Having been a member of a watch forum for over a decade, I have watched a number of different types of collector. They fall into one of only three categories. Vintage only. Modern only. Or a mixture of both. There is also the hybrid version that starts off as a modern only collector, but then time passes and presto, after a decade or so they morph into modern and vintage collectors. Time passing has a way of transforming us! Ten years on a watch chatroom has transformed me.
The question of vintage or modern often arouses quite passionate opinions between collectors. For example, I know one very passionate collector who sees the need to have the most up-to-date in-house movement as quite crucial to his rationale. Similarly, I know of other very passionate collectors who see the 1950s and 1960s as the golden era of production, where significantly lower numbers and extraordinary finishing propels these watches into a league of their own. Who is right? Is there a wrong?
One of the things that I find most infuriating on forum discussions is that so many people believe that what they think is factual. It is as if one person’s desire to have watches of a certain size needs to be applied to everyone else. Is it ever correct to tell someone else that a watch is too big or too small? Is it ever right to state any opinion that, albeit genuinely held, is rude to someone else? To be honest, this is why watch forums inevitably end up with food fights. People just have to express their opinions as if they are facts. Open-minded debate is fantastic. Opinions stated as facts generally stink.
Well, here’s the news….. the latter can’t happen here. Personal taste is an entirely subjective matter. As much as one person may feel that something looks wrong on the wrist of another, too blingy, too small, or whatever, they do not have the right to say so in a way that offends. Well, legally I suppose they do have the right. And in today’s society many will argue that this is a good thing. Well, be that as it may, I have seen many good collectors insulted when someone says something that in one culture is impolite but in another is not. This blog will try to steer a path through such problems without the inevitable food fights.
Does that mean this blog will become so anasthetised in its commentary that it won’t be interesting? Or can objectivity be interesting without being offensive? I have fairly distinct views about what I like about watches and also what I don’t like. I will express those opinions in a way that recognises my own personal proclivities and tastes without denigrating the taste of others. But out of necessity, the opinions reflected here will be biased by my own personal taste and views.
Further, I believe strongly that it is possible to be critical without being rude. Similarly, one can love a watch without needing to own it. As a collector, I will own some of the watches that I discuss on this forum. However, there will be watches that I review that I don’t own that I love as well as ones that I truly do not love. I will aim to deliver a fair evaluation of every watch that I discuss.
It is also quite central to the objectives of this blog to be non-commercial. All costs associated with running this blog will be absorbed by me. No sponsorship will be sought from any outside source. You won’t find me shilling watches or pushing watches owned by friends. Nor will I be tied to liking something just because it is a watch that Patek Philippe wants to sell. If ever this site raises money, it is a commitment that every dollar and dime will be passed to designated charities.
I hope that sets out some of the objectives behind this blog. And I hope it leads to some interesting articles that generate plenty to think about. If it does that, then it will have achieved its aim.