Collecting Luxury Watches

Collecting Luxury Watches

★★★★★ Great book for watch enthusiasts! »This is the second e-book from this author, that I’ve read. He has a nice, clear writing style and definitely he has lots of insight on what makes a particular watch brand and watch model valuable. I thought the omission of Grand Seiko was somewhat odd, but it is still a great book.«


Leonard Lowe wrote three books about luxury watches: Luxury Watches, Rolex Watches and Ten Fun Things to do with Luxury Watches. And here is his fourth one, his most personal one, with the most insight in his own personal collection and his thoughts why and when he purchased his collectibles. A personal history of becoming a watch enthusiast despite starting out an ordinary person with a lot of hints and thoughts on purchasing and collecting luxury watches.

»I never decided to be a watch collector. It just happened somehow. This book finally tells the story of my passion for luxury watches, how I learned about them, what I considered before and after purchasing my pieces and how it is owning and wearing them.
I am sure a lot of my considerations will help the new and even the advanced watch lover to learn even more about watches, about collecting them or – if you’re not a collector – just about finding the right one-and-only watch for your wrist.
What you will find in this ebook is an amusing, entertaining and insightful story of my personal experiences with luxury watches. Have fun…!«

Join Leonard Lowe on his journey through the world of luxury watches and find a lot of useful and inspiring insights about this compelling hobby.


This book will give you detailed insight in a Watch collectors mind and some personal advice.
You will find these topics covered:

A Little Bit of Heritage

But let’s start at the very beginning. Don’t turn time upside down, when it comes to watches.

A lot of things in watches is about heritage. It is a very time-aware hobby. You may have inherited a watch, you may inherit it to someone further down the road, the watchmakers themselves talk a lot about their heritage in terms of watchmaking and know how and in these days of the vintage watch trend the individual heritage of a specific watch is even more en vogue and nearly every old and worn watch is appreciated for its individual history.
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Liking Watches

I always was a technical guy. As a kid I of course liked fast cars, hifi stereos and every kind of high tech gadget you could get in the 1970s and 1980s – which weren’t so many compared to today. So my fascination for those little perfectionist machines inside mechanical watches is not quite incidental.
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My First Decent Watch

Now I was an adult with a diploma and now I wanted a ‘real’ watch. It should represent my status – at least a little bit, because my status still wasn’t so impressive at all.

There are a lot of ways to become mature and one of it is to graduate from university. And of course this was another occation to get a decent watch. This time I took the question which watch to choose more seriously.
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My First Rolex

In my case the Apple watch started something that the guys from Cupertino obviously hadn’t in mind.

It all began with my wife trying to buy me an Apple watch. But the result was 1. there wasn’t one available, as it was not on the market back then and 2. when she told me, I said that this was a good thing that she didn’t get one because frankly, I did not really want one. Instead I told her that, talking about watches, I perhaps wanted another ‘real’ watch to accompany my Omega Seamaster, this time perhaps a Rolex. And she said, recklessly: »if you want a Rolex, why don’t you get one?«
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The Watch Industry

The hundreds of brands of the Swiss (and German) watch industry are quite boringly spread over not too many luxury groups who mainly came up during the 1970s and 1980s quartz-crisis that shook the Swiss (mechanical, non-quartz) industry to its very roots. Back then a lot of formerly independent manufacturers got in trouble or even out of business and only tight bundling of synergies like the Swatch Group or massive financial and entrepreneurial power like the Richemont Group made it for the manufacturers possible to survive to this very day.
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The Fake

Of course I wanted a Hublot. But I wasn’t so sure if it was a good investment. For an ETA based cool design case from unconventional materials and with a size unclear if still fashionable in another 5 or 10 years, in short: more a hip fasion piece than an eternal piece of luxury, I was not willing to pay the hipster pricetag of 12.000 bucks. For 3000 or 5000 it would have been reasonable, because the fancy design would find its lovers even if smaller watches would be again en vogute, but 12.000! No way.
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The Italian Connection

There is a litteral connection between Panerai and Rolex. Today we would complain about product piracy. But back then in the 1930s… Italy wasn’t exactly the China of the time, but sort of.
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Yacht-Master

I first saw the Yacht Master with the platinum dial in italy worn by an elderly Brit in the pool. Now, if you meet Brits on vacation they often wear strange things at the pool: shorts and business shoes with socks for example. But this guy wore a Rolex Yacht Master in the pool playing with his grandchildren. That was kinda cool. But much cooler than that was the look of the watch itself.
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The GMT Master

Buy now or cry later. This rule does not applie for a lot of watches, but for not so many more than for the last no-ceramic Rolex GMT Master II, the famous, the one and only: Ref. 16710.
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What makes a Man?

»What makes a man Mr. Lebowski? Is it to do anything necessary to achieve?«

»Yea, that and a pair of testicles.«

When we were little boys we all liked the same things: fast supercars like the Lamborghini Countach, fast planes like the SR-71 Blackbird and huge dinosaurs like the Brachiosaurus and of course the T-Rex.
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Explore a bit More

I finally accepted that I had become a Rolex fan. Something I had never expected had come true.

But as I understood now, the simple truth is that the success of Rolex is based mainly on two simple facts: their watches are technically brillant and probably the best on the market. Rolex focuses obviously on the right things people appreciate: reliability, continuity, value. No experiments, no nonsense, no extravagance.

That’s all. That’s what makes great products.
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Vintage or just Old?

In my opinion you have to accept in which time you are living.

Yes of course the 1016 Explorer from 1988 is a total beauty. And the 1972 1655 Orange Hand Explorer II in my book, is clearly more beautiful than any of its successors. And the 1965 6265 Daytona is a true classic. And the 1960 James Bond 6538 Sub is just brillant. All that is true, but…
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Watch from the Moon

Have you ever been on the Moon? Me? Not even close.

The Omega Speedmaster Professional definitely deserves the ‘Professional’, as this is the one and only watch NASA to this day gives their astronauts to wear on their space missions. Not only the Apollo astronauts way back then in the time…
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What Rich People do

You must understand one thing:
To become, be and stay rich you must think and act like rich people do. They absolutely know why they are doing certain things, even if they don’t tell everyone why. The first and most basic mistake poor people make is that they think rich people wouldn’t act reasonable – basically because they themselves don’t.
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Wrist Time

So now I took a little timeout. I could have gone on collecting these beautiful things, but I thought, take your time, don’t hurry too much, perhaps first write a book about what you experienced so far.

And it is time to look at what watch is a good wearer, so let’s look at the wrist time they get.

Where to go from Here

If you think in terms of balancing your collection your choice gets reduced by the pieces you already have. All should make up a complete picture of… who you are?

But that reduction of choise is more a guiding light than a restriction. It tells you in your own inner logic and consequence what pieces would fit your existing collection best now. And that is of course always just an overlap with what watch you would like to own and wear.

You learn collecting, and collecting you learn. With each piece you own and wear, you learn more about…



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