Q&A with auctioneer Tom Tombeur

Where do you buy and sell your vintage watches? One great option is online auction platform, Catawiki. They host around 30 weekly Watches auctions and have some unique features that set them apart. Every auction is curated by a team of experts, so each of the 2500 watches up for auction every week is first reviewed by their watch specialists to ensure quality and authenticity. We spoke with one of their watches experts, Tom Tombeur, and asked him a bit about his expertise and his role at Catawiki.

https://auction.catawiki.com/categories/watches

Tom Tombeur

How did your passion for watches begin?

I’ve been interested in watches for as long as I can remember; I loved the ones my dad and granddad wore. I remember getting a Mickey Mouse watch even before I could tell time…wish I still had it! The real passion began in my early 20s however and my first ‘real’ watch was a Rolex Submariner reference 14060. I still have that one.

Tom’s first Rolex
Tom’s first Rolex

How did you become an expert?

I have been a collector for 10+ years and a professional dealer for a while too. My passion for (mainly vintage) watches is very strong and I spend most of my day studying, louping and discussing timepieces.

What makes Catawiki’s watches auctions special?

The diversity and simplicity. The platform is very user friendly, more transparent and much faster than analog auction houses. The safety net of secure payments and the expertise of the staff make Catawiki trustworthy.

What does a typical day at Catawiki look like?

Every day is different. I maintain personal contact with buyers and sellers giving tips to sellers to help them promote their lots and answering questions from buyers. I screen lots, create auctions, work on potential sales leads, monitor running auctions, work with marketing, create content for instagram (@catawikiwatches), etc.

Tom at work
Tom at work

How do you decide which watches are suitable for auction?

Originality and honesty are key. We want watches as original as possible. Fake or doctored watches have no chance because our goal is to offer only the highest quality auctions possible.

What was your favourite watch ever sold at Catawiki?

An AMAZING 30s Longines flyback chronograph with my all time favourite chronograph movement: the [13ZN].

https://auction.catawiki.com/kavels/12293729-longines-chronograph-ref-13zn-men-s-watch-1936 

Longines chronograph Ref. 13ZN – Men's watch – 1936
Longines chronograph Ref. 13ZN – Men’s watch – 1936

Which watch would you love to see in the auction?

I’m a big Patek Philippe fan and would love to see one of their complicated 30s to 60s watches on auction, e.g. a reference 2499 or 1518.

Take a look at which watches are on Tom’s [auctions] this week. It’s free to register for an account and once it’s verified you can start bidding right away. If you want to sell watches with Catawiki, you can sign up as a seller [here].

https://auction.catawiki.com/categories/watches

https://www.catawiki.com/help/selling/watches

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