Is an expensive watch worth it? Rolex, Cartier

May 3, 2020
118
254
Are expensive watches worth it?
When I say expensive I am talking about a classic timepiece such as a Rolex, Cartier, Tag Huer, Omega equivalent.

I am thinking about getting one (still a long time from now). I love classic items, I don’t collect things but prefer one or two classic items for a classic well rounded wardrobe. I tried on a Rolex date just (basic model) and thinking of getting this to signify a financial milestone.

I am now having doubts, it is a lot of money, it will be my most expansive item (after my Chanel handbag). If I do buy one I will try on the other above brands just to make sure I don’t have any regrets. I had it hard financially, started my career late so I am justifying the purchase as a reward to myself. I always felt like I didn’t deserve these things and now starting to believe I do. Whilst I am now financially ok I want to also be considerate and think about what could happen, I know people are suffering right now and many have lost their jobs. I am ok for now, but who knows in 2 years time. I get so scared if I find myself back where I was. The other thing that gets me scared is here in London we hear so many stories about muggings, and people getting stabbed for trying to steal their Rolex watch. I don’t want to be fearful of wearing my nice watch.

How did you justify getting your watch?
 
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Louish

Member
Dec 28, 2014
1,944
2,128
UK
I’m in London & I think it’s the big flashy watches which are targets. All the men I work with wear Rolexes & it’s only those wearing the solid YG ones which make you look twice.

I wear a solid gold Rolex but it’s rose gold so less flashy than yellow gold (on my skin anyway) & it’s a very small model - I have tiny wrists so the 26mm looks fine on me.

I like classic, good quality jewellery. I also only add pieces which I can see myself wearing in 5, 10 years time which means I put a lot of research in my purchases, whether they are too much in the environments I’m in. It also as to be absolute love.

I have more disposable income compared to my family & I also don’t want to be in a difficult financial position in the future. That’s why I pick brands which, if not hold their value, at least can be resold pretty easily. That means sticking to Rolex, VCA, Cartier etc for me though I am aware I am paying for the brand markup too.
 
Feb 8, 2008
2,466
1,166
Everything IS bigger in TX!
I know some people (my younger self included) that buy a different trend every few months, Swatch, white ceramic, etc, when I turned 30 I still didn’t have the means to buy a rolex or cartier, because I had wasted so much money on crap watches. I could have bought a simple Tank cartier If I had saved up all that money. I bought the best thing I could afford which was a rose gold Michele, 20 years later I’m still wearing it on a daily basis. DH has gotten me a cartier and rolex through the years but I still wear the Michele daily.
So I meant to say was buy one nice thing and enjoy the heck out of it, and when it’s your own money, your own taste you will use it for years to come.

That said rolex holds its value the best, it’s almost like cash. (Not to say buy it with intention of selling it but you may want to upgrade One day and it can go towards that).
 
May 3, 2020
118
254
I know some people (my younger self included) that buy a different trend every few months, Swatch, white ceramic, etc, when I turned 30 I still didn’t have the means to buy a rolex or cartier, because I had wasted so much money on crap watches. I could have bought a simple Tank cartier If I had saved up all that money. I bought the best thing I could afford which was a rose gold Michele, 20 years later I’m still wearing it on a daily basis. DH has gotten me a cartier and rolex through the years but I still wear the Michele daily.
So I meant to say was buy one nice thing and enjoy the heck out of it, and when it’s your own money, your own taste you will use it for years to come.

That said rolex holds its value the best, it’s almost like cash. (Not to say buy it with intention of selling it but you may want to upgrade One day and it can go towards that).
I never brought any trend watch (or other items) in my 20s as I was too broke. I brought myself a MK watch that I wanted to last a really good time. At that time the thought of luxury items were way out of my reach so I thought MK watch would be a good option. In hindsight I should have gone for a proper watch brand like seiko or fossil instead. Now I tend to think of forever pieces and luxury items, but even with affordable items I buy items with a classic design that l wouldn’t get bored of quickly.
I always find people think luxury items last years and years, but so does so many affordable items. My MK watch is now 6 years old, other than a battery replacement it still works fine. This is why I am doubting myself about getting a luxury watch, do I want one because of the name. All I know is I just want a classic timepiece. Does my financial milestone need to be signified with a lux watch??
I think I will still wear my MK watch when I get my new watch for going out and bars (when we can go out again).
 

