Would You Co-Own A Watch With A Mate?

By Mr Zaratsu

In case the title didn’t already give it away, Daniel and I will be exploring the concept of co-owning a watch. It’s kind of like co-parenting, where one parent and their ex-partner alternate the care and responsibility of a child. Except that this child doesn’t need to be fed and isn’t driving you insane with their teenage hormonal mood swings. So how did this idea come about for us? Read on below to explore our combined take on this.

Jimmy’s take

A few months ago, we had an opportunity to purchase a piece that we've both had on our “to buy list” for years thanks to our mutual friend Stewart (Instagram @stewham86). It’s a piece that’s unique and not easily found, however we both wanted it! And we knew it would be somewhat of a long-term piece… so we took the plunge (the price was too good to refuse).

So what was the watch? A very attractive Longines Classique reference L4.685.4 with salmon dial. The watch is an instant classic and features a guilloche dial, date window at 6 o’clock and a small seconds component. This gorgeous piece was said to be a watch accessible to collectors only in Asia and is kind of a vintage being 23 years old. And if that wasn't mouth-watering enough, it’s also 36-37mm in size! Perfection.

Anyway back to the point, co-ownership is a fantastic thing as it allows the both of us to own and enjoy the watch together. Furthermore, in this COVID-19 world we live in where it’s perhaps risky to be splurging on luxury goods, the concept of co-ownership is a great potential risk mitigator and of course splits the outlay required. It’s always awkward to talk about money, but the truth is that this process also helps Daniel and I acquire pieces that we both love and also have funds for other priorities (yes, we have lives outside of watches). For example, I currently have a child on the way and Daniel is currently working on his new house.

Of course, it also helps that we've been good mates for some time and wouldn’t hesitate to share the love. The message I’m trying to get across here, is that you need to fully trust your co-owner. However, I can understand why one would feel uncomfortable with the idea. There are probably loads of questions brewing in your thoughts such as: What if they damage the watch? Who gets custody? How long? What happens when you sell it? Well to answer that, remember the part where I said you need to full trust your co-owner? Generally, this would be a close friend and if they are someone you can trust, then you should be able to negotiate these things with them. If you can’t, then don’t share with them!

Daniel’s take

Firstly, Jimmy did an amazing job covering this concept and I hope to follow suit. In addition to me giving Mr Lam a round of applause, I fully agree with the words written above. So instead of repeating what Jimmy mentioned, I’ll just briefly share my thought process regarding co-ownership.

For me, this story begins last year where we both had watches sent to us from our good friends at Atelier Wen. While writing the blog entries, we both admired the porcelain dials found on these exquisite pieces and decided that we wanted one (and to support Robin and Wilfred). However, at that point in time we were both expending our finances on other priorities higher up on the list. I can’t remember who, but it was most likely Jimmy, questioned why we didn’t just co-own one piece and split the ownership? I loved the idea but had several questions. What if I damaged the watch because let’s face it, when I wear my watches, I wear them (insert capitalization). And the next question posed was, how do we determine the intervals of ownership? As Jimmy mentioned earlier, you need to fully trust your co-owner and have a sit down with them (and I always enjoy my sit downs with Mr Lam).

Truth is, and excuse the Australian phrase, “we’re both pretty loose” around each other and that’s because we are very good friends. We don’t just share watches, we also share guitars and books. I guess for us, it’s always been the norm. So the trust is real here, and we’ve had this agreement that if one were to damage the product then they would be fully responsible for the repair costs or replacement funds (hopefully this doesn’t happen). Obviously, this can be an awkward conversation but as Jimmy mentioned, if you feel like it’s impossible to have this talk with a potential co-owner, then they are not suitable to share anything with.

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