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Thread: One signature watch, or constant changes?

  1. #1
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    One signature watch, or constant changes?

    There is something appealing about the idea of owning one significant watch and wearing it most of the time. I like stories about so and so, who always wore this or that Rolex or Omega or some such. My father in law had such a watch, nothing fancy, just a nice Seiko, but my wife remembers seeing him wearing that watch on many occasions. She now owns that watch and she treasures it, and sometimes wears it herself. It is small enough to be used as a lady's watch. So, it was essentially a signature timepiece.

    The other pole is the watch enthusiast who has a large collection. He has many nice watches, but there is no watch that he wears day in and day out, and there is no watch that his friends and family can recall him wearing regularly. There is no watch that he can look at and recall the many memories that were created while wearing that particular watch.

    I can see the appeal of either approach. One is about being happy with what you have. It is something that helps to define you and it is something that you can look at an remember happy times. The other one is to appreciate a large number of watches, while not attaching as much significance to any one of them.

    What is your philosophy when it comes to this, and why? This is a watch forum, and most people here are enthusiasts who own many watches and regularly buy and sell watches, so I suppose that most of you will fall into the camp that often changes watches and never wears a watch long enough to firmly bond with it, or be partially defined by it.

  2. #2
    I've gone through a lot of watches since joining here and have been lucky to try some lovely watches from some great brands but I have three which have been pretty constant over the last 8 years and two of them were worn at my children's births...one day they will own them. I like the idea that they will remember me wearing them and they'll see them in pictures of them growing up. I'm sure there will be other watches that come and go...this hobby will do that, but I think at least two will remain.

  3. #3
    Master
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    I've done both, over quite some journey, starting in 1996 to now

    At one time my collection consisted of the following worn in regular rotation
    Rolex Submariner-Date
    Rolex Yachtmaster
    Rolex Explorer II
    Rolex Daytona
    Audermars Piguet Royal Oak chrono
    Vacheron Constantin Overseas chrono
    Tag Heuer Monaco
    Longines Flagship chrono
    Omega Speedmaster Triple Date
    Zenith Chronomaster moonphase triple date
    Panerai PAM00282
    Bvlgari Scuba Pro Chrono

    Guess I had a thing for chronographs at the time

    Then whittled it down to
    Rolex Submariner-Date
    Rolex Yachtmaster
    Rolex Explorer II
    Rolex Daytona

    Then a purge and replace
    Rolex Explorer 39mm
    Omega Planet Ocean Ti 42mm
    PAM00523

    A slight change
    Rolex Explorer 39mm
    PAM00523
    PAM00512

    Another purge settling on one and one only
    Rolex Datejust 116234

    Just think of the money I'd have saved if I'd just bought the DJ to start with back in '96!!

    Then again where's the fun in that?
    Last edited by nunya; 14th February 2018 at 09:36.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by nunya View Post
    Just think of the money I'd have saved if I'd just bought the DJ to start with back in '96!!

    Then again where's the fun in that?
    Exactly, but I am sure the watches you owned payed you back in the pleasure of wearing them.

    I hope no one takes this the wrong way, I don't really think that one approach is better or worse than the other.

  5. #5
    Master
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    Thought provoking. . . .

    I have a mixture. Some are sentimental, one (Rolex Air-King-Date 1978) belonged to my father, the other (Patek 5146J Annual Calender) was bought from the last of my inheritance in memory of my mother. Both those will never leave my little collection.

    The rest come and go over the years but I try concentrate on quality rather than quality. Regrets, I’ve had a few etc. etc. And I have reached a phase where it is pretty much self funding (well that’s what I tell the wife).

    I sometimes look back at holiday photos to check what I was wearing at the time. No one else cares a toss.

    So - both for me.

    Martyn
    Last edited by MartynJC (UK); 14th February 2018 at 10:02.

  6. #6
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    I've always dreamt of just owning one and had I stuck to my guns saved some serious money!! But I just love trying new watches and therefore constantly flip on a regular basis.

    Guess that's the cure for serial flippers, one signature watch.

    Just not sure I'm brave enough!!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chinnock View Post
    Guess that's the cure for serial flippers, one signature watch.
    You'd like to think that, but it doesn't work. A friend of mine never understood the multiple ownership thing and only has one watch. But, he flips it when he's bored of it for something else, in the year I've managed to just stay with the DJ, he's still got his Rolex, about his 8th. But only ever one at a time, so for him that's ok!

  8. #8
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    My own approach is to try and have one core watch that I wear most of the time. These last few years it has been a Grand Seiko quartz. I love that watch, I know it intimately, I have changed the battery myself scratched the back, etc. It looks great and I love it.

