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Talking Watches with the Third Generational Owner of Altier Jewelers – Cutler Altier

You’ve probably heard the proverb, “A man isn’t properly dressed until he has his lady in his right arm and a watch on his left.” More than just a fashion accessory, a luxury watch exudes a man’s fortune and flair. It gives you grace and panache that becomes your way of life. Luxury is inherent in the individuals who possess a watch, not in its price tag. 

A luxury watch is a timeless piece of craftsmanship that represents a man’s taste and style. It is a symbol of success and refinement, and is often passed down from generation to generation as a family heirloom. In addition to its aesthetic appeal, a luxury watch also serves a practical purpose, as it is a reliable and accurate timepiece. Whether you choose a classic design or a more modern style, a luxury watch is a true investment that will be treasured for years to come.

Purchasing a luxury watch should be an emotional purchase and not made on a whim,” comments Cutler Altier, the third generational owner of Altier Jewelers. Culter descends from a long line of watch enthusiasts. In 1960, his grandparents founded Altier Jewelers, the very first jewelry store in Boca Raton, which was passed on from generation to generation and is now finally owned by Culter, his brother William and his son Tristan. The Altier Family is a proud authorized dealer for multiple jewelry and watch lines, including Gucci, Roberto Coin, Cartier, and most notably, Patek Philippe. Their legacy of over 50 years has yielded them multigenerational clients who rely on their extraordinary customer service to satiate their thirst for luxury watches. 

While in conversation with a generational watch expert, we obviously raised some intriguing questions. According to Culter, “Patek Philippe is the finest watch that money can buy.” When asked about what makes these clients spend thousands and millions of dollars on Patek Philippe watches, he had quite an interesting reply. “They are historically known for their innovation, with their specialties being in high complications such as minute repeaters, tourbillons, perpetual calendars and more recently, the Nautilus and Aquanaut line.” 

Patek Philippe watches are inarguably one of the world’s most prestigious and expensive luxury watch brands, and not everyone is lucky enough to afford them. Cutler was humble enough to accept the aforementioned fact and went ahead accepting that there is a world of watches aside from Patek Philippe. He listed the timeless Rolex collection and Omega Speedmaster as being one of his “personal favorites” and even gave credit to FP Journe and A. Lange and Sohne for having a rightful cult following. “If you get into either of these brands, it is because of your love for watchmaking and not because you saw your favorite celebrity wearing one.”

In 2021, the global luxury watch market size was estimated at USD 39.36 billion and was expected to reach USD 42.2 billion in 2022. With each passing day, people are becoming more and more interested in collecting vintage and luxury watches. This surge in demand for luxury watches also gives rise to a common query; where do I begin? “Find a local authorized dealer for the watch brand that you are interested in and carve out some time to spend with the retailer to discuss your chosen brand,” Cutler recommends to newbies who are just now discovering the world of luxury watches. This watch enthusiast and dealer suggests buyers first dive into deep discussions about brands and the article you have your eyes on before making a hasty purchase.

“Purchasing a luxury watch should be an emotional purchase and not made on a whim. Having the opportunity to try the watch on is huge as you want to make sure the fit is correct and you are comfortable with the size and how the watch wears. Are you buying a watch because it is cool and hard to get, or do you really understand the brand and its values as a manufacturer?”

The fashion industry has evolved significantly ever since the 1960s. During his 21 years at Altier Jewelers, Cutler claims to have witnessed profound changes that have revolutionized the watch market. He attributes these changes to yearly shifts in fashion, which are primarily driven by social media and celebrities. He also believes that with the rise of social media and digital trends, many firms are shifting their sales to online channels and do not see a place for physical storefronts in the future. Fortunately for Altier Jewelers, the brands they represent recognize the value of an independent storefront to produce a personal and distinctive experience for customers who prefer to feel products in person before making a purchase. 

Why do luxury watches, which one doesn’t really find appealing initially, end up becoming such fascinating and captivating objects? The answer to this question may be simpler than you can image. They are wonderful creations that showcase the creativity of man and have the magnificent power that unifies the past and the future. This phenomenon is perfectly summed up in Patek Philippe’s slogan that says, “You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation”. 

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