How much will an expensive watch really cost you in the future?


I walked in the other day, and my colleagues were shooting the breeze. They were both staring at the computer and were online looking at watches. Seemed harmless enough. So I sat down and asked them how much the watch cost?

They said $7,000! I almost spit out my coffee. $7K! Seven grand! That’s an expensive watch. That’s how much my 2011 Nissan Altima is worth.

“That much for a watch?” I asked. Their answer was “well you only live once and if you like something you might as well buy it.”

Crazy, but when I did a quick Google search, I see that $7,000 is cheap for a high-end watch. The most expensive watch I could find costs $55 million. If you are frugal, then you can get a watch for $20,000 to $60,000. Seems like a good deal right?

It got me thinking, how much actual time could a $7,000 watch buy you? How much would that $7,000 free future you from work?

Telling time versus your time?

If I took that money and put it into an investment that paid 5% for ten years, it would increase to $11,541. So I could gain a 60% return on my investment in 10 years. That extra $4,541 would buy me a month of retirement at age 47 if I am living off of $60,000 a year.

Over 20 years that $7,000 becomes $19,027. The gains could buy me 2.4 months of retirement at age 57.

This one purchase, this watch, would take away 1 to 2.4 months from my retirement. Considering the average lifespan is 80 years, that leaves me with 516 months of life left. This watch purchase would take 1 to 2.5 of those months away from me. It would cost me 0.2 to 0.46% of my remaining days.

That is crazy! One purchase can take that much time away from future me! It may not seem like much, but it is.

I would rather have that month or two of my life available in case I burn out from work. Owning my time. Not working.

Walking. Enjoying my son and wife. Eating good food. Being outside. All these things that my day job cuts into. All of the things that don’t require a set time. An appointment.

So no thank you. I do not want an expensive watch or car. In fact, I do not want an expensive house and am going to have to figure out my downsize strategy in the next few years.

Actually, now that I think about it, both my colleagues and I are buying time. Theirs is more tangible, mine is more substantial.

So what is your $7,000 watch? Would you purchase one? Do you have an expensive hobby?  How much time is it actually costing you in the future?

“Dads Dollars Debts” is a cardiologist who blogs at his self-titled site, Dads Dollars Debts.

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