Last week, I talked about how one of my watch resolutions for 2023 had gone and some of the lessons I learned. For this week’s #TBT, I’d like to not only reflect a bit more but also share my goals for 2024. They include primarily maintaining a one-brand focus while also keeping my eyes open for past grails, discovering forgotten complications, and hunting more watch oddities. Let me elaborate.

When I talked about how my 2023 resolutions informed my decisions throughout the year, astute readers pointed out in comments that my year was more about consolidation than downsizing. “Telling yourself that you are downsizing when you sell a watch is not honest if you soon buy another watch,” read one of the comments. Well, in terms of value and money invested, I did not downsize much. But in terms of the total number of watches, my collection shrunk a bit. What’s the outlook for 2024?

Tomas's 2024 watch resolutions Gallet

My watch resolutions for 2024: keeping a one-brand focus (for the most part)

Last year confirmed what I had suspected: if my objective is to focus on a specific brand, it’s much easier to resist the temptation when some other nice watch pops up. Focusing on one brand helped me to let some of my other watches go when inquiries came. Last week, I mentioned that I acquired 35 watches. What I didn’t tell you was that 70% of them were branded Gallet. That’s right; last year, I acquired 23 different Gallet chronographs. And I tell you, I couldn’t be happier about it.

Tomas's 2024 watch resolutions Gallet

Gallet first

I have many solitaires, including one Enicar, one Heuer, a few Breitlings, and some Nivada chronographs. But to see 40 chronographs from one brand lined up next to each other from the early days before the quartz apocalypse? That, my friends, is something special. For many weeks, I rotated Gallet chronographs only, and it became very satisfying for me to have variety limited by brand.

It’s not easy to explain that feeling. My collection had grown to such an extent that the diversity became a bit overwhelming for me. I needed an anchor because the way I was “doing it” simply had no end. My collection could grow to thousands of watches. That’s why I made a list of Gallet watches that I would like to have in my collection. When I spotted some other chronographs from different brands, referring back to my list helped me to pass on them many times.

Tomas's 2024 watch resolutions Gallet Duo-Timer

Image: Adrian Burke

“But Tomas, don’t you have enough Gallet watches?”

Ha! Of course not! Did you know there was a monopusher Gallet Clamshell or a 26mm Gallet MultiChron Petit? Oh, and did you know there were also Gallet Duo-Timer rattrapante chronographs? We knew there were at least two of them. One lives with my watch penfriend Adrian in Canada, and he doesn’t seem to have gotten sick of it yet.

Tomas's 2024 watch resolutions Gallet Duo-Timer

So I am afraid that I have to ask you. Please, someone, lead me to another Gallet rattrapante, and I will buy you a house! Meanwhile, I photoshopped it onto my desktop background just to set my mind on attracting it. I had the Nivada Datomaster there for a couple of years, and the strategy worked!

Rules that served me well

Last year, I made some simple rules. My next watch would either have to be a Gallet from my list, a watch with a unique complication, a bizarre watch, or another unusual piece that 99.3% of collectors have never heard of before. I believe I did well in 2023. Besides Gallet, I added a few out-of-this-world timepieces from Medana, Montilier, and Derby, as well as a Key-Watch.

Image: The Blomman Watch Report

My watch resolutions for 2024 include keeping an eye out for old grails

Last year, I learned how to “hard pass” on a nice watch, but there are still about five watches that I’d jump on straight away if the opportunity came. For example, I’ve been after an original Mido Melik (or Melik-Mido) in decent condition for years. I have always been fascinated by the Mimo-Meter, but I haven’t seen a single piece resurface in the last seven years. The same applies to the Mimolympic. But I am patient about those. I believe they will resurface, and when they do, I’ll be ready. Believe it or not, it’s only January 11th, but I can already scratch an old grail off my list. A few days ago, I acquired unobtanium — a Dulux Curvimeter. Stay tuned; it will be featured on #TBT soon!

Tomas's 2024 watch resolutions Melik-Mido

Image: Antiquorum

Rewarding research

In 2024, I want to keep my eyes wide open, and I hope to discover some watches that most of you have never seen before. It’ll be great if I can uncover another complication that I didn’t know existed. It won’t be easy, but the last few years have proven that it’s possible. Let’s see what awaits us…

No modern watches

I have to highlight that in 2023 I didn’t buy any modern watches. I had to check twice, but it’s true. In past years, one or two newly released watches always “somehow” slipped into my collection, but in 2023, I did not add any. And do you know what? I am happy about it. The Oris Divers Sixty-Five Fratello Limited Edition was my last modern watch. I got in December 2022, and it got a lot of wrist time in 2023. Whatever dirty business I was up to, the Fratello × Oris was there, including a classic car rally! I am as surprised as you are when I realize that my Omega Speedmaster Ultraman, another contender for the rally, saw daylight maybe once or twice in 2023…

Last thoughts on my watch resolutions for 2024

I do not plan to add any modern watches this year either. I feel privileged to wear my unusual watches and, obviously, Gallet chronographs. When I wear my Heuer Autavia, my only watch from the brand, I do not feel connected to Heuer that much. But with 40 Gallet chronographs in rotation, I do not just feel the specific model on my wrist but also the brand behind it much more. It’s not simply about the beauty of a single watch but understanding the brand that built it as well. I guess it’s also related to the time dedicated educating myself about the brand.

And here’s the thing: if you have 100 different brands in your watch collection, it’s almost impossible to dive as deeply into them as it is when you focus primarily on one brand. I found the latter very satisfying. I now understand RJ and his Omega Speedmaster collection (pictured above) much more. So, if you’re searching for inspiration, try to go deep into a specific brand. It doesn’t matter if it’s “highborn” or a brand that most have never heard of before. The latter may be even more enlightening. Happy hunting!