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Survival of The Chic: Using the Timeless Currency of Luxury Watches Abroad, via [revo-online]

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The Watch As Currency

Paper, plastic or Patek? Luxury watches may very well be the
most stable currency in the world By Lyn Yip   Do you remember the
first time you heard the name Rolex? Neither do I. Rolex has become
such a household name that its incorporation into our vocabulary is
almost as vague as our memory of learning our mother tongue. We
remember the occasion of our first profanities with much more dramatic
recall. (But of course, it’s considerably safe to assume no one ever
threatened to wash anyone’s mouth out with Monkey Brand soap for
uttering “Rolex Submariner”.)     Not only has Rolex mysteriously
seeped into our consciousness/subconscious, it is also pinned beside
its bosom buddies Giant Wad of Cash, Gold Bars, and Limitless Credit
Cards. The thing is, Rolex exists in the top drawer of our minds along
with all the other things we associate with high economic value, like
Ferraris, Porsches and beachfront property. And here’s the interesting
thing: while Rolex does produce top-drawer luxury timepieces affordable
only to a minor percentage of the world’s population, in reality, the
pieces usually cost less than a luxury sports car or beach house. The
Rolex brand never fails to ring with an echoing “ka-ching” of perceived
cash value, often in proportions that far exceed its actual market
price. How’s that for some kick-ass branding?   It doesn’t end at cash
value either — apparently, if you find yourself lost and hungry in the
Kalahari Desert, your Rolex could be the only thing that could score
you a nice long drink from a Bushman’s ostrich eggshell (the Bushmen
are widely known to be hunters and gatherers, so the value of cash and
gold is pretty much lost on them). This connection between Rolex and
the Bushmen probably came about because of a South African conservation
scientist named Louis…


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