September 20, 2015
by Mark Carson
Welcome back to an aBlogtoWatch original series, where we discuss important stores that sell watches all over the world. Each store we profile has an interesting story to tell about where they operate and who they sell to. Whether you buy watches from brick and mortar retailers or prefer to buy watches online, these are the stores that help shape our watch culture around the globe. There is a long list of stores to cover, but if there is a retail location in your favorite city that we simply can’t miss, let us know in the comments below. Here is a map of stores we have covered so far.
With the name “OC Watch Company,” you might expect to find this store in Orange County in Southern California. But no, in this case, it’s “OC” for O’Connor, as in Kyle O’Connor, who spent a dozen years in the jewelry and customer service industry before opening OC Watch Company in 2013 in Walnut Creek – which is in East Bay area in Northern California. But Kyle has been selling watches since 2009. With OC Watch Company, he created the area’s leading destination specializing in the sale, acquisition, trading, and service of high-end wristwatches.
Kyle says that each client he meets has their own set of needs, and their satisfaction is his utmost priority. His goal is to share his knowledge and passion with customers and to educate them on any aspects of the industry they have questions about, and to guide them through any prospective changes to their collection.
Kyle believes that much like a well-tailored suit, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all piece for collectors and enthusiasts. He sees his mission as to find that special watch that meets or exceeds his clients’ high expectations.
aBlogtoWatch: What types of watches are popular in your market? What makes Walnut Creek a unique place to buy watches?
OC Watch Company: Rolex and Panerai are the most popular brands in Walnut Creek. Walnut Creek has become THE place to shop in the East Bay with the addition of stores like Neiman Marcus, Prada, Tiffany & Co., along with the addition of the Broadway Plaza Promenade.
ABTW: What would you tell watch lovers in other cities that watch lovers in Walnut Creek like? Do you serve mostly locals or tourists, or is it a good mix? Also, what percentage of your customers would you call “knowledgeable watch collectors?”
OC Watch Company: A lot of local customers and not so many tourists. However, a lot of people in the Walnut Creek area have moved here from other parts of the United States, which brings a lot of family and friends that visit and end up purchasing watches here. I would say it is a 50/50 mix of watch collectors vs people that enjoy nice timepieces.
ABTW: What is Walnut Creek best known for? What do visitors have to do, see, or eat while there?
OC Watch Company: Walnut Creek has become the place to come for shopping and dining in the East Bay. With the massive remodel of Broadway Plaza and downtown area, people don’t have to travel to San Francisco to get that shopping and dining experience.
ABTW: As a business, do you sponsor or participate in any local events, watch-related or otherwise?
OC Watch Company: I founded the San Francisco chapter of Red Bar. Buying and selling watches is not just a business for me. I have enjoyed watches since I was about 11 years old when my Dad gave me my first watch. I have sponsored many of the Red Bar SF events so far.ABTW: What are some of the watch brands you are known for carrying? If you could pick a watch brand or model that epitomizes the culture or style of Walnut Creek what would it be?
OC Watch Company: OC Watch Company is all about luxury pre-owned watches. Therefore, we carry a little bit of everything. Specializing in brands like Rolex, Panerai, IWC, Omega, Breitling, Cartier. It is great for our customers because we are not confined to carrying only a few brands. We offer a tailored non-biased shopping experience for first time watch buyers and collectors.