If you really want to find a watch second hand it can be an arduous task, especially if it’s a rare, discontinued or popular.
Most watch sales listings sections are hard to navigate by modern technological standards. Enter WatchRecon.com, a website that culls private sales listings for the top watch forums and shows the most important details of each sales post in a grid, complete with photos, prices, an overview and a link to the full listing. What’s very useful is setting alerts on WatchRecon with your search terms so you can be one of the first ones to know when a mint Helson Shark Diver or no-date Sub C pops up for sale.
On navigating the sales threads of various watch forums, Sy said, in a phone interview; “You had to click into everything to see images and you didn’t know immediately what the price was. I felt I needed to elevate this because it’s what I do (for work) and I wanted to make my own life easier.”
So Sy set forth and built what is now Watch Recon with what he termed “simple code.” For the record, Sy works a major Internet company, but did not want to disclose the company name.
“The site started working well for myself and then people started using it and it caught on,” he said. Sy declined to give specific traffic numbers because he has received offers from companies who want to buy the site as a means to sell advertising. So far, Sy has kept Watch Recon as a free site that has no mechanism for profit.
Sy was raised in Hong Kong and Taiwan before coming to the United States to attend University of California at Berkley and Stanford University. He currently lives in New York City. He first became interested in watches when he received a MontBlanc dress watch as a gift from his girlfriend in the late 2000s.
“That watch was a manual wind watch with a power reserve indicator on the dial, which I thought was pretty cool,” said Sy. “I began to really become interested in how watches work.”
He currently owns about 10 watches, he said, and his favorite brands include IWC, Sinn and Omega. But he enjoys the window-shopping aspect of his creation the most.
“I love getting to understand the market a bit more,” he said.
But the market clearly understands the value of Watch Recon. Sy said he not only gets offers to buy his site, he receives thank you emails and also emails from people who seem to lose sleep about why he doesn’t try to make money from such a high-traffic web property.
“People even ask if they can give me donations,” said Sy. “But right now I am happy with what it is. It’s something I created and it works.”
by Li Wang