The Banker's Guide to Watches

Slow bank holiday night, so I figured I would go into this. After having followed watch brand for some years and having had countless conversation with fellow consultants and banking friends about why you don't spend your first bonus on a fucking mixed steel-gold submariner, I figured a brief guide about watches may help.

DISCLAIMER: I know that a large majority of people won't care and neither will the large majority of co-workers, but some might and looking like a knob to those who cares is the worst way to start a career. I also want to state that these watches are my personal preference - this is in no way an objective review so please avoid the Monkey Shit for having left out your favourite Tissot model.

Whilst some of you may have read the GSElevator guide to watches on Wall Street, I think it does a poor job and offers the same insight into watches as someone who went on the Richemont Group's website for the first time and memorised some names. Regardless, here goes:


You're tucked away at the back of the office and the only people you see are your fellow interns and the raging face of associates and VPs as they shit down your neck for having put an extra comma on slide 37 of 80. Your salary isn't bad, but you can't exactly go eating lobster and caviar whenever you please. You've spent the last 12 hours building a model and aligning logos on a deck you'll never see again and are counting the minutes until the clock strikes 2am and you can finally go home for those well deserved 3-4 hours of nightmare-fuelled sleep. You need something that clearly shows the fading seconds.

Top Recommendations

Oris Divers Sixty-Five (~$2000): neat, simple, small and under the radar whilst maintaining good visibility and a clean dial.

You can buy it on

Tudor Black Bay 36mm (~$2700): does it slightly look like Rolex's explorer? yes. Is it better? yes. As above, it's slim and near without attracting too much attention but still has the quality and durability of a watch crafted by the Rolex group.

You can buy it here from Crown and Caliber.

Baume et Mercier Classima (~$1000): subtle and elegant. Unknown to most and still a phenomenal timepiece

You can buy it here at the company webiste.


You got the offer, accepted it and now can do endure the daily barraging on a full time basis. Yet, it feels different to know someone out there looked past the hungover mornings during the internship, the awkward attempted hookups with the smoke show intern and the constant fuck ups to give you an offer. You feel proud, confused and scared at the same time. You've already endured 3 months of this so you have an idea of how things work, plus you'll get to go Sean Penn on some interns in a few months. Still, you're mostly at your desk but can carry yourself with a bit more confidence than you did during the summer. Go on. Treat yourself.

Top Recommendations

Rolex Datejust Stainless Steel (~$7800): finally, you can get a Rolex. To those asking 'when the fuck can I buy a submariner?' the answer is whenever - just never wear it to the office. This is a personal taste, but with the plethora of models Rolex offers, the best suit watch has to be the datejust. Simple and elegant, yet a bit more noticeable without the big 'fuck you' bezel of the submariner.

You can buy it here on Amazon.

Zenith Elite Chrono (~$7300): you're not coach Carter running suicides at Richmond High so the chrono will not be of practical use, yet it fits perfectly with the design of the watch particularly the black dial with the black leather strap.

You can buy it here on PrestigeTime.

Omega De Ville (~$3300): similar to the Zenith mentioned above, the simple dial and design allows it to blend in with formal suits perfectly. Some may prefer better known Omegas (speedmaster, seamaster etc) but again, I wouldn't wear them with a suit.

You can buy the watch here on Jomashop.


You officially have errand boys! Slowly rising up the ranks, grinding away hard as always and now allowed to look at clients in the face, this is your time to shine. Salary gets bigger, bonus gets bigger, office hours shrink (slightly) and more people start to notice you. Why? You have responsibility. You're teaching the apes below you simple tasks and if they fuck up, as much as you can shit on them later, you'll be shit on first. Make sure you can fit the big boy pants with a big boy watch. A word of caution here. Since you'll have pretty good money at this stage, it's easy to fall into temptation and go full Lil Wayne with a shit flashy watch. Do the research, ask friends. At this budget, there are plenty of watches you can buy.

Top Recommendations:

Blancpain Villeret (~$14000): this is a family of Blancpain models and variants exist discontinued on the 2nd hand market or brand new. Either way, this watch shows fellow watch enthusiasts you certainly have taste and if you don't care what others think, enjoy the fact you're wearing a phenomenal watch from one of the oldest brands in the world

You can buy this watch here on Jomashop and learn more about the brand on the company website.

