I Love Watches But I Love The Time I Spend Without Them More
— 13 June 2023

I Love Watches But I Love The Time I Spend Without Them More

— 13 June 2023
James Want
James Want

As a watch lover, I often find myself in these all-consuming research periods, browsing and justifying. What do I want, where can I get it, how can I buy it? 

It comes in stages. I’m obsessed with the idea of acquiring a new watch and what that is, changes daily. I’m all in on thin cases, rubber straps, solid gold, independents, neo-vintage… the list goes on. 

Of course, I have a handful of pieces I consider grails, however, I’m now wondering if I want them because they’re the closest thing to perfect in my eyes, or because they (hopefully) mark the end of this inveterate journey, that seemingly, has no destination.

Ironically, I already own the Grand Seiko that I consider to be the closest thing to perfect in my eyes – that’s why I chose it – so what am chasing as I stand in the shower trawling an upcoming Christies auction? Why can’t I be satisfied dailying a watch that many would consider a grail? 

Call it what you like – reasoning, responsibility, perspective – something brings me to my senses, snapping me out of my horological compulsion. An episode some months ago ended with me reallocating available watch funds to the entirety of my outstanding debt. By far the most adult decision I’ve ever made. 

In the episode before, where I simply had to have an F.P. Journe Élégante Titalyt (and I was prepared to sell anything to get there), I instead chose to make a capital investment into a business that has infinitely more upside than bolstering my watch collection. 

I refrained from my latest purchase with the philosophical realisation that when I was at my happiest, I rarely wore a watch.

While I will never tire of strapping a watch to my wrist – and the sense of success or sentimentality that comes with it – it’s the moments when I don’t have one on, I cherish the most. It’s a cliche, but since becoming a father I’ve discovered that neither success nor sentimentality – or time – matters when I’m trying to be 100% present, relishing a morning walk, enjoying a lazy Saturday morning, or unwinding on holiday with my family.

Admittedly, those moments can only be truly appreciated when I’m sans iPhone. But leaving my wrist bare is a vital part of my process. Possessions are prioritised appropriately with a bit of perspective. 

Ultimately, we’re all different (with different capacities to purchase), and we consume products for very different reasons, however, I was compelled to share my thoughts. 

These last two years in the world of watches have been nothing short of insane. With the forces of limited quantities, availability, investment, and the ever-present ‘flex factor’ at play, it’s almost impossible not to get swept up by the scene. 

Step back for a second. Take a look at the bigger picture. Watches aren’t going anywhere, better still, they’ll outlast us all. Ask yourself do you really want this? Is this the best time? Will it make me happier?

If the answer to all three questions is yes, then buy the watch. If you’re desperately trying to justify your purchase then there’s a good chance the time, or the watch itself isn’t right. In many ways, the same can be said about any purchase you make.

No one regretted having more money in the bank, or less debt – certainly not as we approach uncertain economic times. In fact, I’d go as far as saying a healthy savings balance might just be more rewarding than a new watch. 


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James Want
James is the co-founder of Luxity Media and managing editor of Boss Hunting and B.H. Magazine. He has more than twelve years experience writing, photographing, producing, and publishing both earned and paid content in the men's lifestyle space.


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