What is the attraction of expensive watches?

I’ve seen on a couple of threads bragging about watches and genuinely don’t get it. I use a watch to tell the time. The cheaper I can get one, the happier I am. I get e.g. cars as status symbols (any car will get you from A to B but an Aston will do it quicker, in more comfort and with less stress than a Lada) but what advantage does an expensive Rolex get you that a £10 Casio doesn’t? Do pricey ones give functions I’m not aware of? Genuine question as I’ve never understood the attraction.

The more expensive and pointless the item the richer you must be to own it.

I think this is a 'period of life' thing. I bought an Omega Seamaster with my first big paycheck and I loved it.

Then you get a bit older and realise it is just a bit of jewellery. Smartwatches have all but killed high end watches as a thing.

Oh, and Panerais never, ever keep time.

You can pay several thousand for a Casio G-Shock.

That's quite a Shock. 

some people are into the mechanics/engineering I guess, and watch jokes are a RoF ‘thing’ from years back

the car analogy only goes so far I think, my Skoda will get you from a to b just as fast and comfortably as an Aston

If you just allow your sleeve to roll down your arm a little and the woman sees the face of your wankmaster submariner, the woman you’re in the restaurant with will instantly be down on her knees noshing you off under the table. This will continue forever and she’ll be happy about having threesomes with her equally attractive twin sister. 

if you flash your Casio, she’ll turn ugly, marry you, divorce you, take all your money, and never put out once. Oh and you’ll become a litigator. not in Dubai. 



Cars are only status symbols for those who can't afford decent watches.

I'd rather have a watch than a car.

It's important to spend a lot of money on a watch so that you can admire it while checking exactly how many hours you are working in your shit job - a job you need to keep doing so you can afford to pay for the watch. It's the circle of life.

Heh. Preferably one that actually makes it pretty difficult to see what time it is!

It's basically just male peacocking like women and handbags. I have a Rolex but the strap broke 3 years ago and I haven't worn a watch since. I like the idea of a watch wardrobe but like multiple houses and cars,  the idea is probably less tedious than the reality.

There are genuine watch tedes who appreciate the movement etc but this is a tiny percentage of the market.

Just a topic of discussion and the fact they can appreciate in value or at the very least hold their value whereas you'd have to be a psychic to predict which car will rise.

don't know, have been fascinated with them since a young child.

the car analogy is wrong tho, a 25 grand golf is more comfortable, convenient and reliable than a 300k ferrari. and won't get you anywhere quicker

I like “beautiful “ stuff (including watches in the dim past) but am basically too cheap to pay retail

except for my 1st bonus =1st watch purchase from the 90s I have only ever got watches at auction (airport/repossession etc) when I’m getting such a bargain it feels like a beautiful eff you to anyone who ever paid retail for the same.

like many I stopped wearing a watch except as very occasional jewelry years ago 


just me then

I just like struggling to lift my wrist to see the time because my watch is so heavy.

I always seem to end up with the clients with products other lawyers might love and I don't eg sport/golf, watches etc. I was working on watches last week.


Anyway people can like what they like. I have a £20 Argos watch and I just renew the batter and watch strap when it needs it. It is probably about 15 years old so far. My son's friend's father has a garage in London full of car apparently - it is his thing. It's his money so let him spend it on what he likes.


I just give my money away to the ex husband and then on school and university fees and childcare - probably £1m since 1984 (£50k this coming academic year alone)! and children's housing and a few family holidays.

Today I went out to the bin and took out the almost dead 20 year old bay tree, sawed more of the stem off and let it live in a pot in the garden. Sadly the bush in a pot my mother bought me in about 1985 is completely dead so that is now part of my fence/hedge. The idea it can rot down there is rather good. The bay tree she left me when she was dying which she grew from a cutting a few decades before goes strong in its pot. I suspect I am more attracted to nature than watches. In fact recently I replaced a sundial my mother bought me which I never set up and had to throw away last year as it was so impossible to clean it. Hopefully this summer its replacement will work.

people spend money on all sorts of interests though; I know of a guy who flew from London to Tokyo for 2 days to see a Baers Pochard

I like mechanical watches because I find the movements fascinating and admire the skill in making them.

Also, a watch is something one generally doesn't buy very often but wears very regularly. They can last forever if you look after them. So to me it seems normal to get something a bit nicer (within reason) and not the cheapest you can find. Same as with shoes or furniture, it's just basic self-respect.

Grouville - THANK YOU. You’ve just answered exactly where I went wrong in my life. Should never have bought a Casio! (Assuming you can equate a litigator with a police sergeant). I’ll have to start saving for a Rolex!

Thanks all, nice to have a reason for it and, in the same way, never understood about some women and handbags either. 
Car analogy was off the cuff so probably not the best but you could argue (I probably wouldn’t bother) that the Ferrari’s acceleration enables overtakes your Golf couldn’t manage therefore getting you there quicker. For the record, I don’t give a monkey about cars either but I can see the logic behind some arguments).

