Tell us about yourself and your introduction to the world of watches.
I am a passionate watch collector, advisor to both collectors and brands and the founder and CEO of Luxe Forte Limited.
From my formative years, I have been fascinated by mechanical watches, their intricacies, aesthetics, and movements. As a kid, I read QP Magazine, hoping one day I would own such incredible timepieces. Today I'm lucky enough to collect and turn my passion into a business.
What makes watches so special for you?
Watches have always been a form of expression; each watch tells a unique story. Owning a watch is a journey; a watch sees what you see, goes where you go, and is a companion through your hard times and good times. Each scratch tells its own story and a story that can be passed down from generation to generation.
A watch can tell a lot about a person; it is the first thing I notice about Somebody I meet for the first time. You can almost tell their likes and interests by what watch they wear.
Additionally, I love how watches have connected me to so many people worldwide. Watches cultivate community. Now more than ever, they are conversation starters, bringing together many like-minded people.
Tell us about your journey in the watch industry and how your experience has been.
During my time at university, I shared watch knowledge with my peers and organized meet-ups where we discussed new releases for hours. Towards the latter part of my university years, I made it my goal to attend what, at the time, was the most prestigious watch show - Baselworld. At 19, I went to Switzerland without knowing anybody and started making appointments to speak to brands. It was extremely overwhelming, and I had gotten turned down many times, but at the same time, a few brands welcomed me with open arms.
It was a truly exhilarating experience, and at that moment, I knew I wanted to continue to deepen my knowledge and build relationships within the watch industry.
Nine years on, some of my best memories have been with people I met through the love of watches; I have friends worldwide and have been lucky enough to develop my passion into a business. Most importantly, I can still learn and share my knowledge with enthusiasts around the world.
You work with rare and unique items. Can you explain how you choose them?
My love started with understanding the intricacies of watches and what makes them great. It is only natural to work with brands and watchmakers who share the same values. I lean towards independent brands as well as rare and intriguing watches, both modern and vintage, regardless of value.
Independent watch brands have very different values, which you can feel within the company's DNA. They are much more flexible and expressive (in some cases playful) when they create their watches. As they are not restricted by group guidelines, their first and foremost goal is to create phenomenal products. I am lucky enough to work with several brands including De Bethune and L' Epée, who are regarded as one of the top watchmakers and clockmakers in the world.
My working relationships have naturally formed through years of friendships and a love of watches that bring us together.
What are the biggest challenges you face on a day-to-day basis, and how do you overcome them?
One of the biggest challenges within the watch industry, especially within the realm of vintage watches, is the issue of authenticity and tracking provenance. The value of a timepiece can be determined by various factors, which include whether the watch is bundled with its original documentation, warranty certificate and other accessories, the current condition of the watch, and whether any of the original parts have been modified or replaced.
These are all extremely difficult to track; until now, the tracking within the industry has been done manually, and the information stays with the brand, as it isn't typically shared or made public.
Web 3.0 and, more specifically, blockchain technology can be the solution. Where we can add a layer of transparency into the industry, information such as when a watch was purchased, its servicing details and transactional information will all be notarized onto the blockchain.
We heard you’re the leading person in bringing Web 3.0 to the luxury Watch industry. How do you see the landscape moving forward?
Web 3.0 comes in many forms, and the potential use cases are endless. I have done a deep dive into learning about blockchain, cryptocurrencies, NFTs and the metaverse.
We have just started scratching the surface regarding how we can use these solutions. I am developing Web 3.0 solutions for the luxury goods space and, more specifically, working with brands within the watch industry.
Through the adoption of Web 3.0, the luxury industry will revolutionise the way brands will interact with their consumers.
We are already seeing innovative mediums of communication through NFT projects, new sales channels within the Metaverse, and improved after sales care and reduce counterfeited products on the market through blockchain protocols.
Most importantly we are trying to bridge these two worlds in seamless manner, providing extra peace of mind and greater value for collectors and brands.
The inevitable goal is for my name to be synonymous with Web 3.0 within the luxury goods space.