Once your passion for watches takes over your common sense, you start telling yourself that no matter how expensive a watch is, that it is definitely worth it.
The stainless steel Rolex Daytona (ref. 116520) retails for $12,000 (in 2004 it was only $6,550!). The stainless steel Audemars Piguet Royal Oak (ref. 15400ST) retails for $17,800. The stainless steel Patek Philippe Nautilus (ref. 5711) retails for $26,700. What do they all have in common? They are all steel watches that retail for over $10,000. But they must have a fancy complication or something to justify their price right? The Daytona does have a chronograph... but the AP and Patek are basic three hand watches with a date. At $26,700, the Patek is more expensive than a standard Nissan Altima. It is literally the equivalent of wearing a car on the wrist. Please take a second to reread the last few sentences again.
Basic steel watches that are over $10,000 seem to be the norm now from most prestigious brands. "Nice" watches for less than $10K these days are becoming extremely difficult to find... almost everything that I drool over no matter how "basic" the watch is is usually over $10K. The concept of value or worth is definitely very subjective, but I think we can all agree that paying over $10K for a basic stainless steel watch is just insane. Specially if you are talking about a basic watch with no major complications or special material components (like in the case of the AP and Patek mentioned earlier). Just try explaining that to a non-watch person and I am certain that they will be shocked.
It does sound crazy, insane, and even ridiculous... but we all manage to convince ourselves that it is all worth it. That even though the prices are outrageous, that we must have them. Lets be honest here, we know we are paying a super premium just for the name and we do not mind. We know it is grossly overpriced, but we will find a way to purchase it. That is how blind WIS love truly is. But if brands keep increasing their retail prices as frequently as they do (usually once a year and sometimes even more than once), most desirable stainless steel watches will soon be over $20,000 and so forth... When is it too much? Simply too expensive? In the end, the fundamental problem remains, that no matter the price, we watch enthusiasts will find a way to justify our senseless splurges on these luxury items as long as our passion for horology continues to cloud our common sense. Watch brands, please stop with the exorbitant prices. Less digits on the retail prices please. More fair and reasonable retail prices. I promise to do my part and check myself in for watch rehab.
"A big LED TV for $1,000 is too expensive! A watch for $1,000 is a bargain!" If that sounds like you, you have already caught the bug. Seek psychiatric help ASAP.