You’re alone, streets are empty and the rain makes you scrunch up your shoulders and put your head down. Your steps are hurried and your suitcase follows you like a faithful companion. Where are we going and why such an early wake up?
A new adventure is about to begin and its starting point is Paris. This is where it all begins.
It’s here! Cold. In a few minutes, right after composting your ticket, its gates will open. At last, the start of a long-awaited adventure. Before jumping into the TGV Lyria, we met with Alexandre Leger. He also has a busy schedule in Geneva. He keeps us up to date on his latest expertises and upcoming auctions. But it’s time to get to our seats.
All of the trains got in motion and we gradually left Paris, which was slowly waking up.
In front of me, the book I was looking forward to read. “A thousand lives are better than one”, is its title. I couldn’t wait to know more about this actor that rocked my childhood: Jean-Paul Belmondo.
As the pages are turned, we get closer to our final destination. Landscape is changing, mountains are appearing and all of a sudden, the voice announce “Next stop, Geneva Cornavin”.
Let’s the party begins!
Our schedule for the day is quite simple, but we are looking forward to it.
Here they are, they saw many onlookers walking around with their noses up, they lived History. It’s our turn to walk along these buildings and streets. In one of them, we stop. Finger on the bell, the door opens and we receive a warm welcome. Indeed, it’s been a few months now since we last saw Czapek’s teams, although we had a live interview with Xavier de Roquemaurel about the Only Watch auction. Today, we will be able to record a podcast. A discussion full of enthusiasm for you to discover his story as well as the brand’s.
Encounters are key, but what we remember above all is an intellectual exercise. When Xavier got in this amazing adventure, he and his teams asked themselves what will Czapek do today and in the future.
Copying and pasting the past and bringing it up to date wasn’t an option. They had to revive it so they could know where to lead the brand without loosing its spirit. And today, seeing the interest it raises among collectors, one can only salute the performance.
This intellectual exercise should be practiced in almost each brand because it’s an excellent way to stay innovative and relevant.
Here we are. The final boss, the one that many collectors dream to have. We went into the old town and after walking through some narrow streets, we arrived. Like children looking at the window of a toy shop, we observed. Each gesture is precise, and as time goes by, it takes shape and comes to life. The planets have aligned and we were able to record the podcast with Rexhep Rexhepi.
For those who missed it, you can listen to it right here. I won’t tell you more, I leave you with the Master.
For the first time in our watchmaking story, we went to the Watchmaking Oscars ceremony. A new opportunity to meet up with colleagues and meet amazing people.
What do we learn from it? Not much. Edouard Baer hosted the ceremony with talent, his humor having diverted more than one. But we’ll get back on the GPHG and its usefulness later in another article.
What interested us in these few days in Geneva was the Only Watch auction. In the weeks leading up to it, we hosted many Live interviews on Instagram with the participating brands so you could discover these unique timepieces.
All these interviews are still available in replay on our Instagram account.
54 brands came together to offer 53 unique pieces for sale. And the auction began fast!
The Akrivia watch opened the festivities and it was a firework of overbids. The room was on fire! Estimed between CHF 70 000 and CHF 100 000, its new owner spent CHF 800 000 for it! An amazing record that warms up the heart when we know that all profits from the sale will go to fund research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
What to learn from that auction?
First of all, CHF 30 million were spend during the event. A wonderful record for such a noble cause.
From a marketing point of view, this auction was interesting to analyze. Indeed, it allows to quantify the attraction of a brand for collectors. The higher the price will go, the greater the desire of collectors the greater the value of the brand. That’s what the perceived value is.
If we take the example of the Akrivia watch, we can see that the perceived value of the brand is significant, as collectors have gone so far as to spend CHF 800,000 to acquire it. The analysis also applies to watches that remained within their estimates. The perceived value is therefore very slightly higher than the selling price.
Moreover, the results of such auctions obviously have an impact on the second-hand market.
However, some brands have a technique to increase their perceived value. They use buyers who are there to outbid them. At a certain point, they may stop bidding and leave the watch to a collector. If no collector has followed them, the buyer commissioned by the brand will of course buy the watch and then be reimbursed by the brand.
Knowing this, what do you think of this technique?
For our part, we were happy to take part in this wonderful adventure and we hope to experience the next editions. Thank you, Luc!
By the way, you can find out more about Luc Pettavino in our podcast below…