Want to know who is super rich? Just look at their watches


Kenya’s new billionaires have joined their peers in Africa by having a fervent liking for extremely costly watches as a symbol of high status.

A just-released study says that watches are preferred since they raise no suspicion as opposed to expensive vehicles, yachts and property, which attract an automatic tax implication during importation and at the point of purchase.

The NWW report, which monitored 800 billionaires in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia, Angola and Mozambique named Patek Philippe, Breguet, Ulysse Nardin, Audemars Piguet, Franck Muller, Blancpain, Roger Dubuis, A Lange & Sohne, Vacheron Constantin, Richard Mille, Greubel Forsey, Bovet and FP Journe as some of the most preferred brands.

“These specialist watchmakers only make handmade watches, which start from a base price of around Sh1 million per watch. They are mechanical (either self-winding or manual winding) as opposed to the modern battery operated watches. Most of the companies have a long history in watchmaking, which dates back to the 1700s in some cases,” says the study.


The study was carried out by South African-based New World Wealth, a consultancy firm providing information on trends by the super rich.

It observed that watches also have high retention of value, which makes them a ready investment for the affluent keen on hiding their opulence from authorities. On matters vehicles, many wealthy individuals prefer sports cars (Porsche, Ferrari, Aston Martin ), luxury sedans (Rolls Royce) and special utility vehicles, mostly the UK-made Range Rover brand, edging out the traditional preference of Mercedes Benz limousines.

On men’s clothing Zegna, Paul Smith, Hugo Boss, Dunhill and Canali come in that order, while women prefer Lois Vuitton handbags and clothing as well as accessories from Gucci, Prada, Dolce&Gabbana and Hermes, respectively.