We catch up with Sigfrid and Silvia from the Barcelona-based treasure trove Watches83...
You know that this isn’t going to be an ordinary home office when you walk in and there’s a vintage table football machine next to a plastic skeleton called Claudio.
Welcome to the world of www.watches83.com: a vintage watch-seller just outside Barcelona in Spain that stands out for the eclecticism as well as excellence of its products.
There’s no point telling you what they have on sale, as the stock is shifting all the time, so you can only get a real flavour of what’s on offer by checking out the website for yourself. But suffice it to say that this is one of the most gloriously wide-ranging and interesting line-up of watches that you’ll ever see on any website in the world. Period.
That may sound like a big claim, but you’ll be convinced when you see the range of watches lined up. And the biggest beauty of it all is that none of these watches are expensive, on a relative scale. You won’t find any of the absolutely huge names on there either – or rather you will occasionally, but they will be on the unaccustomed models.
This is a watch site for people who are really and properly into watches, rather than mere labels. Sigfrid Querol, who founded the company in 2015 with his wife Silvia, is a graphic designer by trade (he still designs sets for TV shows now) and that clearly shows in his retail philosophy, which is led by art and design.
Above all, Sigfrid and Silvia fervently believe in the democracy of design and good taste. A timeless design and a classic watch should be available to all, rather than just the monied few.
And Sigfrid knows what it’s like to start from zero. He’d traded watches informally for years but a devastating burglary meant that he then had to start a watch business from scratch, and so watches83 was born.
Why 83? It was the suffix to an old eBay account that Silvia had – and also the year that the internet was born. As watches83 is a purely online business, the name made absolute sense. Since then, Sigfrid has been on the hunt for interesting watches on a daily basis. He religiously posts a new watch on his website every day, and his customers come from all four corners of the world. He mostly deals with individual collectors, many of whom become regular customers and also friends – which Sigfrid says is the best part of the job.
It’s easy to see why so many people keep coming back. Sigfrid and Silvia insist on originality, which is why you will see watches on there that are tidied up, but nothing that is fundamentally altered. The watches have to speak for themselves and they proudly show their age, which is described in honest detail on the eye-catching website.
As is often the case, Sigfrid inherited his passion for watches from his father – but although his father then moved on to collect fountain pens, Sigfrid’s interest in watches only grew as the years went on. Coupled with his flair for design, it was clear that Sigfrid had a winning concept on his hands with watches83, in which he is fully invested both financially and emotionally.
Because of that, what he offers is not a traditional relationship between watch seller and customer; instead it’s more like a shared journey that really brings out the fun in watches and watch-collecting.
“If you do something, you have to do it with all your heart and your soul,” is how Sigfrid sums it up. “For both of us, it’s the culmination of a dream. It’s hard work and not an easy business, but we absolutely love what we do; we wouldn’t have it any other way.”
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