The Prestige of Watches
Watches are one of those symbols of social status that carry a lot of prestige. When you think of wealthy people, you probably picture them owning a yacht, a Porsche, and a Rolex. They are just one of these things that carry weight, even though it’s just a little thing we wear around our wrists that tells time. What made watches a luxury item in the first place?
The Use of a Watch
It’s simple if you look at it logically. A watch tells time, that’s about it. That’s the function it’s supposed to have and to be a good watch, theoretically, the only thing that’s needed is reliable clockwork. But like most things in life, it’s not that easy.
Next to its function of telling time, a watch is an accessory. One of the reasons we wear it is to match our outfits or to underline our style. That’s what makes watch designs differ. Everybody is supposed to find the look they are going for. Whether it’s the color, the material, the size, the clock face, or the general design. If you like it fancy, you can add some gems.
Why do Watches Still Exist?
You could argue that wristwatches are outdated since everybody started carrying around a little minicomputer, we call a smartphone. But they are still around. In many countries, giving a teenager a watch is somewhat like a rite of passage. It’s a gift you get after graduation or similar points in life. Many people gift their watches to their children, making them an heirloom.
If the watch is valuable, it is an investment that gains value with time. Watches are still ingrained in our culture. Others adore them for their craftsmanship and simplicity, as an analogue counter to modern technology.
The Price of a Watch
The Chrono 24 Rolex listing shows the current prices of Rolex watches. They will range from three- to seven-digit numbers. Sure, some of it is justified by different materials and techniques used, but the higher-priced watches are never just a one-to-one value exchange between the price and the production cost. So, why do the prices fluctuate so much?
Anybody can tell that a watch made of plastic will be cheaper than a gold-plated one. The cost of a watch is determined by the materials that are used. That can be plastic, ceramic, wood, precious metals, and gemstones. If your watch is covered in diamonds, you pay for those too.
Many people can’t tell since it’s typically not visible, but different kinds of clockwork make a watch tick. Some work with batteries, some are mechanical. The price you pay for a watch is also determined by how elaborate the clockwork is and how much the single parts and their materials cost.
For the big brand-name watchmakers, you always pay for their expertise. They have years and years of experience building watches. Here you can find the most intricate designs and features. A good watch is a piece of art – if you look at elaborate engravings and clock face designs.
Designer objects are always expensive. You pay for the vision of the designer and their eye for aesthetics and functionality. Watches, like designer clothing and furniture, are designed by a person that decides how the product will look and work. Part of the price comes from the use of their talent.
You can’t hide the fact that you will always pay some additional money simply because the brand is popular. In exchange, you get the promise of a high-quality product, a guarantee, and good customer service. If you buy a brand-name product, you will know what you will get. No scam, no cheap excuses. Especially high-quality brands will make sure you will be satisfied because they want to keep their good name.
Last, but not least: If you buy a luxury watch, you pay for exclusivity. A lot of it has to do with the knowledge of being one of the few people who can afford it. If it’s not to show people around you what your status is, it’s at the very least a sign for yourself, to remind you where you stand in life and which goals you have reached.
You don’t buy a watch just for its function to tell time. It’s a high-quality object with intricate craftsmanship and expertise that was built over many decades. Since it doubles as an accessory, it’s also always a statement piece. Rare, high-prized watches can also be an investment, in hopes of their value going up in the eyes of future collectors.