Watch maven Adrian Hailwood gave an interesting talk at #IJL2018 day 2. By exploring the opportunities within the pre-owned watch market.
Hailwood opened his talk by saying emphatically, “we are in a crisis […]the product has changed, people who don’t move with it, get left behind.”
He went to elaborate on the numerous crises that are at play…
+ mass production
+ the quartz crisis
+ currency crises
+ smart watches/no watches
Adrian shared a personal account:
“As a collector of watches, I will always leave [home] with the watch on yet it will get to 4 o’clock in the afternoon until I realise I haven’t wound it.”
The Senior Watch Specialist asked a crucial question: What’s the role of direct online retail?
+ open 24/7
+ highly profitable
+ the role of social media and campaigns such as “Speedy Tuesday”. A marketing campaign by Omega for Speedmaster on Instagram. This trend is also seen in publications such as Revolution Magazine, Hodinkee – limited editions that’re available online only. Apt reminder, Social Media is POWERFUL.
Hailwood summarised beautifully, “Authenticity and originality are not the same thing. Something is either fake or it is not.”
Any questions? Of course I had to find out how to buy an engagement watch (similar to the sentiment of buying an engagement).
I (M) asked: “There’s a recent trend whereby people are buying watches for their partners, if they are engaged. What advice would you give?”
He (M) replied: “Oooh, it’s a tricky one… you’re saying [e.g.] the lady gets a ring, the man gets a watch?”
M: “Yes! what advice would you give the client?”
A: “Okay. That’s an interesting one because you have to think, are they going to be happy with having a pre-owned watch for such an important occasion? […] how would a novice watch buyer just buy the right watch?”
M: “Much like men go to buy rings, and they don’t always know what they are doing… [audience laughter]…85% of the time! What would you say if somebody came to buy a watch?”
A: “Firstly, take advice. Don’t just buy something because it looks pretty and you think it’ll look great on him, because you may find that your fiance is a secret watch snob and has a particular view on certain brands. The easier thing, much like the way savvier men do, they hunt for clues. So, do they have a preference for metal? For example, do they have gold-plated accessories or do they prefer white metal? That’s a first point of call. Are they interested in mechanisms? Are they a car guy? Motorbike guy?… Are they fashion conscious? So is this somebody that is going to be wanting the latest of something [watch model] or if they are more retro in their interests and actually a vintage watch from their birth year might be a more appropriate gift for them than buying something that is brand new. There are lots of clues to pick up on, to get a handle. Also, you could simply buy men’s magazines (the likes of GQ, Esquire) find the watch supplement, leave it open and keep an eye on where it gets picked up and where it gets thumbed. An budget, budget is a big key because you can get a fantastic watch for less than £100, pre-owned you can get some amazing vintage watches. Likewise you can spend £10,000 and buy something which they don’t particularly thank you for. So, you need to know where you want to put your money and what kind of [watches] that will be most acceptable. It is possibly the most open-ended question you could ask me! Hopefully within that you’ve got to find out what to hang your decision on.”