The Confidence of a Serious Timepiece
I recently wrote a blog entitled How to Wear a Panerai for $1600. This blog was shared on a Canadian watch forum and it incited a lot of colorful feedback and comments. Adam was suggesting that my ‘need’ for a serious timepiece was related to my career and trying to succeed. Guys replied totally appalled by this notion. Well, Adam was right.
My infatuation (or illness) with timepieces has always been about prestige, image and the ability to own something expensive and, therefore, associated with success. I have never hidden this aspect of my addiction. I have this inner urge to aim for more and more high end timepieces and move up the ladder.
Contrary to popular belief, TimeCaptain is not my full-time job. I have spent the last 15 years working in the financial field. My career has seen considerable success. My work involves meeting and working with the most successful (and wealthy) people in my city. I spend my days working with bankers, lawyers, accountants, brokers, entrepreneurs, and celebrities. In many cases, my first meeting with someone will determine if I ever get to work with them again. So you can see how image plays a role. Image is everything in my world. It’s all about first impressions and inspiring confidence in other people. It’s also about inspiring confidence in yourself.
Would you head to a big meeting with a potential client without shaving or combing your hair? Would you go to meet the top tax lawyer in your town wearing a tattered suit and crappy tie? Would you be setting up for a presentation to a room full of bankers wearing scuffed up shoes with the soles coming off? No? You wouldn’t? Then why would you overlook your timepiece? Why would you not make sure that, in addition to grooming and a nice suit, you had on a proper timepiece?
Just as a tailored suit and a fresh hair cut give me confidence to go into a meeting, a good timepiece also gives me confidence. It has a subconscious effect. I realize that, much of time, the people I meet will never look at my Rolex. But wearing it gives me a little boost. And, of course, there are other times where the guys around the board table are staring at my Panerai just drooling. That’s good for the confidence. If you consider the business world a battlefield, then your timepiece is like a weapon. Going into a presentation wearing a Panerai feels like you’re not likely to be outgunned. Such confidence helps you perform better.
Is this insecurity? Yes! Of course it is! But why not stack the odds on your side? As a teenager, my idol was Michael Schumacher. He re-wrote the Formula 1 record books and completely changed the sport forever. Despite having phenomenal natural talent, he made sure he had every single aspect of racing covered — physical fitness, practice time at Maranello, exclusive rights to the T-car, contracts that favoured him to the detriment of his teammates, etc. I used to sit at the hairpin at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve during Sunday morning warm-up and watch as Schuey would do a lap in the race car and return for a lap in the T-car. He was setting up both cars perfectly in case of a re-start. Back and forth he went, sprinting all the way… right before the race. Meanwhile, the other drivers were chatting to journalists, chilling out, sitting in the garage. But Schuey was seemingly terrified of something going wrong and he would be covering every single angle.
I feel the same way about business. Despite having years of experience, solid credentials and some education, I am always worried about every little thing that could go wrong in any situation. Wearing a Rolex makes me feel good and it’s just one more tool in my arsenal that can help me perform. As well, when you work with the wealthy and ultra wealthy, you have to expect that they will have some nice timepieces. When you are meeting with a high roller and he’s admiring your Panerai and asking about it, you feel more at ease. You have broken down a barrier and found some common ground. This has happened to me more times than you would believe. I had an experience recently where my lunch guest was interested in my Longines Legend Diver. He was wearing a JLC Reverso. The ice was broken and we realized we both indulge in the same passion. How do you think our meeting went? Would the meeting have gone the same way if I had been wearing a quartz from a stand in the shopping mall? Many meetings do not go this way, but why take a chance? Why not invest some money in some good timepieces and make sure that every meeting COULD turn out this way.
It would be entirely correct to say that my rationale is insecure. For sure, 100%, I have some confidence issues. But I did not achieve my success by taking anything for granted. I always played it like Michael Schumacher — putting every possible variable in my favour. Good suit, good shoes, good preparation, good research…good timepiece. And if the only benefits of wearing an expensive timepiece are subconscious, then it is still worth every penny. Let’s not forget the sheer joy of wearing a great timepiece. Being in a great mood is never bad for winning a client!