Social status and watch collecting

Social status is formally defined as “a person’s standing or importance in relation to other people within a society” and yet, people often think of status exclusively in terms of wealth. The truth is, the concept of social status is at play everywhere; In every situation where we get the feeling that we are of value to other people, or where where we feel even an iota of elevation in our relative social position. The universal human desire for status greatly influences our culture, as well as our own behaviour and the ups and downs of our mood… turns out, this probably has a lot to do with our hobby as watch collectors too!

Dopamine and watch collecting

In her book Dopamine Nation, Dr. Anna Lembke – psychiatrist, author and Chief of Stanford’s Addiction Medicine Clinic – explores why the relentless pursuit of pleasure leads to pain… and offers suggestions on what to do about it. She condenses complex neuroscience into simple metaphors often using the experiences of her patients. I thought there was some benefit in talking about the concepts at a high level, and drawing some parallels to this weird world of collecting watches.

Do you miss depreciation?

I recently had a fascinating conversation with “D” @doobooloo about his new Furlan Marri watches, contrasting them (perhaps surprisingly) with his new R. W. Smith “micro architectural wonderland” which he recently took delivery of, after a 5 year wait! We then got onto the topic of how depreciation has changed the collecting mindset… and this post gives us a glimpse into collecting in what I call the “endgame league” – I’m sure D will disagree! I hope you enjoy the perspectives.

What is collecting?

In an attempt to understand “collecting”, I fell into a rabbit hole and found myself reading academic papers on the subject, trying to make sense of it all. What you will read below is a collection of ideas from the papers referenced below, as well as several other publications which are linked in the text. Even after all that reading, the topic is so abstract that it was challenging to reach any universally applicable conclusion. Instead, I offer a universal truth about people who are passionate about collecting. I hope you enjoy it, and look forward to your thoughts.

A new era of marketing in the watch world

Digital marketing expert Carlos Gil runs a marketing agency and social media consultancy, serving Fortune 500 clients and helping them navigate their digital transformation. In his book, “The End of Marketing” Gil offers a wealth of insights and I will share some below. In particular, I’d like to dig deeper into my hypothesis that Vacheron Constantin has formally entered the world of micro-influencer marketing on social media… and it might be the first ‘big brand’ to do so.

10 irrational human behaviours and how they apply to watch collecting

Dan Ariely is one of the most interesting people I have ever come across… I could go on about his various TED talks or the rest of his incredible CV – but you can enter that rabbit hole another time. Today, I wanted to cover Chris Yeh’s Outline of Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions. It’s one of Ariely’s most fascinating books… and takes a peek into the predictable psychology that powers human actions and reactions. As always, I’ll try and pick out some lessons we can apply to our world of watches. Here’s Ariely’s list…