Last sunday, I went to the Rikketik watch fair in Houten/The Netherlands. This fair is being held a few times a year, and is also held in Antwerp/Belgium. Besides wrist watches, there are a lot of clocks and pocket watches for sale on the fair. So far so good.

My last visit to the watch fair was at least 1 – 1.5 years earlier and as soon as I entered the large hall with all the sellers, I knew why it was 1 – 1.5 years earlier. What a mess. They should seperate the (wooden cuckcoo) clocks from the watches to start with. But this is not the worst part. The worst part is the quality of the offered goods. Omega watches seems to be the most popular brand on the watch fair. Logically, because the vintage Omega watches are still affordable and easy to maintain. However, I have not seen a single decent vintage Omega for sale. If the prices would justify this and leave room for a complete overhaul at Omega in Bienne (add a few hundred euros for a complete overhaul, depending on the model) you could really buy a nice time piece. However, the prices are skyhigh and watches are being sold (or trying to be) as ‘Near Mint’ or ‘In pristine condition’. Give me a break.

Additionally, a lot of fake watches are being offered there. Fake Panerais, Rolexes and other ‘popular’ models. I really don’t understand why the organisation of such a large fair doesn’t take appropriate action.

A few international sellers (most of them were German) seem to have the good stuff. New or slightly used Rolexes and Omegas for sale for decent prices. But ofcourse, the average Rikketik attendee doesn’t have 3K on him to get himself a nice new or near mint Rolex, Omega or whatever brand.

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I don’t know if I grew out of it or if the fair got worse and worse in the last couple of years. But I do know that the watch fair in Duesseldorf (in the Radison SAS hotel) is far nicer to visit. Better quality of offered goods and a more decent and attractive set-up. But then again, they probably pay more than 25 euro to rent a table.

At least it got me thinking that the watches I have in my collection which are about to move out, are in a way (WAY) better condition and could have been on sale at the Rikketik ‘as new’. Really.

Pffff…

Robert-Jan Broer
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Robert-Jan Broer

Founder & Editor at Fratello Watches
Robert-Jan Broer, born in 1977, watch collector and author on watches for over a decade. Founder of Fratello Watches in 2004.
Robert-Jan Broer
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  • n00b

    Hi RJ,

    I completely agree with you. The rikketik fair really sucked BIG TIME!!! A lot of crap for illegal high prices. Also a lot of fake stuff, that should be banned!

    I will NEVER visit the rikketik fair again. Just a fokking waste of money and my precious time!!!

    ROFLMAO

  • Martijn

    What me always surprizes is that a fake Rolex can be next to the real deal at the same table of the same seller….

  • Nivelacuso

    Hi Robert-Jan.

    I feel I have to put your opnion into perspective.

    Yes, there were fake watches on the fair, and that is a shame. I also agree that the organiasation will have to ban these sellers….

    About the prices: Prices were on the high side, but there were also some very reasonable priced watches for sale. From a buyer’s side of view the price is always high…. And of course the prices are Asking Prices…. After some old-fashioned haggling, prices could come down to much a much better price.

    I was a seller on this Rikketik fair for the first time. I could help a friend who had a table, and I took the opportunity to bring some of my watches to sell.

    I sold a solid 18K gold Omega Constellation with integrated bracelet, with the gold dial (OM=Or Massive) I also sold a fantastic Christiaan van der Klaauw Ceres.
    Not exactly “crap”.

    I spoke with many, many fellow watch-lovers, people I came to know through the Internet in the last few years, and I had a great time at the fair. I think a fair is not about the zillion watches you’re NOT interested in, but a fair is all about that ONE watch that you’re interested in.

    I really hope you’ll enjoy a next visit to the fair better.

    Greetings,
    Hans Mennink

  • Robert-Jan

    Hi Hans,

    I feel that your perspective is a bit a perspective of the seller 🙂 Ofcourse, there were some nice watches, but the Christiaan van der Klaauw you had on your table for example, is far above the average on the fair.

    The biggest problem I encountered are the prices they ask (even if they lower them, often still too high) for watches that can be had for the same price at watch shops including the warranty. I know, a few of the Dutch shops are also present on the fair, but besides those… (and also including some of them).

    Don’t get me wrong, I had a nice time at the fair, but this was mainly because, like you, I met a couple of watch friends at the fair. Certainly not because of the watches that were for sale.

    There is no next Rikketik for me, unless a WUS meeting or some other watch meeting is held over there.

    I hereby invite you to join me to the Duesseldorf watch fair. You will be amazed how different the offered collection is over there. This will certainly increase the entertainment value for you, as a collector of fine time pieces.

    RJ

  • Martijn

    Why dont we, as Dutch collectors, set up a better fair in nice surroundings? I’m not happy with the Rikketik, and I agree with RJ that it could be better on many fronts. Why not proof it that it is possible to hold a successfull fair with decent watches in a suitable surrounding?

  • Robert-Jan

    My thoughs exactly Martijn. Let’s discuss this further over email.

  • Nivelacuso

    Hi Robert-Jan and Martijn,

    RJ, when is the next Dusseldorf fair? It would be nice to go there with a few fellow dutch WIS’es. Perhaps we can , like Martijn suggested, see if a better fair can be organised in the Netherlands or Benelux. That would be a real challenge. I wouldn’t mind helping in any way to get this started.

    Gr,
    Hans Mennink

  • Tactic

    Can someone give me the next date there will be a rikketik fair in Antwerp ?