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Why wear a Rolex?

by Jordan Ficklin

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I don’t make tons of money as a watchmaker. You can read all about it in my post about on Watchmaking Injustice. I probably could afford a Rolex but with a young family I have (what are in my opinion) more important places to put my money at the moment. That’s why I frequent some financial blogs like Frugal Dad. I hope that later in my career I will be able to buy a modest Rolex without having to put too much thought into it; let’s face it Rolexes aren’t exactly cheap. Frugal Dad posted an article this week comparing the financial ramifications of purchasing a Rolex versus a Timex. So why do people wear Rolexes?

Frugal Dad singles out a white gold Day-Date model to compare to his Timex (because it’s what was in the local newspaper ad this week.) He implies that the number one reason for owning a Rolex is “status and show” and many of his readers seem to agree. I’ll try and offer a unique perspective as someone who: doesn’t own a Rolex, is a watchmaker, sells Rolexes, and aspires to Rolex ownership.

    My perspective

  1. I don’t own a Rolex.
  2. I do aspire to Rolex ownership.
  3. I am a watchmaker.
  4. I work for an official Rolex Jeweler and have been involved in the sale of many Rolexes.

I’ll start with the Rolex Day-Date. This is Rolex’s flagship model, “The new measure of accomplishment” as they put it or “I’ve finally arrived” as Frugal Dad put it. It’s true that most people won’t notice your watch (as one of Frugal Dad’s reader’s points out) but when you can afford a Day-Date A.K.A. “Rolex President” you aren’t looking for the approval of the average Joe, you are looking for the approval of your peers. Maybe they won’t notice your watch on the street but they will in the boardroom. The point of this watch is that it is a durable, high quality, useful, feel good item you can purchase for yourself at the point in your career when you have accomplished something great (like become C.E.O.). It is only available in precious metals (gold and platinum). If you think the white gold president featured on Frugal Dad’s blog doesn’t look like a $27,000 watch then you should take a look at the platinum version (almost indistinguishable in appearance but costs more than twice as much). The fact is, it is an understated watch, it probably wouldn’t impress those who don’t know what it is.

Rolex makes many other watches, many of which cost less than the Day-Date and a few models that cost more. You can get into a Rolex for about $5000 and for under $10,000 you can choose from hundreds of different ones, all of which are beautiful and mechanical masterpieces. Many people enjoy them for this reason alone, but I’ll get into that in a minute.

Probably, the number one reason people wear a Rolex is because they received it as a gift. Many employers give Rolexes as anniversary gifts, and so do many spouses. In case you didn’t get the memo, it can be difficult to buy a gift for a man (especially in a jewelry store.) The Rolex becomes a way for a woman to dress up her man. Electronics aren’t durable, a Rolex is. The thing is the man usually likes it and often will buy several over his lifetime. They also think there wife should have one too and reciprocate later on. To a man a Rolex seems like a better gift than diamond earrings, because it does something. It is way more practical.

Many people purchase Rolexes as an investment. Just like a car most Rolexes lose a little value when you walk out the store but some models increase because they are so desirable. The truth is they may not do as well as the long term average of the stock market, but if you want a Rolex, you won’t lose much money on it. Buy a Rolex today and you’ll be able to sell it for the same price in 10 years. It’s as good as cash in the long term. If you get lucky and your model becomes collectible it could even increase considerably in value.

Many others appreciate the mechanics of a Rolex. A Rolex houses an automatic wound spring driven movement. It probably won’t be as accurate as your Timex, although it might, but in the world of mechanical timepieces they are considerably accurate. There is a kind of connection one draws with their watch when they have to wind it, even if they do it sub-consciously with the every day movement of your arm. In today’s world electronics are a dime a dozen and produced to be disposible. The mechanical watch movement is durable, beautiful, functional and a true work of art. They are engineering feats. As a watchmaker this is what draws me to Rolex; they are extremely well designed movements. The trend in higher end watches is that they are returning to mechanical movements becasue people are attracted to the sometimes incomprehensible craftmanship that goes in to them.

The Rolex professional series are designed to fulfill specific tasks. They are specifically designed for diving, exploring, traveling, flight, yachting, and much more. These watches are certainly capable of many tasks the $29 Timex is not. Of course, most people buy these watches because of the way the work. Nobody is really going to take their Sea Dweller Deep Sea to a depth of 3900 meters underwater, but they could.

So, why do people wear Rolexes? Because they like them. People are attracted to all kinds of different things. Some of us spend more on food or wine than others, some us spend more on cars, some of us spend more on clothes. Certainly you can find a watch that tells time better than a Rolex for less money, but maybe it doesn’t appeal to you. Whatever you do, don’t wear a Rolex if you don’t like it.

Why do you wear a Rolex, or any other nice watch? Please let me know.

52 Comments

  1. Posted August 20, 2008 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed reading your perspective on this, and I feel I have been enlightened a bit. Thanks for sharing my post with your readers, and for being a Frugal Dad reader!