Gourmetgal

Member
Nov 13, 2014
713
1,248
I know some people (my younger self included) that buy a different trend every few months, Swatch, white ceramic, etc, when I turned 30 I still didn’t have the means to buy a rolex or cartier, because I had wasted so much money on crap watches. I could have bought a simple Tank cartier If I had saved up all that money. I bought the best thing I could afford which was a rose gold Michele, 20 years later I’m still wearing it on a daily basis. DH has gotten me a cartier and rolex through the years but I still wear the Michele daily.
So I meant to say was buy one nice thing and enjoy the heck out of it, and when it’s your own money, your own taste you will use it for years to come.

That said rolex holds its value the best, it’s almost like cash. (Not to say buy it with intention of selling it but you may want to upgrade One day and it can go towards that).
Re Rolex, holding it’s value really only applies to the tool and rare models, definitely not the premium metals. In fact, it’s much better to buy pre-owned when buying the gold or platinum models. Wish I had done that. Pateks hold their value the best IMHO.
 

sdkitty

O.G.
Jan 16, 2006
27,530
39,589
San Diego
Is there a way to have a pre-owned Rolex Watch authenticated? Thank you
I don't know but there is a rolex forum that's very active....you may find the info you want there
 

sdkitty

O.G.
Jan 16, 2006
27,530
39,589
San Diego
Are expensive watches worth it?
When I say expensive I am talking about a classic timepiece such as a Rolex, Cartier, Tag Huer, Omega equivalent.

I am thinking about getting one (still a long time from now). I love classic items, I don’t collect things but prefer one or two classic items for a classic well rounded wardrobe. I tried on a Rolex date just (basic model) and thinking of getting this to signify a financial milestone.

I am now having doubts, it is a lot of money, it will be my most expansive item (after my Chanel handbag). If I do buy one I will try on the other above brands just to make sure I don’t have any regrets. I had it hard financially, started my career late so I am justifying the purchase as a reward to myself. I always felt like I didn’t deserve these things and now starting to believe I do. Whilst I am now financially ok I want to also be considerate and think about what could happen, I know people are suffering right now and many have lost their jobs. I am ok for now, but who knows in 2 years time. I get so scared if I find myself back where I was. The other thing that gets me scared is here in London we hear so many stories about muggings, and people getting stabbed for trying to steal their Rolex watch. I don’t want to be fearful of wearing my nice watch.

How did you justify getting your watch?
I have a basic Rolex SS watch. Still a lot of money IMO ($5K+). and service every five years is $500. I justified it by accumulating enough money from gifts and bonuses. Is it worth it? Only you can decide and you will only know in time. Will you still love it after five or ten years? Is it ok if you dont? will you want to get another watch? Honestly there are plenty of decent quartz watches that don't need service that you can buy for the price of a Rolex, Cartier.....it's a matter or priorities I guess. I don't regret buying my watch but I won't buy another high end watch.
 

Cosmopolitan

former tPF mod
O.G.
May 23, 2006
13,652
17,507
Honestly most people tell time by their phone nowadays IMO. A luxury watch like Rolex is not worth it to me and I’ve never craved one or admired them. All the Rolex threads on tPF baffle me. I’d rather save the money for significant jewelry.
 

sdkitty

O.G.
Jan 16, 2006
27,530
39,589
San Diego
I think most of us have a certain something (or two) that we are willing to spend money on, whether it's watches, jewelry, bags, shoes, electronics, trips, food, whatever. I feel like if you can afford it (I'd never go into debt for anything mentioned), and it brings you enjoyment, that's justification enough!
right but I guess one has to decide what it means to be able to afford something.....is it that they have a high income? is it just they have the money to pay for the item? IMO if you had $10K in savings that would not mean you could afford to spend $9K on a watch or a bag. But we all have to decide our own priorities.
 

