My hobby was headphones and now it is collecting watches. It all started in a trip to Vienna when I got my Longines Conquest Classic for my 18th birthday in 2015. After getting my first Swiss made watch I did more research on horology and finally became interested in collecting watches
Initially I focused on new watches and modern contemporary watches or living fossils (ie. Sub, Speedmaster, Navitimer).
After convincing myself that a timelessly designed watch should always look good regardless of any factors, I ended up owning a Speedmaster Professional. My first 2 watches were brand new from boutiques because I had not known eBay.
In mid-2015 I started surfing through watch forums. My focus shifted from new watches to vintage (and used) ones as I dug deeper into the world of watches. Because a pocket watch is always cheaper than a wristwatch of the same qualities (condition, brand recognition, value, rarity, etc.), I chose to first collect pocket watches. You can buy a very well preserved 100-year-old Omega pocket watch with a fraction of the price you pay for a random mint second hand modern Omega watch. I ended up owning 2 pocket watches from the revered maison Longines and American innovative manufacturer Waltham who, in late 1800s, utilized automated production in contrast to conservative Swiss manufacturers who prefered traditional labor intensive, time consuming production procedures
After I found eBay while on hunting for new straps to fit my Speedmaster, my weak spot for vintage watches got weaker as I see many varieties of them on eBay from an exorbitantly expensive vintage pink gold Patek to an affordable vintage art deco Bulova. Online market can be a paradise for people seeking vintage watches but it can also be dangerous especially in vintage watch market where buyers need to have some level of knowledge in order to avoid franken watches, redialed or relumed or polished watches, or, possibly, fake ones. A week after I bought straps for my watch, I bought my Enicar as trial. My collection now is so mixed and eclectic that it ranges from cheap Japanese watch (Seiko 5) to Hi-End Hi-Beat Hi-Tech Japanese watch (45KSback then).
My collection also has a field watch, a diver’s and a pilot’s, all of which are essential and critical tools for professionals and military personnels. Now that I like tool watches very much for their functions and their designs that are meant to be used in some specific area, I’m really craving for an IWC 3706.
My beaters are usually sportier; Omega Speedmaster Professional, Longines Conquest Classic, Seiko SKX007
My others watches (I call them sedentary) that are worn less often are King Seiko KS45 from 1970, Benrus GG-W-113 from 1973, a classic Seiko 5 and a white dial Enicar from 60s.
So, my first watch is a Seiko 5 that I got in 2006. From 2008-2015 I wore G-Shocks. And after I got my Longines in 2015, I bought many watches since then.
So I have my conclusions.
- My most loved watches are Longines and Speedmaster Professional.
- My watches with most wrist time is either the Speedmaster Professional or the SKX007
- My watch with best history is unexceptionally Speedmaster Professional. The watch has its own book!
- My most expensive watch is Speedmaster Professional which I bought from a THAI Omega boutique where the discount is limited to 5%. This added a lot additional charge
- My cheapest watch is Enicar which is Swiss but was very popular and successful in Asian markets excluding Thailand. Enicar is related to Racine and distantly Gallet.
- My most abundant movement is Seiko 7s26 in 3 watches: two Seiko 5s and one SKX007. The 7s26 is well known for its robustness and ability to gain time for nearly a minute every week. It is however capable of chronometer performance if regulated by skilled watchmaker. It has plastic parts that are considered superior to some metals but are criticized for aesthetic reason. It is purely automatic with Seiko’s magic lever system that winds the watch really fast compared to other automatic winding system. It cannot be manually wound. The 7s26 is the most produced mechanical movements and are made outside Japan to reduce cost.
- My overall best watch is King Seiko 45ks. The hour markers and hands are sharply executed to razor sharp edge that reflects every tiny ray of light. Tough not that impressive by today’s standard, let’s not forget that this watch was produced in 1970. Its level of finishing was sublime back then and surpassed that of many Swiss brands. The fact that in 60’s Hi-Beat movements were so hard to manufacture and Seiko was the pioneer in Hi-Beat watches represents Seiko’s excellence in watchmaking and thus makes this watch even more collectible. Seiko’s attempts to improve accuracy to compete in chronometer competitions eventually led to creation of Hi-Beat movements and brands like Grand Seiko and King Seiko. It is in this era that Seiko was banned from European chronometer competitions because it won too much awards. So this 45ks is a great example of King Seiko and Grand Seiko. It was made with highest craftsmanship and was years ahead for its revolutionary technologies for better accuracy. The rivalry between Grand and King Seiko also makes a very strong connection to the brand as if we have have to choose side between the King and the Grand.
Happy hunting everyone!