#TBT My Watch Resolution For 2023 — Shifting My Focus To One Brand
This is the story of how I went from collecting everything I liked to a commitment to focus more on one brand in 2023. To frequent #TBT readers, the brand will be no surprise. It is one I hold near and dear to my heart — Gallet.
I had a different watch story to share today, but a few hours ago, I got a message from Nacho asking me if I would like to share my watch resolutions for 2023 in this week’s #TBT article. I admit that his question surprised me. Not that I haven’t had any watch resolutions, but I didn’t think about them enough to be clear in my mind or even try putting them on paper. Still, I gave an instant “YES” to Nacho’s question because I considered it a great opportunity to sort my thoughts and “watch priorities” for 2023.
In the last five years, I had no strict rules or precise ideas about what to buy and when to buy it. I also had no resolutions year to year, and my watch-collecting habits didn’t change much, I would say. As many #TBT readers know, I am always open to anything unusual. There were definitely no numbers or strict limits on watch types, sizes, or brands. If you asked me today about the ratio of divers to chronographs in my collection, I wouldn’t know. I gave it a thought just now, and honestly, I have no clue…
Sorting my existing collection
Well, following the last thoughts, it wouldn’t be a useless exercise to quantify my collection precisely. For starters, I could put my watches into categories like watch size and watch type. I keep records of what I bought and when I bought it. I also track records about each watch service with detailed descriptions of what was done to the watch or what parts have been replaced. But it would definitely be nice to know how many sports or dress watches I have, or even how many modern and how many vintage watches I have. I am sure it would make for a nice infographic.
What has changed
Rather than the pessimistic economic outlook, it was the war happening across my country’s eastern border that made me realize how fragile our everyday happiness is. For quite some time, I struggled to find a reason to purchase another watch. I realized that I have a lot of watches already, and many get very little if any wrist time.
In the last five years, I sold just a few watches — perhaps only two or three. I had no reason to sell any others. But after months of thinking in 2022, I decided to trade watches I don’t wear for watches I could enjoy much more. Honestly, I have no idea what portion of my collection I will let go of or how fast I will do so; I just want to start doing it. I bet some of you know that it’s not so easy.
Not having a plan
Taking a break from thinking about my next watch purchase helped. Looking at my collection and thinking more about why I bought some watches and why I am not wearing them anymore was pretty liberating and enlightening. I realized that not having any particular watch-collecting strategy makes it tough to part with any of the watches you have. I was just collecting interesting watches that I liked. But to collect interesting watches is a very lousy plan…
Having a plan
I gave more thought to what brands I really liked, and I always came back to Alpina, Breitling, and Gallet. I realized my heart always skipped a beat when I saw Gallet chronographs with fine Excelsior Park movements. Through the course of contemplating, I realized that I would like to consolidate my collection in favor of growing a more curated selection of Gallet chronographs. Why I decided to focus on Gallet specifically is a topic for a standalone article. But to put it simply, Breitling has already been discovered and given tons of coverage in watch media, whereas Gallet is still quite underrated. And Gallet also has a much more fascinating range of chronographs than Alpina.
A one-brand focus
I realized that my watch wishlist was expansive, rich, diverse… and infinite. I was always kind of jealous of one-brand collectors. If you focus on one brand only (or predominantly), it’s much easier to resist the temptation when some other nice watch pops up. Focusing on one brand also helps you to rationalize why you decided to let your grail watch from another brand pass by when the opportunity came. It may seem silly that it took me so long to realize this, but we can’t have them all, right? Since I decided to center my focus on Gallet, it was much easier for me not to make some purchases.
I have always respected Jeff Stein and his work on Heuer watches. The same goes for Fred Mandelbaum on Breitling, Nico Henke on Enicar, and so on. That’s what we are missing on Gallet — precise watch categorization based on facts and archive documentation. There are many misleading (or at least disputable) statements flying around about Gallet. For me, Gallet is one of the most fascinating watch brands. I believe it deserves better documentation and presentation than it currently has. There are some very educated Gallet scholars with personal archives. In 2023 and the years to come, I would like to meet some of them in person and start building my own archive that I could put online for the public so that everyone could benefit from it.
Well, I am still committed to #TBT, and my collection still hides a lot of vintage timepieces ready to be brought to the spotlight. I want to focus more on Gallet, with Alpina probably the most represented brand in my collection. But my eyes stay wide open for unusual watches. So besides light consolidation in favor of Gallet, I am still on the lookout for “new” complications that managed to stay forgotten over the last few decades. Happy hunting!