What type of watch should I wear in order to appear confident and successful?
Well, my friend, you have put your finger squarely in the wound (and it hurts).
This is the typical “me” vs. “society” question.
When you wear a watch – any watch – you transmit a message out. People look at you and compare you against others.
Human mind works best into categorizing things and people. It is a safety measure: if you can put something in a box, it is safe. If you cannot, then there is a problem. If you do not fit in a box, you are potentially a problem, because you cannot be categorized. A problem requires attention, and attention is precious. This is why eccentrics are noticed by society at large.
Anyways, you are assumed by society to fit into a box. So, if you are successful, you fit into the “successful” box. Now, we look into the box and note down the characteristics that people in this box have.
When you open that box, you see a lot of other smaller boxes into it.
There is one filled with people in general business, like “white-collar workers”. Because there is another similar box where the people inside are not white-collars. Well, when you look inside, and see other smaller boxes. One has the label of “working in sales”, you see that the majority of people in sales proudly display a Rolex. Why? That’s a fact. There is also an old adage in horology about this:
“You wear a Rolex to impress your car salesman,
but you wear an IWC to impress your watchmaker”.
People who are in that box are mostly wearing Rolex. It is a sort of peer pressure – if you do not, people like you assume that you do not really fit in that box.
So, to come back to your question, you should decide by yourself in which box you want to fit – or if you’d better stay out of the box and be noted for your non-conformist attitude.
I can tell you that the more you have a strong character and are really successful in life, the less you will care about fitting in one of these boxes.
There are people like Mark Zuckerberg who do not wear watches.Everyone knows that he does not like ornaments of any kind.
Others like Bill Gates wear a very basic watch – in this case, a Casio Duro – a lovely quartz diver watch which is worth a couple hundred USD.
There are others like Jeff Bezos who wears a Ulysse Nardin Dual Time – which is expensive but not THAT expensive.
And others like the extremely modest Warren Buffett whose only boastful extravagance is his watch, a gold Rolex President worth 32,000 USD.
As you can see, each case is different, and the kind of watch these celebrities wear has little relation to their personal fortunes. Actually, it represents a laughable part of their fortunes.
So, what do you have to do?
In order to “appear successful”, as you say, you should buy a watch that you truly appreciate. And to appreciate a watch, if you care, you should understand watches a little bit, and there is an etiquette of wearing watches.
In few words, to be an educated watch wearer, and to have watches work for you, you should buy wisely, without really falling into the trap of what everyone else is doing.
You can find much more about horology and its fascinating history in The Watch Manual, a thorough e-book that explains all the basics about watchmaking and its protagonists.