This is Superlative: A podcast about watches, the people behind them and the worlds that inspire them. This week, our host and founder of aBlogtoWatch, Ariel Adams, is joined by Charles Tian, founder of WatchCharts. To start the show, Ariel asks Charles how his data-driven company tracks open market prices for watches and caters specifically to individual collectors and enthusiasts, rather than primarily to dealers and other companies. Charles and Ariel then talk about people selling watches, the concept of value retention and how many true enthusiasts usually sell timepieces they don’t wear so they can free up funds to buy and experience more watches. From there, Ariel and Charles discuss the validity of market prices when data is limited and whether the “market price” of certain models must be considered fantasy, before getting into some details about watchcharts, where the data is available, how the company ensures data integrity, and how people can trust themselves. And some ways to learn to identify high-quality data.
Noting the difference in price data from the big auction houses compared to the rest of the secondary market, Ariel asks Charles if there are any particular challenges sourcing the data or if parties are upset about it being published. The two talk about a recent report by WatchCharts with Morgan Stanley covering secondary market prices in the luxury watch industry, before getting into the details of the recent contraction in secondary market prices and how it should be surprising given that the industry has just experienced several years of close-ended growth. Ariel and Charles then discuss how alternative platforms like WatchCharts are often a better way to introduce people to new watches, compared to traditional sources like Instagram that only show people the most popular brands and models. The conversation turns to some of the obstacles to accurately measuring engagement, before the two close the show by talking about the growing overlap and conflict of interest between media and advertising, and how greater access to information is creating more educated consumers. They are essential for the long-term success of any industry.
Stay up to date with Charles and WatchCharts:
- 00:53 — What are watchcharts and how is it useful especially for enthusiasts?
- 07:40 — The difference between selling a watch for profit and selling a watch so you can buy and experience more watches.
- 12:48 — Is the price of the watch market necessarily a fantasy?
- 20:06 — Where does WatchCharts get its data?
- 21:47 — How do watchcharts ensure data integrity and how can people learn to identify quality data for themselves?
- 24:22 — Why prices at large auction houses are higher than the average market price observed in the industry.
- 27:39 — Has anyone been upset about publishing the pricing data or had any unexpected challenges in getting the data?
- 34:37 — Working with Morgan Stanley to produce a report on secondary market prices in the luxury watch industry.
- 38:23 — Recent contraction in secondary market prices.
- 46:45 — How platforms like WatchCharts introduce people to new brands and help them discover new models.
- 52:53 — Accurately measuring the role of engagement and advertising in the watch industry.
- 56:27 — Increasing overlap and conflict of interest between media and sales in the industry.
We’d love to hear from you with feedback or suggestions for future show topics or guests. Advertising opportunities are also available. Comment or get in touch [email protected].