I remember the first watch I ever sold. It was in September of 1972. The watch was a man’s Wittnauer manual wind with a leather strap, sweep second hand, and date. The price was $79.95.
My most recent watch sale was yesterday. The watch was a man’s Citizen quartz with a leather strap, sweep second hand, and day/date. The price was $79.99. This watch will keep better time, require less service, and has a better warranty than the one I sold in 1972.
Admittedly, $79 is on the lower end of the price spectrum for a good watch. Today we carry watches priced from $59 to over $500. But, in relative terms, a quality watch is more affordable today than it was 4 decades ago. The cost of a second (or third, or fourth….) watch is often less than the price of a meal or two at a nice restaurant – and the watch will last a whole lot longer. Which is why it makes sense to own more than just the single watch you have on your wrist.
My dad was a lifelong watchmaker. When someone would bring in a watch that was particularly abused or dirty he would often suggest that wearing another watch occasionally would greatly extend the lifespan of their “good” watch. Some would take his advice while others would look at him like he was speaking in tongues. I offer the same suggestion to my customers today (and once in a while still get the same puzzled look). But the point is just as valid now as it was in my dad’s day. Just like owning different pairs of shoes for different activities, having several timepieces will make each last longer, stay cleaner, and more fun to wear. You can (and should) change your watch to fit your mood, your style, or your activity.