When I was seven my father gave me a Timex, my first watch. I loved it, wore it for years, and haven’t had another one since it stopped ticking a decade ago. Why? Bcause I don’t need one. I have a mobile phone and I’m always near someone with an iPod or something like that. Al these devices（装置）tell the time—which is why, if you look around, you’ll see lots of empty wrists; sales of watches to young adults have been going down since 2007.
Bt while the wise have realized that they don’t need them, others—apparently including some distinguished men of our time—are spending total fortunes on them. Bands such as Rolex, Patek Philippe and Beitling command shocking prices, up to £250.000 for a piece.
This is ridiculous. Epensive cars go faster than cheap cars. Epensive clothes hang better than cheap clothes. Bt these days all watches tell the time as well as all other watches. Epensive watches come with extra functions—but who needs them? How often do you dive to 300 metres into the sea or need to find your direction in the area around the South Pole? So why pay that much of five years’ school fees for watches that allow you to do these things?
If justice were done, the Swiss watch industry should have closed down when the Japanese discovered how to make accurate watches for a five-pound note. Instead the Swiss reinvented the watch, with the aid of millions of pounds’ worth of advertising, as a message about the man wearing it. Rolexes are for those who spend their weekends climbing icy mountains; a Patek Philippe is for one from a rich or noble family; a Beitling suggests you like to pilot planes across the world.
Watches are now classified as “investments”（投资）. A1994 Philippe recently sold for nearly? £350, 000, while 1960s Rolexes have gone from? 15, 000 to? 30, 000 plus in a year. Bt a watch is not an investment. It’s a toy for self-satisfaction, a matter of fashion. Prices may keep going up-—they’ve been rising for 15 years. Bt when of fashion. Prices may keep going up—they’ve been rising for 15 years. Bt when fashion moves on, the owner of that? £350, 000 beauty will suddenly find his pride and joy is no more a good investment than my childhood Times.