BOSTON—Amit Dev Handa has a passion for watches. He has helped President Bill Clinton, Tom Brady and musicians in the world of Rock n Roll like Elliot Easton make decision about watches.
Mr. Handa spent his entire adult life working in the luxury watch business. “My training started in the retail environment selling everything from Swatch to Rolex to A. Lange & Sohne,” he says. “I was fortunate enough to work with politicians, celebrities, professional athletes and watch enthusiasts alike.”
Over time he earned the privilege of traveling to New York, Switzerland and Germany to be trained directly by various watch manufacturers: Panerai, IWC, Vacheron Constantin, Rolex, Jaeger LeCoultre, A. Lange & Sohne and Zenith to name a few.
Today, Mr. Handa is the official luxury Timepiece Concierge at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel of Las Vegas where he advises and sources watches for the guests who are staying at the hotel. “It’s an official service at the hotel. I also have my own personal clients that I advise and source watches for. I am also the distributor of a unique brand inspired by WWII alitmeter guages called, Kingsley 1945 watches.”
INDIA New England News interviewed Mr. Handa via Internet about his passion and high-end watches. Here are the excerpts:
INDIA New England News: How did you get interested in watches and how long you have been passionate about watches?
Amit Dev Handa: I have always been interested in watches since an early age. I remember getting my first calculator watch when I was twelve. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Since I was in a family watch business is was easy. I was surrounded by these beautiful machines my whole life. What started it for me was Swatch. This ignited my passion. They were so much more than just a watch. They were art that ticked. Also, they were affordable attainable and collectible. Believe it or not, I learned all the fundamentals of the watch industry from this one brand and then my passion grew even further once we got Rolex as a brand. The rest is history!
INE: There is too much variation in prices of watches. How do I know I am buying the right watch and the right price?
ADH: It all depends on your budget and your personal preferences. At the end of the day, you need to buy what you like. Most collectors start with one watch and that gets them going on to the next one and then the next one. Once you have the watch bug it’s hard to stop.
Most of the major Swiss Luxury watch brands don’t offer discounts. So unless you have a relationship with a retailer or someone you trust it’s all trial and error. If you want to know for sure, one can engage my services where I will advise, guide and assist you. I charge a nonrefundable $150 consultation fee and if the client works with me to purchase a watch I deduct the $150 fee from the final purchase price of the watch.
INE: Tell us about the price range of high-end watches?
ADH: Watches in the high end can for from $15,000- a few million dollars. It just depends on the brand, how limited the production is and how limited the distribution is. Usually, watches start getting expensive once you add a complication other than time and date like a chronograph, minute repeater, Tourbillon and perpetual calendar. Also, most high-end watches are made in precious metals like gold and platinum or even exotic materials like forged carbon or carbon fiber.
INE: What are some of the top brands today?
ADH: Top brands today include Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, F.P. Journe, A Lange & Sohne, Richard Mille, IWC and Zenith.
INE: Tell us about the watches whose values remain relatively stable as well as whose value goes down with time?
ADH: The only brands that really hold their value throughout history are Rolex and Patek Philippe. There are certain watches from different brands that hold their value but I would say most brands lose anywhere from 60-80% of their value as soon as you buy them. Rolex & Patek Philippe are the exceptions.
INE: What do you like most about your profession?
I get to help people and do what I love every day on my own terms while having a lot of fun. I get to meet new people, teach them, and I learn something new every day. The day I stop having fun and learning is the day I stop doing it.
INE: Who are some of the people you have helped make decisions about watches?
ADH: I have helped a lot of people manage decisions about watches, specifically Bill Clinton, Tom Brady, musicians in the world of Rock n Roll like Elliot Easton from the Band, The Cars. The Cars were just inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame this year. I have helped many top CEOs, politicians, playwrights, artists and designers.
For more information, visit his website at www.amitdevhanda.com .