Tell us about your business? Where are you located?
I am Ira Schneider, and have been buying, trading and collecting watches for nearly 40 years. I started collecting watches with a single Vacheron & Constantin in the 1960’s, which I still own, and my passion grew from there. My trading activity increased over the years, and, with the Internet and eBay at my fingertips, I was able to create my own online presence. Since then, I have increased my Web presence to Chrono24 and other luxury watch sites.
My private office is located in Scottsdale, Arizona, and I pride myself not only on being a purveyor of rare, collectible watches, but providing high-quality timepieces at reasonable prices with outstanding customer service.
I named the business and web site “FeelGoodWatches” because I believe owning and wearing a classic watch truly makes you “feel good”.
Since when have you been in business?
FeelGoodWatches was formally incorporated in 2000, but I traded independently for many years before this.
What kind of watches do you sell?
At FeelGoodWatches.com, my inventory consists of both new and pre-owned watches with a wide range of brands, models and prices. I also have jewellery, art pieces and accessories available.
Patek Philippe, A. Lange & Sohne, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Breguet, and Audemars Piguet are some of the brands I carry on a regular basis. I have the ability to obtain any brand for you, including Cartier, Breitling, TAG Heuer, Officine Panerai, Omega, Graham and Ulysse Nardin.
What makes you unique?
One of my biggest strengths is that I actually sell watches and not simply pictures of watches; what I advertise, I have in stock. I also have world-wide contacts to acquire new stock.
Do you also buy watches? What kind of watches are you looking for?
Yes, I buy watches and will consider most of the high-end brands, but buy mostly Patek Philippe, A. Lange & Sohne and Vacheron.
What payment methods do you accept?
I always prefer wire transfer and international transactions may only be paid by wire transfer. For my U.S. Customers, I will also accept personal, business or certified checks drawn on a U.S. bank, with up to a 7 business day hold. I will also accept U.S.-based Visa or MasterCard up to $5,000 USD with a 3% Handling Fee added and shipping only to the U.S. billing address for that card.
What kind of warranties do you offer?
Most of my watches carry a minimum 1 year warranty. If there is factory warranty longer than 1 year, that will supersede my warranty; if less than 1 year, I will warrant beyond the remaining factory warranty up to 1 year.
Do you attend trade shows? Where could a potential buyer meet you?
Yes. I try and attend all IWJG shows during the year and have occasionally attended shows in Munich.
Are you a member of any watch related organization?
Yes. I am a member in good standing of the International Watch & Jewelry Guild (IWJG) and the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC).
What was the most interesting watch that you have ever sold?
Probably a Vacheron Constantin 4261 Minute Repeater that was only 1 of 2 known to exist cased in a 36mm platinum case.
What do you think is the internet’s impact on buying and selling luxury watches?
The Net allows the “average” buyer to look at high-end watches and opens the market up to people who might not necessarily get to stores. At the same time, if someone has a high-end brand, and wants to sell it, they often get an inflated view of what it might be worth. Either way, the Net has opened up whole new markets, for both buying and selling.
What are in your opinion current trends in watch making?
One trend, that we’ve already seen, is sizes are retreating from the extreme sizes we were seeing the past few years. One of the things driving this is the high cost of precious metals and, I feel that by 2012, we will see significant decreases in case =mass= (i.e. how much precious metal is used) as well as physical size.
What watch would you recommend to someone who buys his or her first watch?
It all depends on what type of watch they’re wanting (i.e. a sport watch, dress, casual, etc.), their age and their financial situation. The two brands that hold their value the best are Patek and, even though I sell very few of them, Rolex. I like to recommend simple Calatravas for a first good watch as they can be dressed up and down and can be worn daily to work and after work.
What watch model or watch brand do you think will mostly likely increase its value in the future?
Patek, as a brand, is still #1 and will continue to do well for the foreseeable future. I think that Lange will start coming up more, but will lag Patek for a good long time. Good used Rolexes always hold their value, as well. Vacheron does well for specific models.
How did you get involved with watches?
Just by enjoying buying and wearing a nice timepiece. After a while, I started researching and reading about the top brands and this fueled my interest.
What was your first personal watch?
A Vacheron Constantin gold manual watch I bought when I got married. I still have it.
What is your grail watch?
Probably a Patek 5016 Perpetual Calendar Minute Repeater Tourbillon.
What do you like about Chrono24?
I like its worldwide reach and how easy it is for my customers to contact me.
Finally, what advice do you have for Chrono24?
Keep building your reach to draw more and more people in. Also, become informed and aware of the not-so-nice people in the business, both buying and selling, and try and police them to keep Chrono24 an honest marketplace.