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Why Thai generals and other power-hungry people love luxury watches

The $100,000 watch spotted on the wrist of the Thai deputy prime minister has touched off a corruption scandal — but sometimes timepieces aren’t just about money.

Thailand’s General Prawit Wongsuwan has taken heat after photographs revealed his extensive collection of luxury watches, estimated to be worth $1.2 million.

Aside from a flashy display of wealth, some watches communicate another message: power.

That was the finding of a study on why consumers choose products with “wide faces,” such as certain saucer-sized luxury watches. Consumers prefer them when they want to feel dominant, especially when they’re negotiating with a competitor, researchers at the University of Kansas and University of Toronto found.

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