  2. Michael O
    Posted August 20, 2008 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Rolex is “The Name” in upscale watches, they have brand recognition that every company in the world would kill for. Subsequently, if you purchase a Rolex you are paying a considerable premium for just the name alone. That said, Rolex raises their prices every year and they get a buyer for every new watch they make, so good for them.

  3. almost there
    Posted August 20, 2008 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    I found this article after reading frugal dad. I agree with you 100% I purchased my first rolex in 1985 at a dealer in St. Croix for $600. SS submariner no date, 600ft. As a submariner myself,a mechanic I wore it daily. I sold it in 1998 to invest in mutal fund.Rolex dealer gave me $1000 for it and sold it for over double. My wife purchased a Submariner SS 1000ft same model, no date, for $3500 in 1999. I wear it when not at work. I wear a casio with exact same bezel and hands as rolex at work in a utility plant. pls provide me an e mail address and I will send a picture of both side by side. I think casio got sued because they were not on market long. I don’t wear a rolex as a mark of distinction so much as that it is the most durable watch I have ever worn and the luminescence is second to none.

  4. Posted August 20, 2008 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Great post and link to the frugal dad and perspective on Rolex.

    I have been a longtime Rolex admirer and took the plunge to purchase one in 1987 after graduating from college. Since then, I have owned seven of them, but no more than two at a time. Both the design and the ruggedness of them have always been appealing. Currently I own a traditional GMT and a newer GMTII (116710) and have a website that lists various Rolex tidbits that I have come across (Google Rolex and Sheldon Smith and you’ll find it).

    Although I do look at other brands, I always come back to Rolex.

    -Sheldon

  5. Posted August 21, 2008 at 2:58 am | Permalink

    I’m a big fan of under-stated. Whether it’s cars, watches, furniture, I tend to go for stuff that only turns the head of the expert.

    “Maybe they won’t notice your watch on the street but they will in the boardroom.”

    Precisely!

    I don’t really go for the classic Rolex, because I don’t like the all-metal thing much, but I still have *a* Rolex, which I tend to wear only on days when I have important meetings. Silly? I don’t think so. Some people, the right people, notice these things. ;-)

    This is mine, btw:
    http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/7558/rolex3ay5.jpg

  6. Dave
    Posted August 21, 2008 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    In a world of advancing technology that continuously obsoletes itself, combined with an attitude of “if it breaks, throw it away and get a new one”, a Rolex stands above the fray as a permanent asset. Built to endure, it will be maintainable for a lifetime (or more). I have one Rolex that is 30 years old and was my Dad’s, and one that is 2 months old (SS GMT II-C), and have no qualms that they could both serve me for decades.

    Plus, (I can admit it) I like the way they look. To me, nothing else is the “real thing” or looks as perfect as a Rolex.

    That’s why I wear Rolex.

    Cheers,

    Dave

  7. Karl
    Posted August 25, 2008 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Of course there are some low cost options for the more frugal lover of mechanical timepieces – I have a collection of gents 12-size pocket watches from the ’20s and ’30s. They don’t have the ruggedness or dependability of a modern Rolex, nor the accuracy – but they have plenty of charm & more than a little class. I get a great deal of pleasure from carrying one as my everyday timepiece – they were obviously build to last (still going strong after approx 80 years) and the art deco style appeals to me very much. You might have to do without modern advances like incabloc protection of the balance staff pivots, and Elinvar hairsprings, but you can pick up a mid-range 15 to 19 jewel American 12 size watch in a nice gold-filled case for less than $200, budget another $100 for your local watchmaker to service it (it WILL need it) & you’ve got unbeatable value. I’ve spent maybe $3500 in the last couple of years on watches and repairs, but every morning I get to choose one from 15 (or so) of my art deco lovelies to take to work for the day – and that gives me a whole lot of pleasure. Not knocking Rolex in any way, I admire the quality of their engineering but their products are beyond my price range at the moment. Just wanted to point out that there are other options beyond the modern quartz watch for those on a budget. (Not knocking the modern quartz watch either – also solid, no-nonsense engineering, and I find it very handy to have an accurate reference timepiece).

  8. J.Peter
    Posted August 25, 2008 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Thank you all for commenting.

    almost there gives some real world example of how they hold their value (warning: this is much more true for professional models than for a datejust or a president.)

    Sheldon points out how rugged they are. That is true! they can take a beating and if you service them regularly they will still last you a lifetime.

    Greg spends some time in the boardroom. People do notice your watch. In my case as a watchmaker, once people find out what I do, they always want to know what I wear. (Not a bad idea for a post, look for it coming up.)

    Karl points out some great mechanical options that aren’t as expensive. It doesn’t have to be a pocket watch, or even vintage. $1000 will easily get you into a modern automatic from Swiss Army or Hamilton. $500 or less will get you a vintage wrist watch and as he says a couple of hundred will get you a fine pocket watch. I might suggest you set a little bit more aside for the service, especially if you don’t know what you’re buying. There are always surprises in pocket watches.

  9. Erik
    Posted November 26, 2008 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    I love your comments.

    As a timepiece lover since I was 6, I have always wanted something better. I remember my first watch. I got it for Christmas, it was a windup Star wars watch and I wore it for a couple of years. Since then I have owned and currently own, Omega, Tissot, Rado, longines, Brietling and many cheapees, like seiko, citizen, etc.

