Hindsight is always 20/20 and here’s what some of the industry’s top collectors wish they would have known before buying.
1. Buying something trendy as opposed to something you’ll love forever
Zoe Abelson, founder of Graal Limited, knows her hype watches. Having collected and sold arguably every trendy watch in the past five years, Abelson states, “Having outside sources whether that be social media, celebrities, or friends influence your first watch purchase instead of just buying something that actually speaks to you as a forever watch is a mistake, I see all too often”.
2. Not being patient enough to save for what you actually want
Vincent Brasesco, Vice President of Sotheby’s Luxury, bought his first Omega Speedmaster at sixteen on eBay after saving up tips from his family's restaurant emphasizes the importance of patience. Brasesco believes, “So many people get intimidated (rightfully so) at the idea of buying a $5k watch, and instead end up with four or five $1k watches - instead of waiting and saving to buy the watch they actually want”.
3. Buying for the sake of investment
William Massena, founder of Massena LAB and what I could only describe as a "horological sociologist", has strong opinions on the newfound investment hysteria around purchasing a watch purely for financial gain, “The classic mistake is being influenced by the idea of an investment, and what usually is being pushed as an investment rarely is”.
4. Buying a watch without original parts
Geoff Hess, avid vintage collector and founder of Rolliefest, known for sourcing some of the rarest examples of both Rolex and Panerai, cautions, “When buying vintage or second-hand, it’s important to know whether the watch is wholly original. Oftentimes the seller isn’t expert enough to properly judge its condition, that doesn’t necessarily mean the seller was dishonest, they just don’t always know.”
5. Not forming a relationship with an Authorized Dealer
Kat Shoulders, founder of Tenn and Two and Media Production Manager at Worn and Wound, recommends, “Forming a relationship early on is very important, having a relationship with an AD, I’ve learned things I would have never known if not. Most Authorized dealers can give a small percentage off certain brands and it never hurts to ask, I wish I had learned that sooner.”