Watches?

Now that Kevin O'Leary has pumped luxury watches as investments for years on YouTube, they're skyrocketing in price across the board. Even Rolex Datejusts, once able to be found in AD cases everywhere, are exceedingly rare and go for around $10k on the grey market. What's your favorite watch brand and model, and how do you think luxury watches are perceived by peers in IB and PE? Has the perception evolved over the past several years, and in what ways?

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Comments (114)

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Dec 27, 2020 - 9:15pm

My parents bought me a black sub after I graduated high school cause I got a full ride. They got it for a 20% discount from my local AD and now it's worth 2x what they paid. Next watch will be a second hand speed master with my stub money in the next 2 months.

  • Prospect in Consulting
Dec 28, 2020 - 1:41pm

Where did you go to school? I'm looking for targets/semi-targets that offer full rides.

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  • VP in IB - Gen
Dec 27, 2020 - 11:15pm

nothing signals 'I want you to know that I'm a junior investment banker' to a more broad audience than a Rolex Sub.  For better or worse.  Rolex in general is a brand largely perpetuated by an image rather than any significant horological credibility but it's a pretty safe place to put your money. 

  • VP in IB - Gen
Dec 28, 2020 - 12:44am

what are more senior professionals wearing? 

I guess the short answer is 'whatever they want', which includes all manner of Rolexes.  At most banks I've seen, watches aren't some kind of insider requirement anymore.  But for people into watches, they'd probably be more inclined to the Patek/Vacheron/Lange or if they're super discerning, something more boutique-y like an FP Journe / H Moser / Bovet.  The same applies for the entry-level, there are probably that are watches in terms of craftsmanship that are well beyond a Rolex Sub for the same price (Grand Seiko) but lack that mainstream recognition.  It all comes down to what your purpose for buying a watch is. 

Dec 28, 2020 - 2:39pm

I'm two levels down from MD and I wear the same watch he wears, a Rolex Daytona. Yes, I get it, there's plenty of Rolex haters out there and some of that is deserved. But the Daytona speaks for itself - anyone that sees it knows that it's not an "entry level" watch like a Sub would say. You show a Daytona to anyone - watch aficionado or not - and they instantly know that it's an expensive watch. 

Funniest
Dec 28, 2020 - 3:07pm

GoingToBeAnMD

I'm two levels down from MD and I wear the same watch he wears, a Rolex Daytona. Yes, I get it, there's plenty of Rolex haters out there and some of that is deserved. But the Daytona speaks for itself - anyone that sees it knows that it's not an "entry level" watch like a Sub would say. You show a Daytona to anyone - watch aficionado or not - and they instantly know that it's an expensive watch. 

What is the point that you're trying to make? Not sure if I lost you at people instantly knowing a Daytona is expensive or that a 10k Submariner is an entry level watch. What?

  • VP in IB - Gen
Dec 29, 2020 - 3:45pm

GoingToBeAnMD

I'm two levels down from MD and I wear the same watch he wears, a Rolex Daytona. Yes, I get it, there's plenty of Rolex haters out there and some of that is deserved. But the Daytona speaks for itself - anyone that sees it knows that it's not an "entry level" watch like a Sub would say. You show a Daytona to anyone - watch aficionado or not - and they instantly know that it's an expensive watch. 

Let me just start by saying that I like the Daytona and its an iconic watch 

However your comment about everyone knowing how expensive your watch is is why I don't and probably won't ever wear a Rolex.  IDGAF if the elevator guy knows my watch is expensive and I rather not associate with a marque that attracts people purely for its broad signaling appeal.

Jan 2, 2021 - 11:11pm

I mean... a Daytona retails for like 5k more than a sub. It's not like you have on a nautilus. Daytona's are sweet but when i see them, I only appreciate them marginally more than I would a sub or GMT. Really the only way you really stick out is wearing a full PM piece or one on oysterflex, but nobody outside of watch guys would even know in that case either.

Dec 29, 2020 - 3:12pm

Actually no! Rolex was the first watch to be successfully used in deep water diving and were the first to make waterproof watches. Hence why the submariner watch is their "gold standard." It's a lot like why Omega sells out their speedmasters, because they're the first watch to be used in space and on the moon.