    I would however like to move forward with a watch that makes more of a statement. I know it is a very unoriginal choice, but I hope to soon buy a Rolex Submariner that will be my watch for daily wear. I will keep my Grand Seiko since there are too many memories attached to it for me to let it go. I have some other watches that have desirable attributes, such as tritium dial markers, an alarm, so cheap that I can use them in situations where using an expensive watch would be risky, etc. and I will wear them if the occasion demands it.

  9. #9
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    I have the signature watch. The one I wear most of the time. But it has 6 to 7 friends for occasions I want something different...

  10. #10
    I've been through such phases with fountain pens. From one to many to just a few treasured ones. Granted, different price range in most cases, but a similar sentiment.

    With watches, I am trying to limit myself to one or two in each category. Categories being "dress watch", "diver", "chronograph", and so on.

  11. #11
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    I've got around 35 watches and, whilst a few get the bulk of the wear, most get a day or two a year on my wrist.

    I like the variety, although I do think, almost daily, that I should reduce it to around 20.

    I suspect, if my family ever think about it, my Cosmonaute will be the one they remember me by, simply because (at the time) it was a major decision for me.

    My son still says "You've got a watch that cost £2000!" in an amazed tone, sometimes - I should show him this forum

    M

  12. #12
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    Interesting post.

    I have a collection of mostly inexpensive watches, but 3 stand out in my collection as sentimental to me, a Tag 4000 I got for my 18th, which I wore daily until I discovered this forum... My Grandma's Rolex Oyster, which I never wear despite it being a gents watch form the 1960's, she bought it as the ladies watches at the time were too small for her to read. A Glycine Sub, which I bought with my first dividend cheque when I got my own business and was worn at my daughters birth. However, I rarely wear them on a daily basis. The Tag needs a service and the Glycine is only worn on days out with the family, therefore building memories for the watch in its own right.

    Despite the above I still have a wish list, as I am sure many members on here have. But with that list would come a first world problem, in that I am unsure how often my current watches would get worn if I was ever in a position to afford the likes of a Rolex SeaDweller/Daytona etc. I think I would feel I had worked hard to acquire such an item and would want to wear it as often as possible therefore relegating my 'signature' watches down the ladder... Time will tell I suppose.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Peteris View Post
    What is your philosophy when it comes to this, and why?
    Mine's been pretty straightforward:

    At school I had a Casio F91W, followed by a Guess Indiglo which looked very similar to a cream dial Breitling Colt - although I didn't know it at the time.

    My parents bought me Tag Heuer Classic 2000 for my 21st so I wore that throughout my 20s.

    At 30 I got a Speedmaster Pro, which I wore throughout most of my 30's up to 38, until getting a Submariner which I've worn for little over a year. If the past is anything to go by I'll wear this through my 40's, but then again who knows.

  14. #14
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    Once you have a few watches, you will inevitably make the discovery that some of them look much better than others with different outfits. Soon it will be hard to get dressed in the morning without trying on every watch in the box. In theory this means looking smart, but at the cost of being known as ‘that guy who has a lot of watches’. This is unfortunate, as there’s a certain dignity and purity in having one nice watch, and a certain strength to a signature style. Even having one steel sports watch most of the time, and one dress watch on leather for special occasions would show some restraint and consistency, and in some ways I’d like to end up there. But once you’re on this slippery slope, dignity and restraint are in the rear view mirror. The nearest you will get to a signature style is preferring certain brands, or vintage, or three handlers or divers, or tending towards integrated bracelets. I suppose there are worse vices, but this question makes a good point. There is something you are giving up as well as something you gain by becoming a collector, or perhaps hoarder of watches.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itsguy View Post
    Once you have a few watches, you will inevitably make the discovery that some of them look much better than others with different outfits. Soon it will be hard to get dressed in the morning without trying on every watch in the box.
    I know what you mean, but I'd never leave home if I did!

    M

  16. #16
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    Well for me whilst watches are a hobby it is part investment (asset allocation wise) for a few pateks i own, then itís also about style and fashion having a watch for a certain occasion ie beach, business and so forth. Very difficult for me to do a 1 watch as i am too interested in different ones and looks.


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  17. #17
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    Your approach is normal, and sensible. One fine watch is enough. But owning several is just fun.....and, for me, this hobby is about having a bit of fun . I must say, as a 'one watch' candidate, a Grand Seiko quartz is perfect. I gave mine to my nephew, years ago, and it's been his only watch ever since. He wouldn't part with it.
    The Submariner is iconic, but it's too 'obvious' to be a great 'only ' watch. Too conspicuous , carrying too much symbolism. Alternate with the GS would be good.

  18. #18
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    I have 6 or 7 watches although I mainly wear one most of the time (my BP Fifty Fathoms). I have tried to shrink my collection down, with the very logical thinking of 'if it's not being worn then sell it so someone else can benefit'. However every time I've tried this the collection slowly creeps up again as I do like different watches for different occasions (currently awaiting delivery of my black series turtle from Japan :-) )

  19. #19
    This is related to the ďone-watch guyĒ mentality where a person chooses one good watch to wear for life. I appreciate that when a person dies, the watch will be remembered as being part of them.

