One traveller reveals how far wearing an expensive watch can get you

By Sadie Whitelocks for MailOnline

First-class upgrades, dinner invites and amorous women were among the perks one man received.

Matt Meltzer investigated what would happen if he wore a luxury timepiece by hiring one for a month from a company called Eleven James. Photo / 123RF
Matt Meltzer investigated what would happen if he wore a luxury timepiece by hiring one for a month from a company called Eleven James. Photo / 123RF

They say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover but it appears that in the world of travel — that's exactly what happens.

Globetrotter Matt Meltzer from Miami investigated what would happen if he wore a luxury timepiece, by hiring one for US$150 ($206) a month from a company called Eleven James.

The writer found that he received extremely different treatment with a pricey watch on his wrist, with first-class upgrades, dinner invites and flirtatious women among the perks.

Writing about his experience for Thrillist, Meltzer revealed that almost everyone he met seemed somewhat fixated by the watches he wore.

Over the course of the social experiment, he wore an US$10,500 ($14,433) Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe, a US$3,900 ($5361) Bell and Ross 03-92-S and a US$5,523 ($7592) Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronograph.

Summing up his investigation, Meltzer wrote: "Over the course of the summer, the way I was treated while travelling generally improved.

"Hotel front desks actually seemed to care when my internet didn't work. Flight attendants gave me whole cans of soda.

"When I got first-class upgrades, the people I sat next to actually talked to me (watches, I later learned, are how regular first-class flyers can tell the real money from the upgrades)."

The writer did question if it was just the confidence that came from wearing an expensive watch or just the watch itself that was causing people to treat him better.

However, he concluded that either way, there was definitely a message of power being sent to those he encountered.

Surprisingly, Meltzer said it wan't the dearest watches that got him the most compliments.

Over the course of the social experiment, Meltzer wore models from Blancpain, Bell and Ross and Breitling thanks to the watch rental service from Eleven James. Photo / ElevenJames.com
Over the course of the social experiment, Meltzer wore models from Blancpain, Bell and Ross and Breitling thanks to the watch rental service from Eleven James. Photo / ElevenJames.com

The watch people commented on the most was a Bell and Ross 03-92-S with a leather band.

It retails for about a third of what his first watch — the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe - sold for.

Meltzer said one woman "above his league" approached him at a rooftop bar in Rhode Island and proceeded to flirt with him as she held up a ladies version of the Bell and Ross.

He recalled feeling bowled over by the situation — thinking that the US$150 subscription charge was definitely good value for money with all of the attention he was receiving.

The writer did question if it was just the confidence that came from wearing an expensive watch or just the watch itself that was causing people to treat him better. Photo / 123RF
The writer did question if it was just the confidence that came from wearing an expensive watch or just the watch itself that was causing people to treat him better. Photo / 123RF

However, Meltzer warns like money itself, watches are relative. High rollers apparently can spend up to six figures on time-telling bling.

Indeed, one billionaire he came across had brought a watch for US$450,000 ($618,578) because of its ability to tell the time in four different time zones at once.

Meltzer concluded that his experience with the library of luxury watches was "eye-opening" and the accessories had a much bigger impact than expected.

Currently Eleven James — which carries men's and unisex watches — is only open to customers in the U.S.

The company — which carries the strap line "time better spent" — was founded by Randy Brandoff in 2013.

A message on the subscription service site reads: "Our members enjoy an unprecedented selection of the world's most exquisite watch brands and styles.

"We aspire to give our community of members access to the luxuries and lifestyle they desire through a platform that defies tradition."

- Daily Mail

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