    A watch is mans jewelry and I have noticed not too many people notice them, unless you’re a watch collector yourself or a young child that loves the color of your watch, LOLOL.

    Anyway, I always looked at Rolex watches, they seemed like something that I would never get, due to money and the reverence many people have for them. I must have looked at them for 15 years. Screen savers, posters, etc and one my Mother said to me show me the watch you want. It has always been the Classic GMT 2, Black/Burgundy bezel. It is really the only watch I love. So that day my mother purchased me this watch from CD Peacock in IL. It was a graduation gift; I received my Masters in Psychology as I turned 35. My Mom said your old enough and I’m proud of you, SO here you go.

    Well that started it; 30 days later I went to the same store and purchased the 50th LV Submariner on my own dime. My wife was a little turned off. This watch will be collector in time, A family heirloom to my 5 yo son.

    My point. A watch is something you like or don’t. Rolex is a great brand maybe overpriced but none the less, they always appreciate in value. It has already, matter of fact; it might be worth now what I paid for it. My wife now is bugging me for her own Rolex. I purchased her a TAG Aqua racer instead. She has to earn it and move up to a Rolex, you don’t jump from a Seiko to a Rolex in my mind. LOLOL

    I wear it for my own self accomplishment, it is a gift from my Mom, It looks great and in prospective, not really expensive. A one carat diamond would cost 6K. Sometimes People say something but not often but I know what I have. I love my 2 Rollies, one an investment and other a gift. As a mechanical device, you can’t see what is in it, but you know it is a marvel of gears, springs and other intricate devices. They are in my mind ,a perfect combination of prestige, investment, art and does say a lot to others, others that know what they are looking at or others that matter ( Myself ).

    Have fun

  10. Winston
    Posted December 1, 2008 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Compared to the Timex, the Rolexes, Omegas and other classic mechanical wristwatches have a stronger sense of value in the monetary and emotional aspects. When my kid turns 21 and I passed him the Omega which I bought when I was about his age, he’ll definately appreciate something which is older than his age and still lasting.

    In summary, the Timexes is a “now” kind of watch, while the Rolexes is a “forever” type. I’m not saying Timexes are bad, but each serves a different purpose in life.

  11. Posted December 17, 2008 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    I got the bug for a nice mechanical watch when I was given a vintage Omega De Ville. I now own 4 Omegas. 2 were given to me not working (I’ve fixed one) and the gift to myself, my Speedmaster automatic.

  12. C.Jackman
    Posted December 20, 2008 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Great article! I wear a Rolex because having worked for four years in a job I hated I got the chance to get out with some cash behind me. I took that chance and as a reward to myself for the four years of hell, I went to the Jewellers the very next day and bought a Rolex Air King. No, it’s not the best watch in the world but I love it and I don’t care if know body else notices it. I see it and every time I look at it I look back on those four years and laugh as they are now all behind me.

  13. John Melendez
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    I’ve had two rolex watches in my life, Submariner and Gmt. I wore them for one reason and one reason only. I wanted people to know I spent a lot of money on a watch. Thats it. Knowing what I know now about Swiss watches I don’t think I could ever bring myself to do it again. A rolex is no better than any other quality mass produced Swiss watch, it’s all about making a statement, thats all there is to it. Besides, people would always ask me, “is it real???

  14. Roger Volker
    Posted June 20, 2009 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    You’ve probably noticed that most men don’t wear watches anymore. And for those who do, only watch collectors notice what one is wearing. Wearing a Rolex is because you feel good doing it..having a valuable and distinctive machine on your wrist. Most days, I wear a 2007 Sub 14060 (seems silly to wear a Sub with a date)with a Nato black and silver strap (the metal one is too heavy). I wear it because it is indestructible and cool. For most business occasions, I wear a 1968 SS Oyster Date with padded ostrich band. It is understated but has the classic Rolex look. For very dressy I wear either a gold 1940 Tonneau or a 1927 silver cushion case. They are both small but elegant and when noticed lead to conversations about watch collecting. I have a 1959 Speedking (midsize) that I rarely wear anymore. It was my first Rolex and is a keeper. I have a number of vintage Omega, Gerrard-Perregaux, Gruen Curvex, etc that I like having but never wear. I do have to wind each about once a week so keep in touch with them. Wearing a Rolex is because you can regardless of whether anyone notices.

  15. J.Peter
    Posted June 21, 2009 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    I have noticed that lots of young people don’t wear a watch anymore, but they should. I have also noticed that lots of young people still get a watch for graduation and most of them will wear it. If we just keep giving watches for graduation we can convince these young people how great a good watch is.

  16. Tricia P.
    Posted August 16, 2009 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    My Dad gave me a ladies’ two tone jubilee when I was about to graduate from college in 1993. To tell you the truth, it’s more memorable than the jewelry pieces my mom gave me.

