FAQ #2 - Single High Value Timepiece v Collection of Mid Values  5 Comments


Here is another intriguing regular question that I gave some personal thought. Its a tough question and I may in time have a different view but currently its as follows...
Q. Is it more advisable to buy that one single rare horological dream timepiece that I have always wanted by liquidating my lesser priced pieces (which I still like) or should I keep them instead?

A. Yet another difficult conundrum for collectors. It’s a question of balancing the pleasure/satisfaction against the rate of depreciation.

In different moments of my collecting years, my view has changed over time. I am of the view that I personally prefer to just collect what I feel makes me happy within my financial means. Many have suggested that I liquidate my collection to move on to a higher value piece such as a tourbillon or minute repeater.

While I may have considered this, it has yet to take root in my collecting values. For me currently, I fell that unless it's absolutely certain that the (over S$30k) purchase will not depreciate, I will not fork out the hard earned money nor liquidate the hard to acquire pieces of lesser value I have. Save for Pateks - which MAY have some assurance of its long term value and secondary market. Almost nothing in the watch world can promise a recovery of investment cost. For me, Patek does not especially do anything for me at its price point.

Also, personally I think it takes greater skill to look out and acquire low price purchases that hold value. Its a no brainer for those with a disposable $100k to blow it on a Patek 5070. It takes far more finesse and skill to find out where the secondary market is for watches under $20k.
Unfortunately, in my opinion, of late the high prices of newer pieces can be heading for a serious bubble burst. BUT that is just my personal opinion and I can be completely wrong here (I may just be rationalising why I am so uncomfortable in spending large sums for watches).

I have also accepted that variety is the essence of life and the average man in the street has one job, one spouse, one car, one house - is enough of singleness. If we can have many affordable watches that give us pleasure, why restrict to only one piece?

I also think that the laws of diversification applies and that the financial risk of having all your eggs in one watch can be very risky especially when the secondary market is uncertain.

Finally, having a variety of mid-price range watches give the collector a variety of watches for different occasions. Either for work, play or a grand evening night out. It’s just not possible to wear a tourbillon as a daily wear watch and to all occasions. I think that is too pretentious.



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Watching Horology


  • This is a personal blog of Harry SK Tan on all things pertaining to Horology - from watch collecting, horolography, news and developments from all over the world particularly Singapore.
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