Dealer Talks #5: Langedyk Vintage Watches

For the 5th edition of Dealer Talks, I talked to Mick Langedijk from Langedyk Vintage Watches. Specialising in Rolex and making it his mission to deliver only the finest timepieces to his clients, at affordable prices. Open-hearted, friendly and very entrepreneurial are traits that come to mind when talking to Mick. Enjoy reading!

A Rolex 16710 currently in Mick’s collection

Stan: Did you start dealing in watches immediately after you finished your education or did you have another job before getting into the watch industry?

Mick: Quite a funny story actually! Surprisingly, last year around May I was still working in the transport of kitchens. I finished my degree in commercial economy 3 years ago. After getting that degree, I worked full time in kitchen transport. We mainly delivered kitchens, built-in kitchen equipment etc. and I helped install that equipment. I also started a sauce business at this point with my companion. While doing all of this I was dealing and learning about watches on the side, on the weekends. At this point it was mainly a hobby but soon it started getting busier. After a while I went from working 5 days in kitchen transport to 4 days to 3 days. So in May 2020 I finally decided to pursue watches and started focusing on my own business. 

S: You basically slowly rolled into the business?

M: Exactly! I could have pursued watches earlier on but I felt more comfortable working 3 days earning 1600-1700 monthly next to dealing watches. I used some of this money to fund watches and grow my business. So yeah I always worked 3 days and sold watches on the side to feel secure.

S: We talked earlier about you starting a sauce business, how did you come up with that?

M: An old family recipe from my companion who is from Indonesia. His great-grandmother came up with a recipe for a satay sauce, an Indonesian peanut sauce. She came up with it in around 1912 so we decided to use that as the year she invented it. The recipe has always been in his family since and thoroughly enjoyed at parties, family gatherings etc. So in 1973 they came over to the Netherlands and noticed people really liked the sauce there. About 2 years ago he was working on the idea and was looking for a companion. I met him while working as an intern in Alkmaar and really liked the sauce and the idea. We decided to become companions and have been working together on commercialising the sauce since. A business very different from watches haha!

S: So trading and being an entrepreneur has always been a part of you? It seems you’re able to sell anything.

M: Definitely! It doesn’t matter what your business is as long as it has your interest. My business right now is watches and e-commerce while building the sauce company on the side. Which is quite a large project of course… but I’m sure it is going to work out in the end. It’s more of a long-term project, it might take 5 to 10 years to get our sauce in supermarkets and to make it a household name. We are working on that at the moment. So basically I’m trying to have 5 different sources of income. Building and investing into those sources of income to generate more income. Later on when it’s all built I’ll just be directing from higher up and managing those companies.

S: When you’ve built those companies, what’s next? Are you done building or are you continuing further?

M: I’ll be worrying about that when that time comes haha! Like I said, new opportunities are everywhere and will come up in the future. But I’m not sure, I’d like my companies to run smoothly before investing in new opportunities. 

Rolex Datejust 16014 1978

S: You’ve talked about wanting to have a physical store for your watch company, how will you pursue that kind of project?

M: I’m not sure yet, there are a few catches to having a physical store. There are a lot of costs involved and there is more risk to it. A lot of jewelry stores get broken into or get robbed so I’d be very worried about that. I might instead decorate an office and have customers come over with an appointment. 

S: You mentioned your E-commerce company earlier, what kind of business it is, and how do you manage it?

M: They’re basically two jewelry companies. Selling jewelry accompanied with a card with a little message which people buy as gifts. We mainly sell to America, Australia, Canada and Great-Britain, English speaking countries mainly. We have a whole team in China managing packaging and processing. Together with an advertisement expert in Lithuania who runs google- and facebook ads and customerservice in the Philippines, it’s quite an international company. In the future we’re planning to have everything in one place.

S: Interesting. So doing all this, how did your watch industry journey begin?

M: A friend of mine had a small watch business on Catawiki. He had a job on the side which took a lot of time so he needed help with the selling part of his business. I took care of it and offered watches on Catawiki and Marktplaats etc. At some point he stopped with the company and we went on with our lives. Later on I really wanted to do something with watches cause I had been working with them on the side for a while. I started buying and selling watches on Catawiki to see if maybe it could become something more. Eventually selling to customers directly to avoid having to pay auction royalties and building further on that concept.

S: It seems you’re not afraid of taking risks, do you always take controlled risks as an entrepreneur?

M: Not always, my companion does as he likes to research everything thoroughly. I’m often quite optimistic and think to myself ‘let’s just try it’, trusting my gut feeling about certain things. There are a lot of things affecting if a market is successful or not, so you’re never one hundred percent certain if you’re taking controlled risks. But imagine investing 50k, if the investment fails you’ll lose 50k, but the potential can be 5 million. Loads of factors to consider, so taking controlled risks is not always possible, you never know what happens to a market before it happens.

S: Continuing with entrepreneurship, what are the most important qualities of an entrepreneur?

M:  Discipline and never wanting to give up. You, of course, have to be convinced by your own ideas and vision but also have to be able to spot when to stop continuing a certain idea when it fails. But when you find an idea that works, go for it with all your heart and energy. Also believing in yourself even if others have doubt, i believe visualising you’re going to be able to do it is very important.

Rolex Datejust linen 16233 1991

S: What do you think is most important in selling watches?

M: Having a personal experience for the customer. If a customer wants to look at a watch i’ll schedule an hour in for that for example. And that’s something you’ll see in reviews, if customers feel welcomed and safe while purchasing sometimes quite expensive watches they’ll come back to you to purchase their next watch as well. In the watch industry it’s not about a quick selling strategy, It’s about building a long term trust relation between seller and buyer. 

S: Thank you for telling your story today and your honest answers Mick! Check out Mick´s work here: 

https://langedykvintagewatches.com