Donna Daytona

A few months ago, I had the honor of standing in a crowded room next to Donatella Versace. As I meticulously studied her appearance, I noticed the watch on her feeble little wrist: a Rolex, Daytona model, a men’s watch from the most ubiquitous luxury label in the world. It looks like a child‘s definition of the word „expensive“. There are buttons and an extra dial, with which Donnatella can mark the time waiting for her driver to navigate the Milan’s shopping district. And it’s all in bright, yellow gold. – by Marco Rechenberg

A Rolex Daytona is actually supposed to be worn in stainless steel, because in any case it’ll be rare and totally overpriced. In white gold it breaks the bank, and looks exactly like the stainless steel one, so unless you have the microscopic vision of the members of new York’s Diamond’s Dealer’s club, only the beholder will know its real value. Clearly Donatella Versace is not interested in such nuances. She opts for the shock value of the garish yellow gold variation. It dangles thick and heavy around her wrist, making even the lifting of a cigarette look like a workout. 

In contrast, the other signoras in the room mostly do without watches. And if one was to be seen, it was no doubt some soulless, diamond-encrusted ice, a present from their personal Berlusconi-wannabe. Understandably, people in fashion aren’t always interested in watches. The watch-making industry still holds on to unbearably slow, tedious and conservative collections. Nevertheless it was a watch – Donatella‘s gold monster – that managed to enhance the afternoon. It gave it an air of Plein Soleil, Alain Delon, sort of. Even if the reasons for this were never too clear to me, I instantly felt sympathy for Ms. Versace wash over me. Perhaps it was about her brother’s sad demise or the stoicism with which she‘s led the fashion house for more than ten years now. Plus her unique looks, her body, the hair. Then there are the concerns about her daughter, the spindly poor little rich girl. That very afternoon I saw what made me so enthusiastic for Donatella Versace: the bar of gold on her wrist, worn with the same insouciance with which she sends her garish turquoise down the catwalk. 

It didn‘t take long before I felt the desire to own that watch. On a man’s wrist, I imagine, it could develop its full potential. It‘s a watch that‘s charged so heavily with sexual motives, I’m surprised that I’ve never heard of a gay man with a watch fetish. And yet, there are some conceptual problems in this aesthetic equation: someone has to pay for it. A Daytona costs about as much a liver transplant. Also, as was warned, many people perceive such a heavy golden watch as aggressive. I believe this is a simple misunderstanding: such openly displayed splendor is just a gracefully extended invitation, to a different kind of time.   ◊

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