    For myself, I donít think I can have only one watch since I really do like trying different styles and as already mentioned, some watches look better when matched to certain outfits. I guess that means my whole collection will be remembered as being part of me when I die.

    However, the dilemma I constantly have is quality vs quantity (have a few top end watches or many good watches), considering the fact of diminishing returns and outrageous prices.

  20. #20
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    Iíve had the same thoughts, but which of my 8 watches would I choose, I tried last year to get to 5 but a bad summer led me back to 8, I love them all, they all get worn on rotation, and I know if I was to sell one Iíd justify to myself why it needed replaced so I have decided that I am selling none. I bought a blue Monaco when my son was born but I wouldnít want that as my only watch

  21. #21
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    I think most people's tastes change throughout their life. And I think "one watch guys" are (more often than not) not particularly interested in watches! They may own a respected watch like a Speedy or Sub, but they just view it as "their watch" and it therefore becomes their signature because they're not interested in finding out what else is out there. And if you are a little keen on watches, you're unlikely to be a one-watcher since no watch is perfect!

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Chinnock View Post
    I've always dreamt of just owning one
    I'd call that a nightmare.
    Andy

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy tims View Post
    I'd call that a nightmare.
    You have a point Andy. It's bordering on genius / insane!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by axb601 View Post
    I think most people's tastes change throughout their life. And I think "one watch guys" are (more often than not) not particularly interested in watches! They may own a respected watch like a Speedy or Sub, but they just view it as "their watch" and it therefore becomes their signature because they're not interested in finding out what else is out there. And if you are a little keen on watches, you're unlikely to be a one-watcher since no watch is perfect!
    This sums it up for me. I'd love to be a "one watch guy" and until I got 'into' watches definitely was. Certainly though as I've got older my tastes have changed and still change on any given week or month if I'm honest. Saying that I think that all the time I still frequent watch forums and blogs, I'm simply feeding the obsession and always on the look-out for that 'grail watch'. The same for any other given commodity that takes my fancy (normally based off a thread on G&D!).

    My name's Andy and I have a watch problem...

  25. #25
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    I used to just wear my seamaster, I was given it for my 21st and I love it. But since getting a second nice watch with my first decent (spendable) bonus, Iíve gone back to older cheaper watches that I got in my teens which had been previously forgotten. I now wear all 4 in rotation and love it!


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  26. #26
    Difficulty for me, and I suspect for many, is the fairly broad range of activities to dress for.

    Even with the desire to minimise (and who hasnít felt the draw of that), As a base I would need a (1) a waterproof, preferably low cost, beater; and (2) a dress watch. In real life, Iíd also want to keep (3) a nice sports watch in the mix.

    But then, why not a little fun and variety?

  27. #27
    I was thinking about having a couple of took watched. One diver plus my speedmaster which I got for my birthday. Then some nice dress watch, perhaps a Rolex just date or perpetual.
    But I have now started to use some of my older vintage types watched and enjoying them again after they had been left for years in a box.
    I have come to the conclusion that my tastes will change over the coming weeks, months, years. I may end up with a lot of watches.

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  28. #28
    I've got about 25 watches right now and am very seriously considering flogging them all but one or two.

    I never wear them. I usually leave a cheap Seiko in my office locker to wear, the rest sit untouched and unloved, worn only at the weekend, maybe once or twice a year. What's the point of it?

  29. #29
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    I'm thinking of buying a new watch at the moment, but last night on Chrono24 I ended up looking at Patek calendars which would well and truly be a signature watch and thinking that I could forget the idea of an additional new watch, sell my 1665 and not put a whole lot more in for a Patek... decisions decisions...

  30. #30
    Master Rocket Man's Avatar
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    This topic has been on my mind lately. If I don't wear a watch regularly then I just can't justify the expense.

    I am seriously considering reducing to just 2-3 watches, a simple 3 hander on steel and a simple chrono on leather.

    I would also like to add a Smiths W10 and then I could call it a day.

    Could these become my signature watches?




  31. #31
    ^ could do a lot worse than those :)

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocket Man View Post
    This topic has been on my mind lately. If I don't wear a watch regularly then I just can't justify the expense.

    I am seriously considering reducing to just 2-3 watches, a simple 3 hander on steel and a simple chrono on leather.

    I would also like to add a Smiths W10 and then I could call it a day.

    Could these become my signature watches?



    Snap ...


    Rolex Explorer Ė 2002



    SmithsW10 - 1967



    1964 Heuer Carrera Re-edition from 1999



    Plus a Zenith and a couple of vintage Omega Seamasters.

