to anticipate what can be readily purchased and perhaps made more popular in the future. These two people both like watches, both might buy around the same number of watches, and might also purchase some of the same watches, but in conversation and personality, they are likely to disagree on many topics, including what interests them in a particular watch in the first place.

In my opinion, the goal of this mini-personal psychological profile isn’t to later surround yourself with people who purchase watches for the same reasons as you. Rather, it is to be more aware of your interest in a particular watch so that you can be more open about that when sharing your enthusiasm for something with the rest of the community. I think doing so will help us get to know each other better and finally figure out why some people go so crazy for watches that do next-to-nothing for us.

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