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?
I watched two seemingly unrelated TED talks, but I thought they were interestingly connected; One tackles how to get rid of things you already have, and the other offers advice around minimising the acquisition of new things. As watch collectors, this seems to summarise a conundrum we face daily!
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.
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.
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.
If you speak to any branding consultant, designer or architect, they’ll tell you about how clients tend to have an easier time conveying what they don’t like about a design, sketch or draft… rather than what they would prefer instead. People manifest this dynamic in designing their lives too. This has consequences for watch collecting too.