I was half expecting many responses from scuba divers desperate to know the time in three different cities at a depth of 50m so am grateful we haven’t gone there (yet).

Fritz - I get that completely. However, when you regularly roll around on the floor with naughty people as part of your job, I go for the cheapest I can find that works in case it gets broken. If I didn’t get into so many fights, I might look for a reasonably priced decent watch but, even so, couldn’t justify spending thousands on it. 
I hadn’t considered the investment idea (didn’t realise they can appreciate) so that makes sense too.

My watch cost more than the four cars I've owned, put together.

This says a lot more about the cars than the watch tbh.


My expensive watch which requires a service to get it back working properly which will cost c. £500 has remained in its box in a safe at home since I got my iwatch over a year ago. Keep thinking I will get it serviced when there is an event or something I need to go to that would warrant it. It'll probably stay in there another year tbh.

Watches, with the exception of a tiny minority, do not appreciate in value. Like new cars, they fall in value substantially when you buy them. If you buy second hand you can hope that the watch has done most of its depreciation and this will therefore reduce your cost of ownership.

Outside of the well established watches which do retain their value or appreciate, trying to predict which models/brands might be good investments is a mug's game just as much as it is with cars. But I'm a bit of a mug, so I'm going to say Cartier.

I must admit I love watches, although just as pieces of jewellery rather than caring about the mechanics etc. 


Me too. Especially when paired with a sovereign ring and a heavy gold chain necklace. It's a strong look.

Watches are generally classed as display goods; that is they are supposed to indicate that the wearer is both wealthy and has some sort of style or taste.

Not wearing a flashy watch can mean that you are (1) poor, or (2) so secure in yourself you feel no need to impress others.

Expensive watches are very much like Latvian hookers; you will never see one on my arm.

The irony is the £10 Casino will actually do a better job of time keeping than the Rolex or whatever mechanical watch because quartz is known for being way more accurate. 

So its even worse than the car analogy because it doesn't even do the basic job better. They are status symbols .


The following points justify (not: require) buying a decent watch:

  • Not counting wedding rings, signet rings and fancy pens, wristwatches are the only accepted jewellery men can wear.
  • You can display taste to everybody and a modicum of wealth and/or knowledge to insiders.
  • There are people who will pay close attention to your wristwatch when making an initial assessment of your person based on your appearance.
  • It is more subtle to look at your wristwatch than to whip out your phone to tell the time, and if you are going to wear an item on an everyday basis, you might as well be tasteful about it.

the latest watch I bought I could have easily sold for a 3k profit immediately, probably still could, the other watch I bought 10 years ago sells second hand for what I paid

If it's selling now for what you paid 10 years ago, you have in fact lost money. Stainless steel Rolex flipping which I assume is the more recent one can work tbf but it's clearly a bubble which could pop any time.

I would certainly judge people who are watch lovers in the same category as personalized number are throbbers

indeed I have lost money, but doubt its more than say 500 quid which is what 15 p a day to wear a watch I love. I'm OK with that

I'm halt tempted to cash in the Rolex as apparently it's worth about 50% more than I paid and join the waiting list for a new one and pocket the difference.

I'm going to doubly trigger Guy as just getting dad's old personalised plate moved over to my guy.  To be fair it's not a naff name one and is just the plate that was on my granddad's car and it's been in the family for nearly 60 years.

I was offered a brand new sub, but had to promise not to flog it on. had to decline...

Anyone who ‘loves’ possessions has no soul....

Rolex watches are a big thing here in germany, everyone seems to have one.

Was vey pleased one evening when out with Lady Pot ( who is german and not at all materialistic) when she said " You know what Pot one of the first things I noticed about you when we met ( at some art event) was that you were not wearing a stupid fooking watch like all those superficial wan  kers"

I’m a deeply unfashionable person, but I still can’t see the point of expensive watches. I would rather wear a nice suit and shoes without a watch. The watch just screams pointlessness, whereas the others have some function. Whenever I meet somebody with a nice watch I know immediately not to trust their judgment.

do you think that about ladies wearing jewellery too?

watches really annoy some people. I am adding this to the list of why I like them

There is nothing tasteful about wearing an stupidly expensive watch, it is bling to the max, a status symbol on your wrist, the opposite of good taste.

Whenever I meet someone in a pub wearing a posh suit and expensive shoes I immediately know not to trust their judgement.

Sails- I’m safe there then, jeans and a T shirt plus Casio must mean I’m über trustworthy.

To be honest my watch is only visible in summer months as the rest of the time I've got sleeves over it.

Women rarely buy expensive jewellery for themselves though do they? It’s supposed to be a sign that they are desired by someone willing to expensively gift them something that is actually pointless. Watches on men usually just show that the man is trying to artificially inflate his own value. They have almost the opposite effect to women wearing jewellery.

I have a collection of watches that some of the people here would probably disapprove of. I like them because of the way they look and the mechanical complexity, however owning them/buying them has never impacted my ability to do or buy other things. 

