How Fabienne Lupo (former director of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie and organizer of many SIHH) came up with the idea of a salon for the general public dedicated to second-hand objects: Re-Luxury. The first show focuses on jewelry and watches. Collectors take note!
Sandrine Merle. When and how was Re-Luxury born?
Fabienne Lupo. It’s a response to the emergence of a second-hand market that’s still unstructured compared to English-speaking countries. First and foremost, it’s a trade fair for professional sellers of antique and vintage jewelry, watches and bags. It’s also a place where you can learn about the second-hand market by talking to key players, or attending talks. Who can we trust? What innovative tools can protect us from fakes? Is certification an unstoppable force? What is the blockchain for? Let’s not forget that this business is mainly done online and that it depends on trust.
S.-M. What brands feature in the second-hand jewelry and watch market?
Fabienne Lupo. There are no jewelry brands as such – it’s one of the market’s least advanced sectors. For the moment, only two (Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels) have launched, and in a very confidential way. And there are two watchmakers – Richard Mille, which has always considered this to be “the best way to support the primary market and to trace its products by establishing a relationship of trust with clients”, and Zenith, which recently launched Icons, a collection entirely dedicated to its rarest antique models.
S.-M. Spreading the word amongst jewelers is going to be a huge task…
Fabienne Lupo. Besides, they don’t like the term “second-hand ” – they prefer certified “pre-owned” or even “pre-loved”. But that doesn’t really matter… For me, it’s where digital was 20 years ago! Remember, at the time they were convinced that a customer would never spend thousands of euros online… Today, this channel represents 20% of their business and will probably reach 40 or 50% tomorrow. It’s the way history is going, it’s what customers expect. We already sell more second-hand watches than new ones! The automotive sector started over 30 years ago and is doing very well: 30% of Porsche’s turnover comes from the sale of old models. And while we’re on the subject, I’m planning to include cars in the second Re-Luxury show.
S.-M. There are lots of platforms out there.
Fabienne Lupo. These platforms are places where individuals can sell and buy online branded bags, jewelry or watches. But nobody knows who’s behind them… So they need a physical point of sale to reassure them. On the jewelry side, there’s 58 Facettes and Castafiore. 58 Facettes, the first French platform dedicated to second-hand jewelry, offers a very rich selection ranging from the 19th century to today with all the big names (Cartier, Pomellato, Dinh Van, Chanel, etc.). More recently, Castafiore has been offering a very specialized selection made by the two founders, Charlotte Rey (ex-Cartier) and Anne Borde (who came from auction sales). Watch collectors will also enjoy Watchbox and its selection of very rare timepieces by F.P.Journe. It’s a unique opportunity!
S.-M. At this first show, the presence of the giant eBay stole the headlines.
Fabienne Lupo. In Europe, eBay is not yet known for its high-end offer, whereas in the United States, it sells objects worth several million euros. To position itself in this niche, the platform offers a sales area with beautiful jewelry, watches and leather bags. eBay has also promoted its certificate: any object worth more than 2,000 euros is now certified by its experts. This issue of authenticity lies at the heart of this business and this first show. The Origyn Foundation, a non-profit organization, whose mission is to identify, authenticate and restore the ownership of valuable objects, presents its certificate based on biometric technology, that is to say integrated in the object as a fingerprint.
S.-M. You have created a wonderful space called “The Clinic” to help people stop throwing away damaged jewelry, bags and watches!
Fabienne Lupo. They’re often thrown away because of the lack of craftsmen able to repair or transform them. So Re-Luxury has brought together a few professionals such as the jeweler Nina Marina or the lapidary Thibault Leclerc. Ninamarina creates new setting for an old-fashioned solitaire, while Thibault improves the brilliance of a worn sapphire by re-cutting it. At Re-Luxury, it’s not all about consumerism!
Banner image (from left to right) : religious medal in gold at 58 Facettes/ Lalaounis necklace in gold at Castafiore x Miller / “Serpenti” watch by Bulgari at 58 Facettes x Miller / Lalaounis necklace in gold and diamonds at Castafiore x Miller / cross pendant in micro-mosaic at 58 Facettes
Re-Luxury from 4 to 7 November 2022, Hotel President – Geneva