Goldman's watch collection includes an assortment of Glycine, Edox and Omega timepieces.
happens here happens everywhere else in the world, especially right now with social media and the internet — it is one big market. Our view was that what was selling in other countries would also be relevant to Australia, which for us, normally, is in the United Kingdom or America. If a brand like Edox or Luminox was strong in America, it made sense that we would be able to sell a few watches within Australia. At the same time, we also looked at the changing demographics. The Asian consumer has a great appreciation for watches, whereas the average Australian consumer has never had a great appreciation for watches. They drive a fantastic car, wear a great suit and live in a great house, but it would all fall apart when it got to the wrist. I won’t mention brands, but they were wearing quartz, non-Swiss [watches], and that was seen as acceptable. In other countries, people would say, “What’s wrong with you? You don’t get it. You spend more on your shoes than you spend on your watch. It doesn’t make sense.” Our gamble was that with the right brands, the right opportunity, and the right retailers who needed assistance and help, we could have the perfect store for the brands, and so far, it has proven to be correct. Tell us more about your collection and what you think are some of the standout pieces. Personally, I’ve always had a soft spot for the Rolex Daytona. I’m sure people will say that everyone has, but for me, I have a crazy reason behind it. Back in Durban, South Africa, I met one of the coolest guys I’ve ever met in my life. He had set up a really cool clothing store in Durban, and back then, there were no cool clothing stores around. Note that this was during the worst times of apartheid, when you
could not get anything. Everything about this guy was cool: his hair, his car, his girlfriend. And he had a Daytona. It was black with a white dial, and a black bezel. Aside [from that], I also have a soft spot for Breitling, because my dad had one. I have a soft spot for Omega, because that was where it all started, and both my dad and my grandfather had Omegas. That was the generation that believed that when a person wanted a watch, he had to get a Swiss watch. Later on, being at the Swatch Group, I managed to befriend someone at the headquarters and was able to access a lot of old watches, and watches that had been returned — all of which were sitting in the bottom drawer for many, many years. At that point, my Omega collection exploded. Fortunately, my craziness has been well satisfied since. When we first started, I would ask most of the brands for the number-one piece from each of their limited editions, and they would tell me to get stuffed. They would offer me the number eight, but I refused because I felt it was not fair to have the number eight when it would be more appreciated and demanded in Asian countries. So, I told them to give me the last piece in each of the limited editions, and many of the brands agreed. They are not really for me, but for the Lion Brands collection, and I cannot imagine the vast collection of last-number, limited-edition pieces we will have in 10 or 15 years. The final plan is to put them all in a sort of showcase in the boardroom, so we can reminisce about the old days. With some of the brands, we were also able to get numbers that were relevant to me, or relevant to my partner, such as his date of birth. It is silly and immature, but these are toys for boys, and when we ask for it and they give it to us, it makes me happy. H faces 205
Published on Jun 25, 2015
Graeme Goldman, founder of Lion Brands was recently profiled in Revolution Magazine, the watch industry’s most influential global publicatio...