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Collector Confessions: What’s Up with Non-Watch People Anyway?

There are people who roam this earth who could not care less about watches. Of course, I’m not talking about people who are genuinely struggling or who are in real danger for their lives or the lives of their loved ones. I’m talking about people who could afford to have a decent mechanical or quartz watch but consciously choose not to.

In a previous role I was in, my boss was happy to tell me that his phone was all he needed and that my Moonwatch was “a waste” that he “didn’t understand.” This is coming from a guy who could have a watch orders of magnitude more expensive than mine, which was not cheap. So, there seem to be two kinds of people who chose not to wear a watch: the watch-agnostic who really just care about other things. Then there’s the watch-hostile who actively seem to dislike watches and by extension (I would think) watch collectors. Sad.

The watch-agnostic I understand. There are a lot of things I don’t really care about that people truly obsess over—like food. I don’t understand why people take photos and write about meals they eat. I understand that there’s a difference between chicken McNuggets and Chicken Francese, but I’m fine with either. Thus, I assume that there are a lot of foodies out there that would think I’m a lunatic for writing about something as “random” as watches.

It’s the watch-hostile types I really don’t understand. These are the ones who very vocally state they’ve never owned a watch and will never own one. Can these people be turned? Probably not. It’s best not to engage. It’s the watch-agnostic types where hope resides. To me, these people just don’t know yet how much they like watches and how cool they can be. So how to turn a watch-agnostic into watch-curious? They key here is value. Getting one of the uninitiated a Patek Grand Compilation or a vintage Newman Daytona will likely be wasted on them. They should feel the jump from nothing to a nice watch without being set back tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Here are a few suggestions that we carry at Feldmar:


Hamilton Khaki Field Auto
Hamilton Khaki Field Auto

The Hamilton Khaki Field Auto checks a lot of boxes in terms of features, value, and heritage. It’s a great first watch for anyone watch-curious because of the time-tested and reliable H-10 three-hand movement with date function. The H-10 also has a superior power reserve of 80 hours, meaning that if you don’t wear it for 3+ days, it will still keep accurate time. The Khaki Field Auto also has an exhibition case back, so you can actually see the inner workings of the watch as it runs. This watch is a true American classic too, so much so that Captain America himself wore it in the 2012 movie. All this for just under $700 makes this as close to a no-brainer as possible.


Alpina Alpiner 4 Automatic
Alpina Alpiner 4 Automatic

A step up in terms of features is this Alpina Alpiner 4 Automatic, which is also a fully automatic (self-winding) movement but with a stainless steel case and bracelet. The bracelet has brushed and polished links, which gives it a more refined feel. There’s also a convex sapphire crystal, which is virtually scratch proof. Other highlights include a movement that’s antimagnetic and antishock, making this a very reliable sports watch that is water resistant to 330 feet.

Tissot T-Classic PRX
Tissot T-Classic PRX

For the more style-conscious of the watch-curious set, there’s this very attractively-priced Tissot T-Classic PRX. The integrated bracelet here is truly eye-catching and harkens back to classic watches of the 1970s that have gone on to capture imaginations the world over (i.e. The Nautilus, The Royal Oak). For those less interested in watch mechanics, the movement for this PRX is battery-powered, and it also has a sapphire crystal and highly legible Super-LumiNova hands and indices.

Seiko 5 Brown Dial
Seiko 5 Automatic

Long known for its style, adaptability, and value, the Seiko 5 is one of those ‘can’t go wrong’ watch choices. You get a sturdy, yet colorful stainless-steel watch with an in-house movement for under $500. Have a look at this rather unique Seiko 5 we carry. This may be the best watch deal on the planet, and you might just wind up collecting several based on your choice of clothing or mood.

Bulova Lunar Pilot Chronograph
Bulova Lunar Pilot Chronograph

Another great value pick that gets some serious style points is this Bulova Lunar Pilot Chronograph from the Archive Series. Here, you get a six-hand chronograph movement that features proprietary high-performance quartz technology with 262 kHz vibrational frequency for precise accuracy. You also get a 316L surgical-grade stainless steel case, black dial with white accents, anti-reflective sapphire crystal, and a real leather strap. In the event your spacecraft must make a water landing, you’ll also have water resistance of up to 50 meters.

MIDO Ocean Star 200 diving watch blue dial
MIDO Ocean Star 200 diving watch

Speaking of water, the dial of this MIDO Ocean Star 200 diving watch offers indexes filled with Super-Luminova and skeletonized hands, so you’ll be able to see the time on your watch while going wreck diving (or just in a dark theater). Furthermore, the automatic movement has a power reserve up to 80 hours, making this a watch you can wear only on weekends without having to wind it.

Junghans Max Bill Automatic
Junghans Max Bill Automatic

For a dressier option that also has a minimalist flare, have a look at this Junghans Max Bill Automatic, our first made-in-Germany entry on our list. World renowned designer Max Bill first created this watch back in 1961, and it has remained largely unchanged since then. From the “purist” dial to the specially created, rounded numerals, to the domed glass that emphasizes historical charm, you’ll get a watch with a design pedigree for less than $1,500. If you still don’t “get” wearing watches after sporting this Max Bill for a week, there may be no hope.

Citizen Promaster Diver
Citizen Promaster Diver

For our final entry, we have the Citizen Promaster Diver, which is powered only by light—no battery, no winding. This is important because you would never have to open up the case back to change a battery or do any kind of mechanical servicing, which could potentially compromise the water-tight seal of the watch. It also sports a titanium bracelet, which is lighter and just as durable as steel. If you’re into diving (or just swimming) this is a high-value, low-maintenance option based on a truly classic design.

So, if you’re watch-agnostic (or know someone who is), these picks may very well be the ones that get a potential collector going. If you’re watch-hostile, I’m not sure how you came across this article, but I’ll say that’s it’s never too late to turn over a new leaf and find a new passion. Unlike the dinner that foodies will obsess over via photos, these watches will last for the rest of your life.

About The Author: Matthew Rosenberg


Matt was born in New York City where he lived until 2007 when he moved to Los Angeles. He has also spent significant time in Vermont and London, UK.

Prior to attending business school, he worked as a researcher for the Council on Foreign Relations in New York where he specialized in international economics and military affairs. He then worked on Wall Street for a time before focusing on marketing and e-commerce in industries as diverse as SaaS, higher education, legal, national retail, non-profit and financial services.

Matt is an avid watch collector and a published author who has been writing business and marketing content for over 20 years. In his spare time, Matt writes, plays, and records music and is always up for a discussion on everything from fine timepieces to international affairs and military history.

Read more from Matthew Rosenberg

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