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How do you decide what watch to buy?

How do you decide what watch to buy?

May 22, 2023

Someone on Instagram sent me this DM quoted below, and I thought it would be an interesting topic to discuss. (I am quoting verbatim, minus a ‘shrug’ emoji at the end and censoring ‘sh*t’)

I’m curious… after talking with you and seeing your posts for some time you don’t come across as a guy that would easily part with the money it would take to buy a FPJ. What am I missing? How do you get past the cost? I ask, because I struggle with the thought of paying more than ~15k for any watch. All while I have a sh*t ton of money in watches

We continued chatting, and established that his version of ‘sh*t ton’ was around US$120k. The overall discussion eventually got to the crux which was that this gentleman couldn’t come to terms with spending 20-30k on a single watch but was happy to spend over 100k on many watches. One particular point he did mention, was the idea of personal safety being on the line when wearing a single 120k piece on the wrist.

This question and subsequent discussion got me thinking about my previous posts, as I was sure I had covered this somewhere in previous posts. I found a couple of related posts, which I will try to build on - I’ll share them here as well:

The Watch Collector's Matrix

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Nudge - Improving decisions

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Turns out, I may be delusional I do not seem to have actually explored this topic directly before, and so this post is probably long overdue. I will draw on some of the material in the Nudge post linked above, as it has a lot of useful threads to pull on.

Following that, I created this post on Instagram, which was possibly one of the most polarising posts I have shared in recent memory - below I have pasted the first slide, use the link to see the full post (I can’t seem to get this link to embed properly!).

There was a mix of agreement, and vehement disagreement - but what I think triggered people is their dislike for being put into a particular box. Some mentioned the merits of owning several pieces versus sacrificing them all to own one particular grail - one person I recall even said it behooves us to own more than one, otherwise we cannot call ourselves ‘collectors’ but ‘the owner of a watch’. I mean, if that’s what he believes, who am I to argue!? I thought that was a good preamble into the rest of this post.

Where do we begin?

I recently posted about the Ambiguity Effect, and Sfwtachlover made a great comment which I will build on here.

He talks about the decision-making process, and suggests classifying ‘future purchase options’ into relevant groups - this is akin to ‘comparing apples with apples’ when it comes to deciding how to spend your money. In my reply, I explain that the idea of weighing a purchase against its own ‘peer group’ is sound, only if you have no budget constraint! Without unlimited funding, it is unlikely that anyone will be able to lay out several purchase options and also pursue options in more than one or two buckets at a time.

Still, I think he was onto something, and I may be stating the obvious, but this begins with an exercise in prioritisation.

Continue reading here.

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