January 12, 2014
Did you ever try to get one of the big brand watch companies to make a watch just for you?? Well, they do…but for a price that would make a colossal hangover seem like distant bells ringing.
So, when my watch company’s Facebook page, Rpaige Watch Co., reached 5,000 likes, I decided that it would interesting and fun to celebrate the milestone by having my Facebook followers, and visitors, collectively design one of my watches…then auction it off.
I had no insights or expectations as to whether it would be a success or failure, and that really wasn’t the issue…I just thought it would be a fun for them and a great promotional event and fun for me.
Here was the original post of the contest:
I’d like to invite all of you in designing a new Rpaige Wrocket watch that I will auction off on our Facebook page when it’s completed.Here’s how it will work:
1. The group picks a case material…. either Steel or titanium…
2.The group picks a dial from several that I’ll post ….I can post up to 20 dials…
3.We pick a movement. The dial will dictate whether it’s a Waltham, Elgin or other manufacturer.
4. The group picks the hands…. and…whether or not you want to customize the hands, i.e., color, luminous, etc.
5.The watch gets meticulously restored.
6. We have an open auction where the group decides the opening bid.
7. High bidder gets it.
One caveat…. there must be at least 25 people participating in this or it will not really work.
So about 3 weeks ago, I launched the event.
We started off with the group picking a material watch case from this picture: either steel or titanium. The Steel won the popular vote.
Then we chose the dial material (enamel or painted) from this grouping of antique American Pocket Watch dials… left side: enamel…right side: painted. The group chose the left side material…enamel.
The next step was to pick a final dial…here was the grouping they chose from:
And this one got the most amounts of votes:
Continuing the design collaboration, the group now had to pick out hands for the watch…here were the choices:
And the winner was:
Finally, the movement, the heart and soul of the watch, was voted on from these two movements:
And the winner was…
So now the design component of the event was completed, I could move on to the auction stage.
The auction started on Wednesday, January 8 @ 3:00 PM EST and will go through Monday, January 13, 2014. at 10:00 PM EST. (7:00 PM PST, 5:00 PM HST).
This is how the bidding system is structured – a little low tech, but it is a first attempt:
How to bid: Place your bid in the comments under this post…or just email us your highest bid and we’ll post it for you. We’ll post the updated auction data each day so that you can see the highest current bids.
Bids must be in increments of no less than $50.00.
We launched the auction at the stroke of 10:00 AM here in Honolulu, and waited to see what, if anything, would happen.
If I had designed the watch myself with this combination of components, I would have priced it for sale on my website at $2,700. I figured this watch would have a built-in audience of potential buyers since the collective group designed it themselves, and had sort of a vested interest in it. Auctions, by nature, tend to attract two types of buyers: ones looking for a bargain; and ones who are looking for something in particular or special.
I’m writing this article on Saturday, January 11, and at this point the high bid is $1700. With still 3 days left in the auction, the jury is still out as to whether it will go for a bargain price, or by the end of the auction someone will step up and buy it for a price closer to my list price or actually exceed the list price due to its uniqueness of design collaboration.
I’ll try to write a postscript to this article after the close of the auction, and report the outcome and my thoughts about how it played out.
To see specs of the watch…click this below link: Rpaige Auction watch Specs