The Allure of Watch Collecting: A Passion for Timepieces at the JCK Show

The Allure of Watch Collecting: A Passion for Timepieces at the JCK Show

Las Vegas, a city that never sleeps, is a treasure trove for collectors of all kinds, but it holds a special allure for those with a passion for timepieces. This week, as the mega-jewelry convention JCK and watch collector Steve Bornfeld find themselves in the same city, the fervor for collecting watches reaches a fever pitch.

The JCK Show, named after the Jewelers Circular Keystone magazine, transforms Las Vegas into a bustling marketplace where conventioneers engage in a frenzied spree of buying and selling. Amidst this chaos, watch collectors like Bornfeld navigate the event with a singular focus: to indulge in their horological obsession.

Why do individuals like Bornfeld amass collections of over a hundred watches over 35 years? According to Tim Temple, host of ShopNBC’s Time Zone, it’s the artistry behind watchmaking that captivates collectors. “You have artists who create these ingenious works of art that are astonishingly beautiful, and every one of them will tell you the time,” Temple explains. This blend of functionality and beauty is what makes watch collecting an irresistible hobby for many.

However, the allure of watch collecting isn’t limited to the aesthetics alone. The mechanical complexity of these timepieces, especially those that are handcrafted, appeals to collectors on a deeper level. As another enthusiast points out, “The urge to collect mechanical watches is almost exclusively a man’s club… They look good and have a function beyond simple adornment.”

From affordable Swatch watches that have become collectibles to luxury brands selling for six figures, the range of watches that captivate collectors is vast. Innovations in watchmaking have made features like power reserves and big dates more accessible, fueling the passion of collectors who thrive on acquiring new and unique pieces.

Despite the common misconception that Rolex is the pinnacle of watchmaking, collectors know that the world of watches is much broader. Brands like Quinting, known for its see-through watches with invisible movements, and others that offer unique designs and complications, are just as coveted.

For collectors, the joy of watch collecting is not just in the acquisition but also in the wearing and sharing of their treasures. As one collector muses, sometimes the hardest part is choosing which watch to wear, leading to moments of trading and exchanging pieces for the thrill of something new.

Experts advise collectors to buy what they love and intend to wear, emphasizing the importance of purchasing from recognized and legitimate dealers to avoid counterfeit or re-cased watches. The journey of a watch collector is one of passion, dedication, and a never-ending quest for the next extraordinary timepiece.

As the frenzy of the JCK Show continues, collectors like Bornfeld are reminded of the deep-seated passion that drives their pursuit. Whether it’s the hunt for a rare find, the excitement of a new acquisition, or the simple pleasure of wearing a beautifully crafted watch, the heart of a watch junkie beats in time with the ticking of their cherished collection.