Are Watches the New Sneakers?

Rebecca: Even sometimes the movement, you’ve got to think about doing that as well because parts can be changed, parts can be replaced, which actually also affects the value and accuracy as well.

Question from the audience: Dual IPA asks, “Rebecca, do you have any tips for forming a relationship with an auction house or for taking the first steps to become part of that scene?”

Rebecca: It’s not as off-putting as it may seem. You can come to the auctions, first of all. Not many people know that you can actually attend in person and sit there and make friends and be part of the community. It’s really a great way to meet people that have your passion and also to follow the market. So I think number one, just come on by. And then also, no one knows that we have exhibitions at Christie’s that take place more or less one week before the auction. So you can come in. For watches, for example, we have them on display before the sale for one week in the galleries, and you can just come around and immerse yourself that way.

Mark: The previews are such an amazing educational resource too. Going there, being able to see a lot of different watches and also a lot of different conditions and eventually getting a sense of what’s a good condition versus what’s a bad condition and what is the price that’s going to reflect that too.

Adam: There’s no substitute for hands-on experience. Unfortunately, auction houses like Christie’s get the reputation of being the serious corporate environment. But people forget there’s people like Rebecca working there who would love to sit around and talk and who are approachable.

It’s not as stuffy as you think it is. With Christie’s, it’s a museum there—just walk through the hall see art, see watches.

Question from the audience: “Mark, Derek Guy [the Menswear Guy] wrote a series on developing taste and used you as an example of someone with incredible taste. I was wondering if you’ve read it and if you could give a tip for developing taste?”

Mark: My tip would be to handle as many things you can and buy and then sell a lot. I mean, in my collecting career or life or whatever, I think at this point I’ve sold maybe 300 watches, and every time you have to sell, you’ve got to think about why am I selling this? What drew me to this watch in the first place, but what also let me down about this watch and is making me want to put it down and put it back into the ecosystem? Also, if you’re doing person-to-person sales, that person’s going to ask you questions that you might never have thought of too, and that’s another good trigger for you to go and learn a bit more about what you have.

And it just deepens your appreciation. There’s nothing quite as enjoyable as appreciating something at a new level that was just hidden in plain sight. You’ve had this watch for years and you never thought about thinking about it in a certain way until someone gave you a question that prompted you to do the research.

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