The Timepiece Gentleman – Road to Redemption?

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The Timepiece Gentleman (TPG) is the online alias of Anthony Farrer, watch dealer and influencer. Before his recent revelations – “misplacing” $2m in client consigned watches – he was known, respected and trusted for his expertise in vintage and luxury watches, with a large following on social media. [Click here for an update on this story]

In 2006, Farrer started his horological career as a salesman at a London luxury watch boutique. Fascinated by the history and mechanics of watches, he began to collect vintage watches.

In 2012, Farrer founded The Timepiece Gentleman, specializing in the sale of vintage and luxury watches, with a global clientele.

In 2019, Farrer was named one of the “Top 100 Watch Influencers in the World” by our friends at WatchPro magazine. He was a regular contributor to other watch magazines, websites and podcasts. And now…

He’s persona non grata in the watch world. And no wonder. As mentioned above, he’s disappeared over $2m worth of client consignments. And the rest.

As rumors circulated on the Timepiece Gentleman’s perfidy, the horological influencer decided to get ahead of the story. And how.

Here’s the “mass email” to the clients who gave him millions of dollars of watches to sell, which he “lost,” along with my thoughts on the matter (which he didn’t lose).

It comes with a heavy heart to have to send this messageYou may or may not be aware that, several months ago, I lost my Richard Mille due to being out at a bar, drinking and acting careless.

What you would not have known is that that one watch was not the only one lost. My bag that I misplaced contained about $2 million in inventory. Majority of which was on consignment with clients like you.

How do you lose a Richard Mille watch by “acting careless”? I assume that the watch was on TPG’s wrist. If so, why did he take it off? If it wasn’t, where was it? How did he manage to “lose” the watch?

More to the point, why did TPG bring a bag with $2m worth of someone else’s watches into a bar? Was he on the way to a dealer?

If so, his situational awareness should have been at Code Red. The level of security that says “go straight from point A to point B.” So anyway, that didn’t happen.

If the Timepiece Gentleman had my expensive watch in his bag and it was stolen, I’d want to know is a) is he insured? and b) what are the chances of recovery?

In other words, when did TPG report this “theft” to the police and what recovery actions are being taken (e.g., notifications to dealers of watches stolen, complete with descriptions and serial numbers)?

I kept this hidden because I thought I could dig myself out of this whole. Up until now, I wasn’t aware that I was the problem.

TPG kept the theft hidden so he could pretend it never happened. That’s not ethical, honorable nor, as he’s discovered, practical. Which, I suppose, backs up his late-to-the-game realization that “I was the problem.” To wit…

Over the last year I’ve let my demons get the best of me. I am an alcoholic. I have a gambling problem. I have a spending problem. I let a little success and a little money go to my head. I think I’m invisible and the rules don’t apply to me. I would not listen to people when they tried to help me. I think I know everything.

As someone who lived with an alcoholic for many years, I’m here to say that lying is an unavoidable symptom of the disease.

While I feel for TPG, this admission completely discredits his contention that he “lost” the bag with $2m worth of watches.

I’d bet dollars to donuts he sold them all – over time – and used the cash to support his habits.

If so, the fact that he doesn’t come clean tells us he’s nowhere near recovery. Not even close.

Over the last 24 hours I’ve finally realized I was wrong. I’m my own worst enemy and I need help. I have betrayed your trust and I owe you money. I have never been willing to reach out and ask for help and that is what got me to the situation I’m facing today.

Copy that. But the way to start to recover trust – if trust can ever be recovered – is honesty. Again, I expect that’s not what I’m reading here. This mea culpa smells of narcissism.

I understand the feelings or thoughts that may be going through your head right now and the only thing I have to say is I sincerely apologize for doing what I did. When I made that mistake, I did not admit it and I kept trying to cover it up by selling more inventory to pay people slowly.

Today I finally realize I’m only creating a bigger hole. Until I put a stop to it and admit my fault, it’s just going to get worse.

