I’ve been wondering whether I should be concerned that I don’t own a luxury watch. I hear that certain people judge your status by two things: your watch and your shoes. Last night, I had two realizations about this.
First, when a bonus or income tax refund has given me the discretionary income to buy such a watch, I have inevitably chosen to spend the money on something more meaningful to me, like a week’s vacation for my entire family on North Captiva Island, for instance, or paying off my law school loans. For me to buy a luxury watch, I would need enough discretionary income for what I truly value in addition to the cost of the watch.
Second, when my friend Dee and I took the subway to Grand Central last Friday, I noticed that her watch might be a Rolex, but I couldn’t get close enough to be sure. Last night I realized that it didn’t matter. My good opinion of Dee’s intelligence, integrity and humor was firmly established, whether her watch was a Rolex or not. An expensive watch only tells me that the owner (or someone else) spent a lot of money on it. It doesn’t reflect on the wearer’s character.
This isn’t to say that I wouldn’t love to open a gift from Mr. Campbell to find a Cartier tank watch inside. If there is a uniform of success, I’m happy to wear it. For now, however, I’m better off investing my money in creating success rather than purchasing the symbols of success.
On a mildly related note, if I had a choice between a BMW to replace our Honda Accord or a Cartier tank watch, I would probably choose the BMW because it would be for both of us. On the other hand, I might choose another Accord so that the difference could go toward my watch. After all, no one sees your car at the conference table. What would you choose? Answer in my new survey!