Luxury vs Affordable: Is It Worth It? + Marc's Rolex Submariner Story & Best Value In Luxury Watches

Today I’m joined once again by the man, the myth, the legend—Marc from Long Island Watch—for another laidback #watchtalk episode.

We discuss luxury vs affordable watches including: Is paying more worth it? How does this dynamic compare to other luxury goods? What defines a luxury watch? And what is the most crucial element that determines the luxury status of a product? Is it price, craftsmanship, quality, exclusivity or all of the above?

Marc also shares his experience with buying a Rolex Submariner, and why he’s so dissatisfied with it compared to other watches that don’t cost nearly as much. We also discuss our top picks for the best value in entry-level luxury watches for well-versed collectors and first-time buyers, and which brands offer the best bang for your buck. And because we’re discussing luxury timepieces, look out for a special appearance from the preeminent lover of luster and opulence—the one and only Sir Hugo Mountbatten.

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  1. Luxury watch: A watch brand that a luxury watch dealer or reseller will buy.

    Affordable watch: A watch brand that a luxury watch dealer or reseller will not buy.

  2. I love watching you and Marc together; 2 different worlds with the common love of horology. Great fun and information! (also love the lack of pretense) I find that my Oris Aquis (39.5) is the one watch I can't stop wearing. I usually have a dozen or so watches but keep going back to the Aquis. Mine is the black on black all gloss model so it works for dressing up or surfing! I think Oris has found the perfect balance of quality for price with these newer model divers and I can't imagine finding a better watch for the money!

  3. I don't have a specific brand in mind but to me a luxury watch represents something both aspirational and tangible that can be enjoyed occasionally for the way it makes you feel and the more rarefied thoughts and feelings it evokes. A bit transcendental and personally touching at the same time, that takes some work to realize. It may cost more because of that. From there, the space opens up to a lot of different brands, which I'm discovering with the help of this channel. Bravo to you both and thank you. On the other hand (if you will) an "affordable" watch is something reliable and satisfying that you can wear without thinking about it – at work, at home or wherever – but that you'd also never want to go without. The steady and sure companion, the comforting reliable timepiece, whatever that is to you. Your "go to" watch that you turn around and go back into the house to grab because you forgot it. There are probably some watches that can fill both roles! Very rare.

  4. TGV I'm sure my comment will get lost amongst the hundreds. I would like to hear your style information for color dials and how they mix. Green or brown in particular.

  5. I have been so critical of you guys but you give me a couple of things and insights that I never seen before you made my mind blow up thank you and I apologize for not being a better consumer of your information. That my two friends is a compliment. Take that compliment and I warn you my auto correct is terrible if suddenly I propose marriage to you guys I want you to know that was not supposed to happen that’s a little payback for good contact thank you again please be as honest as you can I know there’s some financial constraints that work here

  6. With all due respect to both of you gentlemen, but I don’t agree on the “luxury watch” definition. I think that Mark especially mixes up the meaning of luxury with expensive. A luxury item is something that is not attainable for the vast majority of people (that’s 1) and it has to be done in a stylish, well regarded way. Using your example, if Justin Bieber buys a 50k watch it probably is a luxury watch. Is it expensive for him? No. Is it expensive and unattainable for the vast majority of people? Yes.
    Good show btw, as always really fun to listen to two fellow watch enthusiasts. Take care!

  7. Well originally Opera was for everyone but with rising costs of production wages and damn devas and competition from today’s over abundance of entertainment without the patronage of the wealthy it simply wouldn’t exist anymore.
    Cost is an indicator of quality, with mechanical watches anyway. I agree that it may not be a measure of enjoyment on its own but where it indicates the expertise involved in assembly it should be.
    What I don’t get is the obsession with buying a watch not to purpose. Why would someone who is not in anyway a waterman own a watch engineered for it except to buy into an image. Now because of these posers ppl who would actually use say a sub as its function intends can’t afford one.

  8. I'm the opposite. I've sold my good watches and received good prices – Rolex, Omega, Longines, Baume, and my beloved Zenith. Just bought a Seiko and I love it. I've gone up in watches and then came down again. Latest watch is SNZH57J1 Seiko and I'm loving cheap watches again. Strange eh? Great video.

  9. To me, luxury is equivalent to pay for things I do not need (in the strictest sense), so a Seiko 5 is luxury. I started more "at the top" than the bottom and do own quite a few substantially more pricy pieces for the sake of disclosure (some cost as much as compact cars, but depreciate a lot less — I might add that live in a particularly safe environment for this hobby, far from the US and its antics). I'm now finding myself on a discovery trip downwards, and I enjoy every bit of it. Nobody needs more than the Daiso $5 military pick (fantastic watch for the money, the strap is probably worth more to many), but the joy and refinement pricier pieces bring… Guys, get a Seiko 5, it's a raffle in the accuracy department, but oh my, are they well made. Pity prices are going up as of recently…

  10. To me, watches are like food. I get extreme pleasure from a $2 mortadella panino and a $40 plate of fettuccini with white truffles. I love my Swiss watches and I love my Casio watches. Life is beautiful, there’s no need for bs.

  11. Great episode gents, always fun to watch (no pun intended). I thought about your comment regarding moving from a luxury watch down to an affordable watch purchase and have to say that whilst my initial foray into Swiss was with Hamilton, my “big luxury” purchase was an Omega Seamaster PO 2500 and love it, but baby the hell out of it for fear of damaging it. I pondered this and purchased another Citizen eco-drive and absolutely love it. I wear it without fear of damaging it, dont wonder about servicing costs and dont have to consider whether to keep the auto running all the time for oil circulation or let it sit in a watch box when not in use. So I consider the fun factor of a watch to be my “luxury”. Cheers

  12. Good points about "under-the-radar" watches. That's a big reason why I like Ch. Ward or the Accutron Legacy line or Seiko Recraft line. I've been looking at Epos as well.

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