How much would you spend on a watch?

To me, a watch is a thing that keeps the approximate current time. It is attached to a part of my body in a non-invasive way so that I may carry it around in the event I need to know what time it is.

In a utilitarian sense, it’s functionally equivalent to a pager or cell phone. It takes abuse like a pager or a cell phone. It gets abraded and scratched. Sometimes it gets wet. Sometimes it gets lost behind the sofa cushions.

Eventually, sooner or later, it gets busted and needs to be replaced. For this reason I was alarmed to see the post in GQ where somebody states that they kill watches every few months and end up buying replacements. The list supplied was:

A Monet (about $500)
A Gucci (about $650)
A couple of Timexes (between $70-$150)
A Tag Heuer (about $1,300)
A Mickey Mouse (about $200)
A Storm (about $300)
A Fossill (about $150)

I don’t know about you, but IMHO three thousand dollars buys a lifetime’s worth of watches for a family of four (assuming you don’t possess some mysterious energy that kills them, prompting Mulder and Scully to show up at your door with a camera crew).

I suspect that the above items are really pieces of jewelry that just happen to tell time as a minor side benefit.

I don’t think I’ve bought more than 4 watches in 38 years (and most of the discarded ones are sitting in a drawer with broken bands or scratched up faces). IMHO there are plenty of nice looking $30-$50 watches out there, and I couldn’t imagine spending over $150 on one.

I view watches as largely utilitarian, but i think there is a quality difference among the really cheap watches vs the affordably cheap watches.

I bouth a $7 watch at wal mart a couple of months ago, and the faceplate fell off. Plus i think it loses about 3 minutes a day, i’m not sure.

i will probably spend about $30 or so for a watch next time, if it will last a few years. This one i bought will probalby break in 4 months, destroying the purpose of only spending $7.

My current watch cost about $30. I’ve had it for 5 years, and it’s still going strong. The watch I bought it to replace cost about $40 and had been doing just fine for six years, but for certain reasons I wanted a digital instead of an analog.

I could not see spending more than $50 on a watch. I can’t for the life of me think of why anyone would, other than to show that they can.

I remember some sitcom where a guy was boasting about his money, and was showing off a $700 watch. Another guy says, “Hey, what time does your watch have?” Rich guy: “7:15”. Other guy: “Huh! That’s what mine says too!”

I won’t say how much I spent, but the most I spent for a watch was when I got a Rolex GMT Master II, followed by a c.1961 and a 1970s Submariner*. But I view them as useful jewelry.

Just for keeping time, I would spend a couple hundred on a good Seiko.

[sub]* I’m going to sell the Subs, BTW, as I’m buying a house.[/sub]

I use to buy $20-$30 watches from Walmart. They never seemed to last very long. I usually had to replace it about every 6 months or so. I guess I am really hard on watches. I tend to wear them everywhere, even in the shower.

The last watch I bought was $250. I have had is for six years and haven’t done a thing to it but replaced the battery a couple of times. I wear it in the shower, on the boat, gardening and sleeping. I almost never take it off. It still looks almost good as new too except I have scratched the face a tiny bit.

For me the $250 watch was worth it.

I probably have about 30 watches - everything from promo/sales reward watches to the really nice (and expensive): a Cartier, a Baume & Mercier, a couple Concords, a Tiffany Atlas. Some are quartz, some are wind-up, some are automatics.

I think the most I’ve spent to date on a single watch is in the area of $2000. But I covet a Patek or a LeCOULTRE, which will cost a lot more.

Why so much/so many? Well, I guess that watches appeal to both the engineer and the female in me - they’re nifty machines and jewelry at the same time.

I agree – watches are definitely the male equivalent of jewelry. I love watches; most of mine run in the $50 range. At any given time, I’ve usually got three or four. I tend to buy about one watch a year on average – I’m a total klutz, and I destroy watches pretty thoroughly. (And on occasion, have dropped them in the lake. Whoops.)

If I had the means, I’d get myself a Tag Heuer, Omega or Rolex, one of the fifteen-hundred-dollar, weighs-ten-pounds-and-is-guaranteed-for-life dealies. At this point, I can’t justify it financially, but someday I fully intend to get myself an obscenely expensive chronograph.

I try not to spend more than $20 on anything. If you are willing to hunt you can find really nice things cheap.

Watches at the Fossil outlet are nice and cheap. They always have tables full of $15 and $10 watches.

I found a Gucci marked wrong at Nordstrom Rack and paid $10 for it.

None of my cheap watches ever broken.

If you buy a mare expensive watch for a cheep price then I would expect it to still work like an expensive watch. I was talking about “real” $20-$30 Walmart watches. No good outlet shopping around here.

About ten bucks is what I pay. I need waterproof ones for surfing.

I have a woman friend who paid $5000 for a watch for a boyfriend but she dumped him & kept the watch.

I once paid $250 for a used Cartier tank watch & when I called Cartier in SF to have it checked they said to insure it for $5000.00 & they would inspect it for free but I never sent it.

I still have the Timex Ironman Triathlon watch I got as a birthday present 9 years ago. Even Bill Clinton was wearing this watch back then (I swear–look at some pictures/TV footage from early in his presidency). I’m on probably my 3rd battery and 4th or 5th band, but it’s still a great watch. It cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $30.

Hmmm. Let me state first that I have a preternatural ability to DESTROY watches. When I bought “regular” watches (e.g. $20-50) they’d last me about a month, max.

Currently I have two watches that have lasted. I have a Swiss Army watch for weekend/home/just keeping the time purposes. About $250 as I recall. A little pricey but not out of control. I asked the salesperson for a watch I couldn’t destroy and it was his recommendation. He was right. 5 years and counting.

However, my other watch – my “business” watch cost over $10,000. A gold Patek Philipe. Before everyone starts ragging me, I will tell you that I don’t think any watch is worth that much.

However, I work in an industry and at a level where one of the factors you are judged by is your watch. It is absolutely shallow and stupid, but I have heard the conversations in the men’s room, “Have you seen thus-and-so? Can you believe he’s wearing that tacky stainless steel Rolex? What a jackass…”…

So while I’ll admit it’s absolutely conspicuous consumption, and keeps no better time than a $30 Seiko, I’d wager it’s paid for itself many times over in terms of deals being made, jobs being got, etc.


I can’t imagine spending more than about $10 on a watch, but I only ever have one for 3 weeks before I lose it. There are clocks (or friendly strangers wearing their own watches) everywhere.

Yeah, but some people won’t give you the time of day.

Enough for people to say "he has money’

But not too much that people say “he has too much money and no sense”

I typically spend about $10-$15 on a watch from Walmart. My current one has lasted me over a year of moderate abuse now and while there are some cracks in the band, and the lettering by the reset/mode type buttons is now illegibal, it still reads perfectally accurate times. I will probably keep it till the battery dies.

a 20$ armitron at hects…

I’m about to pay $140 to get my watch fixed.

It would probably cost me double that, or more to replace. It’s not an everyday watch, it’s my dive watch.

I have a Timex I bought at Wal-mart when my last watch died in May and I absolutely needed to have a watch for finals. I think it cost about 20 dollars. I don’t like to spend a lot of money for watches since the face gets scratched sooner or later, and I’d feel awful if I did that to a really nice watch.

I don’t particularly like the digital variety but I have had 2 analog watches in the past 15 years. They are Citizen quartz and they cost about $85-$100. They have been great products. I only replace the battery each year.