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You cannot wear a decent watch anymore
Luxury watch theft continues to surge. According to the New York Times, watch robberies in Los Angeles more than doubled in 2022. And this isn’t just a US problem … more than 81,000 luxury watches having been stolen in the UK since 2018 and the UK police have just reported a 41% increase in watch crime over the last 12 months. It’s a similar story in Paris—their police force reported a 31% rise in watch theft last year... More here.
I recently bought the watch I had been hankering for over the past 5 years and it was a thrill to finally be able to enjoy it. Through a series of watch purchases and sales that helped to fund the purchase, it was nice to know that I had been able to buy it through hard work and at times pure luck.
This happens to a lot of people, particularly men, where they reach a point in life and they want to buy something that reminds them of the work they have put in to earn such a thing. Yes, it is just an object, a material possession or whatever else you want to call it, but it is also something that could stay on my wrist until I die and work perfectly with occasional servicing.
It is not a noticeable watch and does not stand out like a Rolex, but it is from the Rolex family and will fetch close to £4,000 on the pre-owned market. And this is the problem.
I would rather it was not worth so much so that I can enjoy it in peace. Over recent weeks it has become noticeable the attention it gets from those who you can spot at a glance are not exactly watch collectors. The sense of staying safe, trying to avoid paranoia and considering where and when I wear it is palpable.
I won't take it with me on holiday even though it is insured, I have second thoughts about wearing it when taking a long country walk and over time the worry is diminishing the joy it is supposed to offer. We have sadly reached a point where the value of these items has gotten so high that the notion of openly wearing something worth £1,000's on your wrist is a huge risk.
And when you really think about it, the notion of openly wearing something so expensive is kind of ridiculous, but for many that is why they wear these things, so that others will see it.