  • VP in IB - Gen
Dec 29, 2020 - 3:26pm

grieze

Actually no! Rolex was the first watch to be successfully used in deep water diving and were the first to make waterproof watches. Hence why the submariner watch is their "gold standard." It's a lot like why Omega sells out their speedmasters, because they're the first watch to be used in space and on the moon.

Yes, Rolex is a tool watch, and that's what its heritage is.  That's very different than what ALS, Vacheron, Patek is.   The price of a Rolex sub has increased massively from what it used to be priced at mostly because of savvy marketing and it becoming an iconic consumer good,  although they have refined the construction and materials. 

https://www.bobswatches.com/rolex-blog/history-of-time/rolex-submariner…

It's a fantastic tool watch, there's nobody can deny that.   Rolex's quality control and durability is peerless.  It's just bought more by people who are into the image and not into horology because they don't really give you much for your money in terms of what watch enthusiasts are into. 

Dec 28, 2020 - 11:48am

Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon is my grail. I'll probably never attain it but that's why it's called a grail. I do think I can snag a Zeitwerk or an 1815 Annual Calendar someday.

  • Business School in IB - Ind
Dec 28, 2020 - 12:20am

I have a Datejust but I'm looking trade in to buy a Day Date. I bought it over 5 years ago but with the latest market appreciation, I can sell it for the same price I bought it for.  Excited to "upgrade" though I probably wouldn't wear the Day Date to work unless if I was a Senior VP or Director. It's more of a weekend or lifestyle watch (to me)

Rolex prices have gone up quite a bit in the last year. I'd say it's a combination of low supply and Rolex increasing the retail prices.  People who bought in the last 3-4 years have seen their prices appreciate a good amount. Buyers on the sidelines who generally were waiting for "that special occasion" to buy their luxury watch are probably looking to buy ASAP to avoid paying 7-10% more for the same watch 2-3 years from now

Dec 28, 2020 - 12:47am

My daily is a Lange Zeitwerk. :)

  • 2
Most Helpful
Dec 28, 2020 - 11:55am

Sure, here's a movement shot I took with a bit of lightroom abuse :) lange

  • 12
Dec 28, 2020 - 5:26pm

And here's my Lange 1. :)l1

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Dec 28, 2020 - 4:23am

Watch fan here. I would say everything depends on your taste and budget. Some like to go for the new expensive (big) watches, while some prefer to go for less known vintage models. The thing is, you never know how people perceive a first year analyst wearing a golden day-date..

I, myself, like to go vintage because models tend to be more 'rare' and aren't necessarily more expensive. I own a Tudor Prince 74000N ranger dial, as well as an Omega seamaster ref. 166.067, which are 'relatively' inexpensive watches, but I'm sure I'm not gonna bounce into someone with that same watch any time soon :-)

Dec 28, 2020 - 7:50am

Daily is a DJ 41 on a jubilee. Looking at a JLC reverso as my next piece as a more 'under cover' option.

Array

Jan 2, 2021 - 2:53am

Definitely not. Also think the smooth bezel if definitely the way to go VS the fluted bezel. Fluted bezel is far too flashy and unnecessary, especially on the 41mm model. I will add the caveat and say that the fluted bezel on a 36mm vintage DJ does look amazing.

Array

Dec 29, 2020 - 6:54am

Overseas is stunning. One of the only watches I don't mind on a rubber strap as well.

Array

Dec 28, 2020 - 1:41pm

Bvlgari, specifically from around a decade ago. Their new models look terrible but I have a few from about 10+ years ago and I absolutely love them. Have withstood daily abuses, even outdoors on hunting trips, horseback riding, etc. My favorite model is the Diagono Retrograde, the "Iron Man" watch which Tony Stark had in the first movie. Stupidly I passed on one earlier this year that was heavily discounted right when COVID tumbled markets. Now the price is back up.

Sadly, I think luxury watches will be consistently beaten into an ever-shrinking niche market, more so than they already are, much like suits, wet shaving, fountain pens, etc. (yes, I'm that old school). 

Dec 29, 2020 - 9:48pm

Really? I find the Octo Finissimo pretty cool, especially the stainless steel versions with alternating matte/polished finishing on the case's facets. 

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  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Equities
Dec 28, 2020 - 3:30pm

Honestly, nobody gives a damn about what watch you wear. If you like Rolex, go for it. If you want to use an Apple watch, great. 

