Watch collectors are made – you can be their maker

By Chris Youé

Serious watch collectors are made, not born. For a majority of the world’s serious watch collectors there are true water-shed moments in their horological journey, and every one of those collectors can tell you about a moment when their watch collection took the next big step up.

Whether their first serious mechanical watch, first tourbillon, or their first double red Sea-Dweller, there is an inevitable and seemingly endless quest for greater and greater “grail watches”. With the SIHH over and BaselWorld almost on us it seems like the right time to talk about the next step, and the opportunity this presents a business, as the brands present their annual showcase of horological treats and temptations.

As clients become more and more educated in horology, the emphasis shifts from quantity to quality in their collection – the initial effect of which is increased spend with their retailer of choice. However there is often a secondary effect, one that is often missed, or overlooked by the primary retailer: that very often the client is at the same time moving pieces out of their collection, and this has a major influence on the relationship you have built up with them. This is a huge missed opportunity to businesses that do not offer a buy-back, or part-exchange option to their customers.

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The moment a customer sells on a watch is also the moment that many of the your original sales arguments are shown to be genuinely good advice, or nothing but marketing bluster. For example, the myth that all limited-edition watches are good investments has generally been pretty well exploded by now to all but the most blinkered of sales staff, but it is better for the customer to have this conversation with you, rather than your competitors.

This is the moment your customers trust in you is truly validated, your money is, effectively, where your mouth is. Nothing cements a relationship with a client like making good on a promise, and at the same time you become a one-stop watch destination for them.

At WatchClub this is something we have put in motion as we not only offer to buy back and part exchange luxury watches in our Mayfair boutique, but we also underwrite other watch stores across the UK, training their staff in buying techniques and enabling them to build up their client relationships to take the client – and their collection – to the next level, risk free.

This column was taken from the February issue of WatchPro. To read the digital issue online, click here.


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