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Hello everyone. Longtime forum member here, and on TZ, and TRF. My watch journey has taken a turn lately and I'm just curious if I'm a weird individual or if others have experience similar turns.

I've always liked watches but got heavy Into buying, selling, collecting about 10 years ago. Like a lot of other watch fans I always remember those Miami Vice episodes and the blingy Rolex watches and thought about how cool it would be someday to have a Rolex. In my 20's I had acquired a two tone Tag heuer in a trade for a diamond ring (another story) and I wore that watch happily for about 10 years. In my 30's I finally bought a two tone Rolex Datejust pre-owned and just thought it was the coolest thing ever. I wanted people to notice it too! That set off about 8 years of buying and selling like crazy everything from Rolex - an explorer, explorer II, Datejusts, submariners, GMT's, vintage, there were Omegas and Tudors, Hamiltons, Seikos, RGM's, Sinn, all kinds of mid level brands, etc....

During all this time my rule was to never have more than three watches and with the exception of once,when I sold everything, I usually had at least one Rolex. I figure I made some money and lost some money but nothing overly significant as I negotiated good prices and most times bought used. Either way it was a hobby.

Over the past few years I have really started losing interest in having a watch people recognize as expensive. Some of it is because in my line of work I have client meetings where a Rolex probably isn't really smart to wear. The only other guys I hang out with that have Rolexes have them because I negotiated deals for them. I never see a senior executive at my company wearing a Rolex. My neighbors don't wear Rolex, the parents at my kids school don't wear Rolex. It's almost to the point now that I am embarrassed to wear such an expensive timepiece (and yes I know that there are much more expensive brands). Especially at church or at the kids school I just don't feel right about the message it sends to people who don't know me.

The problem has been that I was basically down to one watch, a Rolex Submariner Ceramic Date that I have worn every day. I just lost my appetite to wear it. I went to buy a suit a few weeks ago and the salesman commented on it and I just thought to myself - while I don't really care what people think generally speaking, I really don't have the desire anymore to have someone recognize an expensive watch like that. It used to be a sign of success to me because it was something I had to work to afford but now I just don't care. When I wear it I feel like it sends the message that I want people to notice. So I decided this week that I was going to get rid of my Sub. It's gone, insurance is going to be canceled on it, and I have traded it for 2 brand new watches - an Omega Speedmaster Moon Watch, and a Tudor Black Bay in red. 2 great watches, still not cheap, but also two watches that don't broadcast "Look at me!" And I am kind of excited to have some variety again.

I'm wholly convinced that this is an age thing. In my mid forties I just don't feel like I need to impress anyone anymore - within reason of course - business is a different story. But I seriously have lost that desire to wear a Rolex, drive an expensive car, wear certain brands like I did in my 20's or 30's. So I guess the questions is: is this weird, maturity, or what else? Be kind !
 

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an understandable feeling, which I think is shared by many. I love the aesthetics of the Rolex Sub, but I think I fall in the same boat as you in that--When an average person sees it, they don't see the horology behind it--just dollar signs. I think I find greater enjoyment in wearing less mainstream but still WIS-ful watches. Highly unlikely that anyone will recognize it, but if someone does, then you're more likely to have met a WIS and that conversation will be so much better than "ooo, a rolex. someone's rich." [end of watch-related conversation].
 
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You are not alone. I am about your age with similar tendencies these days. I remark on age because I feel this has something to do with the different ways in which I choose to use my resources, time and energy. I give myself a pat on the back because my new watch preferences, among other things, seem like a more authentic activity of a deepening appreciation for life.

At the same time I really enjoy the watches I do have.

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It may be this way for you as it appears when you were excited about watches early on, you cared a great deal about what people thought, and bought your watches accordingly. Now your perspective has changed (maturity?) and the watches are no longer as desirable. I don't think this is abnormal. We are all different, I am not concerned about what people think and enjoy my Sub C as much as my Bulova precisionist. I think watches are really about how they make the person wearing it feel. If a watch does not feel good to YOU on your wrist then that is what matters most.
 

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I am in my early 30s, but I am very careful about showing wealth. I have done well for myself but I have found every step of they way that friends and family are thrilled to see me do well, but the instant they think I am doing better then them they can get very nasty.
 

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I think that a Rolex was a mean to an end for you: to show success. Now that you are caring less about that, the Rolex lost its function for you. Even worse, you think that it attracts attention that now you are not seeking any longer.

I think that if you could see that a watch is only an object and doesn't say anything about a person + 99% of folks truly couldn't care less about what watch one wears, you ought to enjoy again ANY watch brand.

This plus starting to root for a real team (the Boston Red Sox) would cure you instantly! (Just joking...)
 

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People mature, tastes change... it's normal.
When I started collecting - I liked diver watches - tough looking, with shiny bracelets and big bezels.
Nowdays, I only use them on the beach, and lean towards dressier pieces on leather.

That said, while I was never quite interested in a Rolex, I don't think one should care what others think if one buys a Rolex for their own enjoyment. Plus my favorite of Rolex line-ups are not recognizable easily - GV milgauss, OP, Air-king... But if it doesn't excite you, makes sense to flip.

As far as recognition - almost nobody has ever noticed any of my watches, and if they did they would not know what they are (except maybe omega SMP). As much as I would not care to hear someone as "is it real/is that a Rolex?", I would love to have a watch noticed by a WIS and start a conversation. Thus far - haven't met anyone like that outside watch events.
 

