Part II: Comparing the Cost: Buy Off-The-Shelf, or DIY and Build-Your-Own?
Check out Part I of the article here if you haven't already.
Let's talk brass tacks. The world of watches can range from a simple utilitarian timepiece to a stunning work of art that rivals the price of a luxury car.
To give you an idea of how eye-wateringly expensive some watches can be, this Patek Philippe sold for USD$7,724,346 at a Sotheby's auction in Hong Kong in 2022. It's an essential, then, to have a decent understanding of the financial landscape of both off-the-shelf watches and DIY watch kits.
Off-The-Shelf: Options Aplenty - But What You See, Is What You Get
Purchasing a watch Off-The-Shelf, particularly one from a renowned brand, can be a significant investment. This comes as no surprise since watches are often regarded as status symbols, akin to luxury handbags, cars, and so forth. Luxury watches bring together the skills of master watchmakers, top-notch materials, and frequently a respected name. This combination of artistry, quality, and reputation often comes with a substantial price. Nonetheless, for many individuals, the cost is justified by the prestige and the confidence in owning a meticulously crafted and dependable timepiece.
Of course, there are watch brands that are much more reasonable priced. Not everybody wants to (or is able to!) spend tens of thousands of dollars on what's essentially jewellery. On the topic of reasonably-priced watches, we would be remiss not to mention Seiko, which is one of the best value-propositions in the industry. In fact, the existence of Seiko is why namokimods even exists in the first place - we have a huge catalog of watch modification parts for Seiko watches that allows you to install various "upgrades" onto your watches.
Needless to say, there's a ton of variety of styles, price ranges, and brands to pick from when it comes to off-the-shelf watches. Costs are hugely variable, and what you see is what you get. If you don't see a watch that tickles your fancy and aligns with your design preferences, tough luck.
Build Your Own: Reasonable Cost of Entry and Freedom of Choice
On the other side of the spectrum, let's talk about DIY watch kits. These kits, while offering an entirely different experience, are often more affordable than their off-the-shelf counterparts.
But don't mistake affordability for lack of quality or attention to detail. In fact, at the price point that we sell our DIY watchmaking kits for, you'd be hard-pressed to find a comparable watch that has some of the luxuries we offer such as sapphire glass crystals - for example, Seiko only uses sapphire crystals on their higher-end timepieces.
Our DIY watch kits, for instance, are carefully curated, bringing together high-quality and reliable parts, tools, and instructions to ensure a satisfying building experience and a reliable end product. The value for money here isn't just in the physical product, but also in the unique experience and knowledge you gain through the process of assembly.
Another cost that we should discuss - the cost of time! One of our most valuable, non-renewable resources. Of course, building your own watch is going to take more time than swiping your credit card at your neighbourhood mall's watch store. However, there is a sense of fulfillment in building something with your own hands. It carries an artisanal quality - the experience of acquiring new skills and developing an appreciation for the craftsmanship involved. I would argue that the time invested in this process is time well-spent.
So, how do these two options compare? If we consider only the financial aspects, DIY watch kits typically provide better value for your money due to their affordable price and utilization of high-quality components. However, as with many aspects of life, not everything can be quantified solely in monetary terms. DIY watchmaking kits offer more than just a fully functional timepiece; they provide an immersive, hands-on experience that is difficult to evaluate in monetary terms. On the other hand, ready-made watches offer convenience, and the act of retail therapy itself can be viewed as an experience in its own right.
Remember, the value of a watch isn't merely its price tag. It's the connection you form with it, the joy it brings you, and the story it tells. In the next section, we'll examine these aspects in more detail, offering a balanced view of both options.
In the next section, let's discuss what kind of consumer DIY Watch Kits are designed to appeal to. Is it just for seasoned watch enthusiasts? Spoiler alert - it's really not. Read on to find out more.