Your first few months in business have, from what I understand, exceeded your expectations. Tell me about how things have progressed since launch.
The growth so far was truly unexpected. We reached a few milestones in the span of half the time we were anticipating. Initially, I was unsure of the demand in the market and I was ready for a slow grind but the reception has been great and truly organic. From day one, we have seen a lot of enquiries to source and acquire specific watches. We have had great feedback from our audience in regards to what they’re looking for and what they would like us to stock. Being able to use Crane Brothers showroom to sit and engage with customers is another great aspect of the brand. The ability to meet and interact face to face and for clients to physically try on pieces is really valuable.
What are the next major milestones in your growth as a business?
We’re looking to really solidify our position as an expert in vintage watch subject matter - whether it’s Rolex, Cartier, Seiko. In terms of achieving this we’re wanting to educate our consumers through various mediums of content and being conscious of the pieces we offer - quality over quantity. Finally, a permanent showroom is another milestone we’re looking at achieving so we can service our clients more regularly and have a place where they can come to talk, trade and buy watches.
There are a lot more young consumers getting interested in timepieces - what do you think is driving that?
The internet, and social media in particular. It’s showing younger customers what’s cool, new and trending without the need of visiting a boutique or authorised dealer and asking those questions. Having more transparency around pricing and production has allowed younger consumers to learn more about the market which used to operate behind semi-closed doors. Younger celebrities, YouTube and influencers have been pushing a lot of watch content. I mean you can’t go through one rap song from the last three years and not expect a name drop of a watch brand.
Do you think that perceptions of the vintage watch market have changed?
Definitely. There is a large resurgence back to vintage watches due to collectability, rarity and the notion that perhaps the older stock is better than the newer stock. Watch brands today are playing it safe with their catalogues and there is little experimentation or technological advancement. This has led to looking back at what has come before. One of the more interesting aspects I try to educate my customers on is that when you’re buying a vintage watch, it’s essentially one-of-one and to disregard how many are in the market. This beauty of vintage watches is its natural patina, wear and tear, and ageing process. The likelihood of finding an exact other version of this watch is extremely rare. Even from a cost standpoint vintage or second-hand is a great way to enter the market.