    I have bought many Rolex watches over the years and the latest I have is a Daytona. I have a Patek & some Cartier in my collection but I love the Rolex the best. Because it’s so durable it looks exactly the same way I bought it years ago. And so durable. It withstood harsh daily wear.

  17. charles
    Posted October 15, 2009 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    I have worn a Rolex for 10 years and love it. It is durable and has never given me any trouble. I wear it constantly no matter if I am in my office or helping my dad on the farm. I wear one because it fulfills my needs. I do not wear one because of what others think or to impress others. I could care less what they think.

  18. anne eaux nimes
    Posted March 8, 2010 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    hello,

    i got mine for my 18th birthday… didn’t like it at first because i wanted a simple watch, maybee with the date but if so i did not wanted a BIG, SPOT to help me read the date…. as if i was 90 years old….

    one day i was with my brother walking in a department store we were looking at the watches…. I remember him telling me : ” you know with your watch you can buy all the watches in this store”

    I didn’t believe him at first, but then we went to the rolex shop, AND I SAW…. crazy :)

    end of the story :)

    Rolex makes you stand out… but it’s just watch…. you should never judge anyone upon his watch ( apart if it’s a 100, 000 £ watch )

  19. Joseph Fowler
    Posted June 7, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    I am a City Banker who has worked hard since I graduated some 14 years ago and now have 3 little babies. I love my watch, its a sign of my hard work and achievement, and something I will ultimately pass down to my children. I know for sure the watch will cost more in future years as this it is really an eye catching watch. Life is to enjoy at the end of the day so enjoy it and do what you want to do.

  20. Justin Stone
    Posted June 9, 2010 at 4:10 am | Permalink

    I just want to comment on C Jakman’s comment dated 20/12/08. That is brilliant and how true his comment is ! – I have bought the Rolex Watch a Date Just and because the work day is so S**t and I really hate coming to work, it is a reminder that we only do it for the money so it can buy you the good things in life. I look at my Rolex and love it, it makes me proud that I have worked hard and not given up even when the going gets tough. We sometimes have to go through the S**t times but there is always a silver lining under every cloud. The Rolex was not bought for me, I bought this with my own money and through my own hard work. It is one of my achivements for having to be put through 5 days of hell. This hell will get better though as it did for C Jackman.

  21. Randy
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    After a year of studying and researching the Rolex brand. I was sold. Its a solid watch and I love my Submariner Date Just

  22. Richard McM
    Posted July 12, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    It’s not very often that I find a blog so interesting that I’ll read it from end to end!
    My father was a watchmaker, (in fact we go back five generations or more) After he died I got a job refurbishing Rolex cases for a ‘high end’ dealer.
    During that time, I developed a high regard for Rolex. Both case & movement.
    I consider the Oyster to be one of the most durable, hard wearing & waterproof there is. I saw watches that had been so abused, & hard worn that you’d never believe that it could ever be proofed again. Far from it…in three years proofing Rolex I think there was less than thirty that I had to put on the ‘NOT WATERPROOF’ tag on; and that was generally being sympathetic to vintage watches & not replacing obsolete crowns & tubes with (an irreversable) modern alternative! Almost every s/s case was returned ‘as new’ & proofed.
    As to ‘why wear a Rolex?’…I don’t have one at the moment, but for me it’s an overall appreciation of a ‘good watch’. To me; stainless steel, with the highest calibre movement you can afford! Gold etc is purely for show, & really makes for less of a watch. It’s what’s inside that truely counts.

  23. Diane Jupp
    Posted August 16, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Rolex is a Rolex at the end of the day, there is no comparison. There are many brands of high quality swiss watches but Rolex will always stand out in the crowd like a sore thumb. A Rolex owner will usually be a person who probably earns a higher than average salary – hence why its classed as a “Status Symbol”. If you are a Rolex owner then you should class yourself a lucky person who can enjoy these lovely things in life. These are truly a high end watches which are built to last longer than you !

  24. Rodel De Ocampo
    Posted December 7, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I have a 15 years old Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date. I bought it as a gift to myself when I turned 40 years old. I bought it because of the way it looks. To be honest, if you’re not into watches, you will not even recognize it because of it’s simplicity but to those who understand watches, it is instantly recognizable. I work in a hospital and doctors recognize it and regular type and file folks don’t even look at it. I wear it because I like it and not because to impress other people. If they are impressed, that’s their business. After a while of wearing it, I also forget that I have it on. I really am not conscious of it. All I know is it is there like a good friend.

