VIP/Account Cart (0)
    Now offering payment options through Affirm.
  • COVID-19 Update:   Welcome Back! Our Showroom is Open by Appointment Only! Curbside Services Continue to be Available - Click here to learn more

Different Types of Watch Collectors: Which One Are You?

Being a watch collector can be a fun and exciting thing. For many, there is a certain thrill in that special moment when you chance upon an extraordinary piece that makes your heart skip. You click “buy” with lighting speed and eagerly await the delivery so you can see it in person and bond with your new “baby”. Once the edge wears off – and it always does, eventually – your eye begins to wander until it settles on another awesome watch, and the cycle repeats.

If you are already a watch collector, you probably already know your type and the kind of watches you’re typically drawn to. While there are some collectors who like watches in general, most enthusiasts have that certain “type” that they cannot resist. Whether you are an avid collector for years or one who’s only recently getting into watch collecting, knowing more about your style and what to focus on is important. Here’s a few of the most common kinds of collectors:

hamilton vintage

Collecting Vintage Watches

Many collectors fall into this category, especially those who are traditionally trained in watchmaking. Most of them are only interested in watches that are pre-1990s and the watches they’re drawn to go as far back as – well – watchmaking itself. Some collectors even strive to collect only the oldest watches they can find. Vintage pieces typically feature smaller case sizes, aged hands, patinated dials, and a more classical look overall. Collectors who prefer vintage timepieces opt for these features over more modern timepieces that are bigger and more cluttered.

oris cotton candy

Collecting Modern Watches

In contrast to vintage collectors, many people lean towards collecting only modern pieces. More complex watches with larger sizes and arrayed materials have mass appeal based simply on the number of combinations these characteristics combine through. Many collectors are drawn to the added functionality of modern watches like timers, GPS, Bluetooth connectivity, temperature readings, and even emergency beacons.

bell & ross gmt

Collecting a Specific Type of Complication

This category of collectors doesn’t mind whether a timepiece is vintage or modern as long as it features the type of complication they love. For instance, there are collectors who only focus on chronographs, sometimes even within a specific brand. Moreover, some collectors only collect a certain make of watch featuring their favorite complication such as Breitling Navitimers with flight calculators or Casio G-Shocks with a backlight. Collectors focused on complications also look for watches with rare features like minute-repeaters, or more common ones such as GMT functionality.

iwc big pilots

Collecting Only Certain Brands

Collecting only certain brands takes a certain dedication. Two well-known collectors of this type are Jeff Stein and Jean-Claude Biver. For Jeff Stein, founder of OnTheDash, a site dedicated to vintage Heuer watches, his collection consists almost entirely of watches from Heuer. Jean-Claud Biver, the president of the LVMH watch division, has established a successful career in the field of watches and is also known to be a serious Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe collector. Biver owns some of the rarest models from both brands.

tudor black bay steel

Collecting Only from One Genre

This style of collecting is more broad than some others as it can encompass many brands, models, styles, and features. For example, a collector of this type might focus solely on dive watches but within that category, may own everything from a TUDOR Black Bay GMT to a Seiko SRPD79. Other types of collections could include field watches, pilot’s watches, or dress watches.

In conclusion . . .

As you can see, there are as many different types of collecting as there are collectors. Part of the joy of watch collecting is finding the style that works for you. If you’re just starting, determining which category you belong to might be something you should think about but at the same time, taking a more abstract approach and adding things that catch your eye is also valid.

Stepping back from your collection once you’ve added several pieces, you can look for commonalities and differences. Maybe, all the watches you’ve collected are from Seiko, Citizen, and G-Shock. If that’s the case, you might be drawn to Japanese watches! Or perhaps you notice that you don’t have any watches with black, white, gray, or silver dials. Maybe you’re attracted to colorful watches!

To explore some of these pieces in person, we invite you to visit Feldmar Watch Company in Los Angeles where you can browse our selection of over 60 brands and take time to absorb everything and find out which types of watches you’re drawn to. Join the many collectors who’ve found their favorite pieces at Feldmar. Check out our collection today!

About The Author: Tom Roth


Born in Washington state, Tom developed an interest in photography during college at University of San Diego. There, he got started in music journalism, interviewing artists and taking photos at concerts. A life-long tinkerer and collector, it wasn’t long before Tom became fascinated with fountain pens and watches.

Those interests collided in November 2020 when Tom started at Feldmar Watch Company where he lives out every watch geek’s dream: photographing and writing about timepieces. When he’s not tinkering with his watch collection, Tom can be found traveling, biting his nails while watching PNW sports teams, and taking flying lessons.

Read more from Tom Roth

Leave a Reply

Didn't find what you were shopping for?

Schedule a one-on-one virtual appointment
to browse our showroom!

The interior of a watch store Schedule a Virtual Appointment!