Collecting watches is a great hobby but it can become expensive really quickly. It is like a bug that you cannot actually control. It all starts with an ad, a new watch release you find on a watch forum, or a cool dial color from your favorite brand that you want to have at all costs. Well, hold up a minute.
Prior to hitting the “Buy Button”, think about the days of work you have to put in just to have that new watch adorning your wrist. It is worth it. We love watches too. But you can not have all the watches in the world. Even if you would, manufacturers would go back and come up with some new designs and features. So how to survive as a watch lover on a budget? This is what this article is all about. Below you will find 7 ways you can consider to keep buying watches, build an amazing collection, and keep your finances in good shape as well.
Free up Some Space on Your Collection
So there you have it. The most real and at the same time the most painful tip to survive as a watch lover on a budget: To sell before buying!
Giving up from a watch you have kept for a while can be tough but it is something that needs to be done. You can identify the watch or the watches that are less important to you and sell them online. This way, you will save some money for your next best watch as well as focus more on your other watches. After all, what’s the point of having a watch if you don’t wear it? See, that can be a clear alert that you have more watches than your collection needs. Think about the ones that you almost never wear and get rid of them. That, if the watch has no emotional value to you. If yes, it is priceless.
Opt for Affordable Watches
Well, you are a watch lover on a budget. As such, opting for affordable watches is somewhat reasonable. You like to scan eBay, Amazon, Chrono24, and other online shops in your free time and wait for your Holy Grail Watch to show up at a groundbreaking price tag. It happens! And when it does there is almost nothing stopping you from having it on your wrist. Well, for as long as the watch is a good deal and you like it, simply buy the damn watch. After all, you are a watch lover. You are already saving by buying a preowned watch so you have done all you could to preserve your savings. The bottom line: Affordability is relative. With that said, you can determine your own maximum and stick to it. It is the simplest thing you can do and it will also help you keep a steady financial account.
Don’t Get Scammed
Whatever you do, don’t buy Rolexes online that are being sold for a couple of hundreds.
The last thing you need is getting scammed online. Yes, there are good deals on eBay, Amazon, Chrono24, and other online shops. There you will find watches being sold by people that do not want their watches anymore. If unlucky, you will also encounter scammers that will try to sell you a replica as if it was an original. Well, to avoid losing your hard-earned money for absolutely nothing, make sure to do your due diligence. The first thing you can do is to look for the watch’s original box and papers. For as long as the watch you are willing to buy is equipped with the proper documentation, you should be okay. What’s more, with the original box and papers you should also be able to sell it later easy-peasy.
Pre-Loved Watches Only
Probably one of the greatest tips we can give in this article is to preserve your earnings by opting for pre-owned watches.
After you realize that pre-owned watches are the same as the new ones, only then you will be able to enlarge your watch collection without creating a hole in your bank account. This is the price you pay to keep playing the game and get your hands on more and more timepieces.
Again, if the pre-owner has treated the watch well, worn it only a few times, and the condition of the watch is good or excellent, there is no reason to spend more on brand new ones. Except for Ltd editions, reputable brands, and special models that often see an increase in value due to their rarity. So, if you have your eyes on a Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, Patek Philippe, Panerai, Grand Seiko, or a brand of the same caliber, keep in mind that pre-owned models in good shape will cost more.
Play with Straps and Bracelets
Ever thought of changing the straps or bracelets of your watches? It would make you feel like you are wearing a completely different watch. A new strap or bracelet would give your watches a fresh look that will make you only love them more. You can even swap out a strap for a bracelet, or vice versa. Everything you can to keep your collection attractive and playful.
Considering that you are on a budget, looking for professional counseling and advice would immediately take you out of your budget zone. The only solution is to get creative on your own or surf the net for new ideas. Next, measure the size of your strap or bracelet so you know what size to buy. And of course, you will need an eye for matching colors and a bit of a good taste for the material.
Avoid Vintage Watches
Vintage watches are like old cars. To keep them running, you should spend half of your life in the car repair shop. Not to forget about the money you will spend. It might not be as stressful as I described it but sometimes vintage watches can lead to frustrating situations. And judging by the year of production, some of these vintage watch brands might have ceased to exist, and changeable parts with them. So if your goal is to save money, purchasing vintage watches online that can not be serviced doesn’t help much. And even if you do find the parts needed, you will still have to pay again for shipping and for the repair work. But still, vintage watches are cool, they have a story, and are great conversation starters. If you think you can handle it, go for it.
Make Wise Investments
With wise investments, I am referring to watches that are built to last. Those badass durable watches that no matter how many years pass, will still keep good track of time. A good example is the whole G-Shock line from Casio. Thanks to G-Shock’s Triple Sensor Technology, the watches can resist water depths, dust, mud, shocks, and drops. Seiko and Citizen are durable as hell too. There is something about Japanese watches that makes them wanted so much. Affordability that comes without compromising quality is one of those reasons!
The point is that by keeping your watches always working and functional, you will feel less “greedy” for new watches. What’s more, with watches of this durability level, you will spend less on servicing them and you will also be able to later sell them easier.
Bonus Section – Top 4 Iconic Watches Under 100 Dollars You Might Love
Casio Duro MDV106-1AV
As mentioned above, Japanese watch brands manage to deliver great watches at affordable price tags. Casio Duro model MDV106-1AV is one of them. The 44mm stainless steel watch provides up to 200 meters of water resistance and might be one of the watches that can accompany you this summer.
Invicta Pro Diver 8932OB
Yes, it is similar, not to say identical to the iconic Submariner because it was indeed created as a homage watch that pays tribute to Rolex. But hey, it is well built and guarantees and a great experience for what it is being given.
Seiko Series 5 Automatic
If an affordable Seiko is what you are looking for, look no further as this is the best we could find. The watch comes in a white dial that is home to a day-date display window. The watch is accurate and reliable and can be yours for approx. 100$.
If an accurate movement is what you want, this model from Orient gives it to you. The watch is powered by a Japanese automatic movement caliber F4902 and the outside is not so bad either. A day-date window is perfectly positioned at the three o’clock position and the hands are coated with luminous material. Price the last time I checked: $96
The Bottom Line
If you made it up here means you are looking for a piece of honest advice from us. Well, it is always up to you to pick watches but with all the marketing surrounding the watch industry, great watches are sometimes left aside. If you ask me, opt for quality watches and you will have a diverse collection you can be proud of.