Financial Times: Boutiques Find Niche in an Underserved Marketplace

By Syl Tang

Financial Times

For decades, the only reputable option for watch and jewellery aficionados looking for something vintage or collectable were the big name auction houses such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s, where buyers were assured of authenticity and quality.

But, with global marketing of large auctions leading to record-setting hammer prices, deals have become increasingly difficult for collectors to find, never mind wholesalers hoping to acquire for resale.

Increasingly the answer is smaller, “secret”, boutique houses, those with either highly personalised service, locations outside the big auction cities or those created by former wholesalers.

One such source is FORTUNA in New York where last November a Van Cleef & Arpels 1970s “mystery set” ruby ring sold for $36,900. Started just over a year ago, FORTUNA is selling the kinds of pieces one might expect to find at an established auction house.

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