What Swiss Watches Tell Us About Goldman Sachs Bankers

Goldman Sachs, Swiss watches, Rolex, Patek Philippe, Blancpain, Vacherin Constantin, Breguet, Jaeger LeCoultre, Swatch

Picture: Flickr.com

Show me your watch and I’ll show you what rank you are at Goldman Sachs: a former banker mocks the material hierarchy at the U.S. investment bank.

«GS Elevator Gossip» is well-known for transporting Goldman Sachs’ secrets gleaned in trips up and down the 44 floors of the investment bank’s Manhattan headquarters.

The mysterious blogger’s identity was revealed two years ago: «Elevator» is the brainchild of John LeFevre, a former Citigroup syndicated loan banker in Asia who never actually worked at Goldman Sachs.

LeFevre has parlayed a popular Twitter account which portrays Goldman’s bankers in a unfavorable light into a book deal. According to LeFevre, the content is authentic; the book was panned by critics.

«Business Insider» has published LeFevre's views about one of the most style-conscious issues on Wall Street: luxury watches and how to wear them.

Intern

Getting into Goldman Sachs is incredibly difficult: tends of thousands apply every year for an internship. So if you do make it, you shouldn't cock it up with the wrong watch. Your choice should show that money isn't important – because you have it already.

But your watch shouldn't be ostentatious enough to irritate your older colleagues. A stainless steel Rolex Oyster Datejust or an Omega Seemaster.

Praktikant 500

Analyst

You’ve passed the obstacle course and got hired on a permanent contract, so get ready for long work days and anxiety-fraught sleepless nights. Your salary isn't all that either, but you still have to show you belong to Goldman Sachs. The classic entry-level watch is a Rolex Submariner – versatile and conspicuous at the same time.

Analyst 500

Associate

You’re taking client meetings now, so leaving a good impression is even more important. «Elevator» recommends a Rolex Seadweller or a Blancpain Aqua Lung – neither too pretentious nor too shabby.

Associate 500

Vice-President

Your payday is finally more like what you would associate with Goldman Sachs. There’s only one watch for this level: a Rolex Daytona. «Elevator» says there is an unwritten rule against wearing one before reaching the vice-president rank. If you already have a Rolex, go for a Vacherin Constantin Overseas.

Vizepraesi 500

Director

You’re making real money but also coping with serious stress and you have three years to climb to the pinnacle – Managing Director. Wear a Breguet Classique or a Jaeger LeCoultre Master Tourbillon to exude cool confidence.

Direktor 500

Avoid any reference to Patek Philippe: an impatient director was seen with a picture of one tacked to his wrist – he now works for Morgan Stanley.

The IWC Portuguese is also a poor choice: it’s a watch associated with losers whose wives cheat on them.

Managing Director

Now is the time to get that Patek Philippe if you’ve been dreaming of it, although as the advertisement says, you never really own one, you merely look after it for the next presumably very entitled generation.

MD 500

Permissible alternatives: the Nautilus Chronograph for $50,000 or the Perpetual Calendar for $93,000.

Partner

You can go toe-toe-toe with Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, but your flirtation with expensive watches is over. All your previous acquisitions have been given away or are sitting in a neglected drawer at home.

To show that you’re still one of the 99 percent despite your millions, wear a $66 Swatch like Blankfein does, or a fitness wearable.

Partner 500

Even better, don’t wear a watch at all: «When you control time, you don’t need to know what time it is,» says LeFevre.

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