Sunday, July 28, 2013

Rolex Romeo

On the prowl for a hot young thing, New York men are shelling out more money than ever on wrist bling
  • Last Updated: 12:25 AM, January 16, 2013
  • Posted: 10:32 PM, January 15, 2013
Awaiting the arrival of a potential beauty he met over the Internet, newly divorced Manhattan surgeon Robert Huang is sipping nervously from his drink, hoping he’ll pass muster on the cutthroat New York dating scene.

Then he checks his diamond-studded Cartier gold watch (the flashy $80,000 timepiece he dug out from his drawer after the final divorce papers were signed), and instantly feels reassured.
Like a growing number of singletons in the city, the 53-year-old doctor believes that expensive wrist bling is the “must-have” accessory when you’re looking for love.

Cartier Caliber diamond studded, solid 18k rose gold version
Price is $43,400 - and production is likely limited.

The luxury-watch business has ticked upward in recent years. Remarkably, between November 2010 and November 2011, LGI Network, a market research company that tracks consumer retail trends in the US, recorded a 50 percent jump in sales of men’s watches priced over $10,000.The growth in the 12 months to November 2012 was more modest, at 6 percent, but the boom has got the industry buzzing.“They want a man who can give them security and it highlights the fact you’re that type of guy.”

“Customers are definitely becoming more aware of the appeal and importance of a luxury timepiece,” says Larry Barkley of the blue-chip watch company Tourneau, whose flagship Manhattan store is on 57th Street near Madison Avenue. “It speaks volumes about their personal style and standing.”

Now that we’re emerging from the Great Recession — and financial-sector bonuses are returning — men are splurging on luxury watches, especially ones made of gold. Because that precious metal kept its value even while the economy wobbled, they believe a pricey watch isn’t just a style statement, it’s a sound investment. And an aphrodisiac.

“It sounds really shallow, but younger women really fall for all that stuff,” says Wall Street trader Mike, 27, the owner of a dozen high-end watches priced between $3,000 and $12,000 each. He asked The Post not to publish his last name so that it wouldn’t get him into trouble at work. A member of the sugar-daddy-dating-service, which matches wealthy men with women who want to be “kept,” Mike wears an $8,000 Rolex Submariner II to the office.

Rolex Submariner II yellow gold-steel blue ceramic
This one worth $ 10,950

 But his customized $12,000 Breitling is definitely more effective when he’s negotiating a deal in the dating game.

Breitling Chronomat Gold + crocodile strap
around $12,000

Breitling Chronomat Evolution w Diamond Bezel - $12,000

“A bigger [watch] face always catches a woman’s eye,” Mike says. “A jeweler friend drilled holes [in the Breitling] and added 24 quarter-carat diamonds around
the edge, so it really sparkles.

“A Maserati only goes as far as the parking lot, but a watch you have with you all the time.”
Mike recalls a recent night out in Atlantic City when an admiring guest at the roulette table zeroed in on his bling: “I have a pretty small frame so, when I wear this watch, it takes up most of my arm,” says the 5-foot-7 banker. “I hit a spin, and this woman said: ‘Oh my gosh, that thing must be half your weight!’
“Then she was asking me what I did for a living, and where I was staying.”
One thing led to another. “Let’s just say it was a lucky night,” he demurs.
Mike, who earned $400,000 last year, including a $120,000 bonus, even admits to driving his Lexus LS around the Jersey Shore in the summer, the windows rolled down and his wrist hanging out, on display.

“[The girls] will cheer and wave when they see my big watch,” he laughs. “It’s right out of a rap video!”

Ken Panton calls his $10K Breitling
“the perfect conversation starter.”
Rolex Romeos can be found on the gay scene, too. Ken Panton, the publisher of three online consumer magazines including, has lost count of the number of times he’s been approached by other men admiring one of his watches. The 44-year-old’s biggest and most recent splurge was a $10,000 Breitling for Bentley Le Mans with a silver dial and casing.
He was so enamored of his purchase in December 2011, he wrapped it up and left it under the Christmas tree with a gift tag saying: ‘To Ken, Love Ken.”

Breitling for Bentley Le Mans
  “It’s a standout piece and, since people are always looking for a reason to break the ice, it’s the perfect conversation starter,” says Panton, who lives in Gramercy Park.

Only last week, he was approached in the tony Chelsea gay bar the G Lounge by a well-dressed man visiting New York from the Czech Republic. He quizzed him on the eye-catching, limited-edition Breitling as they stood near the dance floor.

“He had on a big, bad Hublot watch worth about $80K,” recalls Panton, who currently has a steady boyfriend and wasn’t tempted. “It was a definite come-on.”

Hublot Big Bang 301_over $80,000 (44 mm face)

Meanwhile, Bill Hobbs, 33, a former financier-turned-actor and author of “The Work Book: How To Build Your Personal Brand,” is convinced that his $65,000 watch collection played a part in his wife, Stephanie Wu, agreeing to marry him two years ago.

“Most guys aren’t going to tell you that they bought an expensive watch because they want to impress women,” he says. “They say it’s for their status with clients or because of their love of watches, but an overriding factor of buying anything grossly overpriced is to attract the opposite sex.”

Wu agrees. She says Hobbs’ 18-karat gold GMT Master 1969 Rolex was one of the first things she noticed about him when they started dating.

Rolex GMT Master II 18-karat gold
 “What struck me about his collection was that he was really rather passionate about it,” she says. In fact, luxury timepieces played such an important part in their romance, the couple was given $14,000 worth of matching Cartier watches by Wu’s parents before their marriage in Taiwan. Their wedding rings were made to match the pattern of the Cartier pieces, linked and flexible like watch bands.

As for Huang, he’s willing to take his chances on whether a woman is more interested in his watch than him.

“Yes, you’re always going to get gold diggers,” he shrugs, adjusting the strap on his Cartier. “But that’s the risk you take.

A comment from a guy in a forum:

***WARNING*** the following post is entirely satirical and is not meant to be taken seriously.

*phew* now that we've got that out of the way...

I just have to shake my head at this and laugh at the same time.

I'd be willing to bet these guys had their jewelers wind and set their $10-80k watches for them, and told them to: "Keep wearing it every day so it doesn't stop ticking." lol

As for their cars, they probably can't drive stick to save their life.

As for their women? They probably look at them more as "an investment"; or "an important acquisition." rather than a wife.

As for the gigantic jewel-encrusted watches...they must be attempting to compensate for other things in their lives that they lack.

As for this guy: Meanwhile, Bill Hobbs, 33, a former financier-turned-actor and author of “The Work Book: How To Build Your Personal Brand,” is convinced that his $65,000 watch collection played a part in his wife, Stephanie Wu, agreeing to marry him two years ago.

I would sell his entire $65,000 collection and spend it on one watch, the model 6538 big crown. And guess what? I wouldn't put gold or jewels on it, I'd slap it on a nylon strap like where it belongs And then I'd take every woman these guys are after and look cooler doing it

Rolex Submariner model 6538 Big Crown on a nylon strap
James Bond watch in Goldfinger and Dr. No

Rolex Submariner (so-called Big Crown "James Bond") (Ref: 6538)
This Bond Submariner had a pre-sale estimate of $50,000-$75,000, but sold for over $92,000.

"The best way to show off your wealth and status is with your wrist watch."                                                             -- PYGOD

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