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.