  25. Bill Christina
    Posted December 24, 2010 at 1:59 am | Permalink

    My first Rolex was a 1675 “Pepsi” GMT, purchased back in the late seventies. The quality, reliability, robustness, trade value and yes… cool appeal were factors in its acquisition.
    Rolex sport watches were appreciated by those in “special” military units back then, as they are sought after and valued today. The Subs, GMT’s, SD’s and Explorers were among the favorites and worn by many operators past and present.
    It is a tough watch and could hang in extreme field conditions, be it tropical humidity, arctic cold, desert heat or within the ocean’s depths.
    Accuracy is good… for a mechanical watch, and wouldn’t get detected as quartz oscillations… could.
    Trade value… it’s a Rolex, right?? I’ll put it this way, it was “money in the bank” on your wrist. If an emergency arose (and in some countries, there is a high potential for “emergencies”) so, if one occurred, you could trade the Rolex to a third party for some fast cash, a plane ticket out of the country, more firepower… or whatever.
    As I write this, I sport an 18k Champagne Serti Sub on my wrist. It is THE “Baw-Chicka-Baw-Baw” bling version of the Rolex Submariner. I bought it as a “Farewell to Arms” present to myself for successfully surviving 24 years of the military and an additional four years as a government contractor operating in less than hospitable environments.
    It’s a cool watch and reflects the pinnacle of my career. Good, bad, happy, angry and sad… it was the best and worst of times… all measured by a great watch.

  26. Tracy
    Posted December 25, 2010 at 4:45 am | Permalink

    Mr. Peter is correct on all counts. Here it is- Xmas Day and my husband has given me a Rolex! My watch is a ladies oyster perpetual in classic white gold and stainless; perfect for everyday wear. It’s also vintage- a model from 1990 in fact but came with all its paperwork, box, etc, even a warranty from the dealer and looks like new- who would know? I love it.

  27. Posted January 7, 2011 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Well I think people who search for this article, I mean for this specific title “why wear a rolex” is someone who in need a bit of justification of why s/he should have a rolex or most probably to whom that already spent their money on a rolex and need some support on their decision.

    To me, people don’t simply put their money in watches if they really don’t have passion to it. I think some of us most probably have had seiko, tag, animal, guess or etc. but that alone doesn’t quench our thirst on rolex. IMHO Rolex is the final destiny for watch lovers.

    Once you got rolex on your wrist you’ll never change to other brands. Only rolex to another rolex.

    Perhaps some of us don’s spend much on cars. And I still use my old motorbike that I bought with my first salary 11 years ago. And I can’t change cars as frequent as I wanted to. As long as it take me to places is enough. And I can’t pass down my car to my children…it will be a junk metal by the time comes.

    Thus, for watch lover like me, the only thing that can fulfill my passion is watch. So the best watch that I want to settle down to is Rolex, and certainly it is not for me alone…it will be passed down to the next generation.

    Rolex to me is not about showing off, it is about quality and value.

    Actually now I ride my $500 worth motorbike with an Explorer on my wrist…:-) I really enjoy it.

    *thanks for this article…Rolex is really not for rich man per se.

  28. Al
    Posted January 25, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    I wear one because I have always wanted one.

  29. Old Skool
    Posted February 3, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    I searched for an article like this to understand more about Rolexes and their owners, people whol like them, and why they are coveted. It’s been fascinating reading, especially the comments. I don’t have a Rolex, in fact, i don’t have any traditionally expensive watches, but have recently become interested in them after finding out my dad had an Omega Seamaster which he hadn’t worn in decades. So, I’ve been exploring the world of watches, and, of course, which other name is bigger than Rolex? Am I interested?
    Well, let’s put it htis way, I always thought Rolex owners were those fat, slimy, fairly dodgy “business” types who love to show bling and wear bright yellow gold with everything. Then, as I began to educate myself about watches and the watch world, I realised that a watch,or more appropriately, a rolex, is all things to all people. But, it seems the reason for its ubiquity is its absolute quality and resale value. Of course, the prices rise year on year, and their marketing budget is beyond any other watch manufacturer, and they are also worn by those lsimy people I mentioned earlier, but they are the original dive watch maker, as well as the original at so many other things. Beyond that, they still make their own watches almost wholly “in house”. There are very few of those anymore.
    I have yet to buy myself a high end/ expensive watch, but I already own quality watches. Will a Rolex be my first purchase? Probably not, but I’m sure it will follow.

  30. Josh
    Posted February 16, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    I just bought my first Rolex. A 1971 oyster perpetual datejust. It’s stainless and 18k gold with a custom 1 CT. Diamond bezel. After reading your article I’m even more inthralled by my new purchase. I bought mine so that I can have the watch all others are compared to, I always owned decent watches, but this one… And like you said it’s a functional work of art, my life revolves around time, also women don’t judge u well with a timex on, let’s be honest. This watch says I’m an adult, I coulda bought video games but I bought a watch lol and my friends allready can’t help themselves but to try and hate on it, I love that

  31. ron
    Posted March 9, 2011 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    im wearing my SS daytona now going on 10 years…hardly ever comes off the wrist ..not even for servicing and still keeping accuracy to + or – 3 seconds a week………not bad at all…

  32. ron
    Posted March 9, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    oh but did have to replace the oyster bracelet with an after market one…….still looks damn good !!

  33. Nate
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    My SS Submariner Date is like a friend. Its value is a comfort and its function is what I plan my day around.

  34. HB
    Posted August 7, 2011 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    In my opinion, Rolex wearer wants to show off. It doesn’t matter how you spin it, you got a Rolex because part of you wants to show off. You don’t just want to show off to people who collect watches, you want to show off to the masses, to the people on the street. There are so many other watches out there that are equally if not better in terms of the mechanics, built quality, functionality, brand history, and exclusivity. Those that are truly successful and also respectable, if they wear watch, don’t hang around in a Rolex.

