Umm, and women always say they dress up for themselves, and nobody else. Like it or not, everyone cares about what other people think about everything. There is nothing wrong in that, it's 100% natural. I would go as far to say if anyone who doesn't care may need therapy. Of course, to what degree people care may vary terrifically. For example, a person who buys a Rolex but knows nothing about watches is buying it purely to impress others. A collector of fine watches who purchases an understated watch for a high price, probably cares very little about what others think. From a personal perspective, I like buying buying micro brands and little known larger brands, so if asked what the watch is, I can give them a name I know they aren't likely to have heard of.I see it all the time in the forums. "I buy watches for me, I don't care what anyone else thinks." "I don't buy them for the brand recognition, I just appreciate the heritage." "Buy what makes you happy, to hell what everyone says." Like if you admit you care what others think you're betraying either weakness or a lack of authenticity as a WIS.
Now, I'm not denying that people have their own aesthetic preferences or appreciate things like heritage or can admire movement finishing in private while smiling to themselves, but let's be honest here. We are talking in almost all case about JEWELRY that has a certain intellectual appeal because of it's engineering and the expertise that goes into making it clean and intricate and shiny. Social signalling is at least half of the point.
If, say, you're in a corporate environment you're likely either wearing a dress watch or a steel sports watch in part because it confirms a set of expectations of the people around you. If instead you're wearing a Sinn U1 or an orange Monster or something, there's probably still social signalling going on of a different kind. There's lots of subtle signals - conformity (or lack thereof), creativity, status, exclusivity (not quite the same thing as status), practicality, personality... watches as a wearable item are inextricably tied to how we exhibit ourselves to others.
I guess my point is, all of this should be OK. Humans are social animals. If you really, honestly don't care what others think of you, that's likely a sign of sociopathy rather than something to aspire to. And yet, with some rare exceptions people will go to great lengths to avoid admitting that it could be a factor in their watch preferences. Those few people who are open about it, hat tip to you, sir (or madam).