Personally, I find Rolex's value retention / appreciation very attractive. Gives me the flexibility of buying a watch, enjoying it for some time, then selling it for another one, all the while roughly preserving the initial principal I put into it. You get to experience different pieces without losing money in the process. 

Would be wonderful if I could do this with new cars as well. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Dec 28, 2020 - 9:47pm

Black with black rubber strap is beautiful. Gonna get a speedy with my stub (first bonus and didn't spend any money cause of wfh) and seamaster when I get my first buyside bonus (hopefully)

Dec 28, 2020 - 5:00pm

what's everyone's take on buying used vs retail? can't imagine you'd be able to tell the difference, it's more affordable (?) and the only thing would be your perception of the watch having been on a previous hand

Dec 28, 2020 - 7:21pm

It's more commonplace now that used / grey market watches are more expensive than retail, i.e. AP Royal Oak, Rolex Batman, Rolex Daytona. The reason for this is because if you buy retail you'll usually be placed on a waitlist, which could be anywhere from 3 months to 8 years for one of these pieces. Grey market watches go for a premium due to cutting down on wait time. Deposits usually aren't required, so the main thing you're buying is time. Badly worn or damaged watches will be lower in price, but that's obvious.

Dec 30, 2020 - 1:38pm

Movado is a mall watch - it is overmarketed to the suburban/ex-urban mall-going proletariat and is vastly overpriced. Movado watches don't hold their value and are easy to find. The opinion among the watch crowd is that they are low-quality and really flashy (in a trashy way). I would also group Shinola watches in here as the same category which is a shame because I like the brand otherwise. 

To put it bluntly, it screams "I have some money but don't really know anything about watches".

Dec 30, 2020 - 1:58pm

hwadeann

To put it bluntly, it screams "I have some money but don't really know anything about watches".

Haha, that's what folks say about Rolex.

What you're saying may be true, I've never heard it before. My Movado is $900, and the farthest thing from "trashy/flashy". It doesn't even say Movado anywhere, no diamonds/gems, and leather strap instead of a bracelet or something. I get complements on it and people have told me it looks simple yet elegant. Pretty versatile since I can wear everyday or for events. Not a big deal if I get robbed or something either. 

To each their own I guess.

Jan 2, 2021 - 10:50am

Congrats. Used Lange is the best deal around and shits on anything most brands can make. 

Dec 29, 2020 - 3:51am

Maybe I am naive, in my opinion work in a Bank/Fund is a social elevator. Importance of expensive watches is just old ritual. What do you think this fashion trend is still actual in more introvert divisions (Equity Research, Trading)?

Courses, books are not so cheap. Is it truth that I need to pay for expensive watches that I do not need (I always may check the time on my computer). What if I do not plan to impress clients with my watches, Citizen or Casio will be enough?

Dec 29, 2020 - 1:08pm

Nobody cares. 

Client just cares about what they're paying you to do. Why would anyone need to be impressed by your watch? Some people don't even wear one. Know more than a couple of MDs in IB who rock Apple Watch on the daily. 

Edit: This was meant to be reply to Alisa (poster above). 

Dec 29, 2020 - 3:33pm

Hello Forum,

yesterday I had an interesting discussion with a friend (who is very interested in watches)...starting with my thoughts about which watch(es) I would like to buy next, he came to the topic: which watch fits ME?

I find it very interesting to hear opinions and suggestions...I don't have that many watches yet and I'm always looking for something...I'll probably end up with 15 watches and never find an exit watch (I don't believe in it, but my tastes change quite often I guess :D).

These are the watches that I already own:

HAMILTON Khaki Pioneer (my first automatic about 6 years ago, Team Earth Harrison model, 3 hands, not the chrono with black dial… it has already been through a lot and runs and runs...that watch really impresses me...scratches have accumulated...you notice that I don't take care of the watch and that it is worn when something could "happen"...this position in the collection is therefore "occupied

MIDO Ocean Star Captain (the one made of titanium, black ZB and titanium bezel….the swimming pool, garden hose and beach watch

These are the two watches that I like the most.

For my part, the following were considered - and the model should rather be one "for every occasion":

IWC Ingenieur (I like almost all models)

Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch

Omega Speedmaster '57

Breitling Navitimer 01

Sinn 903

Maybe someone knows these manufacturers and can tell me a little about them?

Thanks already!

