Watch Consumption

Forbes Magazine publishes a supplement a few times a year called Forbes Life. It can be an interesting read in as far as it is an observation of a lifestyle very few of us will ever experience. We're talking about some seriously conspicuous consumption here.

These are people who plop down thousands for a pair of shoes, hundreds for a couple of pairs of socks to go with the shoes and 20 grand to pop over to the little village in Italy to watch the cobbler put the shoes together in his quaint little shop. Nice, huh?

One of the articles in this issue (April 2009) is about how simple things are back in fashion due to the hard economic times we're enduring. The article suggests taking off those fancy blocky watches and replace them with a more simple enduring look. But while they might be simple, they're not cheap.

Of the 11 watches profiled in the article the cheapest was the watch over there on the left, a Jaeger-Lecoultre Master Ultra Thin with lists at $6,850. Most of the other watches cost more than my car did. The most expensive watch mentioned in the article is a Patek Philippe which goes for $400,000---and has a yearlong waiting list. Scary, huh? If you're on a budget, and these days who isn't, there's another Patek Philippe listed that only costs $18,900. Which is the equivalent of almost 2 years of mortgage payments for me. House or watch. Wanna guess which one is my priority?

In a commentary at the front of the magazine, Gary Walther, the editor, talks about bargains that exist due to a flagging economy. One is The Golden Door, a fitness spa in San Diego. Apparently they've peeled back their prices to only $7,750 per week. Next he goes on to mention that Mediterranean cruises on the Outback Star have dropped from $62,000 down to $48,000 for a week. Amazing bargains, huh? Are these people from another planet??? People are having trouble holding onto their homes and in this magazine they're crowing about how they can save $14k on a luxury cruise. Kinda annoying, isn't it?


It is VERY annoying. I started getting a magazine (don't know how really), but they feature some really pricey clothing and other items. I just want to scream every time I flip through an issue (I didn't renew it!, but I will read the articles and enjoy what I can from it). One issue had Mother/Daughter coat selections. The mom coats were all nearly $1000 and the girls' coats were several hundred. I thought, "In this economy and seeing as how kids outgrow things, how can they justify this?" It's sick!
kenju said…
You want annoying? Try reading The Robb Report or one of those extremely high end housing magazines.

I know a guy here in Raleigh who wears a Patek Phillipe, but I doubt it's the $400K one.
Carmi said…
I felt my blood pressure rise as I read about Candy Spelling selling her supersized mansion for something like $150 million. The place even had a gift wrapping room - amazing she could even describe it with a straight face.

FWIW, my Timex Ironman does the job just fine. If I'm trying to impress folks, it sure won't be with my watch.

Tanya agrees with me, which is why she sent me on this joyous Friday.

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