Friday, January 10, 2014

There Can Be Only Two… Really?

So it would seem.

It seems (to me at least) odd that it has now been more than 10 years since I stalked behind the cases of the first Tourneau iteration in San Francisco.  My boss, Javier P was - and is - the Jedi Master, and frankly embodies everything about the watch business that I love.

Inevitably, we had people come into Tourneau who were already thinking of ways to explain a larger purchase to their spouse, partner, parent, etc.  "So, this would be like, a good investment…"  This was always stated NOT with a lot of confidence.  And I probably punted a few sales by saying what I would say next:  "Your children are a good investment, your retirement is a good investment.  Patek Philippe and Rolex are a good investment.  Everything else is something you are buying for you."

At that time, it was Patek and Rolex in terms of resale value.  And frankly it still is.  We can talk about what "unique" pieces from F.P. Journe or Vacheron might fetch at auction, but how many pieces  really fit into that category?  When other folks write tomes about how you can get a great watch at a bargain price buying a Vacheron at auction, etc….

So gentle readers, may I make this suggestion?
Buy what YOU like.  If you are looking for an investment, INVEST in your children.

And yes, a watch is an investment - an investment for yourself, for your enjoyment, for your passionate pursuit of the somewhat illogical itch that we watch lovers are always hoping to scratch.  But apart from Patek and Rolex, the rest is speculation.  And maybe that is just the way that it is supposed to be.

When I went down to Memphis to bury my father, Wendy and I packed up his office, and he must have had over $15,000 of pens stashed in little boxes throughout his office.  The choice pieces were in his desk, the rest hidden from his wife who criticized his pen compulsion relentlessly.  And I still feel bad about that - perhaps that is why the Oberlin Pen Company came into being.  Ultimately, he really didn't want to part with them, but in fairness, he didn't have much use for them on his ultimate appointment with his maker.

So as my old professor once said (in a slightly agitated voice) "What is your point, Mr. Henderson?"
Simply this - there is nothing wrong with being passionate about things, about a collection, about what makes you "tick".  Live within your means, embrace your passion and don't feel the need to lie or to make excuses.  As the immortal Francis Z would say - "So long as you're not taking mustard off the table".

Enjoy your watches, life is short - sometimes too short.  You don't have to justify yourself to anybody but yourself.

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