The Wrist Aficionado lounge, where we held our candid conversation with Eddie Goziker, co-founder and wristwatch expert.
The Wrist Aficionado lounge, where we held our candid conversation with Eddie Goziker, co-founder and wristwatch expert.Courtesy of Wrist Aficionado

The Wild World of Luxury Watches: How Wrist Aficionado Leveraged Social Media to Become Industry Experts

From Social Media Sensation to Horological Heavyweights: Inside Wrist Aficionado's Rise to Timepiece Royalty

In a modest back room in Manhattan, surrounded by designer decor and a startling array of ultimate luxury timepieces, Wrist Aficionado co-founder and resale expert Eddie Goziker casually picks up coveted pieces such as a Patek Philippe Nautilus with a revered Tiffany Blue dial and a sought-after Audemars Piguet Royal Oak design with bare hands - both of which are worth nearly $2 million each.

To understand the world of timepieces for high society, one must know the sheer passion that lies behind the stories of those buying and selling these works of functional art. Wristwatch experts Wrist Aficionado, a duo of Eddie Goziker and partner Vadim Yakubov, rose to social media fame and built a successful line of white-glove service resale boutiques in a mere few years. Eddie walks us through their riveting story of growth, professional insight on trends, and passion for unrivaled customer service to the world's elite.

Discover The Wrist Aficionado Story

If there’s a single statement piece that stoutly stands the test of time for elevating an outfit, adding luxury to a simple look, communicate a lifestyle, and even serve as a generational heirloom…it’s the classic wristwatch. And if anyone knows watches like the back of their hand, it’s the Wrist Aficionado team.

We met with co-founder Eddie Goziker at the stately New York City Wrist Aficionado luxury boutique. Join us on a cloudy city afternoon to candidly chat about Eddie’s rollercoaster journey within the timepiece industry with partner Vadim Yakubov, the inexact science of leveraging social media for business, welcoming unexpected change, and insider info on exactly which watch you should set your sights on to invest in next. 

Whether you’re looking to grow your timepiece collection, learn entrepreneurial business insights from an industry veteran, or simply delve into the shocking world of shining million-dollar accessories — Wrist Aficionado will captivate you with their surprising story of viral success through incredible watches, impeccable service, inimitable charisma, and a sea of passion for their craft.

The NYC branch of the Wrist Aficionado boutique, located in Manhattan.
The NYC branch of the Wrist Aficionado boutique, located in Manhattan.Courtesy of Wrist Aficionado

For us, it’s all about reputation and word of mouth, and that’s really how we’ve grown our business. Instagram is great, but that’s just for name recognition really. If you’re willing to invest the time and work into growing on social media, it can be a great means of free growth, but it’s really only free to an extent.

Eddie Goziker, Wrist Aficionado co-founder & luxury watch expert, on putting in the work to turn a viral moment into a lasting industry-leading business model

An Interview with Eddie 

We sat down over coffee with Eddie Goziker, Wrist Aficionado co-founder and verified timepiece expert, for a candid interview at the New York City boutique and vault. Carefully nestled inside a Louis Vuitton monogram trunk box, multi-million-dollar watches rested casually on the glass case between us. Amidst suave decor including a fully functional larger-than-life watch tabletop by Costa Design and a deep green Louis Vuitton trunk - a piece of designer Virgil Abloh's final collection before his passing - we discussed bold business tactics, open-book personal thoughts, and the most affluent players in the timepiece industry with one of the most knowledgeable faces in the luxury wristwatch reseller game today.

The Wrist Aficionado boutique, hosting consultations and resale to the elite.
The Wrist Aficionado boutique, hosting consultations and resale to the elite.Courtesy of Wrist Aficionado

Eddie, it’s so nice to meet you! Thank you for taking a moment to talk with us and share some of the Wrist Aficionado multi-million-dollar expertise. I know your journey with Vadim and Wrist Aficionado wasn't so traditional, and that's exactly what I would love to talk with you about.

As I personally sat on the glamourous $2.90 subway train ride over, I couldn't help but ponder what I most want to know from one of the industry's top names right now in regularly dealing multi-million dollar timepieces to the elite. I was introduced to you and Wrist Aficionado recently after you've already found success, and simply had to learn more about you. I mean, 600,000 followers...I would consider that pretty successful.


Yeah, we've done fairly well. [This is said in a shockingly matter-of-fact yet humble tone from someone sitting in what may well be the most highly-valued room I've ever set foot in.]


I mean, look at where you are now! You have people out front and your security is certainly top-notch because they kept asking me, “who are you again?” when I arrived this morning for our conversation.


