The Eglinton Way neighbourhood is home to many destination and independent boutiques including Toronto’s WatchFinder, owned and run by John Anari. Sheliza Esmail from The Eglinton Way BIA interviewed John this week to learn more about WatchFinder’s unique products.
The Eglinton Way: Tell me John, what is the story behind WatchFinder?
John: I’ve had a passion for watches since I was a child. I used to admire my father’s watches. He had a Rado and a Rolex that caught my attention and sparked my interest in watches. WatchFinder opened on Eglinton six years ago. This is the midtown location, and my cousin owns the location in Yorkville.
The Eglinton Way: Where did you learn about watches?
John: Here, through the business, and online. I find watches really interesting and enjoy taking the time to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the industry.
The Eglinton Way: What is your favorite part of the business and your favorite watch in the store?
John: The clientele at WatchFinder share the same passion for watches that I have. We get a lot of online traffic and people emailing us for speciality watches. My favorite watches are the AP watches – Audemars Piguet. They are Swiss made and very high quality.
There is a lot of creativity in the designs of different watches too. We can add diamonds to watches, as well as different faces and bands. It starts with a base model and then we create something more customized to an individual.
John shows me a look-book of different designs and customizations WatchFinder compiled for their clients. He also shows me the Watch Parts Motor Cycle, a motorcycle model made entirely of watch parts. The models take 50 hours to make and are crafted by a local man, says John.
The Eglinton Way: What is a typical day at WatchFinder like?
John: We set-up the shows every morning, check emails, and respond to customers via phone call or perhaps in-person during an appointment. When you arrived just now I was working on some repairs for a client.
The Eglinton Way: Have you seen a lot of change to your business over the last few years?
John: The Eglinton Way is a challenging neighbourhood due to the construction, but we have established ourselves here and are known as a destination business. It was challenging at first, but we managed to build a clientele that knows where to find us!