Ever wondered who scouts the brands and chooses the watches Watch Gang members every month? That would be Chad Tsagris, Watch Gang’s Director of Distribution. Chad works behind the scenes to seek out the best watches for our members, works with brand partners, and negotiates the best deals on watches for all tiers. He also happens to be an expert on all things watches so he’s also (unofficially) Watch Gang’s in-house horology advisor. We had a chance to catch up with Chad to find out more about his world and some tips for all watch enthusiasts out there. Here’s the deal…
Chad joined forces with Watch Gang last October, about a year after the company launched. He met the company as the owner of Iron Bridge Watches. Name sound familiar? If you’ve been with Watch Gang for a while, you might remember seeing the Iron Bridge name alongside Out of Order (OOO), Terra Cielo Mare (TCM), Laco 1925, Fortuna Chronometrie, and Orologi Calamai. Iron Bridge Watch Co. was the U.S. distributor for all of these watch brands and now Watch Gang is now the official U.S. distributor. Chad played an instrumental role in bringing these brands to Watch Gang. Now, Chad serves as Watch Gang’s Director of Distribution. He works with the Watch Gang Operations Team to bring on more brand partners and build relationships with new vendors. He’s well-known in the watch world and has years of experience working with luxury brands and high-end timepieces. Chad’s the guy who chooses all the watches members receive each month and acts as a liaison between Watch Gang and brand partners, negotiating deals and making things happen.
Journey Into the Watch WorldSo where does his love for watches come from? Chad says he’s been a vintage watch collector since he was in high school. His watch collection started at the young age of 10 when he got his first watch: An Esquire Swiss Quartz watch. One of his first jobs was working at a jewelry store when he was 17 years old. For Chad, working at the jewelry store was the gateway to the world of watches. He learned how to authenticate watches and soon started buying, trading, and flipping watches for profit. It became a side gig for him and he’s still in the trading business more than a decade later.Outside of Watch Gang, Chad’s also a broker for ultra luxury watches. “I was doing that for years before joining Watch Gang so I got to work with dozens of high-end watch brands,” says Chad. “I’m a consultant and an appraiser, people come to me when they need to verify what a watch is worth or if they need help finding something.”
What's in Chad's Watch Box?Chad’s exposed to hundreds of watches in any given month through his work ventures so it’s no surprise he has a larger than average watch collection. He estimates he has roughly just over 70 watches in his collection at any given time and likes to keep a rotation of vintage, designer, and ultra luxury styles. So what are his favorites? He has a few Watch Gang favorites and discovered a few unique and extraordinary finds on his travels:
- Grail watches: Omega Speedmaster from 1969, the Transitional year; Rolex 18k Gold Submariner; and the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph.
- Watch Gang favorites: OOO Casanova, BOLD Explorer (Black), Melbourne, and West End
- Most amazing watches he’s seen to date:
- Speake Marin Crazy Skulls Flying Tourbillon Minute Repeater: The watch features hand-engravings, moving skulls, and a Haute Horlogerie movement.
- Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore 0001: Chad had the opportunity to see serial #1, the first Royal Oak ever made. It’s an iconic watch with an octagonal bezel and dial featuring the famous ‘tapisserie’ pattern.
- Romain Jerome Titanic DNA T-OXY III: The bezel is made with parts from the Titanic, a steampunk-inspired watch with an engraving of the Titanic on the back. Chad saw this watch at the watchmaker’s studio and had the chance to hold a piece of the Titanic.
Some Tips for Watch CollectorsChad has more than a decade of watch collecting under his belt and works with luxury watch collectors the world over. So of course he has some tips to share. Here’s what every watch collector needs to know:
- Start at a comfortable level. “Even if you want a super expensive watch in your collection, start at level that’s financially comfortable for you,” says Chad. “You want to build your collection up with watches you can afford, not just your dream watches.”
- Take your time. “There’s no rush when it comes to collecting watches. Take your time to find watches you really like and enjoy the process of discovery.”
- Only buy what you like. “Your collection should be an extension of your tastes and what you personally like. This is why no collection is alike, and you’ll want to fill your watch box with only the types of watches you plan on wearing and want to keep. That being said, you’ll want to buy watches that other people like when you plan on trading or flipping watches.”
- Don’t start a collection for its monetary value. While some watches can be an investment that you could sell for a profit at a later date, don’t set your heart on doing that with every watch. “Don’t focus too much on the monetary value of your collection”, says Chad. “Prices go up and down, so unless you’re doing it only to flip, focus more on the watches and styles you want to make watch collecting rewarding.”