[Eddie chuckles.] They're trying not to let too many people in. They don't have to.


Thinking back, what exactly is it that led you here to this high-security, drool-worthy boutique? Did you ever envision this type of career when you were younger, or is this something you fell into by accident and loved?


Well…probably 50/50. I can't say I didn't envision it when I was younger. When I was in college, I worked at what used to be Tourneau in sales from when I was 18 to 21, to pay my way through college. That was my first introduction to luxury watches. From there, I went a different path and I went to dental school - I started as a dentist and I worked as one up until just two years ago.

A selection of Wrist Aficionado's offerings amidst a stunning interior design aesthetic.
A selection of Wrist Aficionado's offerings amidst a stunning interior design aesthetic.Courtesy of Wrist Aficionado

Really? I had no idea you did something else up until so recently.


This [luxury wristwatch resale] started as a hobby. I started as a collector…At the age of twenty or so, I started my collection and then built a sizeable collection through my twenties and thirties. In around 2017, Vadim and I were already friends and we said, “this is a nice hobby but I wonder if we can make a career out of it.”

We put a couple watches together to sell, which was our first experience reselling together. We did just okay on the transaction, but…we liked it. We’ve both always been passionate about watches, so it was a good mix.


You started off on social media, right? Not the traditional path to retail. So many up-and-coming dreamers now are aspiring entrepreneurs who have that goal in mind to succeed by going viral on social media. 


For us, it was our biggest dream. In 2017 going into 2018 we started as B2B [business to business.] We started going into wholesalers, buying from dealers, selling to dealers – that was our momentum that got us into resale, and then we got started on social media. Social media really took off, and we only really used one platform. It was just Instagram. At that time, it was really the only platform that we thought we wanted to do, and that got us looks from a lot of different people that we never would have met otherwise. 

Back then, when we started on social with luxury watches, nobody was really doing that. We got up to 600,000 [followers] but it took us a bit of time. We grew probably at about 100,000 a year.

Now we have a social media team…but before, it was just us two [Eddie and Vadim] taking pictures out of a window and doing wrist turns all day. That was our claim to fame – people used to come up to our office on 48th Street just to see where we were taking pictures from, because our office was set where we could see Rockefeller Center and the tree was always our backdrop. So it was very identifiable.

The interior of the boutique.
The interior of the boutique.Courtesy of Wrist Aficionado

I would argue then that this might be some good business advice from you – to be consistent and focus on one thing. Don’t try to do everything all at once!


Yes, definitely, correct. It was our trademark: wrist turns, right next to Rockefeller Center, where everyone could see the tree. 

But, we’ve fast-forwarded a lot [from the beginning of Wrist Aficionado. At the start] me and Vadim, we met when I was 16, so we’ve been best friends for going on 27 years. The business transition was something that was very natural for us.


That’s nice to hear. They always say, “don’t go into business with your friends.” 


You’re not supposed to! It worked out very well for us. But we started at zero. If you’ve grown together starting from zero, then you can make the business work. We were both very passionate about it.


However, as we know, not everything is always sunshine and rainbows. Every business has one of these…what’s a time somewhere along the line where you really messed up, and though to yourself, “oh my god. We might fail.”


Well, when we came in, we saw an upwards trajectory in watch prices, so we caught a good wave. Watches just went exponential in 2019 to 2021…and then, in 2022, there was a correction in the market and everything came crashing down. It was the first time we’d seen a correction like this.

Luckily, we were able to withstand it and the business still thrived, but the model changed a bit in 2023. That was our litmus test that we could stay standing through a correction like that, and keep moving to scale. For us, scaling means opening more boutiques.


Is that what you’re focusing on now? I like to always ask about the past, present, and future for a business, but I find that they are usually far more intertwined with each other than we realize.


It is. We’re in Miami, Beverly Hills, and here in New York right now. Our fourth will probably be another boutique in the West Coast, or in Florida somewhere…We’re one of the few resellers in our space that actually go brick-and-mortar. 

Richard Mille RM 35-03 'Rafael Nadal' Blue Rubber Strap (2024)
Richard Mille RM 35-03 'Rafael Nadal' Blue Rubber Strap (2024) Courtesy of Wrist Aficionado

Surprising — Everything I keep hearing in the news cycle buzz is that retail’s dying, brick-and-mortar’s dying, but clearly not here. 


It’s still alive and breathing. For our clientele, it makes sense because you deliver a luxury experience. If you sell luxury products, you need to deliver a concierge experience. We opened this (New York) store in 2020 when COVID hit, and then shut down within three months of opening, but there was a boom in watches, luxury, and real estate at the same time.


