The end of the year is rapidly approaching, but instead of slowing down, this time of year can get very busy, very fast for a lot of us. When things get a bit crazy, small moments of luxury can offer us some respite throughout the day. These moments take on many different forms: the five extra minutes we stay in bed to read the latest news, the beautiful moments we share with friends and family, or the quick glance at the watch on our wrist. In a world where your favorite timepiece is just a few clicks away on Chrono24, luxury can be accessed anytime, anywhere. We asked a few of our editors what luxury means to them, and here’s what they said.
There is an overlap between wealth and taste, but one certainly doesn’t equal the other. If you go to a watch collecting meetup, you will undoubtedly see a buffet of standard issue Rolex sports models. Your eyes will start to glaze over when you spot yet another Sub or GMT-Master. Who are the most popular people in the room? Those with the tropical dials, meaningful engravings, ephemeral details, and stories to tell. There’s always another level; just because you can’t win with sheer purchasing power, doesn’t mean you can’t win in more clever ways.
Luxury is about exclusivity.
Having spent my entire career in the wider luxury industry, I’ve learned to identify nuances within clientele, distinguishing the nouveau riche from those with real savoir faire. The chicest among luxury shoppers always choose to whisper instead of shout, opting for subtle, sumptuous Brunello Cucinelli over a barrage of brand logos.
Luxury is often quiet.
It’s important to treat yourself. On a recent lazy evening, I used an online coupon to get my first ever professional massage. Perhaps the pinnacle of luxury would be to hire your own private masseuse, but I was satisfied as a pair of capable hands took me apart and put me back together again. On the way home, I grabbed a frozen mushroom truffle pizza from a local Brooklyn institution. I paired it with a glass of Cabernet Franc from the wine shop that knows me by name (the stinky stuff is an acquired taste, but I like it that way). I topped it all off with an episode or two of Drive to Survive – that’s one opulent evening for the price of a Sweetgreen salad.
Luxury is satisfaction for the sake of satisfaction.
Raymond Trinh is the multiple Michelin star-winning chef and restaurateur behind 63 Clinton in Manhattan, and a former Chrono24 YouTube guest. Raymond has access to the best ingredients in the world, but one of his favorite high/low combinations is placing Osetra caviar atop Popeyes fried chicken and passing it around the dining room.
Luxury is not trying too hard.
Many people concoct ostentatious displays of wealth to create the illusion of luxury, but we know it all comes down to confidence. When you are the monarch of your own life, every day is a feast fit for a king.
The busier your life is, the more important everyday luxuries become. When things get busy, it’s easy to put your own needs at the bottom of the to-do list. As a full-time working mother, time became even more precious when my children were young. I wanted time with my children, but needed time to finish everything at work. I added moments of luxury into my everyday life by wearing my favorite watch (at the time) while giving my children their bath. The watch was a solid gold Omega Seamaster with diamond indices. Thanks to the Seamaster’s excellent water resistance, I never had to take it off while bathing them. I could gaze down at it while playing with the rubber duckies or shampooing their hair.
I also have a set of sterling silver flatware that I use every day. It was a wedding gift from my grandparents, who also used it as their silverware. I decided to continue the tradition, and I’ve eaten off it ever since. Although it has to be polished from time to time, it feels luxurious to eat on sterling flatware every day, whether it’s steak or cereal on the menu.
In more recent years, I’ve learned how to practice mindfulness. I took a few group lessons to learn the techniques, and now I practice it several times a week. The idea is to clear your mind of any thoughts and focus on your breath. I can do it while I’m on public transit, in a taxi, or waiting in line. If I can really get into that space, even if only for five minutes, I feel refreshed.
While the basic principle of luxury as a statement of wealth and status has not disappeared completely, the world of luxury has become more personal, more purpose-driven, and it’s no longer necessarily proof of belonging to a specific social class. Today, everyone has access to their own versions of luxury – and I love that concept. For me, everyday luxury is rooted in the idea that I would like to spend my money on products from brands that I am passionate about, actively use, and add quality, design, and an interesting story to my life. Luxury is very much a personal experience for me, and it is almost always rooted in practical use. Thus, you’ll likely find me spending extra money on a Vollebak jacket, Feit shoes, or a Rimowa suitcase.
Aside from luxury products with practical uses, I also love the stories behind people, products, and brands. The three brands mentioned above all have unique stories. When it comes to watches, the reason why I love the Royal Oak, Nautilus, and Ingenieur so much has everything to do with Gérald Genta’s exploration of design. It’s these personal stories that make watch brands and specific watches so interesting. The same applies to anything, from a high-end brand like A. Lange & Söhne to microbrands like Serica or Grönefeld Watches, the latter of which is from my hometown of Oldenzaal in The Netherlands. Moreover, I love the fact that Tudor has managed to completely change their brand perception with an older audience, including myself. They have me tempted to buy a Black Bay Pro because it’s linked to the Rolex Explorer II ref. 1655, which I love but will probably never own, given its current market price. That’s what luxury is all about for me: telling your personal story through products and brands that you deeply love and are willing to spend above average on. What is above average? Well, that’s up to you, because it is your personal statement of luxury. It’s all part of the modern, personalized world of luxury.
We hope we could inspire you to find some luxurious moments in your everyday life. Of course, Chrono24 also has some extra inspiration to help sweeten your day: Unlock luxury with Chrono24.