Breguet Classic (~$13000): again, a family of models and again a simple yet elegant piece. For classic watches around this budget, Breguet and Blancpain go head to head so either way, you're making a good decision.

You can purchase this watch on Jomashop.

Rolex Cellini Date in White Gold (~$17500): a lot of people have mixed feelings about Cellini's and yet they remain a classic. It may be strange to consider having a gold watch but the case is slim and the white gold is subtle, not flashy.

You can buy this watch here on World's Best.

Vice President

You're making real money, you're managing teams. Time to get a man's watch. It is at this point in the rankings that the GS Elevator article mentions the rule that you can wear a Daytona only from VP level up. Is this true? No clue. Either way, if it is then go out and get a steel one to join the thousands of others who have no idea what to do with $15000. Great watch by all accounts, just simple. You can do better.

Top Recommendations:

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony (~$25000): This is a big purchase. Again, this is a family of models and the lower end models cost around this much. You're wearing one of the brands that brought Swiss watchmaking to life on an international level. It's time to start looking at the big brands, but the non-traditional models.

You can buy this watch on the company website.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Universal Time Stainless Steel (~$14000): similar price to associate watches, but the importance is elevated. The new geophysic movement add additional accuracy to the watch and having the global timezones helps coordinate with colleagues at the office or when abroad.

You can purchase this watch on the company website.

Piaget Altipiano White Gold (~$20000): the simple time-only version is by far the most elegant. Great piece.

You can buy the watch on the company website.


You're almost at the top, you're regularly meeting clients and you have more people to shit on/look after. By this point a lot of colleagues you had a few years ago have go off to do other things but you are resilient. You know this is for you and you're so close to becoming a rain maker, you want to start feeling like one.

Top Recommendations:

Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Extra Thin White Gold (~$31500): not the first model that comes to mind when you think AP, but it does have a certain class and elegance to it. Small, subtle yet imposing.

You can buy this watch on Tourneau.

Patek Philippe Calatrava 5119G (~$22500): your first Patek. This is a special moment; not everyone deserves a Patek. Start with something small as an introduction to the family.

You can buy the watch on the Lunns webiste.

A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia (~$21500): many may not know this brand but for those who do, this is it. Although this may not be the top model, you're on a steady path there.

You can learn more about this watch on the company website.

Managing Director

Yo've done it. You're at the top after years of hard work and dedication. You're officially a rainmaker, bringing in so much money that the bank has started working for you as a platform for you to conduct business. You're making so much money you've stopped giving a shit. So fuck it, go nuts.

Top Recommendations:

A. Lange & Söhne Langematik Perpetual (~$103500): a beast of of watch, yet classy. Top shelf by Lange.

You can buy this watch on Chrono24.

Patek Philippe Grand Complication 5159G (~$91000): one of the best pieces by Patek. Sure, you can also get a Nautilus but it has become a (relatively) common piece like the Daytona and Submariner. Go for something special.

You can purchase this watch on Chrono24.

Vacheron Constantin Métiers d'Art The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac (~$125000): the movement, the craftsmanship and the attention to detail make this an amazing piece. Good luck finding one, particularly with your birth year.

You can learn more about the watch on the company website.


By this point, you really don't care. Buy a watch or not. It won't make a difference; you're the boss.


  • Seiko Cocktail Time. The red ones are incredible. 
  • Tissot PRX (the smaller one, as they wear pretty big).
  • Casio A168.

Analyst / Associate:

  • Omega Aqua Terra 38mm.
  • Cartier Tank / Santos.
  • Rolex Submariner (these look incredible on female wrists).
  • Oris Big Crown Pointer Date – there's a lot of vintage 34mm options, they are quite nice.
  • Tudor Black Bay 54.


  • Rolex Daytona (stainless steel). I wouldn't spend money on this one, just wait until your SO / husband gets one and just take it from him.


  • Your only real option here is a "plain" yellow gold Rolex Day Date with a champagne dial (a Tony Soprano watch basically) – cannot do better than this...
  • ...Or just stick to the Tank / Santos you bought as an An / Asso – they are timeless and elegant.
  • Maybe a Rainbow Daytona if you manage to get your hands on one?
If you come to battle, bring a shotgun.

How about we stop preaching Interns and Analysts that it's the right thing to spend their hard-earned money on materialistic shit? What's wrong with a Xiaomi Mi Band 3 that has a ticket price of $30 that does much more than the most expensive watch can do.

