Major Buys

July 19, 2014

I’ve been reading /r/watches for a few weeks now. Probably the most distinguishing characteristic of a high end watch is it’s price, which is often derived from its quality, craftsmanship, and design effort put into its movement, but is also largely dependent on its name, size of run, and manual effort put into its assembly. The bottom line is that these are expensive items that the buyer may enjoy for a lifetime, but which will have little practical benefit in their everyday life. All watch buyers must make the difficult decision to splurge instead of putting their money to work doing something more useful, like buying a non-trivial quantity of assets. Many other types of items fit into this category as well, like jewelry, artwork, cars, and gadgets.

On a recent thread about buyer’s anxiety, a few commenters shared their wisdom on how to cope with buying high end items. “Alanlight” suggests waiting an appropriate amount of time before committing:

A good rule of thumb for any purchase is that you have to “want it” for one week for each $100 of cost.

So for a 10k watch, you would need to be two years into wanting it.

“SerKenTyrrell” suggests a variation of the same strategy that he uses for tattoos:

I draw a picture of what I want and put it in a drawer. 6 months later I get it out of the drawer and then if I still like it, I get it.

I still have no tattoos.

“6NC” provides some advice specific to watches:

  • Never buy as an investment
  • Never buy as an heirloom
  • Buy and modify to suit your wants and needs
  • Buy only what you want, not what you can afford. If too pricey, don’t settle; hold off
  • Take a day to consider any large or life changing purchases. No deal is the best, and if you’re still not comfortable for specific reasons, walk away

Speaking as someone who spent far too much from early paycheques on unneeded electronics: all of this is great advice.

Major Buys was published on July 19, 2014.

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