HOW TO START A WATCH COLLECTION

AND WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER STARTING ONE TOO

By: Mr. Jan Heemskerk | Fromanteel staff-writer, Amsterdam – Netherlands (GMT+2 hrs)

 

Growing up, I had quite the impressive collection of vintage comic books. It started when I first laid my hands on a copy that was about 20 years older than myself. I distinctively remember loving the smell of the paper, the rough edges, damages and everything else that symbolized all the time it’s been around. It wasn’t just an object. It had seen things.

That’s the thing with collecting. It’s never about physically holding something. It’s about falling in love with something the first time you see it, touch it or even smell it. Ask any collector why they once started out and prepare to see their eyes light up with passion and childlike joy.

Maybe they remember seeing their father sitting at the breakfast table fiddling with an ancient pocket watch. Maybe they remember the first time they took a watch apart to find out what makes it tick. Maybe it’s because it reminds them of their first love, who bought them their watch for an anniversary.

 

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Follow your Emotions

The emotions and stories differ per collector, and that’s what makes it so special. One of our Fromanteel staff-members told me about his father, who owned a small jewelry shop back in the day. Starting young, my colleague would assist his father in this shop. Witnessing sale after sale, his own love for watches kept growing and growing. When he asked his father if he could wear a watch too, his dad took off the one he was wearing and gave it to him. Today he owns 22 watches, but none are as important to him as that first one.

Entirely unsurprisingly, he is not the only collector within the Fromanteel team. We have a Swiss colleague who cannot get enough of tinkering. You’ll often find him huddled under a lamp in full concentration, surrounded by tools and components. He likes to compare it to building model ships and airplanes. He can still remember the very first time he took a watch apart, and that calm, soothing feeling stayed with him forever.

Owning just one watch myself, I feel like the odd man out between my fellow Fromanteel colleagues. It’s not that I don’t love them as much, to be honest; it’s just that I’ve virtually lost every watch I have ever owned. Clumsy me! But I vividly remember the day this changed. Years ago, a woman I was seeing gave me a beautiful, white, minimalistic piece for our anniversary. I still have it to this day and often think about the smell of the leather strap, the feeling of cold steel on my wrist and the gorgeous smile on her face.

 

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Collect Memories

It is like I said earlier in this piece: collecting stuff is not about objects, but it is about memories. Happy ones, sad ones, it doesn’t matter. The watches become tied to a period of our life, where, for better or worse, we felt something. We felt something real, something undeniable, something worth remembering.

When I look at my watch, I remember a time where love ruled supreme. That time might have passed now, but the memory will stay with me forever. When I finally get around to expanding my collection, and I will, another memory will be eternalized. Whatever it might be, I cannot wait to find out.

So when you start your collection, whether it because you want to step into your fathers’ footsteps, or because you fell in love with the complicated and precise movements of the mechanics, or because you’re reminded of happy days; you’ll do good to remember that there are no wrong reasons to start a collection – only right ones.

What are yours?


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