This kind of finance bro culture is eroding, and it drove away many bright people who -like clients for that matter- couldn't give a shit less about what kind of watch you're wearing. These guys went to tech and are now banking more than most people here, in their $50 outfits.

Absolutely do think twice before getting an SKX. Unlike the new "dressKX" watches (the Seiko 5 Sports collection), the 7s26 movement does not feature handwinding (which you might need if you sit a lot), but most importantly, it does not hack, i. e. when you set the watch, the second hand won't stop. Considering that an SKX will run like anywhere between +/- 30 seconds a day, if you have any perfectionism inside, you'll want to kill yourself, trust me.

Have a look at the aforementioned 5 Sports collection, they offer a ton of different options for not a ton of money. Maybe not as iconic as an SKX, but much much much more modern. The bracelet (not mesh, the usual one) is on the cheap side, as is with Seikos, but looks quite decent IRL, actually. Plus Uncle Straps have some very decent alternative options.

Re: Nato straps. I personally would not wear a Nato to the office, unless (1) it's a dress-down type of an environment, and (2) it's a "luxury" piece (think Explorer II or Speedy – anything extremely refined regardless of the strap / bracelet you put it on). Otherwise even the very best Nato strap might cheapen the look of the watch a lot.

If you come to battle, bring a shotgun.


Four watches that I really like and would add to around analyst level watches are the following:

  • Omega Speadmaster (Moonwatch): simple, lean, beautiful, brilliant 'story' of the watch

  • JLC Reverso: again very simple, cool story (invented for polo players who used to break the glass of the watch while playing), very very classic watch (I know some people hate it - I love it)

  • Glashütte Senator Excellence: simple and elegant watch

  • IWC Portuguese Chronograph: again a nice elegant watch

I have an Apple watch. It helps me not miss phone calls.

Maybe one day I'll pick up an Omega or Rolex just for shits, but right now not missing phone calls is more functionality than any other watch can give me for a fraction of the price.

Interns buying $2000 watches is stupid as fuck.

Commercial Real Estate Developer

Upper-middle European Class here, that is completely right but I think nowadays almost no-one gives a shit about the analyst watch, and normally if they give is for a bad reason (no low-key). I think the best is to get a low-key watch. What about Tag Heuer Aquaracer?

Btw for the interns going to the interviews with their fathers watch: Don't do it

I have an Apple watch. It helps me not miss phone calls.

Maybe one day I'll pick up an Omega or Rolex just for shits, but right now not missing phone calls is more functionality than any other watch can give me for a fraction of the price.

Interns buying $2000 watches is stupid as fuck.


First off, love the approach to this guide. Though it's over the top in true WSO fashion, I think it's correct in that a man's watch should match his station. Nobody likes seeing an intern with a Rolex.

The first real watch I bought was an Edox Les Vauberts Day/Date Automatic.

Retails for 1.5k, but I got it for $300 by carefully monitoring fluctuations in price for about a year and snagging it when several sales were on at once. Fantastic purchase, gets lots of compliments and is a quality-crafted timepiece.

While it is not a brand that a watch connoisseur would immediately recognize, I think the brand's value will only increase in coming years. The company has actually been around since the 1800s, and was purchased/revived in the late 20th century.


What about a patek nautilus or Audemar Piguet Royal Oak? Both seem like pretty good higher end options

You're not really a born and bred, traditional aristocrat if you work hard enough to get into Harvard.- Prospie
G-I the pharma guy:
Both incredible watches but I think both have been 1. overplayed (like the daytona) and 2. don't necessarily belong with a suit. Any serious collector willing to spend a lot of money on watches should have both in his/her collection, but perhaps for less formal occasions.

These are two of the most versatile watches in the market. If you can get your hands on them they go with whatever you want

The guide seems to definitely be on the dressier side and tries to mention less beat-to-death options, hence no classic integrated-bracelet sports watches.

I'd also throw in a VC Overseas for a good measure.

If you come to battle, bring a shotgun.

