How to Start a Watch Collection

Often the most difficult part of building any collection is knowing where to start. Ahead of Sotheby's upcoming sales, Important Watches on 13 November in Geneva and Watches on 19 November in Dubai, we take a look at some of the ideal pieces to start your watch collection.

Choosing the right watch for you should take into consideration what you can actually wear and enjoy from day to day. But can it really be that simple? It is perhaps easier to divide your new collection into distinct categories to meet your every need. Start with the basics: the wearable, durable sports models.

Perhaps this stainless steel Rolex Milgauss, reference 1019 could meet all those needs whist simultaneously remaining a collectible design classic.

Milgauss, Ref 1019 Stainless Steel Wristwatch Circa 1967. Estimate CHF 15,000–25,000.

A stainless steel ‘pre-Daytona’ might suit for track days or point-to-point, while the seasoned adventurer might prefer a stainless steel Rolex GMT reference 1675 with two time zones.

An elegant dress watch is an essential through all walks of life. Perfect for your wedding day or with a dinner jacket, cool classics such as a stainless steel Patek Philippe Nautilus ref 3800 or a Patek Philippe Calatrava, Ref 3428, would be ideal. Perhaps the distinctive Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox "Snowdrop" could be a chic and sharp alternative.

Boucheron, A yellow gold, diamond and multi-coloured get-set Tutti Frutti bracelet watch with a set of matching ear clips.
Estimate $25,000–35,000.

Ladies might prefer the elegant proportions of the double signed yellow gold reference 3940 perpetual calendar wristwatch by Patek Philippe, or the colourful and playful (Dubai lot 35) Boucheron yellow gold, diamond and multi-coloured gem set ‘Tutti Frutti’ bracelet watch.

Lastly, you might want to consider an exciting avant-garde piece from an independent and contemporary designer at the forefront of new watch design; this would be a perfect conversation starter. Perhaps an Urwerk UR-Satellite in white gold, or a Titanium, rubber and diamond set wristwatch by the independent maker FP Journe.

Kari Voutilainen, A rare pink gold wristwatch with mother-of-pearl dial. Estimate $40,000–60,000.

Other excellent choices would include the innovative pink gold Voutilainen wristwatch made in only 10 examples, or the Richard Mille limited edition Felipe Massa China RM011 flyback chronograph wristwatch

Richard Mille, a limited edition Felipe Massa China RM011 flyback chronograph wristwatch
Estimate $90,000–160,000

Once you work out what's available, what your tastes are and what suits you best for each occasion, your collection will become a perfect reflection of you.

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