View all articles

Feature: What Does Your Watch Say About You?

The old expression goes that you can tell a lot about a person by their shoes. Well, I think you can learn even more by their watch. If shoes are like looking through the keyhole of someone’s persona, spying little flashes of intrigue, the watch is a mainline jacked straight into the brain. Or at least, that’s what I think. So, I’ve taken five prominent dive watches and deduced what I think they say about their owners. Let’s see if I’m right!

Rolex Submariner 116610LN

Who is the kind of person that wears a Rolex Submariner? Especially the modern, ceramic-bezelled, chunky-cased version? Further scrutiny of the watch itself might begin to reveal. Counter perhaps to the reputation the watch has earned for being more popular than The Beatles, the Submariner is, when all’s said and done, a pretty reserved piece of kit. When the shoutiest things about it are some bits of polished metal and ceramic, it’s hard to say that it’s the kind of watch worn by a show-off. There are plenty of better Rolexes and indeed watches for doing that.

No, wearing a Submariner is different. Wearing a Submariner is like going to the same bar your dad went to and voting for the same people as he did. It’s just what you do. I wouldn’t say it was brainless. The opposite in fact. It’s steeped with tradition and feeling. Buying your first Submariner is a benchmark moment that, whilst it doesn’t dish out points for individualism and imagination, doesn’t mean those aspects are lacking. If you go to Japan, first you have sushi from a normal, local sushi bar. It may not be whizz-bang Kobe beef cooked right in front of you with fireworks, but its proper, its genuine and it’s an experience that will stay with you forever. The person who buys a Submariner is buying it for that moment.

Omega Seamaster Professional 300M

By comparison, our Omega Seamaster Professional 300M owner is a different kettle of fish entirely. Rarely will you find an owner of both, because whilst choosing the Submariner is something of a rite of passage, plumping for Omega’s alternative is a much more deliberate decision. It’s a bit like the choice to go vegetarian; rarely do people do it by accident. It’s usually a very conscious moment that is not considered lightly.

That’s our guy. Okay, not specifically a vegetarian, but someone who takes a stand on the status quo. They haven’t shaved their head and don’t live up a tree, but they see things happening in front of them and prefer to carve their own way through. The Seamaster, you see, is everything the Submariner is not. That seems like a wildly inaccurate statement when you consider the near-identical specs, but it’s really all about perspective. The Submariner is a product bought with permission from Rolex; the Seamaster is a watch Omega is very grateful to sell.

Our Omega owner, therefore, doesn’t usually take the well-trodden path. They’re not put off by a challenge—in fact, they revel in it—and find themselves with a bit of an affinity towards the underdog. Not too much of an underdog, mind. They aren’t crazy.

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Blue M79030B-0001

I’ll jump straight in and say that our typical Tudor Black Bay customer is more of a creative type, and not just because I myself own a Tudor Black Bay, but because all of us have the ability to accomplish some mental gymnastics most people would consider Olympics-grade. Here it goes: a Tudor Black Bay owner can tell themselves with a straight face that their purchase not only matches its older Rolex sibling in performance terms—but even beats it.

Obviously, it doesn’t, and I can think of 4,230 reasons why. But that doesn’t stop a fella dreaming! And that summarises our Tudor Black Bay owner, someone whose outlook takes a lighter, brighter approach to the world’s problems. The Tudor Black Bay isn’t a lesser version of the Submariner for people who can’t afford it; it’s a vintage throwback to the watches Rolex used to make in its golden years.

The Tudor owner is the kind of person who reminds you that a Skoda is basically an Audi and that the use-by date is just a suggestion. They’ll take a last-minute flight to a low-rated hotel just because, “How bad can it be?” Some people might say they’re a bit simple. They aren’t, but I can see why people might think that. It’s better described as optimism, childlike and without corruption. Let them have their fun!

Grand Seiko Sport SBGA229

Have you ever seen a Maserati Gran Turismo purring down the street and thought to yourself, I wish I was brave enough to buy one of those? Or a derelict old cottage held together by brambles and bird droppings with a Sold board out the front? These are the kinds of people who choose to invest their cash into a Grand Seiko. I say invest because that’s what they hope they’re doing.

Where the Tudor owner is blissfully optimistic, the Grand Seiko owner is more belligerently so. They like details, data, and they scrutinise every last drop of it. Their thinking goes against the trend, but they’ve usually got a very compelling reason why. “A £20,000 Maserati may look like a money pit,” they’ll say, “but they’re statistically very reliable and its actually quite cheap to work on.” Of course, theirs is the “only one” that actually goes wrong and costs a fortune, and they will genuinely be surprised.

They shouldn’t have the same problems with the Grand Seiko, but they will certainly raise eyebrows when they sink Rolex money into one. And they won’t be coy or ashamed about it either. If anything, they want to provoke people into commenting, a trap baited with logic awaiting some poor, unsuspecting Rolex owner.

Richard Mille RM 028

Given that the chances of you personally owning a Richard Mille are pretty slim, we’ll start this section by addressing what I think you think of someone who wears one. Maybe you think they’re crass, loud-mouthed and have too much money, and yes, some of them will be—but I think there’s some confirmation bias going on here. The ones that don’t shout and show off and make themselves known are an altogether different beast, away from the Instagram-posting, Lamborghini-revving stereotype.

The person with a Richard Mille has already owned Rolex and Patek Philippe. They’ve already owned Porsche and Ferrari. They’ve slept in Claridge’s, eaten at Nobu and flown Emirates first class. They’re the kinds of people who start a new business just to finance a racing career, who are sick of watching the action and want to be in the thick of it. If you’ve ever seen a race series that isn’t F1, NASCAR or IndyCar and wondered who’s driving, it’ll be a Richard Mille owner.

Perhaps you might have deduced from this that a Richard Mille owner, therefore, has to be pretty clued up. So, you might be wondering why on Earth they’d choose a Richard Mille. Well, remember the infamous moment when Bill Gates thought a box of Rice-a-Roni cost $5? By the time you’re looking at a Richard Mille, it doesn’t matter. It’s more about, after years of heritage this and tradition that, being something different, something new and something exciting—and that’s what our Richard Mille owner is all about.

Looking for a pre-owned Rolex watch? Click here to shop now

Looking for a pre-owned Omega watch? Click here to shop now

Looking for a pre-owned Tudor watch? Click here to shop now

Looking for a pre-owned Grand Seiko watch? Click here to shop now

Looking for a pre-owned Richard Mille watch? Click here to shop now