ODEDIHAIMS

Member
Apr 13, 2015
2,066
3,749
right but I guess one has to decide what it means to be able to afford something.....is it that they have a high income? is it just they have the money to pay for the item? IMO if you had $10K in savings that would not mean you could afford to spend $9K on a watch or a bag. But we all have to decide our own priorities.
Agreed! I think it might be a good exercise to use an investment calculator to see what the money you’re planning to spend would be worth in 10 years if you invested it instead. Of course this would only give you a ballpark as these things aren’t exact. But it’s very interesting to see how much your money could grow to and be worth in 10 years and then compare that against how badly you want to buy this item.
 

mewt

O.G.
Apr 18, 2011
497
1,213
I think I love watches more than jewelry, because it's like jewelry with a beating heart.

However it REALLY doesn't have to be a lot of money for something of high standard, especially if you're open to the second-hand market, or even non-Swiss brands.

I have Breitling and Rolex but would recommend a vintage ladies Grand Seiko for daily, under-the-radar wear. It's great value for money, nobody's gonna rob you for a Seiko, and the finishing is a sight to behold (arguably better than the Rolex/Breitling). Many of their designs are so simple, perhaps even 'boring', but it's something very enjoyable up close in person.

955C9AB3-026B-4096-AB39-F6A964FEFA69.jpeg

Grand Seiko's design philosophy was inspired by the precise cut of diamonds, and the markers catch the light so that it's easily readable under most lighting conditions, even without lume. You surely won't impress regular people or thieves with a Grand Seiko, but if you enjoy quality in peace you can quietly wear this on your wrist (and hey, maybe a watch geek would notice!).

Especially if you haven't worn watches much before, trying at the AD may be insufficient to tell if it'll fit your daily life. It might look and feel great when you try it on, but end up too heavy after prolonged wear or get in the way with your work.

Until you really know what is your 'grail' watch (ie what functions do you want on it, preferred size, do you need date, does any brand's history grab your attention, automatic/quartz/solar/kinetic/etc...), I wouldn't commit a sizeable amount to the purchase. Same for any big purchase, really. You probably were pretty sure you'd love that Chanel bag before you got it!
 

TeriyakiGro

Member
Nov 25, 2018
19
23
I personally love watches, more so than jewelry. It serves as something that looks good and tells time. Probably most people don’t feel the same, so this is a choice you have to make. You work hard for your money, what are your priorities? Why are you looking to buy an expensive watch? would you rather buy a bag, a new house, or invest your money? For me, I buy only the ones that speak to me and only when something meaningful has passed. I am proud to be able to buy what I like. Aside from Rolexes, there are plenty of other brands that are just as good if not better as others have mentioned.
 

lalame

O.G.
Apr 30, 2011
2,267
13,681
Bay Area, SF
It seems like you have 2 questions: 1. Is it sensible for you to buy something luxurious/extravagant to celebrate a financial milestone and 2. Is a watch a worthy luxury item (versus a purse or something else you feel more comfortable spending the same amt of money on)?

Only you can answer #1. I think that's a lifestyle decision you're grappling with as you move into more financial security. I feel the same way all the time so I understand. Even if the answer to #2 is yes, doesn't mean the answer to #1 is also yes.

#2, I think it's easier to justify in the iphone age if you see watches like jewelry. I do glance at my Rolex to tell time sometimes but I mainly wear it as if it were jewelry. It cost about the same as a Cartier Love. Would you wear it as much as a signature piece of high end jewelry? Or would it make you as happy as a special piece of jewelry even if you wear it only occasionally? If yes then I think it's worth it. If no, then you might just not value a timepiece as highly as a Rolex/Cartier watch costs. In that case, get something high end that is super special to you... maybe it's a purse or actual jewelry?