This is a post about the concept of ‘positive psychology’ drawing on the work of Martin Seligman, and a few ways to apply the concepts to watch collecting.
As we collect, we find ourselves seeking advice and opinions from those around us. Inevitably, we might receive so much positive external input about a watch that the idea of owning it seems too good to ignore… and against our own better judgement, we fall into the trap of succumbing to this idea of owning that particular watch… only to find we don’t really enjoy owning it at all.
I shared a recent post by @watchanalytics on Instagram, asking people about their opinion on the Rolex Daytona, and whether its price performance was justified. Needless to say, this led to several interesting conversations, and I’d like to share some thoughts on the topic here.
Anyone who has been collecting watches for more than a couple of years will recall a time when they were able to buy today’s most desirable watches right out an authorised dealer’s display cabinet. Today you might be labelled a “flipper” and blacklisted by a brand for selling something you rightfully own and should be able to do with as you please. Is that right?
Barry Schwartz is an American psychologist, Professor of Social Theory and Social Action at Swarthmore College, and since 2016 has been visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley. His work focuses on the intersection of psychology and economics… He is also the author of the book “The Paradox of Choice” and he talks about the concepts from the book in this TED talk. In this post I wanted to outline some of the key points he makes, and connect them to a watch collector’s decision-making processes.
Yesterday, over lunch with the infamous @nycwatchguy and @f1ptb… … we discussed the concept of purchases under pressure. In the current environment this issue is far more pronounced, due to the rise of limited editions, the increased popularity of independent watchmaking (who have lower supply inherently) and because of general hype with any popular watches – often fuelled by the influx of profiteers into the watch game, who tend to pose as genuine enthusiasts or collectors. This also raised the question of what defines a “genuine” enthusiast anyway; and when is it ok to sell a watch without being labelled a flipper? Thoroughly enjoyed the conversation, and thought I would share a bit here.