OSLO, Norway – Among the many six watches Jonas Adolfsen delivered to the Oslo Swap Meet – a three-hour occasion in early February the place watch lovers gathered to purchase, promote and swap watches from their very own collections – the one which attracted essentially the most curiosity was an previous Ollech & Wajs Mirage III he purchased from eBay in 2021 for $990.
In simply half an hour, 5 passers-by picked up the chronograph from the case of Mr. Adolfsen’s assortment. There have been questions: Was it an genuine previous mannequin or a contemporary model? Has it been maintained commonly?
Though it was an unique and serviced mannequin, all of them moved to a close-by show that belonged to Oskar Nagel, 23, a college scholar and part-time worker of Norwegian watch store Urmaker Larsen. (He wore a 22mm rectangular Cyma watch, and stated he preferred its seen screws as “an fascinating and outdated approach of placing all of the elements collectively.”)
Mr. Adolfsen stated the dearth of gross sales did not actually hassle him. Like most of the practically 400 watch lovers who attended the third iteration of the occasion, which happened within the occasion area of an workplace constructing within the Norwegian capital, he was there to mingle and take a look at the shows of fellow 40 or so sellers and browse the shows of the 17 producers displaying there.
“Watches usually are not actually a commodity for me,” stated Mr. Adolfsen, 48, who sat behind a small picket desk on a sequence of raised platforms that resemble steps meant for sellers’ shows. “It is only a interest that I really like, and I get pleasure from it. If I purchase or promote one thing right here right this moment, it does not actually matter.”
Nonetheless, the 38.7mm blued dial of the 180 B Mustikka (blueberry, in English) watch caught his eye earlier within the day. Mr Adolfsen, an architect, stated he admired the mixture of magnificence and sturdiness within the watch, produced by Finnish model SUF Helsinki, which he stated makes it equally appropriate for workplace conferences or visits to development websites.
Is there really a brand new watch sooner or later? We’ll see, he stated.
SUF and Jurmo Watches, one other Finnish model, have been among the many 10 producers that traveled to Norway for the occasion. Others embody Swiss watchmakers Zeitwinkel and Baume & Mercier; and Kieser Design from Germany.
“It’s a place the place shoppers can meet creators in a relaxed atmosphere and see their merchandise first-hand,” stated Martin Calland, co-founder of Jurmo Watches, and the place watch and model lovers join in a approach that isn’t doable on-line. “
Among the many seven Norwegian watch manufacturers that showcased was Radium Devices, a producer of customized mechanical watches. Von Doren, which was based by Norwegian movie producer Oyvind Von Doren Asbjornsen; and Bragdur, a small, family-owned model.
Braggdor offered 25 prototypes on the occasion and likewise promoted a pair of restricted version divers’ watches, that are set to be launched this summer season. Lars-Erik Hansen, the corporate’s proprietor, wrote in a subsequent e mail that they have been essentially the most asked-about product. He additionally famous that the model offered 14 watches on the occasion.
Different screens displayed watch-related merchandise, equivalent to taking part in playing cards and straps from a Ukrainian maker. And close by, I interviewed well-known Danish watch aficionado Christian Hagen on the Norwegian podcast Klokkelandslaget.
Emad Younis Mirza arrived on the occasion carrying 11 timepieces, a few of which have been meant for a session with Mr. Lum Shot, a watch photographer who took complementary photographs of the fanatic’s watches. Others have been put up on the market, stated Mr Mirza, 31, together with a Credor watch he hoped to promote for 8,000 Norwegian kroner, or $780.
Ultimately, he accepted 6,500 crowns for the lot. “Though I did not make any cash on this,” he stated, “it is a very nice factor to be promoting to somebody who actually loves the model.”
Oslo Swap Meet was created final yr by Morten Poulsen and Torgir Sanders, and was meant to be a gathering of native lovers, a lot of whom belong to the Oslo chapter of the Redbar Group, a worldwide college neighborhood primarily based in New York Metropolis.
“We had a reasonably open thoughts about what we needed to attain, nevertheless it wasn’t nearly shopping for and promoting; it was about assembly,” stated Mr. Poulsen, who oversees Redbar’s Oslo chapter and is a former director of common Norwegian web viewing neighborhood Klokkeriet.
When the lads first began the occasion in June 2022, the idea of a barter meet was new to the Norwegian watch neighborhood. However the guys, having tried it in reference to different pursuits and hobbies, felt that it could be a hit. “I really like antiques and automobiles, and for these sorts of issues we meet right here — locations individuals should purchase and promote,” Mr. Sanders stated. So, we thought, ‘Hey, why is not there a factor for watches?’ “
The strategy was relaxed: There was no entry charge, and neither sellers nor sellers have been required to report exercise or flip over a portion of their gross sales. Barterers can use show tables with out reservations or charges, although Mr. Paulsen stated that might change for the subsequent assembly, and producers have been charged what he known as a “small charge,” however he declined to specify.
Attendance is rising, the lads stated, with the February occasion drawing greater than 5 occasions as many guests as the primary. They added that they’d turned down manufacturers from throughout Europe who have been taken with taking part.
Mr. Sanders stated the blokes determined to let principally producers “who’re taking dangers and doing fascinating issues” on the planet of watches, small impartial manufacturers.
“Norway is a wealthy nation and now we have the luxurious manufacturers right here, after all. However I additionally suppose the quantity of people that love smaller, extra obscure manufacturers and watches is getting greater,” stated Mr. Sanders. “Individuals are changing into taken with watches in a brand new approach, how they’re made, and the eagerness behind them.”
In the direction of the tip of the occasion, Mr. Adolfsen nonetheless had his Ollech & Wajs watch, so he determined towards shopping for a blueberry dial watch.
Cpl. Henrik Unarheim, a lieutenant normal within the Norwegian Military, was planning to apply the identical self-discipline. He stated he drove two hours from the Norwegian city of Reina that day hoping to promote some watches from his assortment, together with a classic Longines and a 70-year-old Omega.
He stated 4 or 5 individuals checked out a Longines, a Sixties mannequin with a manual-winding motion and a cream-white dial that he needed to promote for six,000 crowns. “Individuals took footage and took my quantity,” he stated. “Perhaps I will get a name later.”
However two hours after the occasion, he nonetheless had each—and he purchased two Tissot fashions from his neighbor. “I do not find out about them,” he stated, “however generally the hours simply occur to me.”