In Bezel's exclusive interview, we sit down with the Geneva-based watch dealer and author to explore his introduction to the world of watches, his Omega Speedmaster expertise, plus the most prized watch in his ever-changing collection.
Along with his brother Roy, Sacha Davidoff's encyclopedic knowledge of all things watches is second to none. After nearly 20 years of working in the watch industry, the Geneva-based dealer's constant research, scholarship, and intense passion are nothing if not blatantly evident upon discussion. To little surprise, Davidoff's Switzerland boutique - Roy & Sacha Davidoff S.A. – is a go-to destination for many of the world's top collectors.
In Bezel's exclusive interview, we sit down with the internationally renowned dealer and author to explore his introduction to the world of watches, his Omega Speedmaster expertise, plus the most prized watch in his ever-changing collection.
Bezel: How did you get into watches?
SD: My older brother Roy has been into watches since before I was born. His addiction was highly contagious, especially since he bought me my first important watch for my high school graduation – a Rolex Oysterdate Ref. 6694. After I finished my studies, I joined him working at a watch brand in Switzerland, and we collected vintage watches as a hobby in our spare time until we eventually went out on our own and opened our shop.
Bezel: At what point did you know you wanted to work in the watch industry?
SD: I studied advertising in university, and not long after graduating, I quickly began to feel that career path wasn't for me. I wanted to work in something more tangible, and at the time the watches – independents especially – were booming in emerging markets like Russia. By 2006, I was ready to make a move. When presented with the choice between working a marketing job in Miami or moving back to Switzerland to accept a job offer with a watch brand, my decision was quickly made.
Bezel: What was your first watch, and what's the story behind it?
SD: My first watch was a Flik Flak, which is pretty much a tradition for Swiss kids. The first important watch I bought for myself was an Omega Speedmaster "Japan Racing," circa 2004. It was $3,700, and I hunted for it after the JDM-exclusive variant had already all been sold out. I saw it on the cover of a watch magazine in Japan in 2006 while on a business trip, and immediately fell in love. Sadly, it was impossible to find. No one really knew about it outside Japan, so with the help of a Japanese colleague, I finally found an example on a sketchy local classified ads website, from a seller who I essentially couldn't communicate with.
After wiring the money, I was met with total radio silence for an entire month. I kinda accepted that I was an idiot and had been scammed, but one fine day, a little over one more month later, a small box arrived at my doorstep.
But it did arrive! An unworn, full-set in all its glory. It’s hard to believe that watch is 20 years old this year.
Bezel: What is it about the Omega Speedmaster that's captivated you and your brother so intensely?
SD: Both of us have a personal history with the Speedmaster, and upon founding our own business in 2013, we felt that Speedmasters were highly undervalued. So we started focusing on all the crazy different variants one could find, and soon after, we released a complete and comprehensive guide to Speedmaster collecting in the form of the Moonwatch Only book. We organized a successful exhibition in late 2015 with its various authors and over 100 collectors, and followed up with our own book in 2016 covering the pieces displayed throughout the exhibition. It kinda stuck from there.
Bezel: What's your favorite watch in your collection, and why?
SD: My favorite watch is usually the one I've just added to my collection. The Cartier Coussin "Bamboo" I just puicked up is the world record-setting example – I wear it pretty much daily and love it. The condiiton is stunning, the design is captivating, and the size is ideal.
Some will say it's rarer than a Crash and was a great buy, some will say that I'm totally out of my mind, but I already have an offer on it should I eventually decide to sell.
Bezel: Can you share three must-have watches listed on Bezel right now?
SD: Of course
Bezel: Why do you continue to enjoy collecting watches?
SD: I enjoy the hell out of my watches, and whether prices go up or down is of zero importance. I make a living being a watch dealer, so even if I lose money on every single watch in my personal collection, it's a price I'm happy to pay.
Sometimes the lines are blurred, but I try my best to keep my private collection and business stock separate. I think I overpay for my private watches so that I am less tempted to sell them. Who knows.
Have someone in mind that you'd like to see featured? Interested in submitting a story of your own?
Reach out to us at email@example.com.
- Isaac Wingold
Bezel is available to download on the App Store now. Please reach out to our concierge team if there is anything we can help you with!