Everyone was sort of depressed. It makes sense, given that we all needed that dopamine rush from buying something new and shiny when we could afford it.


Exactly. People had a lot of time at home, and money to spend. They weren’t flying, going out. So that experience led us to believe that watches work, so at the end of 2020 we opened in Miami because we saw our clients shift their locations from New York to Miami, and we simply followed them to open the boutique at the Setai [Hotel.]


It can be hard to put your own voice into luxury or resale spaces. How do you make the boutiques and Wrist Aficionado brand your own?


The difficult part for us was to brand ourselves when reselling another brand. We aren’t the brand themselves, we’re the reseller, so we have to build a certain amount of trust with our 1% clients to be able to come to us and pay a premium for a product that’s not our own. So, I think that’s the biggest hurdle we’ve had to overcome. We can sell Rolex, Patek, AP, and Richard Mille...but we’re selling it above retail. You can either wait years to get the watch, or you can get immediate gratification through paying a little more with that trust and a white-glove service here.

For us, it’s all about reputation and word of mouth, and that’s really how we’ve grown our business. Instagram is great, but that’s just for name recognition really. If you’re willing to invest the time and work into growing on social media, it can be a great means of free growth, but it’s really only free to an extent.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak with Double Balance Wheel Openworked Baguette Bezel
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak with Double Balance Wheel Openworked Baguette BezelCourtesy of Wrist Aficionado

Speaking of investing, tell me some secrets. What insider info can you share with us on what timepieces someone looking to add to their collection should invest in right now?


I’m a little bit biased because I look at market trends and I think invest-ability comes hand-in-hand with watches. There was a watch boom because people started finally looking at watches as an investable asset, and they’d never had that before. There was even a time back in 2020 where everyone thought this was an asset that would appreciate indefinitely. 

We tend to stick to four or five main brands that are tried and true: Rolex, Patek, Richard Mille, AP. I think that for the novice investor – someone just newly coming into the market – Rolex is a guarantee. It’s your best bet, and I don’t think you’ll lose, especially if you’re getting it at or close to retail. If you’re looking into the Jet-Set pieces, they appreciate well and they hold value well. 

Richard Mille is super elite, and super expensive. Entry point is around $200,000 – but they only make 5,000 watches and they control their own supply and demand chain. Athletes, the super-wealthy, the elite businesspeople…they are always going to want that which the other person can’t get. The exclusivity of it and the limited editions. 

Rolex Daytona 116508 'John Mayer' Edition
Rolex Daytona 116508 'John Mayer' Edition Courtesy of Wrist Aficionado

It’s a bit of a gamification, like we see with Hermès or Goyard, or some independent brands who do limited drops with exclusive numbers or accessibility. It’s almost an honour to give these brands your money, because you practically won the lottery draw in order to do so.


Exactly, and customers are happy to do so. Even if these brands have the ability to make 100 pieces, they’ll make just 20. They have the client base, the wait list, and they know that the next drop is already sold out. People do it with independent watches too.

Hermes Birkin bags amidst designer decor at the Wrist Aficionado boutique.
Hermes Birkin bags amidst designer decor at the Wrist Aficionado boutique.Courtesy of Wrist Aficionado

It builds a dedicated fan base, too.


Oh, 100%. Though...for me, I think the best investment of all will always be Patek. They have the longest history as far as classic craftsmanship. I think their buyer is a wide range, too – they can go from young twenties all the way up to sixties or seventies. They have such a wide range of watches that appeal to all, and investment-wise for me personally that’s always best. 


What was your first watch?


Cartier Roadster.


Your first watch? You skipped over the Timex and went straight to Cartier?!

A man of high taste. Wow, I’d say that’s testament enough to why a client should come confidently to Wrist Aficionado. 


That’s right, I got it when I graduated high school; that was my gift right before I went to college.


What was your most recent watch purchase for yourself?


The beauty of owning the business is that they’re all mine! But on a personal level, the one that I intend to keep most recently is a 5740 Nautilus with the white-gold perpetual calendar. That’s one I think I’ll keep forever, it’s my favourite Nautilus in the Patek series. It’s super special and a nice wearable size for myself with some weight to it in the white gold. 


One last burning question. I was shamelessly scrolling way back on your Instagram this morning and noticed that along with so many (630,000!) supporters, a few haters inevitably come along with them. Amidst a million other positive comments, I saw one that read “not much [worth] seeing as they’re all fakes” and “I love my Timex, I wear it all the time and when it breaks I buy a new one and I save thousands of dollars.”

How do you deal with negativity, or people who don’t understand your vision or the wildly wealthy world of watches?