I’d like to hear a little more about what TPG thinks is going through his victims’ heads. Betrayal is a bitch, leading to both anger, self-recrimination and depression.

Not to mention the fact that the watches represent someone’s money – the physical embodiment of the time spent amassing it. In other words, TPG stole the most valuable commodity any of us possesses.

Who knows what his clients planned to do with the money they were supposed to get for their watch? TPG’s dishonesty, denial, egomania and selfishness killed those plans dead.

Today I want to admit to you that I owe you money for a piece or more you have had on consignment with me, but at this current moment, I do not have the money to repay it. I am not going to run and hide like a coward. I am not going to file bankruptcy and screw anyone over. I will pay you in full what I owe.

TPG won’t run and hide from the clients he screwed, even though he ran and hid from the clients he screwed?

What’s needed here is a concrete plan, including a timeline. Which must begin with treatment for alcoholism, gambling addiction and spending problems. Otherwise, restitution ain’t gonna happen.

Let’s face facts – the odds of TPG recovering from his “demons” in anything less than years, indeed at all, are perishingly small. Anyone who believes his promise to repay his debt is suffering from the same denial that TPG is putting on full display here.

If I could ask for one favor, that would be to give me time to call each and everyone of you and talk to you personally before making any decisions or putting this message or situation out online. I understand everyone is going to immediately want to call me and get answers or a quick resolution. Please give me time to reach out to you and start the process of fixing the mess I’m in.

Don’t call me, I’ll call you. Leave me the fuck alone. I can’t face reality. And we’re supposed to believe TPG is on the road to redemption?

The success rate for long-term recovery using Alcoholic Anonymous is a matter of debate. The assessment that strikes me as most credible – Lilienfeld, S. and Arkowitz, H. (2011). Does Alcoholics Anonymous Work? Scientific American – pegs it at eight to 12 percent. I’m sure that many of the members who succeeded had a long, arduous journey with numerous set-backs and multiple visits to hospitals, rehabs and jail.

Again, I apologize. Sincerely, from the bottom of my heart and understand this has ruined all trust you had in me. I will call you and we can talk and I will do my best to fix this.

My first step in starting is clearing my head and I’m on my way to an AA meeting for the next couple hours. Please give me time to reach out to you

Anthony Farrer

As you can tell from the “Road to Redemption” video above – the third of three so far – the Timepiece Gentleman is looking for sympathy. And work as a social media consultant, who urges prospective clients “to be honest.”

To my mind, TPG’s “I’m off to rehab” reflects an attempt to deflect from the consequences of his actions and a total lack of understanding of what lies ahead.

That said, TPG seems to have a pretty good handle on the financial fallout. That $2m number in the email is now $4,984,600. How did that happen? It seems obvious that he sold customers’ watches and spent the money. The police and his victims’ lawyers will no doubt remind him that makes him guilty of fraud.

It’s entirely possible that TPG isn’t an addict. That he’s using addiction as the excuse du jour for plain old-fashioned thievery. What crook doesn’t have a “spending problem”?

Anyway, the commentators under TPG’s YouTube videos are clear-eyed about what he’s done and what he’s not doing. The one thing they all agree on: Anthony Farrar’s not on the Road to Redemption. In fact, he’s headed the other way.

[Click here for an update on this story]

4 COMMENTS

  1. glad i’m not part of the trendy luxury watch scene, so i’ve never heard of this ‘famous for 15 minutes on his way to jail’ joker. nor did i get ripped off by the troubled bloke.

  2. The notion that he’s not “hiding” and filing bankruptcy is silly. None of the claims here would ever be dischargeable in BK anyway.

  3. If you believe luxury watches are pretty watches, none of this makes sense.

    If you believe luxury watches are a modern equivalent of the gold arm bands that nomadic warlords would use as a sort of Bronze Age Apple Pay system, this makes perfect sense.

    If you aren’t sure which you believe, you probably had a watch in this guy’s bag.

  4. Damn – someone stole my Seiko back in January. Wonder if that was him? Or maybe I left it at the massage place…

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