Watch Guides

How To Start A Watch Collecting Hobby (For Beginners)


If you want to start your very own watch collection you need to: 1) Understand terminology 2) Be patient 3) Establish a budget 4) Monitor the value of your collection and 5) Optimize over time.

When getting into the incredible yet complex world of watches, it is easy to get overwhelmed and make mistakes, especially if you are a newcomer to the watch-collecting hobby.

But don’t worry. Most well-known and successful watch collectors in this community are guilty of committing errors when they first started a watch collection too.

And if you want to start collecting watches but don’t know where to begin, this guide is made for you. Here, we will share some expert watch tips on how and where to start your own collection.

So if you are really into this craft, then let’s go and welcome to the fantastic world of watch collection!

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How To Start Building A Watch Collection

Starting a watch collection

If you are a newbie in watch collecting, you must understand that you are coming into a world that is dealing with technology and art at the same time. And to start your journey, here are some tips you need to know to be a successful watch collector.

#1. Understand Terminology and Features

Knowledge is power. That is why if you still haven’t got your first watch, the best thing to do is to understand the watch world you are entering.

Knowing the terminology used in the watch community and the features of every watch can be a great boost when starting a watch collection.

You can read through watch nomenclature and watch some youtube channels to understand the terms used in the community. You can also ask some local watch enthusiasts if there are some watch complications or functions of a watch you don’t understand.

If you want to be a watch collector and have great watches in your collection, you must learn to become one and keep studying to become successful.

You may also consider developing a theme that would stand as your roadmap in your watch collecting journey and focus on it. For example, you can simply collect sailing watches or racing watches.

#2. Don’t Rush

If you started collecting watches, then good for you. You can start by reading up on the basics from the best books about watches.

But please, do not rush into things and get new watches to convince yourself and others that you are now a bonafide watch collector. This may affect the quality of your collection, and worst, it may ruin it.

Remember that collecting watches as an art and hobby for many collectors is a marathon and not a sprint. If you want to be a true watch collector in real life, it is okay to start with just one watch, even if that is not an expensive watch.

And sometimes, finding a perfect watch that would fit your personal style and the theme you are trying to create for your collection requires painstaking effort and patience.

If you can, buy one at a time. This will give you time to cherish and live with the nice watch you have before getting another one. Also, every purchase can give you a learning experience to fully understand and develop what you want to improve in your timepiece collection.

#3. Establish A Budget

Collecting watches is a genuine passion. And when you are into this hobby, no words can explain the feeling of having a new beautiful watch in your collection. 

That is why many men blow up their savings accounts and invest in several watches once they see an opportunity.

Although you can do this too, again, we always recommend buying a watch one at a time and spacing your purchases out over a controlled budget and duration of time. 

Make a budget plan and start saving money before you purchase a new watch for your collection. Making some sacrifices to save money for this hobby makes every purchase much more fulfilling without breaking up your emergency savings.

#4. Assess Value Of Your Collection

When you make a purchase, keep track of and record the price of every watch. In this way, you can understand, monitor, and assess the true value of your collection in the watch market. For example, search the vast collection of to understand prices.

The price of a watch can go up and down depending on the demands of particular timepieces on the watch market.

This is important, especially if you are one of the many who use their watches not only as a collection but also as a way of investing money.

It is true that investing money in vintage watches, such as a vintage Rolex, can hold and even increase their value over time. But not all brands and models can retain a majority of their value. 

As a tip, certain brands such as Rolex, Audemars Piguet, and Patek Philippe are the brands that will likely hold their value and can be a good investment for your hard-earned money. They are highly collectible too. 

#5. Review and Optimize

Of course, if you are a collector, you will never settle on your first purchase or with just one watch. 

Watch collecting is a never-ending passion for hunting and getting your hand on an iconic watch to improve your collection. Even if you recently got a good watch with fascinating horological history from a reputable seller, there is always room for improvement.

That is why you need to review and optimize your watch collection and other famous collections to know what modifications can be done to enhance your group of watches. This can make them more intriguing and much more valuable in the market.

See the amazing watch collection from Floyd Mayweather.

Maybe you need some dress watches or mechanical watches to make a well-rounded collection? Or some modern watches to add some flavor to your collectibles? Anything is possible, and it’s just the way it is in the world of watch collecting.

Is Watch Collecting A Good Investment?

Watch Investments

As we said earlier, collecting and investing in luxury watches is a fabulous way to make money, but this is only true for a certain brand of watches.

For example, the Rolex Submariner that Roger Moore wore in the James Bond film in 1973. The actual price of that watch in that year was more or less a thousand dollars only. But after more than 4 decades, it was auctioned and sold for $365,000 in Geneva in 2015. 

According to available data, Rolex and a few other brands’ value as an investment outperformed other assets like gold and the stock market for the past few years.

How Many Watches Should A Collector Have?

There is no hard rule for the number of wristwatches you must have to become a collector. You can have a few luxury vintage watches or hundreds of more affordable watches from independent brands if you want to.

The rule here is always buy what you love and not because others have said so. It doesn’t matter if you buy a used watch or a new one. As long as collecting watches is your passion, you know what you are doing, and you get pleasure and fulfillment from it, then that’s totally fine.

Remember that the best watch collections in the world are made with memories and sentimental value. It’s not with the number of watches they have nor the market value of their collection.

Budgeting For Watches

How much money should you allot for collecting watches? The answer to this question may vary from person to person. This may depend on your financial income and capability as long as you can sustain your passion without getting broke.

Always buy what you can afford. If you have extra cash, you can start a watch collection by aiming for some classic and highly collectible pieces, such as Rolex GMT-Master II or an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph.

