The Timepiece Gentleman is a Dallas-based secondary watch dealer that has become rather famous over the past few years, leading up to this week when all its social media channels went dark.
Going dark on social media is not something an active company typically does — although Bottega Veneta famously deleted all of its social media accounts earlier this year. It’s also not illegal. Running off with investors’ money is definitely illegal, but as the lawyer representing The Timepiece Gentleman rightly stated (in this video from today), there’s no evidence that Anthony Farrer or his business partner Marco Nicolini ran away with anyone’s money.
In fact, the lawyer went on record to say that all investors who have put in money to be part of their VIP watch network have been able to reach the team during this media blackout. Also important to note, the website being set to “Private Site” does not mean it was deleted, and social media accounts can typically be set to private or paused without actually deleting them.
As a background to those that have never seen the show, it’s a weekly “A Day in the Life Of” YouTube show about being a secondary watch dealer and it’s not scripted per se — it offers a flashy behind-the-scenes look at the secondary watch market — though there’s clearly a storyline.
The media blackout was highly unusual and unexpected, but that’s not proof anything dubious has happened. Perhaps the most telling hint came from Timepiece Gentleman’s lawyer during a statement to The CW33 news station earlier today (see video). In what appears to have been more of a press release than an interview, Farrer’s lawyer stated that the team from The Timepiece Gentleman was using their time away this week to give back to the community.
Did what appears to be an epic publicity stunt hurt Timepiece Gentleman/Anthony Farrer’s reputation, in a business that’s built on reputation?
Update (August 2023): Anthony Farrer explicitly admitted on his YouTube channel to not paying multiple customers after selling their timepieces on consignment, resulting in a negative balance in excess of $3M.
Update (November 2023): Anthony Farrer has been arrested and charged in California for allegedly stealing $3M+ in consignee watches and/or proceeds from consignee watch sales.