ZEN & THE ART OF WATCH COL­LECT­ING

24-7 (Singapore) - - Contents - By Alvin Wong

At first, they peep furtively, think­ing we won’t no­tice. (We al­ways do.) Even­tu­ally, some might ven­ture an “Oh… that’s a nice watch!” leav­ing you with lit­tle choice but to sur­ren­der your wrist for closer in­spec­tion. And that, re­ally, is when things start head­ing south.

Watch col­lect­ing, if left unchecked, can be a bruis­ing af­fair. It can make one feel small in the pres­ence of those in­tent on flaunt­ing their pricier or rarer tick­ers – or worse, feel chuffed with mis­placed pride. But prob­a­bly the most un­for­tu­nate thing about horo­log­i­cal envy is that it makes us for­get why we love watches in the first place.

Re­mem­ber when buy­ing a top-dol­lar watch was a big deal be­cause, well, it made you happy? Those who are blessed to en­joy such mo­ments – peo­ple who even­tu­ally be­come “col­lec­tors” – of­ten also tend to morph into com­peti­tors. Hav­ing writ­ten about high­end time­pieces for over a decade, we can at­test to the too-fre­quent trans­for­ma­tion of nor­mal watch-loving fans into catty show-offs. We’ve seen it hap­pen. And if we are not care­ful, we will be­come them.

So how can we stop this? For a start, we can try to re­mem­ber that what we like is right. Your predilec­tion for dainty bracelet watches may make you feel far re­moved from your plus-sized-man-watch-loving girl­friends. But at least you’re be­ing your­self.

Sec­ond, don’t be­lieve ev­ery­thing you read. Just be­cause, for in­stance, tour­bil­lons are pro­claimed as must-haves for any sel­f­re­spect­ing col­lec­tor doesn’t mean you have to ac­quire one like some sort of a badge of hon­our. In fact, if gem-drenched quartz time­pieces truly make your heart sing, who’s to say it’s not art, at least to you?

Last but not least, stay calm. Each time a fel­low col­lec­tor tries to start a horo­log­i­cal con­test, or worse, lav­ish empty praise as a means of elic­it­ing com­pli­ments about her own watch, be cool and see it for what it is. For women who sup­pos­edly have some wealth and abil­ity to ac­quire ex­pen­sive watches, such be­hav­iour is just plain crass and – just like school in June – they have no class.

LOVING WATCHES IS NOT A SPORT.

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