Other people’s perceptions

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iain
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Other people’s perceptions

Post by iain »

I made a comment in the NCWOTD thread about my Rolex Explorer which has generated a few replies. Rather than continue the discussion over there, I thought I should start a new thread to keep the conversation going. In case anyone hasn’t seen them, here is my comment and the replies.

iain wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 5:41 pm I’m still struggling to find any quirks or flaws with this watch. I’ve worn it pretty much daily since I bought it but mainly at home.

If it didn’t say Rolex on the dial it could be my one watch. The reason it isn't is because while I’m sure hardly anyone will ever notice, I am conscious of the message it might send out, especially at work.
kiter65 wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 6:38 pm Trust me Iain, it’s very rare that anyone ever notices, unless you are in a dodgy place :D
kiter65 wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 7:21 pm
iain wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 6:43 pm ^^^^ Joking aside, I know I’m over thinking things but this is the only watch I’ve ever felt uncomfortable while wearing out. It’s small and discrete unlike some of the IWC beasts I’ve happily worn to work without thinking about it.
You said it yourself, over thinking, unless you are a WIS or a robber, not many people notice. Don’t get me wrong, I would never wear a Rolex walking around London etc but I can’t recall a time when anyone has ever noticed, I have a terrible memory so that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened :lol: . Everyone at work knows I like watches, on the odd occasion I have worn a Rolex to work and nobody has noticed, which to be honest p*££&d me off a bit :lol:. Maybe Neil will back me up on this :D
Just wear it, mate :thumbup:
nbg wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 11:29 pm Interesting thought about the message it may send at work.

When my wife worked she didn’t want to have a Rolex, for that very reason. School finance officer (had it been a private school she would have been called a bursar, although in her experience most she met on courses didn’t seem to have much financial acumen!) and thought it wouldn’t look good when she was talking to parents.

It wasn’t an issue where I worked. Just make sure your watch wasn’t more expensive than the clients. :)

In reality the odds of a plain vanilla Explorer being recognised are quite remote. It is the watch I would keep if I reduced to one Rolex. It is also the only watch that I could happily wear, without switching to another watch, for months on end.

I have been wearing mine most days for the past week or so. You like mountain walking. If you aren’t comfortable wearing it to work, or to liquid lunches with friends, wear it in the great outdoors.
watchaholic wrote: Sat Nov 11, 2023 7:17 am Just throwing my 2cents in but I completely agree with @kiter65 . While I can’t speak to your coworkers, and how they might react, my bet is not 1 in 100 will ever notice the brand. If you absolutely feel the need, with cooler temps on the way , that will surely slip under the cuff of a long sleeve shirt. Wear and enjoy!
I’ll leave it here so the opening post isn’t excessively long and I’ll continue the discussion in my next post.
Iain’s Law: Any discussion on the Christopher Ward forum, irrespective of the thread title or subject matter, will eventually lead to someone mentioning the Bel Canto if the thread continues for long enough.
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Re: Other people’s perceptions

Post by iain »

My question here is around other peoples perceptions, good, bad, or indifferent.

I work in the NHS in a non clinical role. I’m in quite a senior position but the division I work in includes all the estates (skilled crafts workers, electricians, plumbers, handymen, gardeners etc) and facilities (porters, cleaners, catering staff, security etc) and many of these people are on relatively low incomes. While I don’t manage many of these staff directly, I do have daily interactions with them.

There are some people at work who drive nice cars and no one says anything no matter how expensive they are. Some people go on several overseas holidays a year and it’s not an issue. However I am very conscious that a Rolex sends out a certain message to some people.

You will no doubt have seen the news recently if you are in the UK where a daytime TV presenter was criticised for wearing what the viewer thought to be a Rolex, but turned out to be a Michael Kors her mother had bought her. The criticism against the presenter was along the lines of “Why are you showing off a Rolex to viewers who are struggling financially”

While I suspect 99.9% of people wouldn’t notice. I do feel if one person clocked it then word would get out “That managers showing off his Rolex” and I might be viewed differently and not in a good way.

I’ve worn all my watches to work without any worry. IWC, JLC, Zenith, Bremont and not been at all concerned. So why does Rolex feel different?

I take the points made above about how I shouldn’t worry and just wear the watch but this one is different, at least as far as I’m concerned.

I’d be interested to hear thoughts from Rolex and non Rolex owners about this.
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Re: Other people’s perceptions

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

Now, just playing Devil’s Advocate here, so don’t take me TOO seriously…

You buy a recognised indicator of (relative) affluence, aspiration and status, and you worry about what people will think of you for wearing it? :-k

Non-owner, of course.
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Re: Other people’s perceptions

Post by iain »

Amor Vincit Omnia wrote: Sat Nov 11, 2023 10:52 am Now, just playing Devil’s Advocate here, so don’t take me TOO seriously…

You buy a recognised indicator of (relative) affluence, aspiration and status, and you worry about what people will think of you for wearing it? :-k

Non-owner, of course.
You could of course argue that you buy a well made quality product with a long-standing reputation for excellence. However your ownership experience is clouded by the negative connotations of others.
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Re: Other people’s perceptions

Post by StrappedUp »

This is an interesting question and I'd hazard a guess that the majority will say "you've earned it, wear it and don't worry". And I think that is a acceptable response.
However, we are a forum of watch enthusiasts who have already decided that it's fine to spend hundreds/thousands on indulgent, "excessive" luxury items. (I quote excessive because that's what they are generally seen as by joe public.)

It's a tough one, but I'm of the same opinion as you here Iain. There are people working in the NHS who are working so bloody hard to make ends meet atm and it says much about your character that you are conscious of not wanting to risk upsetting your fellow co-workers.
People know Rolex and the fact that they cost a lot. After all, you'd be wearing the brand of all the celebrities, influencers :( and social media schmuck that we are bombarded with these days.

