March 03, 2020
Collectors favorite #10: Eric Wind
In this collectors favorite we talk with one of the mvp's in the vintage watch world. Hodinkee, Christie's, volunteer at the White house, you name it. Many of you readers probably already know his name or have heard somebody talk about him. This is in fact with good reasoning, all I can say is: Enjoy the read, this is not a fairytale, this man, his story and these watches are real.
Editors note: A big thank you to Isaac Wingold for being my wingman for this collectors favorite, I am beyond grateful for this opportunity.
Who are you?
Hi Bert! I am Eric Wind (@ericmwind)
What was your first watch?
My first watch ever was a G.I. Joe digital watch and my first mechanical watch was a Hamilton Neil that was a gift from my grandmother to my grandfather for their wedding in 1947.
What is your favorite watch in your personal collection?
It's hard to pick a favorite, but I guess it would be my Rolex Submariner reference 5512 with "Neat Fonts" dial that I got from my friend Paul Altieri of Bob's Watches. I included it in the Submariner Reference Points on HODINKEE.source: Eric his own instagram
What is your all-time favorite aka holy grail watch?
That is also a very hard choice, but I guess it would be the Patek Philippe reference 2499 in platinum that was previously owned by Eric Clapton. I would love to own that watch!
Source: Hodinkee, article by Ben Clymer.
Do you have a watch incoming or are you on the hunt for one?
As a dealer, I probably get at least one watch a day in the mail, so it is a constant flow of watches I am selling and watches I am buying. I feel privileged to do what I do!
Best watch related advice for any other collector?
Condition, condition, condition! And provenance!
( Editors note: take this to heart dear readers!)
How did u get into watches?
I first really got into vintage watches when I stumbled on a little blog back in 2008 called HODINKEE. Little did I know that within two years I would be writing for the blog and within 7 years I would be working in watches full time at Christie's!
( These are some of the crazy watches he is working with at the moment of writing this article, you should take a look at his stock here!)
Do you regret selling a particular watch?
Many of the watches I have sold have gone up considerably over the years and I am certainly okay with that and happy for the next owners, but I do really regret selling a rare Heuer "Skipperera" model for around $9,000 that within about 2 years was worth about $80,000! I sold it to help pay for my Oxford MBA expenses, however, so I do have something positive to show for it.
Most memorable watch related story?
While I was at Christie's, we got a document with about 15 watches on it from a gentleman in his 90s who was about to move to Florida and wanted to downsize his estate. One watch was a Patek Philippe with small pearls as the hour markers, something I had never seen. I showed the photo to John Reardon and he also said he had not seen anything like it. My colleague Brandon Frazin and I drove out to his house in Connecticut to see the watch in person so we could also open it and order an Extract from the Archives of Patek Philippe. When we asked the gentleman where he got it, he told us that it was a gift to him from the ruler of Bahrain, who he had assisted with some business matters and who was a friend of his dating back to his service in the Middle East in the United States Army Air Force. When we heard back from Patek Philippe, they confirmed that they produced the watch with "pearl hour markers", which caused us to jump for joy with excitement! Later, we found a photo from the Archives of Patek Philippe possibly showing that very watch. It was hard to determine an exact estimate for the watch and the owner was simply happy we were willing to take it for auction, so we put the estimate at a conservative $10,000 to $15,000, which is a little above what the watch would sell for without the pearl hour markers. A few minutes before that lot came up in the December 16, 2015 auction in New York, about 25 Christie's colleagues from various departments poured into the phone bidding areas on the right and left sides of the auction room, ready to call clients who wanted to phone bid. I had never seen anything like it! Coincidentally, the date of our auction had coincided with Bahrain's National Day and the watch had begun a significant story of interest in the Middle East. After about a 15-minute protracted bidding battle, one phone bidder took it home at a price of $437,500. Needless to say, it was an experience I will never forget! And the owner and his wife were beyond ecstatic!
Favorite strap in the Perpetualwatchlover collection?
I love this champagne grained leather one!
Thank you all for reading, hope you enjoyed the interview and his story as much as I did. Eric is definitely a very influential and all around good guy for the watch industry. I am personally very grateful that nowadays I have the opportunity to talk to this kind of watch enthusiasts on the regular. Feel free to check more about Eric through these links:
Linkedin: Eric Wind
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store: you are already here you silly x