Before I get to the point, let me clarify something: I understand what Rolex is. And, naturally, I have a tremendous respect for the brand, for their iconic style and the quality of watches. It is undoubtedly the most recognized watch brand in the world with, perhaps, most recognizable model - Submariner. I read countless reviews from people who claim that they've been wearing their Rolex watches for 10-15 years without servicing them. Not that this is a good idea, but it is a testament and it is in line with Rolex's reputation. Rolex makes amazing watches and does not compromise on quality. I get that. They are a rather conservative brand and their design does not change much over decades. And even that is fine. Their watches hold excellent re-sale value, which is great. I went to a jewelry store and they were selling a 1993 Rolex for the price of a new Omega. No, that was not a limited edition, just a bit of gold on it, but fundamentally because it was Rolex. I get that.
But I have to say that I'm sick of Rolex. I'm sick of hearing the word "Rolex" and a question "is this a Rolex?" from anyone who has no idea about watches and this is their just default guessing setting. I'm sick of seeing this bloody Submariner on every wrist. I'm sick of seeing Invicta that looks like a Submariner. It comes to a point that when I notice a watch on someone's wrist and look at it trying to understand what brand/model that is (which I always do, can't help it), I anticipate to see a Submariner. Or a Datejust. A Rolex of some kind. I'm sick of seeing the default advice on this site being a Rolex. I hate the fact that I recognize a Rolex by its bracelets form a mile away. To me Rolex screams: "I have money, but not originality". Yes, I realize I that unfarily sweep owners with genuine affection to their Rolexes into the category. I just don't care.
I have an impression that we have become so brainwashed with or by Rolex that it has become a default for so many buyers with a bit of money. They probably don't even question their own choice. "I need a nice Swiss watch, what should I buy? - Rolex! Ta-da!". I do not even believe that most buyers genuinely like Rolex, they just go for it. Just because their friends have it. Just because of the publicity and how Rolex has become a household name. Just because..."what else?" and finding excuses to justifying not looking for anything other than Rolex. The watch world is bigger than Rolex.
A fellow WUS forum member posted a thread with a dilemma between Omega and Blancpain. I thanked him for not considering Rolex. Can we please start thinking outside the Rolex box? There are hundreds of watch brands, at least 10 reputable Swiss brands with interesting histories, innovations, design and which are all within Rolex price range. No, they might not have their value hold up as well, but neither does BMW. Besides, don't pretend to be all practical all of a sudden when you buy $10,000 watch. Meticulous practicality isn't why you buy a Swiss watch.
I'm thinking to start a pledge: "I will only buy Rolex, if I genuinely like it. I will not buy Rolex because it is "a must have in any watch collection", nor because "it is Rolex". And I will consult with my shrink to help me differentiate between a genuine affection and brainwashing".
Please take into consideration my first paragraph, if you comment.
P.S. Anthony Bourdain's death made me sad today. Somewhat prompted me to blow off some steam this way.