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Are watch collectors insane?

You have to be very careful what you say to people who can afford to collect watches made by luxury brands such as Richard Mille, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and Rolex. People who can afford multiple luxury watches don't really need anything, and they've often built complex models within their minds that adequately shield them from questioning the sanity of their chosen obsession. In short, they don't need to care what others think because - aside from being robbed at gunpoint - the value of a luxury watch doesn't make or break anything tangibly meaningful in their life. Questions delving into the the philosophical implications of an arm covered by a few million dollars worth of RMs are, frankly, just an annoyance. It's not that we don't all already know what this really means, it's that in the neurochemical stupor induced by the wrist-clock paradigm - while making them sharper in some some respects - the patron is left as utterly oblivious to the reality surrounding them as a Philadelphia heroin addict nodding back and forth on a telephone pole.

But that's just one perspective. Let's look at why it might be nonsense.

Luxury watches can actually make you more money. People work hard for their success. Whose business is it how much is spent on what give us pleasure? Some of us do it because we've poured years of study into understanding the nuances and provenance of these mechanical masterpieces, for others it's an investment that yields far higher returns than financial markets or even private equity deals. The watches we buy appreciate in value, as if we haven't bought anything. In fact in many cases not buying the watch would have the worse financial decision. But even if it was money down the drain, what about the ways in which a luxury watch affects the mind?

Wearing luxury watches releases chemicals in our brain that drive us to do better. They relax our nervous system and give us a feeling of satisfaction and success. The more our minds feel these sensations the better we are able to work and the more we are able to earn. The more our enjoyment of finer things grows, the more value we can create in the world. It's not one or the other, and those who are unable to enjoy the spoils of success cannot judge how money is spent - nor do they know they would act differently if they found themselves in similar circumstances.

Now stop for a moment and notice your reaction to these ideas. How have they made you feel? If you are someone with a love for fine watches, you probably won't give much attention to the sensations and thoughts within your mind.

A simpler question: What is most valuable to you?

I have asked family men whose dealings have brought them a small fortune,

"how much is enough?"

"It's never enough." - they replied.

Whether it is your first Richard Mille, or a pile of them laid before a meter tall vinyl Pinocchio - less just wouldn't feel right, would it. If we are free to live as we please on this planet, and this is the highest joy beyond that which money can't buy, why should we not?

Or we are insane and oblivious to some other form of investment that would bring more joy?

Tick-tock, one deeper...

-The watch dealer formerly known as "Deep-House"

A Richard Mille RM038 Bubba Watson Tourbillion juxtaposed with a lower-end 1980s Rolex with aftermarket human skulls painted on the dial.

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