I already talked about Antiquorum controversies of past and the repeated subsequent coverage yet (un)fortunately this saga continues a new.
Couple of weeks ago Osvaldo Patrizzi, the charming and controversial founder of Antiquorum, has issued a news conference scheduled on 8th April 2008 at the SIHH where he is going to announce the details of his new auction house venture, PATRIZZI & Co. AUCTIONEERS. This new venture in his words will be "innovative in concept" and "revolutionary in approach" and with that this news brief was done.
Initially my response was: "Good for him!". I for one am wishing him success in the new venture especially due to all the controversy hoopla during his exit from the house that he built. No matter what one may think about the man he was instrumental in building Antiquorum to a leading house of horology auctioneers, as well promoting horology education, watch collecting, as well building certain brands to their previous luster. Now that being said, I am welcoming with open arms any added innovative competition which will aid to reign in quite excessive and seemingly constantly increasing fees from these Auction houses. Their unlimited levels of various fees (seller fees, buyers fees, listing fees, appraisal fee, final sale fees, currency and cashing in commission fees, delivery fees, etc) which are simply not the norm with other auction houses in other products. Anyway as a business model it is not really that conductive to increasing business to have your buyers shouldering any additional fees, but hey let's ignore the immense ongoing success of such online model(i.e EBAY.com).
Then a few days ago I read this article Is time running out at Antiquorum? and saw the battle continues. In this article as you can see (for good or bad) more of details of their brake up from both parties are disclosed. All these "testimonials" provide a bit more insight of the discord, which seem even more terminal then anyone previously thought, thus the previous news of Patrizzi new online auctioneer venture comes as no surprise.
I have no doubt that Mr. Osvaldo Patrizzi is primed for success with the right tools of the trade from experience in the business, immense knowledge of vintage markets and watches, charismatic alpha personality and most importantly the heavy industry connections he built up over the last 34+ years.
The main question is does he have the right feel of the pulse of the market (with implied improvements that will bring advantages to both buyers and sellers)? If I was a betting man (and I am) I would be seriously surprised if this new venture would be nothing short of success and Patrizzi will once again be ascending the top podium of horology auctioneers.