Six watches made by Jaeger LeCoultre sitting on a table with different case colours, dials and straps
Hamish Robertson, Jul 29 2022

How To Start a Watch Collection

How To Start a Watch Collection

At The Watch Collectors' Club we believe that anyone with more than one watch has a watch collection. This is because we find that as soon as someone buys one watch they really like, they swiftly find they are thinking about another one. This is the mark of someone who is starting a collection. We also want people to know that watch collecting is easy, it can be very simple. This Blog Post will talk about some of the simplest ways to start a collection.

The watches that started the Author's collection. All over 60 years old, and all made by Swiss brand Jaeger LeCoultre.

The watches that started the Author's collection. All over 60 years old, and all made by Swiss brand Jaeger LeCoultre.

What is a Watch Collection?

A Collection is a group of objects that have been brought together with a deliberate purpose. So in the case of watches, there are many reasons you could have a few of them. For example, if you like to wear a watch all the time but have a different watch for different purposes, one to wear all day, one for the gym, one for a night out, and one for special occasions, then that is a collection based around your use for them. We wrote about what makes a watch collector earlier this year, and it goes through the different types of collector we've met.

A Pair of Casio G-shock watches that could be worn to use in the gym, or for outdoor sports.

A Pair of Casio G-shock watches that could be worn to use in the gym, or for outdoor sports.

A Smart Seiko Dress Watch that could be worn to the office or for special occasions.

A Smart Seiko Dress Watch that could be worn to the office or for special occasions.

How to Start a Watch Collection

When I first started collecting watches, I started browsing eBay. I wanted a low-cost vintage watch that was different to what I'd been wearing before. I didn't know much about watches at all, but knew I wanted something a bit different and saw buying a vintage watch as the most affordable way to buy a top Swiss brand. I chose a Jaeger LeCoultre, one of the most famous historic brands.

When it arrived I was delighted with it, despite the somewhat battered dial. It was light, kept good time, and looked really different to anything I'd seen anyone else wearing.

I immediately wanted another one! I started searching for more vintage watches from Jaeger LeCoultre in my price range. Most of what came up were simple, time-only pieces from the 1950s and 1960s. Their small size and simple design really appealed to me. I soon bid on another, this time in all gold. I won the bid and again, was delighted when the watch arrived.

I started researching a lot more about Jaeger LeCoultre, and before long I had discovered the famous Reverso, the world's first sports watch, and the intriguing series of military watches Jaeger produced in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. I also grew to respect their heritage, history and important position in the Swiss watch industry. This all combined to make me more of a fan of the brand, and be proud to try and build a collection of Jaeger LeCoultre watches.

My first vintage watch purchase from eBay, a steel Jaeger LeCoultre time only model from the 1950s.

My first vintage watch purchase from eBay, a steel Jaeger LeCoultre time only model from the 1950s.

The second watch I purchased from eBay, a Gold Jaeger LeCoultre Time only dress watch from the 1950s.

The second watch I purchased from eBay, a Gold Jaeger LeCoultre Time only dress watch from the 1950s.

The Jaeger LeCoultre "Dirty Dozen" Military Watch I added to my collection once I had increased my knowledge base.

The Jaeger LeCoultre "Dirty Dozen" Military Watch I added to my collection once I had increased my knowledge base.

A vintage Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso from 1946, my first "Grail Watch", one I had desired for many years.

A vintage Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso from 1946, my first "Grail Watch", one I had desired for many years.

How you can start a Watch Collection

My story is the same story many watch collectors have. They like a type of watch and they collect similar. In my case it was following a brand, but in other cases, it can be a type of watch, like Dive or Pilot's watches, a style of watch like gold or bronze cases, a model of watch like the Seiko Day-Date models, or even something rare like watches with left-sided crowns (the part you use to wind the watch).

We recommend buying what you like, and doing the research as your interest grows. We at The Watch Collectors' Club are always happy to help you with your watch research, find out more details about the watches you have or like, and can point you to good online resources. We encourage people to look at vintage watches as they are often very good value. We encourage the exploration of microbrand watches as they are so interesting and can offer incredible value. We especially love any collection that is the result of passion and enthusiasm, and the great thing about our watch Meetups is we are finding people full of both, whether they have one watch or hundreds.

We don't care if your collection is broad or niche. Whether is specialised and expert or simply what you like most. All of them are interesting watch collections, and all of them are easy to get started, and once you've started, you'll probably keep going!

A small collection of military watches.

A small collection of military watches.

The Watch Collectors' Club Co-Founder's collection of Omega watches.

The Watch Collectors' Club Co-Founder's collection of Omega watches.

Conclusion

Getting started really is as easy as buying something on purpose, and seeing how you feel about it and whether to continue down that route. As I learned more about watches my interests changed, and after buying the Jaeger LeCoultre Dirty Dozen Watch (featured above), I started to buy other watches. Firstly from Breitling, another brand that had always interested me, and then from other brands too. I now have a wide-ranging collection that includes watches I would never have dreamt of owning when I started. You can start anywhere, and we encourage you to simply go for it. Buy carefully of course, and you can use the How To guides from our Blog. Most importantly, don't be afraid of your own taste.

Don't be afraid to ask us for help if you need it, and we at The Watch Collectors' Club would love to hear all about your collection. Please sign up for our email list, and you can join one of our watch events either online or in-person, and follow us on social media.

The collection of the CEO and Co-Founder of The Watch Collectors' Club, Hamish Robertson, which now includes a whole range of types of watch.

The collection of the CEO and Co-Founder of The Watch Collectors' Club, Hamish Robertson, which now includes a whole range of types of watch.

We are on social media

Share Post

More Articles
More Articles
A Pocket watch hanging from a brooch, both in gold with blue enamel and diamonds set in a floral pattern.

A history and guide to different watch case designs, including some historic lots of examples and different styles.

Squqare steel watch with aged white dial with Roman numerals and small Black Breguet style hands and sapphire on crown on black strap

We look at Pilot's watches from 1904 up to the present day.

Patek Philippe Beta 21 Watch with blue shiny dial and white gold case and bracelet, dagger hands and an elliptical case

An explanation of why the Swiss Watch Industry collapsed in the 1970s.

Make the watch world simple

Make the watch world simple