As one of the most loyal and ardent collectors of IWC timepieces, Martin Dohrmann has been to Schaffhausen and the manufacture numerous times. The reason for his latest visit was an exhibition at the IWC Museum of pieces from his very own watch collection: the line of Ocean BUND watches. Known for their anti-magnetism, these watches were used in the 1970s mostly by anti-mine specialists for disarming underwater mines. This was the first time that such a large collection of Ocean BUND watches was on show for the public in one single exhibition. Whilie visiting the museum, Martin shared his eight rules for watch collecting with us:
1. Buy what you can afford.
“I would never take out a loan to purchase a watch. Either I can afford it or I leave it.” Martin allocates a certain budget per year for buying watches and only stretches it “if it’s a one-off opportunity”.
2. There’s nothing wrong with low-budget watches.
“Buy what speaks to you – and enjoy it!”
3. Save for what you want.
“Whatever your budget may be, you’ll find something – there are so many brands around and so much to choose from.”
4. No fakes.
“I had a friend who once bought an A. Lange & Söhne for 50 dollars. After only 15 minutes, the crown came off – so that’s not very good value for money.”
5. There’s more to this than just the watches.
When you’re chasing a certain type of vintage watch, chase the extras as well – boxes, tools, bracelets, even smaller parts. “From a collector’s point of view, the ‘full set’ is far more desirable.”
6. Know your seller.
Even employees of watch companies can have trouble spotting a fake.
7. Open before you buy.
Before you buy a vintage watch, open the case and look inside. Check the condition and check to see that it’s the proper movement. “If an Ocean BUND was damaged during a mission and it needed a new movement, they didn’t always replace it with the correct one.”
8. Wear them!
Enjoy them! Just be smart about it. “I wear all my watches. But if I go swimming or to the Oktoberfest, I definitely won’t wear a platinum watch. I’d choose a steel Aquatimer instead.”