    Rolex makes wonderful timepieces, but their brand image is low class.

    I wear a very nice watch that I acquired few years ago. I can buy a Rolex without any trouble financially. I would never want to be seen wearing a Rolex.

  35. Johnjames
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    I just got back from deployment in afganistan under the worst conditions possible and my rolex never let me down

  36. bentley rondeau
    Posted August 28, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    The story of the Rolex watch even found popularity in forbidden Tibet, prior to the communist occupation in 1950. Rolex was a favorite brand of the Tibetan aristocrats, including the Dalai Lama, who wears one. In the early forties, thousands of Rolex watches packed in sacks were shipped to Tibet, as they were purchased from Indian dealers in Calcutta. Rolex officials from Switzerland, paid a visit to Kalimpong in 1945 to investigate the tremendous surge for these watches in this trading center. From Kalimpong, the watches were transported over mules and yaks making a treacherous journey over the Himalayan mountains that took almost a month before reaching Lhasa. Here, these watches found their way in the famed Bhakor, a Tibetan street mall, where traders sold them, among other mechandise imported from India and China. The Rolex Oyster Bubble Back and the Oyster Raleigh were the popular models initially. The 1950 Datejust 18kt gold with black dials were the most sought after model,followed by the 1953 model Datejust white dials, the Explorer, Chronograph models, and even the Rolex Submariners were sold in Lhasa by the late fifties. In 1962, all this came to an end with the closure of the border trade.

  37. Morte A Braccetto
    Posted September 7, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    As a kid I grew up watching movies in the 80′s & early 90′s being draw to the Eminent characters who wore a Gold Rolex. It seem to be the status symbol of the 80′s & became ingrained in my brain. After Graduating college I assumed I would have things in my life together by 25. we all know the problem with assumption. I made enough money to respectfully purchase my first Rolex. a vintage 1988 Submariner for $3,600 for my 25th birthday. I then mapped out my future watch collection to celebrate my succeses-Gold Rolex Presidential by 27. Gold Rolex Daytona by 30. Then I’d have some fun afterward with assorted vintage watches. At the time my career seemed to be on the rise. but peeked as quickly as it started. my Rolex then became a symbol of my resilience as I hit rock bottom. It proved to be a great investment. “If shit hits the fan I could always sell my rolex”. Disgusted at the thought of giving up my pride and joy even after repeated suggestion I picked my self back up , managed to keep things financially stable and started slowly saving for my next Rolex timepiece un-till I can jump in the fast lane once again. Owning a new Rolex! has become an endless measure of motivation for sticking to my goals and proving my-self no matter how the cards are stacked.
    I love and wear my Submariner almost every-day. some notice, the one’s that don’t are usually of no interest to me. still it was purchased for its endless daily gratification and the proof that I can achieve my goals.
    Rolex has has become a very Nouveau Riche item and it displeases me to see people with low class adorning these watches making them look cheap. – I focus on my own fascination for Rolex and love these watches for the classic look they have maintained. If your looking to purchase one I highly recommend it. Do your homework first. Vintage rolex’s are just as good, cheaper and still fetch a good price. One of the last in-house made watches that retains it’s value . I disregard those who downplay rolex ownership, if it’s something your not into you have every right to your own opinion. for me It’s is a fun investment that stands the test of time.

  38. Jim D.
    Posted September 27, 2011 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    i purchased a two-tone ladies Rolex for my wife through the military AAFES catalog in 1983. back then it cost $900. though it has been serviced three times over the years, she still wears it 24 hours a day. in 1985 i purchased a men’s two-tone Datejust for myself from the Navy Exchange at Subic Naval Base. i sold it after 15 years and bought another Datejust, this time with a white gold bezel. when my son graduated from college in 2002, i bought him a 18k midsize President, no date, with an 18k oyster bracelet. in 2001 i purchased a diamond bezeled, mens 18k yellow gold, Day Date Masterpiece from the Amsterdam Diamond Center. back then, it was Rolex’s top of the line model. there are 48 diamonds on the bezel, and 6 diamonds on each case lug. the jeweler told me the diamonds on the Rolex were ‘river quality’ diamonds, VVS quality. today, the Masterpiece is selling for three times the amount i paid. in 2004 i purchased an 18k yellow gold ladies President for my wife. she only wears it for special occasions, still preferring the two-tone watch i bought her in 1983 for everyday wear. but i wear my Masterpiece almost every day.

  39. Posted October 30, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    I purchased my Rolex GMT in Vietnam 1969.
    I was a helicopter pilot and felt that I needed the “BEST” watch I could get….I was not wrong in my choice.The watch went thru a-lot over the years. Since then I’ve had a few watches, all good “Quality” watches.
    Funny thing ….They ALL look like a Rolex, but not quite as good, so I had to get a new GMT II-C. Why? Because I can…And I want to. It is the BEST WATCH IN THE WORLD. By the way…It’s not Red or Purple on the GMT “Pepsi”bezel…It’s Magenta!