A lot of the chat about disliking them is just reverse snobbery. 

Im sure ill buy others in the future and will probably sell some of the existing ones.

I dont really get the mechanical complexity thing. Its a watch, it tells the time. Is it just complexity for the sake of complexity with no real connection to function, ie telling the time. More like it tells the time despite its complexity.

I have often heard it said ( I dont know if its true) that Rolex watches have no real reputation for mega accuracy, so what is the point? Is it just a commodity with an endless supply of bankers, lawyers, Germans etc who desire them because they are Rolex.

Watches are just not my thing, but i would spend what a lot of people would say was a silly amount on art and tbh it is a hell of a lot easier to resell and make a gain on a 20K rolex than in is on a 20K picture.

no automatic watches are accurate to within 2 seconds a day I think...I love looking at the movement of a watch. they are just fascinating to me. and I like that my boys will wear or sell after I am gone

A watch is the only piece of jewellery a man can respectably wear.

Pinky rings are usually the signal of a complete bellend.  Any sort of piercing is a complete no no.


I like watches in the same way I like jewellery and can appreciate a nice watch on a man. 

my dad collects clocks. Hundreds of them around the house and none telling the right time. 

Yes, but they arent fully automatic are they? They have an electronic regulator no?

Not sure. Think they only use main spring energy and have no battery. 

I gain a couple of minutes every few weeks but not a major issue.  I have a weird fascination with liking knowing the time so wear mine 24/7.  I also don't treat as something special that's kept in a box and it's scratched and dented and has clearly been something that's used every day.

How often does anyone set their watch anyway? Twice a year.

When the price of watches started to climb about 20 years ago, I was struck by the amounts people would pay for about 50 pence worth of scrap metal.  If the watch case was gold or platinum then that would have a greater scrap value.  The movement would still be brass and steel, though.

I know of a watch with the same ETS movement as one of the Breitling range.  The difference is nothing in terms of value and a factor of 16 in price.

Outpatient clinic 1970, ok my watch off placed it on surface close to sink, attended to patient, went to wash hands again (no gloves in those days) watch gone. No idea who took it, was replaced by £3 watch from pawnbroker near hospital. That watch kept perfect time for years in the pocket of white coat or whatever but never wore one on my wrist again as I’m sure they would have disappeared regularly in the same manner.

some people like the work and craft, some like the status.  Meh.  Let people spend their cash on whatever they want, you communist bastards!

I decided recently that I should probably get a watch when two male friends came round for dinner and started flirting with each other about their watches.

I will inherit a few expensive ones so didn’t want to get anything too pricey and so decided to get a Garmin one with a solar panel  face. It’s good because people say ‘oh that’s an interesting watch’ and then you can say

’yeah the face is a solar panel - because I care about the environment - don’t you?’

I've a semi-famous mate and at dinner last year he was sporting a new Rolex Daytona.  Another guy took great interest, asked to see it, tried it on, marvelled at the craftsmanship and heft.  And labelled himself an "apologetic watch bore" but just loved a Daytona.  He then prattled on about Paul Newman for a bit.

Then he went to the toilet and the watch wearer admitted he'd bought it on the beach in Lanzarote for €40.

literally no stick you will not grab the wrong end of!

This thread is worthless without a definitive take from Biggie tbh

I dont wear a watch because i break them often.  Last one I had was a rather expensive (not by rof standards) Tissot and it lasted two weeks before being accidentally tumble dried.  I would get a fitbit, but other than that, mehmax

I have a Breitling, but hardly ever wear it. It sits in a drawer whilst I currently wear something ordered from Amazon which cost less than a pack of cigs. Works fine.

Nobody is going to mug me for that. I do remember a spate of watch muggings on the tube years ago.

Wang you're supposed to take your watch off before tumble drying yourself ffs

Friend of mine was mugged for his Rolex. Stabbed in the head with a bottle several times. Horrible.

I have a FitBit.

RoF has always been about watches (the more expensive the better in some sense) and AGAs (the more doors and knobs on it the better).

That's RoF 101.


Expensive watches are not like expensive cars, they are more like personalised number plates.

pointless and naff

conspicuous consumption.

I generally take the view that my watch is the obvious thing I can hand over to a mugger so that they won't get into what's in my pockets that I don't want to hand over.

My phone which of course has access to all kinds of facets of my life.

Had my Rolex Datejust Bimetal serviced recently and told it was worth quite a bit more than I paid for it 10 years ago.

I also have an Omega Seamaster Chrono Diver and GP Ferrari, but I smashed the glass on it and cannot get it fixed here.  Got the wife a Constellation for her 40th. 

T Pot - my experience is that the average German is more into watched than even most roffers.

But tbh they'd consider Rolex a little too much of a Massenprodukt.

I've seen more Vacheron Constantine and Lange u. Söhne watches on Lufthansa flights than I've had cheese sandwiches.  And I've had an awful lot of Lufthansa sandwiches over the years.


I don't understand the attraction or point of a watch nowadays let alone an expensive one.