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Embracing Diversity: Why Snobbery in Watch Collecting Is Outdated

In the world of horology, the debate between big brands and microbrands is a longstanding one, often accompanied by a sense of snobbery from either camp. Traditionalists may swear by the heritage and prestige of established luxury brands like Rolex, Omega, or Patek Philippe, while enthusiasts of microbrands champion innovation, affordability, and niche appeal. However, the fervent allegiance to one side or the other often breeds a toxic culture of elitism and exclusivity within the watch collecting community, detracting from the true essence of the hobby.

Watch on the beach
Scuba V3 Prototype

Here, we delve into why snobbery regarding big brands versus microbrands in watch collecting is a detrimental phenomenon:

  1. Exclusivity Shouldn’t Define Worth: The allure of luxury brands often lies in their exclusivity and status symbols associated with their timepieces. However, this exclusivity creates a sense of elitism that alienates enthusiasts who may not have the means to afford such watches. Microbrands, on the other hand, offer an accessible entry point into the world of watch collecting without compromising on quality or craftsmanship. By dismissing microbrands, collectors perpetuate a culture that values exclusivity over inclusivity.

  2. Innovation Thrives in Diversity: Microbrands are often at the forefront of innovation in watchmaking. Freed from the constraints of tradition and heritage, these brands push boundaries with avant-garde designs, experimental materials, and innovative manufacturing techniques. Snobbery towards microbrands stifles this creativity by disregarding their contributions to the industry. Embracing diversity in watch collecting encourages innovation and ensures the continued evolution of horology as a whole.

  3. Quality Is Not Solely Defined by Brand Name: While big brands may boast centuries of heritage and reputation, this does not always equate to superior quality. Many microbrands pride themselves on meticulous attention to detail, small-batch production, and personalized customer service. Dismissing microbrands based solely on their lack of legacy overlooks the craftsmanship and dedication that go into creating their timepieces. Quality should be judged on merit, not brand name alone.

  4. Personal Taste Should Be Celebrated: At its core, watch collecting is a deeply personal pursuit driven by individual tastes and preferences. Whether someone gravitates towards the timeless elegance of a Rolex Submariner or the avant-garde designs of an independent microbrand, their choice should be respected and celebrated. Snobbery that dictates what is deemed worthy of collection undermines the diversity of perspectives within the hobby and diminishes the joy of collecting for enthusiasts.

  5. Community Over Competition: Watch collecting is not a competition to see who can amass the most prestigious or expensive collection. Instead, it should be a communal experience driven by a shared passion for horology. Snobbery creates divisions within the community, fostering an environment where elitism reigns supreme. By fostering inclusivity and mutual respect, collectors can create a welcoming space where enthusiasts of all backgrounds can come together to share their love for watches.

In conclusion, snobbery regarding big brands versus microbrands in watch collecting is a counterproductive mindset that detracts from the true essence of the hobby. Embracing diversity, celebrating innovation, recognizing quality beyond brand name, honouring personal taste, and prioritizing community over competition are essential values that should guide the watch collecting community towards a more inclusive and enriching future. Let us cherish the myriad perspectives and experiences that make watch collecting such a vibrant and fulfilling pursuit.

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