Chrono24’s First GTG Successfully Unites Watch Lovers (With Video)
Many, if not most, watch aficionados are likely to be familiar with Chrono24, the world’s leading watch platform for buying and selling new, vintage, and pre-owned watches.
This platform, which is utilized by both professionals in the watch resale business and private watch wearers and collectors in much the way eBay functions, gets about 10 million visits every month.
But that does not mean that the company based in Karlsruhe, Germany rests on its laurels. To the contrary: the team is consistently thinking up ways to enhance user experience and form watch lovers into a community.
And this led to Chrono24’s first GTG (GetToGether), which took place in January at its spacious headquarters on the estate of the picturesque Hoepfner brewery.
In case you are not familiar with how a GTG generally works, it is quite easy: people with the same interests get together to talk about them. At watch GTGs people bring a few of their watches for other people to look at, they look at other people’s watches, and sometimes there is even an organized program point.
This is the basic premise of Redbar, a popular organizer of GTGs that began organically in New York City and has now been franchised out to other cities.
In the case of the Chrono24 GTG, there were three organized points to the day, the first being a talk by Eric Wind on the basics of vintage watch collecting.
Wind, once part of Christie’s team and now heading his own company, is likely best known to most people interested in watches through his writings on Hodinkee in that platform’s early years.
Wind’s talk provided advice on what to look for in a vintage watch, a market he said has experienced double-digit annual growth in the past years – in part due to Instagram, but also in part due to high-profile auctions.
His advice mostly centered around looking for condition rather than rarity in vintage watches, with unpolished cases becoming of increasing value even though the condition of the dial remains most important.
Further program points
Another talk was given by Oliver Siegle of Chrono24, who explained the site’s Watch Collection function. This is a tool that helps a collector keep track of purchases and whether these purchases have increased in value or not. It also does all the math for you using algorithms the developers set from data acquired by every Chrono24 transaction since the site began. It can also provide the total value of your collection at any given time according to current market conditions using these algorithms.
Aside from being a great tool to log and/or document your whole collection, it could also ultimately be used to determine the best time to offer a piece in the collection for sale by pinpointing the right timing when certain brands or models are in greater demand.
Siegle also said that an interesting thing Chrono24 has noted is that when a brand reissues a vintage model or a vintage-inspired edition of the same name, the original models also tend to experience a degree of hype.
This, he said, can be used by the owner of such models to make smart decisions in buying and selling.
That is a point I also made in Give Me Five! 5 Watches That Have Stood The Test Of Time Starring Rolex, Patek Philippe, Omega, And Cartier.
A third program point was offered by Robert-Jan Broer, founder of Fratello Watches, who explained how he started his fourteen-year-old watch blog and how it works today. This was a very interesting talk on one blogger’s journey, a leap of faith that has been deservedly successful.
As this GTG was a co-production between Chrono24 and Fratello, it stands to reason that Omega models were the order of the day (Broer’s – and therefore Fratello’s – main interest is Omega, and he is expert in that brand). And, indeed, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen so many Omegas “in the wild” in one room before.
These ranged from vintage Omega Speedmaster Ultramen and Flightmasters to a number of examples of the Speedmaster Professional Speedy Tuesday limited edition that was inspired by the Instagram hashtag Broer created in 2012 (see more on this in Social Media Phenomenon Inspires New Omega Speedmaster, First To Be Sold On Internet).
There were also plenty of Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Tudor, and Jaeger-LeCoultre models in attendance.
Hopefully this wasn’t a one-time thing as the Chrono24 and Fratello teams put a lot of positive energy into making this event a success. It would be nice to have it continue to build more watch communities and local events.