Benjamin Clymer, a leading voice in the watch universe, was quoted by the New York Times as “High Priest of the watchmaker” in 2013. He is founder and executive editor of Hodinkee, one of the leading watchmakers in the world.
Clymer recently wrote a story that lists 12 common mistakes that newcomers in the watch industry commit, “some of them from someone who has committed them too,” he says.
We oriented ourselves on his list and created our own version of five common mistakes.
1. Belief That a Movement Makes a Clock
Let’s be clear about one thing: a movement is vital for any watch, but it does not make a watch. Do not get caught up in the motion-tracking game that many watch-makers like to play.
There is much more in a watch than the gauge. Enthusiasts look so closely at box construction, display design and exterior finishes as to the characteristics of a movement (not to mention the caliber finish) to determine the quality of any watch.
Movements matter. But other things matter more.
2. Respecting Rolex Too Much/Not Enough
There are peaks and valleys in the actual understanding of an enthusiast and his appreciation for Rolex.
When you don’t know much about watches, you believe Rolex is the best watchmaker in the world. Understandably so. They have produced many amazing watches, such as Rolex Submariner Blue, Rolex GMT-Master II, Rolex Yatch-Master 42 and so on.
There are many people who get scared to find out that there are many watches that cost a lot more than a Rolex.
Hence, when you go even deeper, you get to learn from Omega, Jaeger-LeCoultre, IWC and Patek Philippe, A. Lange & Söhne, and Vacheron Constantin.
It’s at this point that people start looking for Rolex and extol the benefits of hand-finished, rarity, limited editions.
3. Believing Price or Complications are Related to Quality
This is obvious, is it not? Not so much. There is a misconception among new watch fans when saying that an expensive watch is a good watch – and the more the merrier, as far as price and features.
A brighter vision of watchmaking is where balance is respected, and naivety takes the place of excess. For example, the idea that a major complication is as interesting as the tolerance of the owner paying the bill for services. Many of the world’s greatest collectors often withdraw from this universe of complications faster than you realize.
4. Not Having an Omega Speedmaster
How can you consider yourself a fan of watch making without having a Speedmaster? I do not say that you need to keep it, but anyone who really loves watches (and who has the conditions) owes it to himself to have a manual chronograph watch with a Speedmaster’s chronograph function at some point in their lives.
It may not be for everyone, but it’s basically a watch that satisfies anyone.
5. Confusion Between a Simple Calendar and an Annual Calendar
Benjamin Clymer remembers important people – two veteran watch journalists, some bloggers, many sellers, several collectors and even an expert from the Swiss watch industry that works in an auction house. They confuse the annual calendar with a common calendar.
Let’s be clear: the annual calendar was invented by Patek Philippe in 1996. It did not exist before that. This means that any calendar clock before that, if it is not a perpetual calendar, is a conventional calendar that requires the user to advance their dates in February, April, June, September, and November.
An annual calendar requires advancement only in the month of February. Take it seriously, otherwise you’ll look like a fool in front of true watchmaking experts.