If we supply the 1%-5%, we’re always going to be battling the other 95% who may not have the same vision or may not see any value. Maybe they just see value in an Apple Watch. And that’s fine! It’s different strokes for different folks. I’ll never tell someone they have to have a specific watch or they need to own an expensive timepiece. If they want to, it’s a luxury to do so. 

Not everyone has the same idea of luxury. Somebody’s luxury might be spending their time on travelling, someone else’s might be just being at home, or riding horses, you know? Everyone has their own luxury.

For a certain demographic, that’s what they love…I can’t fault him for saying he loves his Timex. If Timex is what makes you happy, then I don’t disagree. For me personally, watches have been a passion, and the same for the clients that we meet and the friends that we make. There’s a lot of mutual common interests, and we find that our clients often become friends – we travel with them, meet their families, and it’s more than just talking about watches. That relationship just grows. I’d never fault someone for saying it’s not a good investment – in their eyes, it may not be. 

But from what we’ve seen as far as we’ve been in business…[Eddie trails off and smiles broadly.] This is an amazing career that I’ve shifted into, and I have the true luxury of doing something that I really love, surrounded by a group of amazing people who share my passion. 

Our writer's favourite - a Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1A-018 'Tiffany & Co.' Blue Dial from 2022 that was a standout at the Wrist Aficionado boutique during our interview.
Our writer's favourite - a Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1A-018 'Tiffany & Co.' Blue Dial from 2022 that was a standout at the Wrist Aficionado boutique during our interview.Courtesy of Wrist Aficionado

About Eddie Goziker and Vadim Yakubov

Wrist Aficionado was founded in 2016 as an online platform for discerning collectors to buy, trade, and sell unique luxury timepieces and accessories. Its presence as a digital marketplace through quickly garnered respect for its accessibility, expertise, and carefully curated collection of exclusive timepiece brands including Patek Philippe, Richard Mille, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, Jacob & Co., Girard-Perregaux, MB&F, and Rolex. The boutiques also offer a prized selection of sought-after luxury handbags and fine jewelry for discerning clientele.

Co-founder Eddie Goziker grew up in Queens, New York, and moved to Long Island at the age of eighteen. He there worked at the local Tourneau brand store while at university, which further fostered his early affinity for timepieces and honed his expertise on investments and design. With a Cartier Roadster, he began his personal collection and had already amassed twenty wristwatches by university graduation. Though he initially pursued a successful practicing career in dentistry until recently, Eddie ultimately chose to follow his passions to work with partner and friend Vadim Yakubov on Wrist Aficionado luxury resale full-time.

Vadim Yakubov has long been a figure in the wristwatch world. The Wrist Aficionado co-founder quickly learned the industry from the inside out through working with family connection Jacob & Co. right out of university. He rapidly advanced from sales assistant to global sales manager, developing a deep network of connections along the way. When he felt the calling and surety to start his own venture, Vadim reached out to Eddie Goziker, longtime childhood friend and fellow watch enthusiast, while Eddie was at university intending to practice dentistry.

The two launched Wrist Aficionado on social media in 2016, and rapidly secured fans of the very same exclusive brands they loved. An online retail site and office in Rockefeller Center followed, but the duo quickly realized their customers were also interested in a brick-and-mortar element to experience Wrist Aficionado's signature white-glove service and tangible expertise in-person. In 2018, the pair opened the company's first retail location in Manhattan near Central Park, and a second location at Miami's five-star Setai Hotel shortly followed. Wrist Aficionado now has a third location at the Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills, with plans to continue to expand. Eddie and Vadim are recognized as industry experts and trusted sources on wristwatches and more, leveraging an initial social media boom into a lasting respected and innovative leading business within the luxury resale space.

Partners, founders, and friends Eddie Goziker and Vadim Yakubov of Wrist Aficionado.
Partners, founders, and friends Eddie Goziker and Vadim Yakubov of Wrist Aficionado.Courtesy of Wrist Aficionado


Writer & Editor: Laur Weeks @laur.weeks

Photography: Courtesy of Wrist Aficionado

Boutique: Wrist Aficionado @wristaficionado

PR: Shamin Abas @shaminabas

A special thank you to Wrist Aficionado Co-Founder and timepiece expert Eddie Goziker for his candid conversation, exclusive look into the timepiece vault, and a delightful cup of coffee. The writer would also like to thank the gracious Shamin Abas team for facilitating a wonderfully enlightening introduction to the exciting world of high-luxury wristwatches.

Editor's note: This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

The Wrist Aficionado lounge, where we held our candid conversation with Eddie Goziker, co-founder and wristwatch expert.
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