Watch Collecting Guide: A look inside Jeff of Modern Watch Guy ATX’s Collection

Watch Collecting Guide: A look inside Jeff of Modern Watch Guy ATX’s Collection

We recently got in touch with Jeff who runs Instagram’s @modernwatchguyatx to ask him about his vast watch collection, and how he got started collecting his prized watches.

When did you first begin collecting watches?

I started collecting watches in my late twenties. I had a few colleagues and friends that started to share the hobby and their love for it with me and as I started to learn, I got pretty hooked. Shortly thereafter, I started to share it with my Dad and we have been collecting together ever since.

What watch brands would you put in your top 3?

This is always a really tough question because I think most brands have at least certain lines that I really appreciate. Also, my preferences are often changing, so this would be my Top 3 Brands currently:

  1. Tudor - The quality combined with the price point is just really amazing. And each new release seems to be more intriguing than the last. I currently have two Black Bay Fifty-Eights (Original Black / Gilt and the Blue) as well as the Black Bay 41mm Harrods Edition. The Black Bay Pro is definitely speaking to me, though...
  2. A. Lange & Söhne - I have yet to acquire one of their pieces, but to me this is the 4th option to the Holy Trinity of Watches and a really great way to get into high end horology without going after the same thing everyone else wants.
  3. Rolex - Yeah, I know, this is almost like not even trying to answer. The world is crazy for Rolex right now and so this could seem like a lame answer. That said, I am totally hooked. The lack of availability is definitely a frustration, but there is a reason people love these pieces so much. They are just total class. I currently have a Submariner No Date and the Yacht-Master 40mm Two Tone Rosegold with the Chocolate Dial. The Pepsi is my next add for sure!

For those looking to start out, which watch(es) would you recommend investing in?

Two main concepts come to mind. First, buy what you like. At the end of the day, we can all fall prey to buying what seems popular. But that means you may be spending a lot of money on something that is popular today and maybe won't be tomorrow. However, if you buy what you love, it will always be popular to you.

Second, don't overextend yourself, you have a lifetime to collect. I have a list of many watches I want to add to my collection and at times, I have to remind myself that there is no rush. This is a fun hobby, but we can oftentimes feel like we are trying to keep up with others. Take your time and enjoy the journey. I have months where I have honed in on a watch that I want to be my next one and over that time I grow more and more passionate about that watch. This is when I know I need to add that piece! Most recently this was the Cartier Santos. But with all that patience and build-up of anticipation, comes a long honeymoon period post purchase which is the best feeling.

What was the first watch you added to your collection?

The first watch that I would say was the beginning of collecting was a Bulova Marine Star Rose Gold Case that my wife gave to me for our wedding. I had watches before that, but they were always the one watch I'd have for years and then I'd switch it out for another one watch. But when my wife gave me the Bulova, I was hooked. I knew this was going to be a lifetime passion.

Vintage timepieces or modern timepieces?

All modern for me, it's in my name after all, right?!?! But I really struggle with Vintage for two main reasons: first, I like the look of new things. I know many vintage fans will say they have character, but all I see are the scratches and dings. Just can't get over it. Second, I often feel I don't know how to spot real vs fake well enough and thus buying new at an AD [authorised dealer] just really enables me to never question what I have.

Are there any watches you’ve got your eye on and are considering purchasing soon?

Always! I maintain a list of the watches I still want to collect. The next watch I want to add is the Rolex GMT Master Pepsi on the Jubilee bracelet. It's a total iconic piece and the 40mm case size is perfection. But like all of us, this means I have to be patient and wait for that magical phone call... Oh and there are others on my list: Tudor Black Bay Pro, IWC Spitfire Chrono, Breitling Navitimer 41mm B01, etc that can always jump ahead in line if the waiting is too challenging for me :).

How do you maintain and store your watches?

I have a few options. When at home, I have a watch winder box, but when I'm on the road I turn to my To The Hour Elements Peli Watch Case. Just a fantastic, rugged case where my timepieces are secure.

Using To The Hour to store your watches

Jeff uses the Elements VIII (pictured above) to store his watches while travelling. Check out our full range of Peli watch cases and accessories to further personalise your case.

If you have any questions about the cases feel free to get in touch and as always, a member of the team will be happy to help!

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