  • Principal in HF - Event
Dec 29, 2020 - 4:45pm

It's true. Sadly mot many people care anymore.
I see more investment banking MDs wearing Apple Watch than a Rolex or a Patek.
Also having owned a Patek and a few Rolexes, you pretty much never get any comments on a Patek unless you're surrounded by watch aficionados.

All in all, there are better ways to flex (like maybe a better suit?), if that's your goal.

Dec 29, 2020 - 9:15pm

I really want the tudor black bay GMT. Less decorous than Rolex's version which has that jubilee bracelet, which I despise because it ruins the "tool watch" aesthetic. Tudor's GMT is a nice, sturdy looking watch that can dress up or down. Also only $4k

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Dec 30, 2020 - 6:52am

Looking to buy a Tudor BB36 as a first proper watch, struggling to decide between black / blue dial... Anyone know if these also hold their value well given the rolex heritage? 

Dec 30, 2020 - 1:04pm

Yes, Tudor is only going up in my opinion. They're owned by Rolex and have recently stated to differentiate themselves and become their "own company." As Rolex continues to outprice people from the market, Tudor will likely become the substitute; this is already being evidenced by increasing prices. Would say the hottest pieces will be the Pelagos and BB GMT. The Blue BB58 does seem to be a favorite already, too.

Dec 30, 2020 - 1:04pm

Recently bought the 2019 Omega Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Speedmaster - set me back about £10k (which, I understand, is a relatively good price). Seen it touted elsewhere for between £11k-13k. Original RRP was c. £8k. While I definitely bought it more because I liked the watch than as an investment piece (I certainly intend to wear it frequently, despite the look of horror a number of Omega collectors have given me), it's reassuring to know there's a solid market for it out there.

In 2021, I expect to see the 50th anniversary Rolex Explorer II drop. This fits with Rolex's trend of releasing special 50th anniversary editions of their various models (bar the Explorer I) and could well prove a solid investment opp - I know Rolex has been trying to support their Explorer line more actively the past few years. 

"Work is the curse of the drinking classes" - Oscar Wilde
Jan 3, 2021 - 4:51am

Yeah, agree that a 42mm is gonna be difficult to wear "subtly" - the aforementioned Omega is 42mm, and so the largest watch I own. Yet to get the bracelet fitted or wear it into the office, but will definitely give it a go. 

"Work is the curse of the drinking classes" - Oscar Wilde
Dec 30, 2020 - 3:42pm

I'm rocking an old Seiko SKX, but would love to one day get a Patek 5164A

Array

Dec 30, 2020 - 4:47pm

My father gave me a 5711 when I graduated...

I want to buy something bold, like a Ulysses Nardin freak.

  • Associate 3 in PE - Other
Dec 30, 2020 - 5:52pm

Recently acquired a medium Cartier Santos in steel as my daily driver. 

Big fan of the quick-change functionality, watch history, styling, and watch sizing.  

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Jan 2, 2021 - 1:47am

This will not be a popular comment, but I'll contribute my perspective. I don't wear a watch. I've gone through a couple apple watches, but I keep losing them. One fell off cliff jumping. The thought of carrying around 20k on my wrist is terrifying. I also don't really think rolexes look cool. I feel like whenever I see someone wearing one, if they are an analyst or associate, I think you probably grew up in CT and got that for graduation. It's just a little basic. Kind of like driving a BMW or going to vacation on the Greek Islands. I don't see a rolex and think, "oh this person has good taste." In fact, it makes me think oh this person just wants to fit in. 

Jan 2, 2021 - 10:36am

You can buy a "good" watch for a few hundred dollars. No need to spend $20k. Many of the watches people are mentioning here are <$1k. Many others mentioned are in the low thousands. 
 

Rolexes are not meant to be super flashy. They are valued by enthusiasts because they are timeless (I do not own a Rolex btw). The Perpetual Datejust is a classic dress watch. The Submariner is a classic diver watch. The Daytona is a classic chronograph. The ones made last month look about the same as the ones made decades ago. This is pretty remarkable and you can't say the same about most other products / brands. 
 

The datejust can be had for ~$5k btw. If I were to buy a Rolex, I would buy the 36mm version of this with a white dial. Take look at google if you want. It isn't some ambitious design, and that is the point. It's a classic look that you can wear for the rest of your life. 

Array
Jan 3, 2021 - 12:18am
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