It was late 2015 when Material Good in New York first opened its doors with a beautifully clear purpose: to rewrite the rulebook of what a luxury shopping experience should be. Located on the second floor of 120 Wooster Street in bustling SoHo, Material Good is not just a watch boutique, a jewelry store, or an art gallery. Sure, its walls are lined with cases containing the latest and greatest timepieces from Richard Mille, Audemars Piguet, and Anita Ko; and hanging above them you can spot one of the largest-ever Damien Hirst Dots on Canvas paintings as well as a few rare pieces from Andy Warhol (an original Brillo box and a unique piece created for his boyfriend, among others); and yes, everything in the store (including the custom furniture) is for sale—but that is effectively where the conventional retail framework ends. It is a lounge, a cozy living room, and a private retreat where shoppers can sit and contemplate a purchase comfortably and without the occasionally frenetic buzz of conventional retail spaces. The best part? It also carries an impressive selection of vintage timepieces.
Sitting down with Material Good’s chief marketing officer, Yoni Ben-Yehuda, I could sense his genuine excitement about the vintage pieces I was about to see. “Obviously, we want to focus on offering some of the best examples of these rare vintage watches, but our founders’ goal is to go further than that,” says Ben-Yehuda. “Rob and Michael have always been very thoughtful about our inventory by selecting pieces that they know will either retain or increase in value over time. The goal is to help our clients build a meaningful collection of vintage timepieces that are unique, rare, valuable, and significant in the pantheons of watchmaking history.” With the broader vintage market achieving record-breaking sales figures in 2016, this is an easier task than it has been in the past, but looking at these four rare gems, the Material Good team clearly isn’t resting on its laurels. (materialgoodny.com)