  33. #33
    Master Rocket Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montello View Post
    Snap ...

    Rolex Explorer Ė 2002

    SmithsW10 - 1967

    1964 Heuer Carrera Re-edition from 1999
    Hey, those are supposed to be my signature watches!!

    Great minds think alike!

  34. #34
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    A core collection and a satellite of changes


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  35. #35
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    It's all about the journey and changing tastes for me. I love buying few watches for specific reasons and ill see where the collection ends up. I have no desire to sell any of my watches but you never know. If I ever need to or want to sell I can but no intention to.

    Maybe one day I'll own just one watch, you never know. Either way I'll enjoy the journey.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocket Man View Post
    Hey, those are supposed to be my signature watches!!

    Great minds think alike!
    One thing you canít buy is good taste.

  37. #37
    I love the stories of guys that have had one watch all their lives and worn it everyday, but I like having a change. My Speedy Pro is the first quality/luxury mechanical watch I got and I make sure I wear it as much as possible, if there's one watch that Id like to be the hand me down this is it. Others will hopefully join it over the years to make say a 3 watch core collection then others that chop and change.

  38. #38
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    Iím a serial watch flipper and have always searched for that one watch that would be my 1 watch forever but Iím constantly looking for the next one

    I actually envy people who have that 1 signature watch . My brother in law
    Has worn the same tag f1 watch ever since Iíve known him . He claims to never take it off no matter what and I canít imagine the bond he must have with that watch . How many experiences he has had with it . I really think have respect for people that have that one signature watch


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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlies View Post
    I actually envy people who have that 1 signature watch . My brother in law
    Has worn the same tag f1 watch ever since Iíve known him . He claims to never take it off no matter what and I canít imagine the bond he must have with that watch . How many experiences he has had with it . I really think have respect for people that have that one signature watch
    [/url]
    Amen.

    Thanks for this and the other excellent posts in this thread.

  40. #40
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    I'm finding that my signature watch, is my BLNR, since I bought it and its become my daily wear (warts and all). I have been steadily reducing the collection down. Along with my Speedmaster, which'll go to my son when he's old enough I'm looking to keep the "core" collection down to 3 watches. Once my Monaco gets sold (soon to hit SC!), i'll sink all remaining funds into something special and try to keep it at the three. I will keep other Seiko's and other bits and bobs but any of these watches should be less than a couple of hundred quid and knowing how little I wear them, I wont let the "on the side" collection get any bigger than 3 or 4.

  41. #41
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    I'm always buying, never selling, so I have loads and loads and loads but no dream watch!

  42. #42
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    For the longest time (roughly 28 years or so), my 1655 was the closest thing to being a signature watch from the standpoint that I couldn't justify or afford buying another significantly expensive watch. Besides, you can only wear one wristwatch at a time anyway.

    About 15 years ago, I set aside the old Explorer II and started wearing a Timex Expedition for a change of pace. That eventually got old and I have since switched to a Seiko chronograph. One of these days I'll drop the 1655 off at an independent RSC as it hasn't been serviced in over 20+ years.

    For those who can afford it, owning several high-end watches offers a variation in terms of a personal fashion statement or functional options. On the other hand, whimsical purchases and incessant flipping can be counterproductive as well. Perhaps one really good watch, along with a versatile everyday wearer and a reliable beater is all that most folks really need. This comes to three according to my arithmetic. When the want and desire factors kick-in full-bore, then the watch collection or accumulation begins.
    Last edited by Bannon; 23rd February 2018 at 18:02.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocket Man View Post
    Hey, those are supposed to be my signature watches!!

    Great minds think alike!
    Got your PM but canít respond as your inbox is full ...

  44. #44
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    I think I found my signature watch in a Speedy Pro. Great piece of watch and I really cant think of any other replacing it.
    That said, Im pretty sure I will try out many more in the future. Being a OWG is impossible for me..

  45. #45
    I wore a white Explorer II between 2000 and 2010 (my wife has worn it since then until now - it'll be a 'birth year watch' for my son at 21, having been worn for ten years by each of us).

    Between 2010 and now, for 95% of the time I wear the EZM1, I've a dozen others that get the occasional outing, but mainly this is 'my' watch - it does it all.

  46. #46
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    At the moment a Rolex Op I bought in memory of my parents who died just over a year ago.For obvious reasons,a keeper but will I wear it all the time..probably not as I have a gold Zenith Class Elite and when I feel it's time for a more retro look then that will come out to play for maybe a few months.
    My Sinn 356 II and Seiko SKX013 don't come out very much but I'm not sure that I would sell them.
    When I might engage in any activities where chemicals and knocks/scrapes re likely then I use TF Seafire or Seiko quartz diver.
    It's nice to have more than one watch...isn't it?

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