Should an intern wear one of the Holy Trinity brands (Patek, Vacheron Constantin, AP) because he already owns (bought using earned money in college) or just goes with some plain stuff for safety? I'm always curious as to how associates and VP would see the intern

Cash and cash equivalents: $138,311 Financial instruments and other inventory positions owned: $448,166

Unfortunately for you, whether true or not, an intern that walks in with a Patek on his wrist, Ferragamo shoes, and a Tom Ford briefcase is going to get branded as a spoiled kid with rich parents who doesn't need the job and is more likely than not to be relatively lazy. You can do great work and overcome the stereotype, but you'll be starting behind your peers in terms of perception.

Bankers LOVE the middle class or poor Midwestern kid story because they think those kids will be resilient grinders and that their story will play well in front of clients. So even if you're self made, you should make sure to dress closer to what an analyst could normally afford than not.

for interns:

been looking for a minimalist low-profile watch (white face, silver trimmings, brown leather band) in the 200-300 price range

settled on Daniel Wellington

just a monkey trying to find his way in the finance jungle……

I would recommend one of these two watches, as I've heard less-than-positive things about those Kickstarter fashion micro-brands like Daniel Wellington, MVMT, Fifth, etc (The main gripe is that they're generally overpriced quartz watches made in China with quality equal-to or less-than Citizen and Seiko watches)

You can buy a brown leather strap for like $15-20 on Amazon too.

I honestly wear Invictas, and Bulovas until I hit a certain level in income/investments.

I contemplated HARD on buying a "plane jane" rolex with no date for $5500 at the Wynn...I just couldnt do it. Then at the other store they tried to sell me a Tudor for $2500 with diamonds, but i figured no one even knew what a Tudor was, so I left with all my money in my pocket.

I will stick with the $200-$1000 range for now.

Why would you spend that much on a watch? The only thing it does is tell time. And in this case is just to show off your status.

I say buy an apple watch which as ten times the functionality of any of these for a fraction of the price.

Same thing could be said about anything. Why fly business class instead of economy on planes? All they do is get you from A to B. And why spend $500 on a suit? All it does is cover you and does the same job as a $100 suit.

Watch enthusiasts don't look at watches as a tool to tell the time. That's perhaps 10% of what they seek. You look for brands with a history, the look, the quality, durability (most solid watches last 20-30 years if taken care of) and the handcrafted work. This last one doesn't apply to some of the mass market brands like rolex and omega but applies to others like A. Lange & Sohne, Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin. Plenty of other brands which sell lower price watches are also like this.

I'd say that watch value should match income.

Less Than $150,000

Spend ~ $3000-$4000 or less on a watch. Stick to Tudor, Omega, Nomos, Seiko, maybe a Rolex. Some of the brands mentioned will have to be vintage or used, but still, if you're going to spend money, do so on legitimate companies and watches. Wearing any of those watches will respectfully say that you know what you're doing, but you're not over the top.

Less Than $70,000. At this point, I would keep it simple. Probably stick to cheaper watches like lower end Seikos (which are still amazing btw).

Lastly, don't spend money on a watch just because you can. Anybody who knows about watches that ends up talking to you about your wrist watch will tell right away if you're a noob who bought it for the sake of attention. Buy what you can actually talk about.

I feel like more and more people are moving towards a smartwatch.. So much cheaper and the fact you have access to your whole schedule is a huge plus.

Where is the Rolex Daytona? It's sitting on the wrist of half the women in Miami. It's a played out, oversaturated model that has no practicality in the banking world unless you're timing interns getting coffee or how long it takes your MD to email back "thx".

I wear a smartwatch with a rotation of faces that I designed and programmed myself. Then again, I'm just a BO monkey s it's not like anyone is judging my wristwear.

Also, OP, it's A. Lange & Söhne, mit umlaut; Mr. Lange had multiple sons. I may not be able to afford one of those, but I can pronounce it!

For those on a budget, here are a few sub-$1k automatic watches that most business people would respect off the top of my head:

Tissot Visodate

Seiko Cocktail Time

Hamilton Jazzmaster

Glycine pops up a lot on Massdrop as well around the same price point.

I think these all run around $3-500. If you're really on a budget but want a decent automatic, go with seiko.

And for CEO of Goldman

Go with the Timex Iron-man't matter where you get it

Love this thread, but not realistic at all.

My unqualified, but more realistic advice is:

Intern: Casio, Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Timex, (nothing really more than 300). You could also go for a clean smartwatch, just make sure it's not actually delivering any notifications because you almost certainly don't have any important notifications (meme tagging aside). Don't buy a fuckin Dan Wellington, every watch in this price range costs $2 to produce, don't buy the one that has the least brand value behind it.

