Here at Second Hander, we love our watch forum friends. Not only are these forums a great resource for private classified listings, but they are wonderful communities full of great people who share our hobby! You may want to just casually browse eye-candy, or you could be looking for specific details on how a co-axial escapement works. Either way, they’re the place to be.
If you’re new to watch forums, we’d like to offer a guide to help you wade through the newly found waters.
1) “What should I buy” threads are fine, but…
Chances are, some version of your “what should I buy” question has already been posed…dozens of times. And while these threads are often met with groans from the saltier veterans of the forum, others feel that’s what the forum is for. So, instead of asking another “what diver can I get for $1000,” maybe ask “of these three specific dive watches, which do you feel is best and why”…and post pictures of each. Remember, the best threads are the ones that get people talking. Specificity breeds discussion. (You’re still going to get groans, welcome to watch forums).
2) Before You Buy Or Sell, Participate
The watch community of buyers and sellers are an understandably protective lot. If your first post is the one where you’re trying to offload the vintage Sub you just inherited, you may not have a lot of luck. Nothing says red flag like someone trying to sell a $6,000 watch with 0 post history and a sign up date of…yesterday.
Instead, try to integrate yourself into the community. Introduce yourself and speak up in a thread or two. Offer your opinions on some of the watches. Basically, be a community member.
3) Never ask “is Rolex really better than other brands?”
Or some derivative of that question. Yes Rolex is better. No Rolex isn’t better. This is a subjective question that has been asked too many times on every watch forum. Posing this question is no way to endear yourself to your newfound community. Also, the question has been asked, which leads us to…
4) Use the search. But not always.
Just as those will complain about your “what should I buy” thread, others will suggest you “use the search” for commonly posed questions (and sometimes not so common ones). So you should always use the search for what may be a common question. However, forum software search functionality is notoriously terrible. Often it’s worth doing a quick google search with the watch forum included with the keywords. Example: “forums.watchuseek.com/f2 + dive watches under 1000” will likely yield better results.
If you still can’t find what you’re looking for but suspect it’s already been asked, simply preface your question with “I’ve tried using the search with no luck…”
5) When you do sell, have pictures ready
There’s nothing worse than listing where someone is selling a $3000 watch and throws out the classic line of “pictures available upon request.” Assume they’re being requested and just put them in the thread.
6) Forums have brand favorites, and that’s OK
You may find yourself soliciting members’ opinions on Invicta one day. It won’t end well. Another day, you’ll ask for opinions on an Omega vs a Tag Heuer. Three things will happen:
- Most people will favor the Omega
- Many people will quietly bash Tag Heuer
- %31 of responses will include an suggestion for a Seiko or Grand Seiko
Watch forums tend to gravitate toward (and away from) particular brands. This doesn’t mean you have to follow the pack, but remember that these gravitational pulls are often founded in experience. Watches are incredibly subjective. So never take opinions personally. But if you do decide to go against the grain on Seiko, be prepared for war. (Oh and all the love that Grand Seiko is getting - it's because they're for legit. Seriously, try one)
7) Forums are the best place to find out about micro brands
Micro brands are a great hidden gem of watch collecting. If you’re new to collecting, you may only be familiar with the major players. Forums are a wonderful resource for digging a little deeper and learning about brands that you have not been previously exposed to. Not all of them will have their own dedicated section on forum sites, but info should be easy to find – fans of micro brands can be rather dedicated. And when they stand out in a community that’s already known for being dedicated – that’s saying a lot!
8) Don’t compare watches to cars
It’s been tried, and it just doesn't fit.
9) Yes, that watch is too big for your wrist
There. We saved you the trouble of posting that thread. You know you were just about to…