Aspen has no dearth of luxury watches. In the blocks surrounding Hyman Avenue, the heart of this upscale Colorado community, the number of boutiques offering high-end watches rivals the number selling ski parkas. But until this past weekend, shoppers lacked a refined space to browse and buy high-end vintage and pre-owned timepieces.
With the July 4th opening of the Oliver Smith Jeweler boutique in the historic Tom Thumb building on Hyman Avenue, Aspen finally has that piece of the market covered. The store occupies a second-story space above the village’s 6-year-old Panerai boutique, which Oliver Smith has owned and operated since 2018. (The store marks Oliver Smith’s second location; the retailer’s original location is in Scottsdale, Ariz.)
“The pre-owned watch market has grown so much in the past five to 10 years,” says boutique director Elizabeth Smith, whose father, Oliver, founded the company in 1985. “When we bought the Panerai boutique, we saw it was under-represented. We did a few pop-ups with pre-owned watches. They were a huge home run for us.”
The new boutique—which features custom furnishings by Bradford Woodworking that complement Aspen’s natural, alpine vibe—is focused on vintage timepieces from the likes of Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Rolex and Panerai. In addition to the pre-owned watch selection, the showcases include estate jewelry and Oliver Smith-designed jewelry.
Oliver Smith curates its pre-owned watch selection according to summer and winter themes (signaling the community’s two most important seasons). The theme of Summer 2020, “Iconic Sports Models,” encompasses sought-after pieces such as the Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5167, Rolex Daytona Ref. 6239 and a Panerai Marina Militare PAM 202A. It’s on through Labor Day.
The retailer has also found success doing auctions of pre-owned watches on Zoom, starting with a May 8 sale that featured 30 timepieces and 30 pieces of jewelry in which all but one watch sold.
“What’s come out of these Zoom auctions is that we have a lot of faith in Zoom and know it can work for us,” Elizabeth says.
For clients that cannot make it to Aspen this summer, or would prefer to engage with the Smiths over video, individual Zoom appointments are available.