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In conversation with Eddie Goziker, Wrist Aficionado Co - Founder.
Wrist Aficionado stands as a premier destination for the world's most sought-after timepieces and exquisite jewelry. With opulent boutiques gracing Madison Avenue in New York City, the Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills, and the Setai Hotel in Miami, alongside a thriving online presence, the brand offers a global platform for luxury enthusiasts. Renowned among prolific collectors and discerning connoisseurs worldwide, Wrist Aficionado is revered for its unmatched expertise and exclusive access, making it a trusted authority in the realm of luxury timepieces and jewelry.

Wrist Aficionado Co-Founder Eddie Goziker’s journey to luxury timepieces was unexpected. From Queens to Long Island, he cultivated a love for watches while working at Tourneau. Starting with a Cartier Roadster, his collection grew to 20 pieces by college graduation. Despite a successful dentistry career, Eddie and friend Vadim Yakubov launched in 2016. Rapid success led to an NYC office, then boutiques at the Setai Hotel and Waldorf Astoria. Now, offering more than watches, Wrist Aficionado redefines modern luxury. BURO dives deeper into his business…

Can you tell us about the founding story of Wrist Aficionado? What inspired the inception of the company, and how has it evolved since then?

We have been friends since childhood and are also both long-time watch collectors. Vadim and I initially operated Wrist Aficionado out of a shared office space as a proof of concept. Since then, we  have expanded the business’s retail presence to include three physical boutiques in NYC, Beverly Hills, and Miami.

With luxury retail being highly competitive, what strategies have you implemented to establish Wrist Aficionado as a leading retailer in the industry?

Top tier customer service is critical in luxury retail. Clients want to feel that they are taken care of and that you can address their every need. Wrist Aficionado services the highest-end segment of the market through its concierge service, providing access to incredibly limited pieces that are in demand but cannot be obtained by most people through the traditional avenues.

Wrist Aficionado is renowned for its boutique locations in prestigious areas like Madison Avenue in New York City and the Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills. How do you choose these locations, and how do they contribute to the brand’s identity and success?

Our boutiques are strategically located in areas with the clientele that we know we can best serve. Luxury hotels like the Waldorf and Setai are where the 1% stay, ensuring that the foot traffic is a natural match for the type of service that we offer.

In an era dominated by online shopping, how do you balance the traditional luxury boutique experience with your global online retail platform? What advantages does each offer, and how do they complement each other? With significant purchases like ultra-luxury watches, people always prefer to see pieces in person before spending their money. A large portion of our business does come from people discovering our brand online first, so the online retail platform and social channels are more for brand awareness. The in-person experience is where these pieces come to life, which is why we don’t see the in-person component going away any time soon for high-end luxury.

Maintaining a reputation for unparalleled expertise and access is crucial in the luxury market. Could you elaborate on how Wrist Aficionado ensures its team possesses the knowledge and expertise necessary to cater to discerning collectors and connoisseurs?

Wrist Aficionado employs a team of concierges with extensive industry experience. With this segment of the market, it really requires someone who has a deep understanding of both the history of the brands and the current landscape of the market. All of our staff keep up to date with current releases and shifts in brand/model perception to guarantee that our clients are in good hands.

The luxury watch and fine jewelry market often involve limited editions and exclusive releases. How does Wrist Aficionados secure such coveted items for its clientele, and how do you maintain relationships with high-profile brands?

The simple answer is long-standing relationships that we have built over time. Trust is everything when it comes to items of this value, and we are highly critical of how we source pieces. We make sure to conceal the identity of all clients we source watches from in order to protect their relationships with the watch brands themselves.

Customer service is integral to luxury retail. How does Wrist Aficionados prioritize customer experience, both in-store and online, to cultivate loyalty and satisfaction among its clientele?

Our concierges are highly attentive to the needs of our clientele — whether someone is shopping for their first Rolex or a piece unique grail watch. We treat all of our customers with the same respect, always keeping their preferences and best interests in mind. The fact of the matter is that if we look after our clients, they will come back for their next timepiece (and also bring their friends and family).

Sustainability and ethical sourcing are increasingly important considerations for consumers. How does Wrist Aficionados approach these aspects of its business, particularly concerning the materials and manufacturing processes of the timepieces and jewelry it offers?

The secondary market for ultra high-end watches is inherently great for sustainability, as many pieces are limited to a small production run (sometimes in the low double digits). This means that the same highly sought after pieces inevitably enter circulation and are always treasured by their current owner. Eventually, pieces of this caliber are even passed down through generations. The same meticulous process goes into our fabrication of jewelry. Diamonds are all hand selected, always choosing the highest quality available, and the design process is carefully detailed in collaboration with our clients. The goal is to always bring their vision to reality. Just as we take pride in every watch that we curate for our clients we do the same with every piece of jewelry that would be fabricate.

Wrist Aficionados caters to a global clientele. How does the company navigate cultural differences and preferences to ensure its offerings resonate with diverse markets while maintaining a cohesive brand identity?

We are highly sensitive to the stylistic preferences of different regions, not only globally but even domestically. For example, collectors in Beverly Hills and Miami may seek flashier gem-set pieces while those in locations like New York may prefer to fly under the radar with highly complicated details that can only be observed up-close. Certain watches are limited editions made specifically for a market (Arabic hour markers on Rolexes, specific dial colors with Audemars Piguet), so we will always keep specific clientele in mind when sourcing pieces.

Looking to the future, what are the key opportunities and challenges you foresee for Wrist Aficionado in the evolving luxury retail landscape, and how do you plan to address them?

We would love to expand to new retail locations so that more people can experience our luxury watch owning process for themselves. The market is also constantly evolving in reaction to the economy and the amount of wealth available for discretionary purchases. What we’re seeing now is a new demographic of buyer who may have been priced out in the past couple of years when everyone saw watches as a hot speculative investment. More customers these days are buying what they truly want to wear themselves, which is healthy for the retail landscape and the watch community as a whole.