Slow bank holiday night, so I figured I would go into this. After having followed watch brand for some years and having had countless conversation with fellow consultants and banking friends about why you don't spend your first bonus on a fucking mixed steel-gold submariner, I figured a brief guide about watches may help.
DISCLAIMER: I know that a large majority of people won't care and neither will the large majority of co-workers, but some might and looking like a knob to those who cares is the worst way to start a career. I also want to state that these watches are my personal preference - this is in no way an objective review so please avoid the Monkey Shit for having left out your favourite Tissot model.
Whilst some of you may have read the GSElevator guide to watches on Wall Street, I think it does a poor job and offers the same insight into watches as someone who went on the Richemont Group's website for the first time and memorised some names. Regardless, here goes:
You're tucked away at the back of the office and the only people you see are your fellow interns and the raging face of associates and VPs as they shit down your neck for having put an extra comma on slide 37 of 80. Your salary isn't bad, but you can't exactly go eating lobster and caviar whenever you please. You've spent the last 12 hours building a model and aligning logos on a deck you'll never see again and are counting the minutes until the clock strikes 2am and you can finally go home for those well deserved 3-4 hours of nightmare-fuelled sleep. You need something that clearly shows the fading seconds.
Oris Divers Sixty-Five (~$2000): neat, simple, small and under the radar whilst maintaining good visibility and a clean dial.
You can buy it on authenticwatches.com.
Tudor Black Bay 36mm (~$2700): does it slightly look like Rolex's explorer? yes. Is it better? yes. As above, it's slim and near without attracting too much attention but still has the quality and durability of a watch crafted by the Rolex group.
You can buy it here from Crown and Caliber.
Baume et Mercier Classima (~$1000): subtle and elegant. Unknown to most and still a phenomenal timepiece
You can buy it here at the company webiste.
You got the offer, accepted it and now can do endure the daily barraging on a full time basis. Yet, it feels different to know someone out there looked past the hungover mornings during the internship, the awkward attempted hookups with the smoke show intern and the constant fuck ups to give you an offer. You feel proud, confused and scared at the same time. You've already endured 3 months of this so you have an idea of how things work, plus you'll get to go Sean Penn on some interns in a few months. Still, you're mostly at your desk but can carry yourself with a bit more confidence than you did during the summer. Go on. Treat yourself.
Rolex Datejust Stainless Steel (~$7800): finally, you can get a Rolex. To those asking 'when the fuck can I buy a submariner?' the answer is whenever - just never wear it to the office. This is a personal taste, but with the plethora of models Rolex offers, the best suit watch has to be the datejust. Simple and elegant, yet a bit more noticeable without the big 'fuck you' bezel of the submariner.
You can buy it here on Amazon.
Zenith Elite Chrono (~$7300): you're not coach Carter running suicides at Richmond High so the chrono will not be of practical use, yet it fits perfectly with the design of the watch particularly the black dial with the black leather strap.
You can buy it here on PrestigeTime.
Omega De Ville (~$3300): similar to the Zenith mentioned above, the simple dial and design allows it to blend in with formal suits perfectly. Some may prefer better known Omegas (speedmaster, seamaster etc) but again, I wouldn't wear them with a suit.
You can buy the watch here on Jomashop.
You officially have errand boys! Slowly rising up the ranks, grinding away hard as always and now allowed to look at clients in the face, this is your time to shine. Salary gets bigger, bonus gets bigger, office hours shrink (slightly) and more people start to notice you. Why? You have responsibility. You're teaching the apes below you simple tasks and if they fuck up, as much as you can shit on them later, you'll be shit on first. Make sure you can fit the big boy pants with a big boy watch. A word of caution here. Since you'll have pretty good money at this stage, it's easy to fall into temptation and go full Lil Wayne with a shit flashy watch. Do the research, ask friends. At this budget, there are plenty of watches you can buy.
Blancpain Villeret (~$14000): this is a family of Blancpain models and variants exist discontinued on the 2nd hand market or brand new. Either way, this watch shows fellow watch enthusiasts you certainly have taste and if you don't care what others think, enjoy the fact you're wearing a phenomenal watch from one of the oldest brands in the world
You can buy this watch here on Jomashop and learn more about the brand on the company website.
Breguet Classic (~$13000): again, a family of models and again a simple yet elegant piece. For classic watches around this budget, Breguet and Blancpain go head to head so either way, you're making a good decision.
You can purchase this watch on Jomashop.
Rolex Cellini Date in White Gold (~$17500): a lot of people have mixed feelings about Cellini's and yet they remain a classic. It may be strange to consider having a gold watch but the case is slim and the white gold is subtle, not flashy.
You can buy this watch here on World's Best.
You're making real money, you're managing teams. Time to get a man's watch. It is at this point in the rankings that the GS Elevator article mentions the rule that you can wear a Daytona only from VP level up. Is this true? No clue. Either way, if it is then go out and get a steel one to join the thousands of others who have no idea what to do with $15000. Great watch by all accounts, just simple. You can do better.
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony (~$25000): This is a big purchase. Again, this is a family of models and the lower end models cost around this much. You're wearing one of the brands that brought Swiss watchmaking to life on an international level. It's time to start looking at the big brands, but the non-traditional models.
You can buy this watch on the company website.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Universal Time Stainless Steel (~$14000): similar price to associate watches, but the importance is elevated. The new geophysic movement add additional accuracy to the watch and having the global timezones helps coordinate with colleagues at the office or when abroad.
You can purchase this watch on the company website.
Piaget Altipiano White Gold (~$20000): the simple time-only version is by far the most elegant. Great piece.
You can buy the watch on the company website.
You're almost at the top, you're regularly meeting clients and you have more people to shit on/look after. By this point a lot of colleagues you had a few years ago have go off to do other things but you are resilient. You know this is for you and you're so close to becoming a rain maker, you want to start feeling like one.
Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Extra Thin White Gold (~$31500): not the first model that comes to mind when you think AP, but it does have a certain class and elegance to it. Small, subtle yet imposing.
You can buy this watch on Tourneau.
Patek Philippe Calatrava 5119G (~$22500): your first Patek. This is a special moment; not everyone deserves a Patek. Start with something small as an introduction to the family.
You can buy the watch on the Lunns webiste.
A. Lange & Sohne Saxonia (~$21500): many may not know this brand but for those who do, this is it. Although this may not be the top model, you're on a steady path there.
You can learn more about this watch on the company website.
Yo've done it. You're at the top after years of hard work and dedication. You're officially a rainmaker, bringing in so much money that the bank has started working for you as a platform for you to conduct business. You're making so much money you've stopped giving a shit. So fuck it, go nuts.
A. Lange & Sohne Langematik Perpetual (~$103500): a beast of of watch, yet classy. Top shelf by Lange.
You can buy this watch on Chrono24.
Patek Philippe Grand Complication 5159G (~$91000): one of the best pieces by Patek. Sure, you can also get a Nautilus but it has become a (relatively) common piece like the Daytona and Submariner. Go for something special.
You can purchase this watch on Chrono24.
Vacheron Constantin Metiers d'Art The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac (~$125000): the movement, the craftsmanship and the attention to detail make this an amazing piece. Good luck finding one, particularly with your birth year.
You can learn more about the watch on the company website.
By this point, you really don't care. Buy a watch or not. It won't make a difference; you're the boss.