Regardless of the world going irreversibly digital and with wearables and smartwatches becoming almost a must-have gadget for smartphone owners who now count a whopping 3.8 billion, the eternal magic of a luxury timepiece is still there and is there to stay. A beautiful and expensive watch is a tempting possession, an attribute of status, memorabilia that may well pass on from father to son. It is also an investment, especially at the time of eroding values, an oversupply of fiat money, and an overall shortage of investment ideas.
Shopping for a luxury watch is both fun and adventure, yet it may be as complicated as shopping for an art piece. There is no denying, though, that a luxury watch is also a work of art in itself. And just as there are acclaimed experts in art, there is a very narrow breed of knowledgeable and reliable experts in luxury watches.
Meet Avi Hiaeve, owner of the high-end watch retailer Avi&Co, a millennial with a love for vintage timepieces that he developed early in life. Avi grew up in Queens, NYC, and opened his business at the tender age of 16. He comes from a family that has always been in the jewelry business, yet he has always been in love with watches. “Jewellery was something my family was doing, so it was easier to learn it. But watches, this is something that came from a hobby,” says Avi. He admits he just loved to play with watches but realized with time that they were a good investment.
Avi converted his hobby and passion into a flourishing business with a strong following of high-net-worth customers. Twenty years later, Avi’s company is a go-to source of vintage luxury watches with such names as Jamie Foxx, Nicki Minaj, Justin Bieber, among his treasured customers. In addition, football and basketball players, other athletes, and rappers come to know Avi through word of mouth being referred to by happy clients.
Avi&Co is a business built on the profound knowledge of the vintage timepieces market and around supply scarcity. Economics books define scarcity as the gap between the limited supply and limitless demand. Very few people know how to bridge that gap better than Avi. “In the market, there are watches for everybody,” says Avi. “If you want to spend US$5,000, you’re going to find yourself a US$5,000 watch.” The same applies to a much pricier category of watches; it just takes more time to find the right fit. Celebrities and artists go for timepieces well over $100,000. There are no signs of subsiding demand in this category of buyers, even despite the pandemic-induced slowdown in most spheres. On the contrary, and in contrast with the logic, Sotheby’s sold more classic watches as of April 2020 compared to a year earlier despite major horlogerie brands pulling the plug on rolling out new watches that year.
The unabating demand for luxury watches is also explained by the fact that timepieces hold their value and appreciate with time. Sometimes, buying an expensive watch and keeping it is an excellent alternative to investing in bonds and stocks. So, if you own a Rolex, hold on to it, or an Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe—those are substantial investment assets. There are more rare and pricier timepieces; Richard Mille, says Avi, is the ‘Hermes of watches,’ comparing it to the sought-after Birkin bag. He once sold a Richard Mille for a breath-taking $3MM.
Avi knows and loves his watches. With twenty years in the business and his knowledge of this delicate market niche growing by the day, his Avi&Co. is the trusted source of your dream timepiece. Whether it is a $12,000 Rolex or a $440,000 Audemar Piguet, Avi will have it for you.