As you probably know if you are seasoned reader of PG—or you can easily notice if you’re a more recent PG’s adopter, the subject of timepieces has never been our specialty at PG despite the great number of messages we’ve received asking us to write on the subject (from a style perspective and not from a technical perspective…as we are far from being sufficiently educated on the subject).
Nevertheless, since I had the chance to develop a close relationship with independent watchmaker extraordinaire Laurent Ferrier in Geneva and since I have the privilege to wear very often these extraordinary timepieces, I have become more and more interested in the subject. Of course, my contribution on the domain of quality timepieces will mainly focus, for the time being, on aesthetics and on how a beautiful watch can magnify the beauty of a gentleman’s ensemble–with a continuation on the subject in future articles.
Of course, the Laurent Ferrier timepieces which I consider among the most elegant and understated watches in the world, are unreachable for the vast majority of us (yours truly included).
This is the reason why, in order to be faithful to the PG spirit (i.e. to seek for elegance in every price bracket), I recently immersed myself in the (very) dynamic world of “second hand” quality watches in order to find companies (or websites) which offer quality elegant watches at more affordable prices than usual.
At first, I stumbled upon the “giants” of the domain (like Collector Square, Chrono24, Watchfinder or Kronos360 to name a few of them) which are mainly the digital “spin-offs” of famous auction houses, of historical horology boutiques or of giant online platforms.
I have nothing against these mastodons and I am sure you can find some good deals on such enormous platforms where the choices seem endless, if not overwhelming, with thousands of watches to browse.
However, to stay faithful to the spirit of PG in giving a share of voice to more modest yet fantastic companies, created by people which are truly impassioned by their work (and not by SEO specialists), we recently discovered a great website called Sabiwatches.
Sabiwatches has been created by a French man called Clément de Gaulle, a man who has a genuine love for vintage timepieces–especially for the period between 1940 and 1970.
Clément created his small platform less than 2 years ago with his own money and a resolution to make a fair profit and not over exaggerate prices. He has already managed to seduce and satisfy an ever-growing clientele of actual aesthetes with more than 100 watches sold. The reason behind this very promising debut is simple and very linked to Clément de Gaulle’s approach of this trade :
- A very sharp selection of models done by Clément himself, who decided to turn his passion into a business. Thus, unlike the giant platforms which are playing on the volume effect (a lot of brands and a lot of models), the timepieces proposed by Sabiwatches have all been thoughtfully curated by its founder, one by one–which means Clément knows precisely each watch you’ll find listed on his website.
- Extremely reasonable margins in order to allow the greatest number of people to be able to afford genuine collector pieces at (very) reasonable prices on a market which is currently in a fast development phase (with prices constantly going up due to the immense demand of late).
- An quasi artisanal approach of the trade, with a personal involvement of the founder in each transaction : thus, at Sabiwatches, before buying a timepiece, you’ll be able to have direct access to Clément de Gaulle, to exchange texts messages or emails, to request more photos, to directly discuss the model and even ask him what he plans for the “pipe-line” in months to come. In brief, buying a timepiece at Sabiwatches is an experience for passionate collectors who will interact with another collector without having the impression of being client-number-350-of-the-day and without having to present your credit card number to a robot.
Of course, as in any confidential, great restaurant, the “menu” is much smaller than in the enormous canteens, but everything on it is of exquisite taste and will be able to complement your most elegant outfits.
Personally, I have a soft spot for a few extraordinarily elegant models like this rare Mathey-Tissot Chronograph :
This stunning Japanese Omega Constellation from 1969 in a heavy yellow gold case :
This incredible beauty from the 1940s : An Omega caliber 30T2.
This rare Rolex Precision “Desert Eagle” from 1974 :
This often sought after Jaeger-Lecoultre Geomatic from the 1960s :
Or, for the most passionate connoisseurs among you, a rarity : The Heuer Autavia 2446C MK1 from 1969 with the coveted mention “Fab. Suisse” on the dial.
This watch has been bought in Monaco in 1969 by the father of the last owner and has been sleeping in a drawer ever since :
Of course, all the pieces have been checked by high level timepiece makers and come with a one year warranty.
In my humble opinion, Sabiwatches is the prime example of a great “vintage watch platform 2.0”: a stellar and highly personalised customer service, a direct dialog with a genuine passionate collector and the possibility to go beyond the “simple” act of buying a watch, and instead to live a human experience which has nothing to do with the disincarnate rote purchasing methods of giant platforms.
At PG we adore Sabiwatches and we warmly invite you to treat yourself while, at the same time, helping a young company take off. I believe Clément de Gaulle truly deserves your attention.
And for the most ardent among you, we have the privilege to unveil the list of some pieces Clément is currently working on which are not even listed yet on the website:
- Yema Rallygraf Super (with a Valjoux 72 movement)
- Heuer Carrera 1553 Chronograph
- Rolex Datejust 1601 Grey Dial
- Philip Watch Caribbean 1000m
- Patek Philippe Calatrava 96
- Universal Geneve Rose Gold
- Jaeger-Lecoultre Uniplan
- Heuer Chronograph 345 (1940s)
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To contact Clément, send an email to email@example.com (for VIP treatment, don’t forget to mention you discovered Sabiwatches through PG).
Website : https://sabiwatches.com