How to make your watch collection stand out How to make your watch collection stand out

How to make your watch collection stand out

Buffy Acacia

If you’ve ever joined a Facebook group, or Reddit sub or browsed an Instagram tag about watches, chances are you’ve seen the acronym SOTC. It stands for either Shot or State of the Collection and is essentially just one photo that captures your entire watch collection. It doesn’t matter whether it’s two watches or twenty, or even worth tens of dollars or thousands. The SOTC is something that watch enthusiasts can instantly connect over, and feel like a part of the community. However, once you’ve seen a few, many of them start to blur together. Our Editor Zach has shared his watch-collecting philosophies in the past, but, if you want both your watch collection and your SOTC to stand out, here’s what I think you’ve got to do.

Stop trying to tick boxes

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When you’re getting into watch collecting, it can be easy to fall into the trap of ticking boxes. This is when you believe you need a different watch for every occasion, or even more dangerously, one watch for every genre. It may indeed be nice to have multiple watches to wear with a range of outfits, but you shouldn’t be doing it just because you think you have to. For instance, a time-only dress watch can easily be dressed down with casual clothing, and many of them are water-resistant enough to swim with these days. You should purchase a watch because you feel a pull towards it, not because you think you need a diver, a chronograph, a dress watch, a field watch, a pilot’s watch, and a Casio just to fill the spaces in your watch box.

Try some size variety

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A 34mm Cartier Santos. Image courtesy of Theo & Harris.

Most SOTCs will have a decent range of watch genres, as alluded to prior in regards to box-ticking. However, most collectors tend to stick to the same limited band of dimensions. Watches of different shapes and personalities are always going to wear differently on your wrist, so there’s really no point arbitrarily sticking to a certain diameter or lug-to-lug length. If you want the most satisfaction from your watch collection, as well as an impressively varied SOTC, you should try owning a selection of different sizes. The most classic route is to go for a small dress watch and a large diver, but why not flip that on its head? A collection featuring a vintage 36mm Omega Seamaster Diver 300 and a 40mm Glashütte Original PanoReserve 1 would be both eye-catching and rewarding to own.

Avoid the sea of black

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Image courtesy of British GQ.

Black-dialled watches are the most popular kind for good reason. Black matches with everything, it offers great legibility, and it actually makes some watches look a bit smaller. But, if your entire watch collection is full of black dials, everything is going to blend together. There’s an abundance of bright and colourful dials out there these days, and we’re spoiled for choice more than we’ve ever been before. Even if the bright and peppy style isn’t your thing, perhaps you might be interested in a deep blue or sunburst green.

The ‘humble’ entrant

Casio G SHOCK CasiOak GA1200

Almost every SOTC which comprises of luxury watches includes at least one ‘humble’ entrant, and that place is usually taken by a digital Casio. The F91W is always going to be a classic choice, and the CasiOak will likely be popular for years to come. But, if you’re looking to stand out, why not take this slot as an opportunity to experiment? The idea behind the obligatory Casio is to have something cheap, that doesn’t attract unwanted attention, and you won’t mind if it gets lost or broken. There are heaps of options out there, from unheard-of vintage digital watches to straight-up novelty collectibles. Browsing eBay, filtering by auctions, and sorting by ending soonest is one of my favourite ways to find weird, cheap watches that you’d otherwise never come across.

Ask to be roasted

The online watch community is generally a friendly environment, and unless you’re looking for critique, a SOTC will mostly garner compliments, reassurance, or suggestions for future directions. But, nothing will get the comments flowing like allowing people to get creative with insults. As long as you’ve got some thick skin and a self-aware sense of humour, letting people roast your collection is guaranteed to get laughs all around. Plus, if you read between the lines, most people’s roasts can actually be quite complimentary.