The AWCo way

If you are reading this, chances are you are somewhat familiar with Amsterdam Watch Company. We feel, however, that we have built quite a unique watch business together and we would like to share our story with you. If you give us a moment of your time, we would love to share how we try to be the best vintage watch dealers for you.

By Thomas van Straaten on April 14, 2022

History

If you stick to your guns long enough, you will eventually build your own heritage. Looking back, we already have over twenty years of Amsterdam Watch Company behind us. The business grew from its humble beginnings in the Hartenstraat, to a ten-strong organization operating from the Reestraat today. 

We can say we have seen the vintage watch world mature. Back when Roel & Toesja started AWCo, hardly anybody knew anything about specific variations of Speedmasters or Submariners. Nowadays, it has almost become a science. We can relate specific aesthetic and technical features to specific serial number ranges and make much more informed evaluations on condition and originality. We are proud to say we have been part of that development and made our own modest contribution to it. 

It was not long before Roel and Toesja were joined by Bram, now our store manager. The three of them have been the beating heart of the company, building lasting relationships with clients, suppliers, collectors, and dealers. We are particularly proud of the fact that most of our team members stick around for a long time. A sign of how much fun we have pursuing vintage watch dealing excellence. 

First AWCo store at Hartenstraat, Amsterdam 2001

Both Toesja and Roel practice watch making – 2002

A group of strong characters

We are also very proud of the fact that we have grown into a very diverse group of strong characters. We have always stimulated our team to let their individuality and personality shine bright. No uniforms. No sales training. Just a bunch of strong characters being themselves. If we have to point out a key to our success, this is it. This allows us to connect on a personal level with a very diverse clientele. You will surely find an AWCo watch expert that you can really ‘click’ with. 

A simple rule: treat people how you would like to be treated.

We have experienced it ourselves: you walk into a boutique to find yourself being scanned from top to bottom, feeling judged by unfriendly and distant personnel. Or trying to enquire about a watch on Chrono24, getting only single-word replies without so much as a ‘Hello’. The watch world is full of arrogance, and unpleasantness. 

We decided we want to approach our clients the way we would like to be approached ourselves. Everybody’s welcome and there are no stupid questions. We try to facilitate people in their search for the perfect watch. We know that a watch can be a big and intimidating purchase, so we try to help out where we can. If someone requests some additional images or video, we pull out our phones and get it for them. A third round of questions? No problem. Trying on a watch knowing you will not be purchasing just yet? Of course you can! 

We think we can rightfully claim that we do all of this with a smile. Why? Because we get to make our living working with great people and vintage watches. How privileged are we? 

Safe buying

Most people feel a little daunted when looking for their first vintage watch. Unsure about originality and reliability, after reading horror stories online. This is a feeling we are familiar with, and aim to relieve for our clients.

For starters, we do a lot of research to ensure our watches are up to par. If we find unoriginal parts, we pass on a watch. Or if it is too good to let go, we at least describe what we have found and disclose it to the world. This means our customers can rest assured that they are making a well-informed decision. 

Then there is the servicing. These mechanical marvels require some love every now and then. So before letting any watch hit our displays, we perform a full service on them. And we mean a FULL service. No quick inspection and a little oil, but a full disassembly, cleanup, replacement of worn parts, reassembly, oiling, regulation, the works. A two-year warranty means we put our money where our mouth is. 

The original choice

From a commercial standpoint, we would be wise to limit ourselves to only a couple of models from a couple of brands. But that is not what the watch passion is about for us. 

We love to get stuck into niche segments. We love to dive into the weird and wonderful. So we are happy to bring watches to the market that might not be very commercial, but that put a smile on our faces. That crazy dial variation, that little-known brand, that quirky case shape. 

Our debut at PAN, the leading national art and design fair in the Netherlands, Amsterdam, November 2021

We are proud to be able to constantly offer a mix of very popular watches, and the downright exotic. We are no museum, of course, but we do not shy away from something special and unique. And being a small, independent business, we do not have to explain ourselves to any shareholders. Pretty neat, right? 

Oh, and we enjoy putting watches on quirky straps just as much. A formal, simple dress watch on a brightly coloured stingray strap? Sure! Let’s have some fun!

At AWCo, we pride ourselves in having an absolutely massive collection of watch straps.
Moving forward

At AWCo, we absolutely love what we do. So we are not trying to grow into something bigger than what we are. We are happy being the company we are today. So we can put all our energy into finding the best watches all over the globe and helping you find that perfect specimen to match your unique personality. It is pretty simple, actually. 

Of course, we keep our ear to the ground, spotting trends, perhaps even making trends every now and then. But being Dutch, our feet are planted firmly on the ground. We come to work to help you find that piece of beauty that you might one day pass on to the next generation. And we are honored to do so! 

Yours, Team AWCo

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