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Why Watches Are So Expensive — But Why They Don’t Have to Be

Why Watches Are So Expensive — But Why They Don’t Have to Be

When you wear a watch, everyone wants to make some kind of statement (rich, edgy, gritty, cool, polished, professional, stylish, etc.), but why do watches have to be so expensive? Are wristwatches so pricey because of their complicated nature? We field this question about cost a lot, so we thought we’d take some time and break down this frequently asked question for you.

First, let’s get to know some of the most expensive watches in the world.

Luxury watches are inherently expensive because they’re meant to impress. Generally, the most expensive watches in the world, which are six- or sometimes seven-figure watches, fall into one of two categories: complicated engineering that’s squeezed into a teeny tiny case or expensive watches that cost so much because they’re made from precious metals, hand-cut diamond, or bits of meteorites. When watches are embellished like that, a man’s luxury timepiece begins to edge its way almost into the realm of jewelry. And, jewelry gets expensive... real quick.

For other watch lovers who are shelling out loads of money for a luxury wristwatch, they might be paying a pretty penny because the watch they want was worn by someone famous or it’s already lived a lifetime of its own. Even during coronavirus, the vintage watch market is alive and well. In fact, it’s booming. People at home during lockdown are spending upwards of $500,000 for a vintage timepiece.

So, what’s the difference between an “expensive” watch and an “overpriced” watch?

Technically, there’s a big difference between these two terms when it comes to luxury watches. “Expensive” means that something costs a lot, but the reasons are justified. “Overpriced,” on the other hand, means the cost is excessive. In some circumstances, a mechanical watch can cost more than a house, but the retail value of an expensive watch could be due to factors like: 

  • Costs of watch materials
  • Marketing costs
  • Development costs
  • Manufacturing costs
  • Distribution costs
  • Fair profit
  • Brand name

All of these factors can jack up the price significantly. But can’t craftsmanship, superior design, and detail all co-exist in one affordable watch?

Meet Ralph Christian Watches

We set out to demystify the sometimes-opaque world of men’s affordable luxury watches because we’re right there with you in the hustle of life. Other brands didn’t seem dialed into what really mattered to us. Their watches looked nice and professional and polished, but quite frankly, they lacked the grit and essence of style that we were looking for.

They were also just too damn expensive.

We couldn’t find the middle ground of sleek style and affordability, so we built what we wanted from the ground up.

Affordable Luxury Watches Without the Retail Mark-Up

We’re proud to be a men’s luxury watch retailer that keeps affordability top of mind. Here’s how we’re able to keep our costs lower for you.

  1. We sell direct. We are a direct-to-consumer brand which essentially means we’ve eliminated the middle man. Choosing to sell directly to our customers comes with some pretty significant cost savings. We decided to pass these savings onto you.

  2. We’ve eliminated certain overhead costs. We don’t have to pay for retailers to stock our watches nor do we have physical stores that require us to pay rent. We also knew from day one that we weren’t going to take on traditional forms of advertising, like celebrity endorsements, billboards, or print media ads, which can be quite pricey. We like to keep it social instead.

  3. We’re overly obsessive about design. This is why we only produce our
    watches in small batches, and we will always stay true to this ethos. Sure, we could save money on big production runs, but we would lose the ability to have hands-on control throughout the entire process. We won’t ever mass produce the Prague Skelton Automatic, the Milan, or the Avalon. Think of our watch production like driving a manual car instead of an automatic. We want to feel what’s happening and be able to shift gears however and whenever we want.

We don’t think watches are just for telling the time. They’re meant to enhance your own style, your own hustle, and your own commitment to being in control of your time. Curious? Read some of our reviews. Or, start shopping our affordable luxury men’s watches.

Either way, we’re glad you’re here. Welcome to the family.

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