For many people, to own a Rolex is to display success. Noted notables have remarked that failing to possess one is failing as a man, and so many highly charged and successful businessmen own these gilded status symbols that they have become the apogee of the business world accessory. There is something about that clean dial, and masculine metal case that is intimidating, powerful, professional. It’s hardly surprising that Rolex is a household name even among families that could only dream of owning one.
Such is the brand’s global domination that you’d be forgiven for thinking that it was the only luxury watch out there – many people can’t think of another brand off the top of their heads. But, as any horological fan would know, there are many, many more fish in the timekeeping sea.
Just as a well-known status symbol can be used to intimidate, knowledge that takes you beyond the man shaking your hand can work to your advantage. Without doubt, a Rolex watch conveys excellent taste, but can you boast the exclusivity that comes with an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore, or a Hublot Big Bang?
The many other watch companies that exist often thrive on a limited, knowledgeable client base, and the watches they sell are designed to appeal to this greater horological expertise. Jaeger LeCoultre, for example, test their watches to ensure long-term accuracy, and employ the finest craftsmanship to decorate every major component, be it seen or unseen. They also employ master craftsmen in the art of engraving and enameling the dials and cases, so that the watch is a work of creative beauty as well as precision accuracy.
A Breitling watch, on the other hand, speaks for a more industrious, mechanical mind. The brand’s close association with aircraft and the luxury automotive company Bentley give their watches a technical, specialized look, one distinctive enough to allow for anecdotes.
The many watch companies that produce luxury watches allow for a wide variety of distinctive styles and functions. Cartier has models such as the Santos, a distinctive, square dial with a highly executive feel, and the name; long associated with royalty and prestige, is certainly an impressive one to casually drop into conversation.
Owning a Panerai, constantly in high demand on long waiting lists, could give you an edge in prestige. The timeless designs of the Luminor range, and the high-octane associations of its Ferrari partnership are easy to form attachments to, while their scarce nature is definitely something to promote.
Nor should Rolex be discarded simply because it is well-known. In addition to the most famous models, the Submariner and the Daytona, the company also sells many other models, such as the GMT Master and GMT II, both of which allow the wearer to follow time in two different time zones; very useful for the jet-setting businessman.
By displaying this knowledge proudly on your wrist, or even delving deeper and researching different brands, it is possible to turn the watch on your wrist into a display of intelligence and business instinct. Who knows, you could even discover a new passion at the same time.