Saturday, February 05, 2011


I bought my first Roles in Hong Kong in 1983. After she cussed me out, my wife wouldn’t speak to me for several days. Some years later, I bought another Rolex because there was not enough contrast between the hands and the face of the watch for me to read the time. Both watches have been sitting in a safe deposit box for several years since I found out that it would cost me $800 just to have the watches serviced by Rolex. Anyway, neither watch ever kept time as accurately as the Rolex ads claim they do.


The Straits Times
February 4, 2011

HONG KONG - A MEASURE of any Asian businessman is the time he keeps and, far more importantly, the watch he wears to mark it.

A handshake can be soft or firm but will likely soon be followed by a glance to the wrist to see the watch wrapped around it, especially in China.

A heavy slab of gold could be a marker that the person is from an inland city. A more expensive, understated watch could be a sign that they're from the coastal cities of Shanghai, Shenzhen or Beijing.

New money, in Chinese terms, versus old. Around 10 or 15 years ago, the coastal cities would also just go for gold; a chunky watch with a meaty gold strap, says watch enthusiast Harry Qin. 'In Asia, probably more than in Europe or North America, a watch is something that can hint at the status,' the Shanghai private equity investor, who has a US$250,000 (S$318,462) collection of 18 timepieces, told AFP.

'But many businessmen just wear a gold Rolex. Especially in less developed cities inland, a gold Rolex is still a very easy way to show other people that you've got money.'

The main driver behind the market is simple: Hundreds of thousands of Chinese people now have serious money to spend. -- AFP

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