  40. jd
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    One other reason, and an un selfish one at that, is: a very little known fact is that ROLEX is a non profit company! Yes, set up many years ago by a childless couple to benefit orphans, as all the profits of this company still do today. Have owned one (a gift from my dad) for almost 30 years. A flawless and beautiful mechanical marvel with the durablity of a Sherman tank!

  41. Cody
    Posted February 10, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    I am 16 and the the reason why I started to wear a Rolex was my Grandfather left me his it was a 1967 1503 model a good start for a rolex but I really didn’t want to wear it to much and dirty it up I felt better puting it up and finding another for my self.
    A few years down the line a friend of mine that runs a pawn shop and has a friend who collected rolex and had over 300 needed some money he knew that I wanted one and got one from him it was a 1995 rolx day date 18238 almost new and had the origanl green sticker on the back.I bought it because I had been doing alot of things and earned some decent cash and decided to treat my self and that is my Rolex story I guess you could say. I can also say I haven’t bought my last Rolex I plan on buying other’s when I get a little older.

  42. Posted February 10, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    I am 16 and the the reason why I started to wear a Rolex was my Grandfather left me his it was a 1967 1503 model a good start for a rolex but I really didn’t want to wear it to much and dirty it up I felt better puting it up and finding another for my self.
    A few years down the line a friend of mine that runs a pawn shop and has a friend who collected rolex and had over 300 needed some money he knew that I wanted one and got one from him it was a 1995 rolx day date 18238 almost new and had the origanl green sticker on the back.I bought it because I had been doing alot of things and earned some decent cash and decided to treat my self and that is my Rolex story I guess you could say. I can also say I haven’t bought my last Rolex I plan on buying other’s when I get a little older.

  43. Superchief
    Posted March 9, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    I bought my Rolex when I got back from Iraq, paid cash and got a smal discount. And the reason, “I deserve it”. I don’t wear any other jewelery, except for my platinum and diamond wedding ring (my wifes idea). Whenever someone points out that their Timex watch tells time just like my Rolex – I point out, however, it’s not just like mine and it never will be. Same as others, I plan I getting another soon!

  44. Posted April 12, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    When my heart stop beating my watch will most likely keep ticking. And maybe it will tick while its affixed to someone else’s wrist. The question is will I leave behind a memorable watch or a frugal watch? If I die while owning a Rolex will they bury with it on me, or will the embalmer find a fringe benefit? Maybe them the watch will outlive the embalmer?
    That’s rather poetic justice. I’ll stick with my $39 Timex at least it takes a licking and my black lab biting it for fun.

  45. nazli ozturk
    Posted May 16, 2012 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    The reason I wear a Ladies’ Rolex datejust is that it is beautiful, sturdy, it does not require batteries, it goes with everything I wear and also it is a great investment. I am not a big fan of a lot of jewellery, but with my Rolex I can make a statement very palinly, and I like this very much.

  46. DS Agarwal
    Posted September 5, 2012 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Thank you Mr. Rondeau for the memorable article on Rolex in past Tibet. I was a trader myself in Kalimpong, India during the 1950′s when the trade was much activity between India and Tibet. I have known the famous Mr. D.D. Tsarong, who came to Kalimpong for trade purposes. Mr. Tsarong was ex general of Tibet, and was the biggest dealer of the Rolex and Omega watches for Tibet market. He also was the purchaser of pens for Mount Blanc, and other high priced pens. I wear the Rolex wrist watch model Viceroy stainless steel case with bezel in pink colour, and it has the Mercedes Benz Tristar on the hour hand. This watch I purchased from Tsarong himself, since he was in trade activities with us.

  47. Steve F
    Posted October 1, 2012 at 4:07 am | Permalink

    In 1995 I emigrated to Australia from the UK. I bought a Rolex SS Submariner with date in Singapore at Changi airport on my way to Perth as I had fancied one for some time and I was already psyched up to spend all of my savings on moving across the planet.

    I have worn the Rolex almost every single day from that time. I do a rugged job, communications systems for large freight and iron ore railways in the Australian bush. I spent 7 years up in the Pilbara area where it is very hot and very dusty, lots of UV, torrential rain, mud etc. I’m sure you get the picture, getting 4wd vehicles bogged and pulling them out, and repairing failed communications systems in tropical storm conditions. The time since has been spent doing the same job in bush areas in the lower half of the state of Western Australia, Geraldton, Mullewa, Kalgoorlie etc if you want to look them up, very similar but a bit cooler. I used to do pre-cyclone season radio tower inspections, that means climbing to the top of each tower and checking the antennas and guy wires for integrity.