Analyst: Tissot/Seiko/Perhaps move up to something with an ETA movement in it - but definitely not much point blowing more than like 1.5K

Late stage Analyst/Associate something like an entry level IWC/Rolex/Breitling/Nomos/Glasshutte. Would tend to still go for Pilot watches, metal wrist straps and Rollys attract a bit of attention and sometimes you can rub a simple minded client the wrong way if they think you're trying to flex on them.

Agreed with this post.

Wearing something beyond your means / before you've had a few bonuses and proven yourself just puts a target on your back for others to make assumptions about you, like "entitled rich kid" or "poser". Very little upside to wearing an expensive watch too early ("oh, nice watch") vs significant downside, particularly if you're still learning the ropes ("why the hell is this kid wearing a $5k watch when he's still fucking up on my pitches").

Interns/jr Analysts frankly shouldn't go past $1k. Frankly, they can probably look at $400-700 range. For those I would suggest Seiko (Japan-versions, not like Seiko 5's, but check out seiyajapan which has things like the skx007 (good entry level diver which is

Don't buy a fuckin Dan Wellington, every watch in this price range costs $2 to produce, don't buy the one that has the least brand value behind it.

Yes! Preach!

I'm into, uh, well, murders and executions, mostly.

Assuming you are a killer MD with an after tax bonus of around 300K, you are an idiot for buying once of those watches. To be frank, watches are pretty stupid in a practical sense, are not comfortable, and only matter when you are with prestige oriented annoying people who stare it for more than 30 seconds to figure out the brand because they can't tell the difference between a 3K and 15K watch. Buy a Nice Omega or Rollie and take the extra 95K to retire a year earlier where you can try and retain some of the years you lost sucking down cocktails with clients after consecutive nights of 3 hours of sleep with no exercise.

As an intern there's little to no chance I'm shelling out over $1k on a watch (at least not until the end of the summer). I really do love watches but as a 21 y/o I think most of us are not quite "watch enthusiasts" yet (or have the financial means to be one).

A couple awesome intern level watches (I think sub-$1k):

  • Caravelle
  • Tissot (someone mentioned this, check Jomashop)
  • Citizen
  • Vincero
  • Shinola
  • Larsson & Jennings
  • Filippo Loretti
  • Godfrey (similar to DW)
  • Vodrich
  • Baogela
  • Corniche

Agree w/ the DW poster above, those watches are subpar for what you pay for (which is why I bought a Godfrey for less than $100 that looks the EXACT same).

Sorry for not listing all the links, I just didn't have any specific models in mind! You're bound to find a more inexpensive, classy looking watch from some of those brands above if you're not in the $1k+ price club as an intern!

Good job on perpetuating the disturbing rhetoric that investment banking is still a man's world. It is frankly ridiculous that you would spend the time and effort to compile this list and not include at least one option per level for the opposite sex in the industry.

I found the price ranges for each IB level ridiculous more than anything (everyone's buying range should be moved down 1-2 spaces, I have yet to see an MD walk around with a $100k watch).

But not having women options listed is not something I would find offensive (speaking as a woman). First off, watch selection for women is pretty dank vs. what's available for men. It's a lot of adding jewels to the bezel and/or dial, which I personally find a bit tacky. Interestingly, a lot of women that like watches (and know watches) actually go for men's models like Rolex subs. Or take fairly masculine looking watches - like Panerai's - and switch out the band for something more colorful (I've seen it with say red leather bands and it looks quite nice). Otherwise, if we're talking more elegant options, it's just usually the smaller version of classics (like smaller sized JLC Reverso's or smaller Cartier Tank's). But buying a women's watch outside of those classics kinda sucks cause the grey market isn't nearly as liquid as the men's market, and the designs, as I mentioned, are a bit tacky / less clean vs the men's models. Or the watch industry assumes women prefer quartz (for convenience/ not needing to reset the watch), which is not necessarily untrue (I'm sure a lot of women don't care about movement and prefer not having to reset the time or whatever), but it's a huge generalization. And I certainly wouldn't pay good money for a quartz model.

In short, it's difficult to suggest women's watches - unless you know the audience (not care about movement? Like flashy bling? Prefer elegance? Prefer good movements and maintain value? Etc)