(Featured here Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Chronograph Openworked)
Every collector has their personal notion of a collector’s timepiece, their individual criteria of deeming a watch worthy of being included in their collection. Watch collecting is a hobby that celebrates this history of time-instruments. A watch not only represents time, but is also an object of beauty.
It promotes a unique relationship between those who share a passion for timepieces and welcomes a veritable international community of people who are crazy about watches.
TYPES OF COLLECTIONS
An academic collection generally focuses on different types of watches or different categories, each representative of a specific technical aspect. Some collectors go in for a linear collection that represents a collection where watches of the same type (for example, complicated watches or high-jewellery watches) are collected. Alternatively, watches from the same manufacture could be collected. A more common kind of collection is called the watch wardrobe. Here, the watches are relished for wearability and are generally high on the fashion quotient.
BUILDING A COLLECTION
A knowledge of the market is extremely vital. Getting information is the first step. This will help make wise choices in investing in pieces (That’s
correct – Investing!) that are timeless. Scout the internet, some good publications and magazines as well as brand-specific publications for more information. Visiting watch museums can be a source of great knowledge as well. The whole idea is to make an informed purchase decision. Watches are laden with history and there is a wealth of knowledge to be amassed in this dynamic world of timekeeping instruments.
Also, know the brand. Does it have a heritage to boast of? Are their old watches still worthy or outdated? Then decide on the type of collection. Does one prefer historic pieces that represent innovativeness? Is artistry on the dial of primary importance? Does a particular brand evoke strong feelings? Does a specific type of watch excite? Is it the diversity of complications, or a specific watch complication that one cherishes? Certain collectors seek out only limited-edition watches or bespoke timepieces, while some look for popular models. Lastly, have a seasonal budget or annual one, whatever works better. Collector’s could then source the market for watches that fit into their budget.
Buy what you can afford. An informed choice based on knowledge will also hold you in good stead. It is also vital to consider certificates of authenticity as well as any kind of after-sales services which makes it even more important to make the purchase from a trusted source. This is especially relevant when it comes to vintage and second hand markets, where one needs to go to reputed, trusted and established sellers.
While regular watches and limited edition collections could be purchased from watch brands themselves, for more historical and rare pieces, collectors often turn to auctions. Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Antiquorum are some of the popular auction houses. Locally, there would be several other auction groups as well.
STORING AND CARING
Watches need to be stored for protecting them from dust, scratches, wear and tear etc. Boxes with glass lids and partitioned sections provide an easy way to showcase watches while at the same time keeping them protected. Right from a simple box to store watches, to the more elaborate instruments with mechanisms, a collector is spoilt for choice! For mechanical watches, invest in a watch winder which will keep self winding watches running when not worn.
Buying watches is an expensive hobby, but passion justifies everything! The watchmaking industry is a very emotional one. Follow your intuitions and feelings, just like you would do with a work of art. There are time telling gems waiting to be discovered all over the world. Go ahead…. make history with time!