But if you don’t have enough dollars for those watches, other watches, such as a Tudor Black Bay, Grand Seiko, or an Omega Speedmaster, are great options for your first watch.

The golden rule here is to always buy what you like based on what you can afford.

Buying A New Watch Vs Secondhand

“Should I buy a new watch or a secondhand watch?” The answer to this question depends on a case-to-case basis.

Buying a watch worn a few times is not as bad as you think as long as it is in good condition. In fact, many collectors prefer to buy “pre-owned” watches because they can save thousands of money from them. Also, most of the rare collectible watches are not brand new.

But if you are a rookie in watch collecting, we recommend buying a new watch from an authorized dealer. This is to avoid mistakes in picking a fake watch, especially if you still don’t know how to tell the difference between an original watch and an imitation.

Should You Wear Watches From Your Collection?

Wearing your watch collection

Your personal collection of timepieces is not made to be stored in a safe or vault. Genuine watch enthusiasts wear their pieces and enjoy the sheer pleasure of wearing different watches in different settings.

One of the benefits of having a personal collection of watches is that you can personalize your overall fashion with these timekeeping devices on your wrist, which can undoubtedly boost your style, appearance, and confidence.

A gentleman who knows to wear a good watch is a gentleman with good taste.

What Are The Best Watches To Collect?

Now that you are 100% convinced to start your watch-collecting passion, here are some brands you may consider for your personal watch collection.

#5. Jaeger-LeCoultre

Known for their men’s dress watch collection that offers unique and unparalleled style, Jaeger-LeCoultre is a go-to if you are looking for elegance, sophistication, and timeless design in a timepiece.

With their long history and expertise in watchmaking, they are considered one of the best houses of luxury watches today.

#4. Tag Heuer

One of the famous names in the watchmaking industry, Tag Heuer became one of the popular options for men who love bold innovation and contemporary design in their wristwatches.

They are also known for their outstanding craftsmanship and attention to detail in creating some of the best dive watches in today’s watch market. So if you are looking for a dive watch to accompany you on your deep-sea adventure, this is a good option you must try.

#3. Casio

If you’re looking for god-tier watches, then Casio is the brand that you don’t wanna miss. Timepieces from this watch company have proven their durability and reliability for years.

Moreover, they are considered one of the most affordable watches that can deliver exceptional functions for their wearers. And if you are not a watch snob, you can see that even Bill Gates wore this brand of watch on his wrist.

It is a perfect everyday watch for men who want to keep a simple and refined look.

#2. Omega

Known for being the first watch to be worn on the moon, Omega takes pride in its outstanding history of watch craftsmanship.

One of the dominant brands in the watch industry, they have the largest production of luxury watches in Switzerland, which creates more than 200,000 pieces a year. With their reputation in the industry, you can never go wrong with their excellent timepieces.

#1. Rolex

Of course, you cannot complete your wonderful watch collection if you don’t have a classic Rolex in there.

For dedicated watch enthusiasts, watches from Rolex are known for their elegance, beauty, and functionality more than their market value. Having an impressive collection of Rolex is one of the greatest goals you can achieve as a watch aficionado.

Is It Worth Repairing A Watch?

If you ask us if repairing a watch from your personal collection is worth your money, the short answer to this question is an absolute yes.

Depending on the age and the damage it sustained, we know that sometimes, repairing a broken watch might be more expensive than replacing the whole piece. That is why many people hesitate to go to watch repair specialists and ask for their service.

But if you are a genuine collector, you know that a watch is not only a simple time-telling device that can be dumped whenever you need a new one.

The actual worth of a wristwatch goes far above just monetary value. It holds memories and unscalable sentimental value that you cannot replace.

What Causes A Watch To Stop Working?

Fixing broken watches

Your watch worked well a few hours ago – but now it’s stopped. But why did it suddenly stop tickling? To give light on this question, here are the 4 most common reasons why your wristwatch unexpectedly stops working: 

Battery Replacement

If your watch suddenly stops in the middle of the day, then maybe it’s time to change its battery. A drained watch battery is the most common reason for watches to stop working unexpectedly. We recommend replacing your watch battery at least every two to three years.

Water Damage

It is important to know if your watch has a water-resistant feature before diving into a pool or taking a quick shower. Exposing your watch to water can cause corrosion and damage its internal mechanism.

If your wristwatch is not water-resistant, always keep it dry, safe, and away from water exposure.

Manufacturing Issue

If you have recently purchased a new watch and suddenly it stops working, then maybe it’s a “bad watch” with manufacturing issues.

Wristwatches are built with millions of tiny gears that function together to make the watch tick. If just one part is set up poorly, the watch will not stay for long. If this is the case, contact the manufacturer, ask for a warranty, or let them replace the watch you bought.

Physical Damage

As we said earlier, watches are not indestructible. Although most of them are durable, they are prone to physical damage too. If you have dropped it several times, the gears inside might become loose and deformed, causing it to stop functioning properly.

If you think the malfunction of your watch is due to this issue, visit a certified watch technician and ask for their service to quickly fix your wristwatch.

Starting A Watch Collection – Conclusion

And there you have it! Those are the things we think everybody should consider when building a watch collection. We hope you find it informative and helpful as you try to start your journey in the watch-collecting community.

Remember to always have fun and enjoy every watch you may have in your watch collection in the future.

If you still don’t know what timepieces you want to buy first and want some ideas on where to dream, check out Jay Z’s watch collection here!

Ethan Hunt is the executive editor of, a luxury lifestyle website. With a background in education, he has a keen interest in educating readers on the finer things in life, particularly in the realm of fashion and luxury style. His love for these topics has led him to pursue a career in editorial work and he continues to share his knowledge with readers around the world.

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