Mastering the Craft: John Goldberger's Secrets to Building a Remarkable Watch Collection

There is this one enthusiast: experienced and selfless. Motivated by a passion to share his knowledge and reveal the principles of collecting to those wanting to jump into the world of watches.

nenad pantelic profile photo Nenad Pantelic • June 26, 2023

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The world of watches is a complicated one. It can be both captivating and overwhelming. Exploring the historical background of brands, learning about watch categories, keeping up with present-day trends, navigating through a huge array of models, facing crazy prices, and eventually dealing with the pressure from your peers and social media. You can easily get burned.

Within this world lives an experienced watch collector whose journey has elevated him to the status of a legend. Of course, it is John Goldberger. For years he has shared valuable insights, uncovering a set of rules and principles that have shaped his collecting.

In the words of Goldberger:

  1. Buy what you like
  2. Buy the seller
  3. Have a big discipline
  4. Buy the quality
  5. Be humble
  6. Take in as much information as you can

Buy what you like

Mr. Goldberger always speaks about the importance of personal preference and enjoyment. You should not get caught up in the appeal of trends or the potential for investment gains. Instead, prioritize your own taste and passion when buying watches.

By following this mantra "buy what you like", you will create a collection that brings you true satisfaction and fulfillment, making your collecting experience all the more enjoyable and personal.

Buy the seller

When you are making a watch purchase it is critical to find a seller you can trust and rely on. Think about the reputation, expertise, and credibility of the person or company selling the watch. Look for someone who has a good track record and knows their stuff.

Take your time to find the right seller who can offer authenticity, after-sales service, expertise, and knowledge. It will make a big difference.

Plus, it may even open doors to unique opportunities in the watch collecting world.

Have a big discipline

It is all about having self-control, staying focused, and being consistent while building and managing your watch collection. Make sure you approach it with a thoughtful and deliberate mindset, rather than giving in to impulsive or random buying choices.

Buy the quality

It can be tempting to snag a watch just because it is available on the market, but Mr. Goldberger strongly recommends that you hold off and wait for a quality example instead. Buying a watch in poor condition is never a wise decision. Just pass that one, and the right one will eventually come.

Be humble

It is all about staying humble throughout your journey. When you approach this hobby with an open mind, it allows you to truly appreciate the beauty of every watch, regardless of its price or reputation. Remember to respect others in the collector community too. This way, you will create a positive atmosphere and build connections with like-minded enthusiasts.

Take in as much information as you can

You should absorb as much information as possible from various sources and locations. The watch community is super diverse, with enthusiasts, experts, and professionals sharing their experiences through dedicated websites, auction catalogs, books, online forums, social media, and podcasts.

Different sources bring a range of perspectives and opinions that can help you develop a more comprehensive understanding of watches.

Final thoughts

Just a simple, heartfelt gratitude. Thank you, Mr. Auro Montanari, also known as John Goldberger.