Each of us has our particular favorite joys in life and what those things are is as unique as the individual. John Keil is a friend of mine and one of those guys who puts his heart and soul into the things he enjoys. For him, those things are his family and fine watches.
Join me for this conversation with John, owner of www.WatchGuage.com a clearinghouse for unique, high-end watches for those who enjoy fine watches like others of us might enjoy a good wine or a craft beer. John says his company is the micro-niche company of the watch industry, specializing in many lesser-known but highly desirable brands and makers. You’ll enjoy learning about the world of watches as you listen.
You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in…
- Microbrews for the watch industry – from my friend, John Keil [1:22]
- John’s watch recommendations depend on the buyer’s motivation [8:59]
- The most interesting watch-buying story John recalls [11:09]
- Things to consider when making a watch purchase [17:18]
- The one thing John does every day to create joy and fulfillment [21:52]
Guaranteeing that Amazon will never compete for your customers
John realized as he was getting into the world of product sales that if you don’t offer products that Amazon either can’t or won’t offer, you’re going to be outsold by them every time. That’s not the kind of competition you want to have. So he searched for a solution to that conundrum, something he could offer with great value and quality but that was also an area of interest that he could stick with over the long haul.
Being an amateur connoisseur of fine watches at the time, he thought there might be a way he could create an online platform that offered fine watches but with a twist. As his research led him further, he discovered that many independent watchmakers have come on the scene who offer quality timepieces comparable to the big names we’ve all heard about, but at much lower prices. He’d found his niche and began his plans to debut his online sales platform, WatchGuage.
But the lesson he learned is valuable: Find a niche that you’re enthusiastic about and that the larger vendors either can’t or won’t get into and you’re onto something with great potential.
Why you don’t want to buy watches as investments
You may have heard the occasional story of a person who inherited a Rolex wristwatch and later discovered that it was worth more money than anyone could have imagined. That sort of thing does happen, but John says nobody should ever expect it’s a common enough occurrence to provide investment opportunities. Investing in watches if speculative at best.
John says that you should avoid watches as an investment at all costs, with only two exceptions that he can think of:
- You have to be extremely knowledgeable about watches, and especially the models within brands.
- Or, if you come across an amazing and exceptional situation, in which case point #1 above would have to apply as well so that you’d recognize the opportunity in the first place.
John gives this caution because the watch markets can change quickly and without warning, so any certainty about what a particular watch will be worth in the future is misplaced. He says it’s similar to being a car collector who buys and sells rare or unusual automobiles. His best advice is that if you do buy a watch as an investment, make sure it’s a watch you enjoy because you may be holding onto it for a very long time.
The money will find you if you devote yourself to something you enjoy
John’s path to success as an online watch dealer and expert was not quick or easy. He made many mistakes along the way, including his own investing missteps, which he describes on this episode. But in the end, when asked what he’s learned through his journey, he says that even though it’s natural and understandable to fixate on the money side of life and business, it’s more important to do something you love. In his words…
“The money, in my opinion, will find you. It may not be two million dollars a year. For me, I’m actually making less money than I did when I was an employee, but I’m ten times happier and the money is finding me as I build, and grow, and show my enjoyment to the world.”
Resources & People Mentioned
- Rolex – growing in demand and popularity
- Patek Philippe Watches
- Audemars Piguet Watches
- Richard Mille Watches
Connect with John Keil
A 20 year veteran of the Wrist Watch Industry, John is the owner of www.WatchGauge.com, an exclusively online retailer of wristwatches specializing in Microbrands (think micro brews but to the watch industry) and rare and unique watches.
- John on Facebook
- Instagram: @WatchGauge
- John’s YouTube channel
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Guests on the Mitlin Money Mindset Show are not affiliated with CWM, LLC, and opinions expressed herein may not be representative CWM, LLC. CWM, LLC is not responsible for the guest’s content linked on this site.