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While I see your points, I am not sure if it is an age thing. I am from Texas, and here, Rolex is king. It seems that Rolex tends to be the third watch for collectors. In Texas, most people receive a watch of some kind for graduation. This is usually something along the lines of a TAG, or Tudor, or Oris. If the owner really enjoys wearing it, in a few years they tend to buy their second watch. Usually in a similar price range, but one that really speaks to the style of the individual. If they still have the watch bug, when they have their first "I've made it" moment, they run to their local jeweler, and buy a Rolex (watch number three). At that point, some people stop. However, to me, the next watch is where a collector is defined. By this point, you have enough money to buy a Rolex, but you also have the opportunity to do some research and dive into something that truly speaks to you.

I feel that a Rolex has almost become obligatory along the path of most collectors. And for good reason. Rolex makes a fine watch, and stands by their product. However, with the advances in production, and proliferation of much better, more unique watches out there, for a fraction of the price, I am not surprised people often look for other, lesser known, brands.

It really comes down to the reason you wear a watch. If you wear it to have others see it, than Rolex is a sure thing. Most people are not watch collectors, but most people recognize a Rolex as a sign of success. However, if you wear a watch for you, than there are innumerable quality brands out there that offer you the level of watch you want, without the headache of every single person making a comment or looking at it as an "I'm better" gesture.

All in all, I think you are right, partially. I think your decision is one made by many, and it is not a sign of age, but a sign of maturity. It is a sign that you wear a watch for you, not for everyone else. Also, congrats on the Speedy. That is one of my favorites.
 

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Nice one. Good for you. Wait till you're in your fifties. You'll care even less. You'll probably be better off financially, but I'd like to bet that even the Speedy and the Tudor will be history.
 

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I have always loved Explorer type watches and the Rolex Explorer is the archetypical watch of that Genre. I have one planned for my 50th birthday (I feel old now) but should I change my mind before then, a Tudor Heritage Ranger or Oyster Perpetual.

My GF does work for Longines and Rolex but unfortunately doesn't get paid in watches.
 

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Plus my favorite of Rolex line-ups are not recognizable easily - GV milgauss, OP, Air-king... But if it doesn't excite you, makes sense to flip.
Explorer is another one that is not easily identifiable. But I don't understand why OP didn't choose any of these, unless of course, he lusted after Tudor and Omega models and didn't want to inject new money into it, so he found or should I say searched for a reason to sell his Rolex.
 

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Congrats OP on the Speedy!
Change is good, embrace it. The French saying "plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose" -- the more things change, the more they stay the same -- should not be how one wants life to unfold. It would be a defeatist and stale inevitability, don't you think...
 

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Hmmmm, interesting. I can relate, well sort of . . . . I was never enamored of watches in my youth, cars (well, and girls natch) were the thing, but of course being young and relatively broke through my early forties, 4 wheel transportation had to be on the frugal side, price wise. Fast forward to my sixties, kids educated and out, enjoying a nice semi-retired life tooling 'round ith a couple cars of my youth dreams and the watch bug hits. So just like you, tons of watches to buy and try, reselling 'em as fast as others catch my eye . . . .

Now for the part you are really concerned about I guess . . . . in my youth while I wanted to impress, I couldn't, no Rolexes, Porsche's (yeah, yeah pedestrian I know but I love 'em) so just developed my business on hard work and smarts (my take on it). Now that I can afford "nicer, quality" stuff, I don't mind showing off/impressing others if that's how they take it, thus my frenetic acquisition of "good, admirable" watches as measured by some (not everybody, I know and I am not meaning to start a war here). My current status - I don't mind people knowing I own/seeing me wear a Rolex/Patek/ALS, etc, etc and so forth and coming to a conclusion, plus or minus . . . I'm not hurting anyone, pay my taxes, etc, life's getting shorter and shorter, I don't mind being noticed . . .
 

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Funny I'm a psychologist and as I was reading the start of your post I was thinking this guy appears to have a high external locus of control.

When end I got to the second half read the second half and it appeared to shift being an internal locus the last few years.

This was before I even got to your question.

Theres a a whole heap more I could write on the topic and my thoughts to develop those links but I'll keep it brief.
 

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although I've never owned a Rolex, I completely get what you are saying here. I think you made 2 great choices!
 

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Nice evolution... maybe some day I'll get there. I like wearing watches 24/7 for days or weeks at a time and I'm slightly OCD about accuracy... so no 'positioning' for my watches, they need to be fairly accurate no matter what I'm doing. Like it or not, only my Rolex naturally performs at ~ +1 SPD... all my other automatics are quite a few hundred % worse than that. I've not bought a ton of watches but enough that when the 1st one came along that I did not have to reset mid-month I was especially attracted to it. It was also my first 'Rolex'. I'm 1 1/2 years in to owning this and I know in 6-9 years I'll likely have to part with it for a month or two when it gets serviced... plenty of time to save up for the mother-load to fill that time gap, whatever that happens to be in 6-9 years. Maybe my head will be in a different place then, just like yours, and I end up with a Tudor and a boat instead... but for now just socking it away for whenever I have to pounce.
 

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I think sometimes a younger man is excited and proud upon initial financial success. A young man may want people to know about it and do things like purchase a Rolex in order to display that newfound success. While we shouldn't be boastful, I don't think there is anything wrong with rewarding ourselves or seeking acknowledgement of accomplishment. We should be proud of our accomplishments; however, when that financial success is sustained, it becomes normal and not something that a man cares about being noticed nor feels the need to display. A Rolex is certainly not an entirely universal example. The history and quality of the pieces is without question, and there are obviously a great many people that are drawn to these characteristics far and above personal recognition or wealth indication. That being said, I do think a Rolex purchase often does fall into this category, particularly at a young age.
 

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What you wear says a lot. WHEN you wear it, is a part of that. I'd suggest the Rolex hasn't lost its appeal; rather, that you're recognizing the second part. Yes, I think this is maturation; its roots, to me, are quite similar to other forms of standing out that are practiced when young, but from which they commonly drift away.
 
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