This Man Bought A $100,000 Watch As A Marketing Experiment. The Result Was Mind-Boggling

Would you buy a $100,000 watch to conduct a marketing experiment? Well, this man did!

Let’s face it; most people like to associate themselves with luxurious, expensive and exotic things. A Panerai watch costing $6,000, was given as a gift to online marketing guru Neil Patel and though he doesn’t like wearing watches, he decided just to wear it one day.

He was walking through the TechCrunch office wearing the watch when one of their writers asked him if he was wearing a Panerai watch. When he said yes, that reporter befriended him almost immediately.

The watch not only helped generate media buzz, but it also enabled him to close some good business deals.

Photo from Quicksprout

That said, he decided to push things to another level further by buying a $28,000 watch this time. Neil is not really a fan of expensive watches; he just bought this one because he was curious to see if it could bring any more business deals.

Unfortunately, the watched bombed because it was too flashy and in fact, he was actually looked down upon by a few entrepreneurs.

Screenshot from Quicksprout

He decided to do further research on what type of watches impresses big-time entrepreneurs, and he eventually discovered that the watch brand Patek Philippe was regarded favorably. This led him to spend $50,000 on a Patek watch even though he uses his iPhone to see what time it is.

Within the first 30 days of wearing the watch to meetings, he generated no income from it. It seemed as if no one even noticed he had the watch. The trend continued onto the 90th day. The watch didn’t help him win one single business deal.

Luckily, he kept wearing it though, and on the 4th month, he met a 70-year-old Jewish man while having breakfast at a New York restaurant. They were both eating breakfast by themselves, and he commented on his watch.

The man asked Neil if he would like to join him, and Neil accepted the offer. Within minutes Neil discovered that he was a Patek Philippe collector and owned over 20 of them. When Neil asked him what he did, he mentioned he owned a lot of the commercial real estate in New York City and Brooklyn.

After chatting for an hour, they ended up trading contact information, and within a month he signed a contract with this man’s company for $500,000 a year – all because he spotted Neil’s watch across the room and saw it as a sign of him being a successful entrepreneur.


Screenshot from Quicksprout

Once he landed that contract, Neil decided to take things to the next level and spend $100,000 on a watch! So he bought a much more expensive Patek watch.

Neil said that during one of the events he attended, a private equity manager, who oversees $10 plus billion dollars, spotted his watch and struck up a conversation with him.

They ended up exchanging contact information, and within two week time, he was scheduled to pitch a $1,200,000 marketing contract to his firm. Safe to say, his marketing experiment, although bold and risky was able to gain him amazing leads.

The Takeaway

Most of the time in business you need to spend money to make money. Neil Patel’s marketing experiment is proof of this. The man Neil met in the restaurant probably wouldn’t have paid attention to any watch worth less than his Patek. But then again, not everyone has the money to pull off such an outrageous experiment right?

It’s clearly vital to try and build the image you want to portray to potential business partners or clients. Sometimes if you want to succeed and you’re not there yet, you just have to fake it first until you make it.

Editorial credit on top photo: andersphoto /