    The watch has held up very well indeed, I knocked the bezel off it once, and on another occasion dropped it on the hard tiled bathroom floor which made it stop all together. I hadn’t had the watch for very long and from memory Rolex fixed it for me for free. Much later the steel bracelet and clasp were replaced as they were severely worn, I think due to my driving 200km to 500km per day on dirt roads in a manual 4wd. The vibration through the gear knob and steering wheel probably gave it a fair bit of vibration on a very regular basis. It doesn’t glow in the dark anymore and hasn’t for some time but after many years of high UV exposure in the bush I don’t think that’s unreasonable. I have had it serviced 3 times, once every 5 years, the last time it came back from Rolex over in Victoria it looked like new, that was a couple of years ago, the service cost around $1200.00 ouch! But that was the big one with the new bracelet and clasp. I think they also replaced the glass as it was chipped, and polished all of the scratches out of the casing. This in addition to the mechanical service, replacing seals etc. I’m wearing it right now, as I’m typing this, I rarely take it off. Previous to 1995 I did similar radio and electronics work around Europe on railways and super-yachts, diverse I know, but true, and had a series of cheap watches, they all fell to bits quite quickly. Enough said.

  48. Danny
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Today, I finally purchased a 2003 DateJust Rolex. I have deployed two times to Combat, and this last deployment I spent many hours pondering the purchase. Of course, EVERYONE I knew was like, why spend the money. I never really thought of any other reason besides, “I want this watch to be my last watch, my watch for everything, and everyday, and every outfit, and every occasion.” I have friends that own 7, and some 37 watches, and I just wanted one. Today, while in a restaurant, two gentlemen had on Submariners. One was dressed business casual, and the other just came from running outside as he was really sweaty, and wearing exercise clothes. I spoke to the business man and he told me that he has been wearing his Rolex everyday for 10 years, and never had an issue or service. The other guy looked too pretentious to talk so I kept it moving. I took today as a sign and went to the Watch Store and put on a used Rolex that was fit perfectly for my wrist. I immediately said, okay, its time, purchased it and left the store. I purposely wore exercise clothes just to see if the watch could pull it off, and yes, it did, it blended right in. Now, granted, I really, really, really wanted a Sub, however, after wearing he DateJust, it really just looks like a classic, conservative watch, that really would require a discerning eye to “notice.” That, I like, a lot. I am giving all but one of my other watches away, because I want to have two in my watch winder. To close, the store gave me a three year “internal” warranty, and told me that if I wanted to trade up “in three years,” he’d give me 500 less than what I paid for, now thats a nice investment. So yes, some people wear watches that are the same price as automobiles, or yearly rent for some college towns, however, life is about feeling good. Today, purchasing a Rolex watch made me feel good, tomorrow it may be the smile of a child, or the sunset. Life is fragile, short, and doesn’t require the acquisition of a Rolex to make it through. However, I could also say the same for people who love ice cream. Now, thats something I can do without, however, if my hand is ever reaching in an ice cream bin, be sure that my “Rolex” hand will be holding open to door, and I will double smile.

  49. Jack
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    I should be owning my very first rolex soon.
    I have searched around IWC, Patek and rolex. Disqualified IWC as its an ETA movement. Patek looks good but lots of black dots in the forum complaining about the movement issues….seemed reliability is a concern, especially when Patek focus on complication. Is complication equal creativity and wisdom? I doubt so. Probably complication is nothing more than just a substitution.

    Look at the Apple product, they are so simple and yet so capable and that’s what I call wisdom. Look at the Sky Dweller, the simplicity of movement and functionality. That’s what I call creativity and wisdom and dependability.

    Have not check the price of sky dweller but likely beyond my budget. I will settle for a Day Date II WG.

    It’s a tamagotchi and it does have an oscillating heart.

  50. Ari
    Posted February 23, 2013 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    I really enjoyed your article! I inherit my dad’s Master II Rolex when he passed 2 years ago. I don’t know if I could wear such a watch because it represents everything that I am not… the status, the show. And also because it’s worth more than anything I own with the exception of my house. I don’t know what my dad was thinking when he left me this watch. Since I live in the city, it is almost impossible for me to wear it without calling too much attention. My wife has asked me why I don’t sell the watch… I told her that it was because physical and sentimental value. And because even dough I do not like wearing it, stills reminds me of my father. I really never liked jewelry; I am a very simple man. And yes, I had always wanted a Rolex and now I own one but it is not the right watch for me. This is a very beautiful piece of engineering. But all I feel is that it looks a bit ostentatious. All I need is a simple Rolex that I can wear without calling to much the attention, and something that I can later passed down to my children as a heirloom.

  51. Bill M.
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Bought a Rolex Explorer 1 back in 1998, just really loved the “simple,” understated look of the watch, and the fact that the battery wouldn’t die! Of course what I didn’t realize is that the watch would need servicing every 5-8 years at $500 a pop, but that’s small beans. The nice thing is that the price of the watch has more than doubled since I bought it, so even with two servicing visits I still feel like I’m a little ahead. Bottom line has always been that I just love the watch. Since it’s understated, very few people have ever even commented on the fact that I’m wearing a Rolex, which is fine, I don’t wear it to show off. I bought and wear it because it’s a well made and beautiful little timepiece.

  52. William j Pyles
    Posted October 30, 2013 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    My rolex is an investment. The watch gives me a sense of accomplishment as well as accurate time. The watch compliments all fashion. If you want one plan a way to make the purchase! You will not be disappointed.

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