Watch collecting is a hobby that has been around for centuries, and it's easy to see why. Watches are not just functional timekeepers but also ‘works of art’ that can be appreciated for their craftsmanship, design, and history. From vintage pocket watches to modern luxury timepieces, there is a watch for every taste and budget. Starting a watch collection can be an exciting and rewarding journey, but it can also be overwhelming.
The temptation to jump in headfirst and buy the most expensive watches can be hard to resist, but it's important to remember that building a collection takes time and patience. The key is to start small and build your collection gradually.
The first step in starting a watch collection is deciding what type you want. Whether you're drawn to vintage watches, modern timepieces, or a specific brand, narrowing your focus will make finding a timepiece that matches your interests and budget easier. When starting, it's also essential to keep your budget in mind. You don't have to spend a lot of money to create a collection; many vintage watches can be found reasonably priced.
As your collection grows, you can expand your horizons and explore different styles, brands, and movements. The joy of collecting watches is that you can always find something new to discover, whether it's a rare and unusual piece or a modern masterpiece. Collecting watches is a way to own a piece of mechanical art and learn about its history, science, and technology.
To help you get started, we've compiled a list of watches that are perfect for the beginning collector, priced under $2,500 in the aftermarket. Remember to have fun and enjoy the journey; that's the most important part of watch collecting.
Seiko SKX007: This watch is a classic favorite among many watch enthusiasts. It features reliable automatic movement and a sturdy build, making it perfect for everyday wear. The Seiko SKX007 is also known for its legibility and durability, and its price point makes it an excellent entry-level option.
Pros: Affordable, durable, and reliable automatic movement.
Cons: Some collectors may consider the design too simple, lacks complexity, and extra functions.
Omega Speedmaster Professional: This iconic watch is famous for its association with the Apollo space program and the moon landing. The Speedmaster Professional is a manual-winding chronograph with a timeless design that will never go out of style.
Pros: Classic, timeless design, interesting historical background.
Cons: The price point is higher than other entry-level watches.
Longines Heritage Military: The Longines Heritage Military is an elegant dress watch that pays homage to the brand's military watches of the past. It features a manual-winding movement and a vintage-inspired design that gives it a timeless look.
Pros: Elegant design, manual-winding movement, vintage-inspired.
Cons: Slightly higher price point than some entry-level watches.
Tudor Black Bay: Tudor is known for producing watches similar in style and quality to its sister brand, Rolex, at a more affordable price point. The Black Bay is a perfect example of this, and it's a great entry-level option for those looking to start a collection.
Pros: Affordable, excellent quality, similar style to Rolex.
Cons: Some collectors may see it as less exclusive than Rolex.
Panerai Luminor: Panerai is a brand known for its bold, masculine designs, and the Luminor is an excellent example of this. It features reliable automatic movement and water resistance of 300 meters.
Pros: Bold, masculine design, reliable automatic movement, water resistant.
Cons: Some collectors may find the watch a bit too large and heavy.
IWC Portuguese: The Portuguese is a classic dress watch known for its simple, elegant design and reliable automatic movement. It's also relatively affordable, making it a great entry-level option for those looking to start a collection.
Pros: Elegant design, reliable automatic movement, relatively affordable.
Cons: Some collectors may find the design too simple, lacks complexity, and complications
When starting a watch collection, it's essential to balance affordability, quality, and style. These watches are all great options for the beginning collector and should serve you well as you continue to build your collection. Remember that it's always wise to research, read reviews, and get hands-on experience; it will help you make an informed decision.
Note: The information on models mentioned here is general, and there could be variations on the specific models. If you're interested in purchasing any watch on this list, please get in touch with one of our Watch Gurus at a Timepiece 360 to take you through any of our listings or even to chat over watch stuff - the coffee is on us:)