Re cars, these can also be seen in a similar light to a degree. I know of down-to-earth people who have "done good", bought a car they'd always wanted, only to find some jealous t**t has run a key down the side or similar.
I guess this also depends on the kind of community you live in. I'm from an area where there is significant poverty alongside blue/white collar and pockets of significant wealth.
But cars are generally a necessity that require a relatively significant outlay for most people. A "cheap" alternative can also run into 4/5 figures for something reliable, and I'd think that most people prefer to have something that gets them to work reliably, otherwise they'd end up with no workplace to travel to. Also, they are not constantly with you throughout the working day, unlike a watch.

Holidays seem to be one of those accepted things. They will no doubt create a bit of envy, and possibly jealousy with some, but I think it'd be a stretch to try and make someone feel guilty about spending their hard-earned getting away from the stresses of day-to-day life.

I've babbled on quite a bit, so will stop now. There isn't a right or wrong answer here. Ultimately, only you can decide if you feel comfortable enough to wear the Explorer to work.
If not, you have some lovely alternatives that are sneaking under the radar. :thumbup:
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Re: Other people’s perceptions

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

iain wrote: Sat Nov 11, 2023 11:09 am You could of course argue that you buy a well made quality product with a long-standing reputation for excellence. However your ownership experience is clouded by the negative connotations of others.
You could, of course. And I would believe you, of course.

So, understanding your own reasons, couldn’t you wear it with impunity and not give a flying **** what other people think? Unless, of course, they might be planning to relieve you of it?
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Re: Other people’s perceptions

Post by A1soknownas »

Someone might just think the Rolex is fake anyway!

Whilst I expect there would of course be a general correlation between wealth and the watch worn, it is no longer surprising to see people wearing a watch that doesn't fit what may be expected - Whether that be low cost or high end.

People have different hobbies and often save forever, may have been gifted a piece or just have spare cash for whatever reason including inheritance where they have bought that one special watch they would never normally afford.

I have seen lots of trades people at all levels with flash watches and some very senior managers with a low level seiko or a generic £150 quartz.

You might get judged more by the volume of watches you wear if noticed rather than a single one that goes unnoticed.

Regardless of any watch worn and the initial reaction if at all, people are more likely to judge someone on how they treat them in those day to day interations. Be nice, considerate, interested and genuine and nobody will care what is on the wrist - and if they do, that is a problem they have and would probably occur based upon something else even if you didn't wear a Rolex.
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Re: Other people’s perceptions

Post by TheBeatles »

I wonder how many people would see it, recognise it as a Rolex and then think “is that a real one or a fake?”

I know I’ve done that when I’ve seen one out and about.

Is that because it’s probably the brand that counterfeiters jump on the most?
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Re: Other people’s perceptions

Post by scooter »

The day I worry about whether I'm offending anybody (or the 1% who might notice it anyway) for wearing any watch will be the day I know I've gone bonkers.

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Re: Other people’s perceptions

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iain wrote: Sat Nov 11, 2023 8:03 am While I suspect 99.9% of people wouldn’t notice. I do feel if one person clocked it then word would get out “That managers showing off his Rolex” and I might be viewed differently and not in a good way.
There’s your answer, and I agree with the sentiment 100%. As a public school teacher, I don’t know that I’d ever were a Rolex to school for the reasons you mention.
I’ve worn all my watches to work without any worry. IWC, JLC, Zenith, Bremont and not been at all concerned. So why does Rolex feel different?
…because a Rolex is different. It just is. It’s far more than just a watch.

The simple answer and the only one that’s relevant is you’ve got to do what feels comfortable for you. Everything else is irrelevant.
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Re: Other people’s perceptions

Post by JAFO »

The trouble is, I think you are kidding yourself if you don't think a Rolex would be noticed.
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Re: Other people’s perceptions

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

jkbarnes wrote: Sat Nov 11, 2023 1:59 pm The simple answer and the only one that’s relevant is you’ve got to do what feels comfortable for you. Everything else is irrelevant.
Which must therefore include other people’s perceptions, thereby standing the argument on its head.

:escape:
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Re: Other people’s perceptions

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JAFO wrote: Sat Nov 11, 2023 2:23 pm The trouble is, I think you are kidding yourself if you don't think a Rolex would be noticed.
No David. You are kidding yourself if you think that all models of Rolex would be noticed!

And noticed by whom?

- anyone?
- a watch person?
- someone intent on relieving the owner of the watch?
- someone with no interest in watches?

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Re: Other people’s perceptions

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I’m convinced the only people who notice watches are enthusiasts or robbers.
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Re: Other people’s perceptions

Post by trsullivan »

In 1985 I bought a GMT Master from the Duty Free shop in the Hilton Hotel in Agana, Guam. I wore the watch daily for over five years, the GMT function being useful in my work as a aircraft radio technician. Never once was concerned over what anyone thought about a lowly enlisted type wearing an expensive Rolex. No one ever asked. When I was robbed in my barracks room one night by a burglar, my wallet was taken, but not the GMT, which was on my desk by the wallet. Thief must not have perceived the value of the watch.

Is the OP more concerned about the other peoples perception of the watch, or of their perception of him, for wearing it? OP doesn't seem to be the sort to flash "look at what I have" at people, so possibly is being too sensitive towards those other people. As one of those people, I perceive the very different behaviors of those who can buy more expensive items to enjoy, and those who buy to show off their superiority. You have earned the ability to get and to wear and enjoy the watch; wear it and enjoy it, and if, I say if, anyone asks, then tell them about it like you would to any one of us.
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