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Rolex Lovers vs. Rolex Haters

It’s a black and white world out there folks. Or… at least, people would have you think so. You hear it all the time. “There are two kinds of people in this world. Those that [blank], and those that [anti-blank].”
It doesn’t matter what the “blank” is. The “two kinds of people” thing gets used in every imaginable situation. My personal favorite is “There are two kinds of drivers at Indianapolis. Those who have hit the wall, and those who are going to hit the wall.”
But this is a blog about watches, so let’s talk about them. And in particular, Rolex, the brand. Yes, Rolex definitely has its share of lovers and haters – especially among those who don’t understand the brand, its roots, its history, and what it stands for.
Say “Rolex” in some circles, and all people can think of is “overpriced luxury thingie that no one needs.”
Or they think of gangsters and rappers who lug around so much gold it’s a wonder they don't have their chiropractors on speed dial. The Rolexes on the wrists of such folk have more diamonds and gems encrusted on them than Smaug’s belly.
And they reject those images and become Rolex haters. The brand stands for nothing but overindulgence and ostentatiousness in their eyes. A physical manifestation of an overblown ego. Something to be actively disrespected at every turn.
But others like the simple elegance that is Rolex’s stock in trade. They appreciate things of beauty, well made and lasting.
Still others know of Rolex’s 1000+ patents achieved during their 110 year history. They know of the watches Hans Wilsdorf sold to Allied POWs in German prison camps on credit during WW II. They know of the famous toughness of the watches, demonstrated time and again on mountaintops, in ocean depths, in tight scrapes where seconds can mean life or death, and in every other situation an adventurer can dream up.
Such folk appreciate objects of indescribable quality in manufacturing and timekeeping. They know the extreme toughness of such timepieces. They understand brand heritage. And they’re thankful for those who carefully guard the future of the brand, protecting it from becoming something that validates the haters.
Such folk become the Rolex lovers.
-Ed Estlow

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