“I am of the mind-set that I would much rather sell 10 watches to 10 happy clients that all felt like they got fair deals and come back and buy more,” he said. He contrasted his approach with that of some other dealers, who “are of the mind-set that they’ll sell much less watches, but they’re going to totally rip someone off on the deal — and to me, that’s not an honest way of doing business.”
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He said he often stayed in touch with clients by phone, sometimes giving advice on potential purchases from other dealers. Mr. Lazarus’s speaking voice matches his age — there’s still a little more than a year to go before he turns 21, the legal drinking age in California — but he is confident that his horological knowledge trumps his youth.
“If you speak to me for 20 minutes, you’ll probably realize that I know what I’m talking about when it comes to watches,” Mr. Lazarus said.
His clients seem to agree.
“You’re just kind of taken aback by when you ask him a question and he, ad nauseam, answers you about one subtle dial detail, or why this particular insert is more desirable than another one,” said Kevin Smith, a Los Angeles-based record producer who purchased a Red Rolex Submariner and a steel Audemars Piguet Royal Oak from Oliver and Clarke last year.
Nicholas Pelzer, a philanthropic investment manager based in New York, met Mr. Lazarus several years ago. “I was like, ‘This guy is so young, but so knowledgeable about these pieces,’” he said. “It was just an odd, sort of paradoxical thing.” In late January, he purchased a 40-millimeter white gold Rolex Daytona from Mr. Lazarus.
Mr. Lazarus grew up mostly in Stamford, Conn., although he spent a few years in Los Angeles as a child. His father, Bruce Lazarus, is a theatrical producer and lawyer; his mother, Laura Lazarus, is a retired social worker and his brother, Revan, 21, is a student.