It is New Year's Day, and while you are spending your day nursing your hangover by loafing on the couch and watching bizarre parades on television, I feel compelled to remind you that this is also the day you were going to start working on all of those resolutions you made last night. Remember? You are supposed to start eating right, exercising, and making yourself a better person.
I can't help you with those vows. I made the same ones and I think we both know full well how they will end up. By February 28, we will be eating just as much junk, exercising just as little, and making just as many bad decisions as we did last year. So this year, I have set some more attainable, watch-related goals. As The Time Bum, I can't improve your life, but I might improve your collection.
1. I will only buy a watch if I love it.
This one sounds easy, but all too often, I find myself buying watches that are sort of what I want, but not quite. Sometimes it is a similar style to one I really wanted, but cheaper. Maybe it looks interesting, but I'm not sure how I'll wear it, so I give it a shot. I know many enthusiasts will buy watches like candy and just flip them on the secondary market if they don't work out. If you are one of those, more power to you. You are driving the market and helping out the rest of us who will buy your leftovers at a bit of discount. Me, I'm not one of those guys. I find it hard to flip. Once I get a watch, I tend to hold onto it, hence the resolution. From now on, if a new watch is coming into my collection, I want to be sure it's a keeper and I will keep it front and center, because...
2. I will only store watches where I can see them.
This is really simple: out of sight, out of mind. When I am choosing a watch in the morning, I never think, "I should check the watch box at the top of the closet." I just gaze vacantly into the first drawer I open and try to puzzle a watch into my outfit so I can move on to the all-important second phase of my morning: coffee. If I can't see them, I don't wear them, and that is a waste. So from now on, all my watches need to be readily accessible at the same time. That may mean paring down the collection to fit my storage space, or expanding my storage to fit the collection. Most likely, a little of both. This should help me with resolution number three...
3. I will wear every watch I own, at least once this year.
It's great to have a nice full collection of watches, but what is the point if you wear the same four or five every day? A watch is a machine. If it is not telling time, it ceases to fulfill its purpose. Granted, there are a couple of pieces in my collection that I keep for strictly sentimental reasons. They won't get wrist time, and that's ok. I know folks who own watches that are too rare or valuable to wear. I don't play in that field, but I totally understand it, and I would give a pass to those pieces as well. But since I have no investment grade watches, and very few heirlooms, I really have no excuse. Every watch in my collection can take a turn on my wrist, and if not...
4. I will let go of the watches I do not wear.
This is the hardest one for me. I hate selling watches. It's not that the process is so bad, it is the decision that kills me. All of my watches hold some significance. If I own it, it is because I saw something appealing in it. I can't help thinking that I will wear it again someday, perhaps with a new strap, or after a light refurbishing, or if I suddenly grow huge wrists, or if I get rid of the three other watches that look very similar and get worn instead. Well, no more! In 2016, I vow to cast a critical eye on every watch in my collection and unload the bench-warmers. It needn't be a heartless purge. I will appreciate the time each watch has spent in my collection, thank it for its service, and allow it to move on to someone else who will put it to better use.
These are my watch nerd resolutions. Feel free to borrow as many as you like. We'll regroup in 12 months and see how we've done.