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OT - What kind of Collector Are You - Purist, Restorer, Wearer, Modder or Buyer?

5386 Views 38 Replies 36 Participants Last post by  yamahafs1
When the issue of vintage watches and watch collecting comes up, different collectors seem to have very different ideas of how and what to by and what to do with their pieces. Generally, IMHO, there seem to be 5 very broad categories of collectors:

1. The Purist: This is a collector who will not do anything to a vintage piece. Keep it original, untouched, and find them in the best possible condition is the mantra here. At best give them a service and leave it at that.

2. The Restorer: This is a collector who will restore a vintage piece to new condition using as many original parts as possible. This type of collector loves vintage pieces, but wants them to look new as the day they came out of the factory. The have no problems with refinishing cases, waiting months (or years) for that perfect condition part, or braking up less than perfect examples in order to salvage replacement parts.

3. The Wearer: This is a collector who prefers to bring vintage pieces back to usable (but not necessarily original) condition. They have no problem with using after market replacement parts, even if it means replacing and extensive number of original parts in the process, so long as the final products looks good and is wearable. Originality is just not as important.

4. The Modder: This is a collector who prefers his own styling sensibilities to those of the original designers. This type of collector often likes a piece but is bothered by one or several design elements and is compelled to "correct" them, by altering the original design to suit his tastes. Modders are rarely bothered by the originality of parts and some even commission specially design parts in order to create those original looks they seek (often with amazing or questionable results).

5. The Buyer: These are collectors who can't be bothered with the restoration or modification process. To this type of collector having a watch be in "turn-key" wearable condition form the moment it arrives, is paramount. Because of this, collections created by these types of collectors are often composed of contemporary pieces and may include occasional vintage pieces that were purchased already fully restored.

Of course most people fall somewhere in the gray area between all 5 categories. But I'm guessing that most also tend to favor one collecting type over the others a bit more. I for one consider myself more of a restorer most of the time, followed perhaps by being a modder, but will dabble in all the others from time to time.

So where do you see your self in these categories and why?
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For me 1, 2, 3 and a bit of 4 and 5 !! :)
I am a combination:


I'm a buyer, but I wish I had the skills (and all the tools) to be a restorer and a modder.

edit: and I wear the very few watches that I buy, of course!
Ted said:
I'm a buyer, but I wish I had the skills (and all the tools) to be a restorer and a modder.
Sounds like you are a good candidate for the Watchmaking School. Check it out at the bottoms of the main page.
I guess I'm in the grey area between 'purist' and 'restorer'. Maybe a 'puristorer' or a 'resturist' :D

I'm a mix of 5 and 2, a buyer and a restorer. Depends on the watch. I love Vintage, but I also love Prospex. One thing I am not is a modder.

I'm a buyer because I do love NOS Vintage, and I like to buy Prospex from Japan.

I'm a restorer because I spend money on parts to make my Arnies and my 6309 better.

I'm not a modder, but if I were to mod, it would be to the hands and second hand on my Sumo. :)
Isthmus said:
Sounds like you are a good candidate for the Watchmaking School. Check it out at the bottoms of the main page.
Thanks, I just might do that! This "buyer" just bought a house and has to clear it with the wife to make sure it's in the budget.
Mark me down as a "3.5" - a mix between a wearer and a modder.
I would say I am a Restorer/Wearer with occasional Modder tendencies :)
Sweephand said:
I guess I'm in the grey area between 'purist' and 'restorer'. Maybe a 'puristorer' or a 'resturist' :D


I am pretty mutch in the same category here but also a wearer so perhaps a puristorerwearer with a hint of buyer in the mix too....

I often buy watches thinking I could be a restorer, but most of the time I just use them as they are so I would call myself a wearer.


1.5 here. i will not touch a watch other than to replace consumables 99% of the time. the other 1% would involve changing a NOS part for a badly worn bezel/insert for example. even after chaning that part, i would not do something like polish the case. this mentality applies to all my watches, no matter how expensive or cheap they might be. ;D

<* shark >>><
I guess I am a wearer. I have restored a number of vintage Seikos, but always with the intent of wearing them. As an example, I restored a 5 sports speedtimer bullhead, and I modified a monster bracelet to wear it on. At the time, Jonathan had not started selling his excellent aftermarket bracelets (not that he makes the correct bracelet for this bullhead variant), but I wanted a sturdy modern bracelet that would make this classic watch very wearable. The monster bracelet surely filled that role.
a wearer, modder & buyer.....

i love all things seiko, but....and i know a lot will disagree, but im not a lover of seiko hands....for some reason they just look wrong imvvvho ;D so thats where the modding comes in ;D

and all my watches get worn......and buying? much as i can ;D
A restorer - I can't stand damaged crystals, scratched cases/bracelets, or tatty straps. If the dials are really bad, I won't buy the watch.
I'm a buyer and a wearer. I consider myself more of an enthusiast than a collector, too.
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