‘The Timepiece Gentleman’ Anthony Farrer arrested by FBI, faces fraud charge and 20 years in prison ‘The Timepiece Gentleman’ Anthony Farrer arrested by FBI, faces fraud charge and 20 years in prison

‘The Timepiece Gentleman’ Anthony Farrer arrested by FBI, faces fraud charge and 20 years in prison

Zach Blass

In our recent story, we shared your responses to the best advice to give to a newbie watch collector, and one of the most common pieces of advice you all mentioned was the idea of ‘buy the seller’. When you buy a watch outside of an authorised dealer, you do not just have to evaluate the watch you are interested in but also the seller you are looking to purchase it from. A big headline this week is the perfect example of why. Anthony Farrer, the operator behind watch vendor Gentleman Timepieces in California, was arrested by the FBI on Tuesday.

The press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Central District of California reads: “Anthony Farrer, 35, who until recently lived in downtown Los Angeles, was charged in a federal criminal complaint filed Monday with wire fraud, a felony that carries a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison. Farrer, who also was known as ‘The Timepiece Gentleman,’ was arrested without incident at a storage facility in Venice and was held in federal custody overnight. He made his initial appearance this afternoon in United States District Court, and an arraignment was scheduled for December 14. A detention hearing is scheduled for Thursday.”

Anthony Farrer

According to the unsealed affidavit, Anthony Farrer, who founded Gentleman Timepieces in Texas in 2017, and would later open a Beverly Hills, CA location in 2022, would connect purchasers and sellers of high-end watches. He would then take the watches under signed consignment agreements, in which he would collect a commission upon the sale of the watch – typically around 5%. There is, of course, nothing illegal about selling watches on consignment. However, the federal criminal complaint filed claims Farrer was pocketing not only the agreed commissions of the sale but also the entire net of the sale. In other scenarios, the complaint alleges Farrer would accept funds for a requested watch – only to then ship the client a completely different watch. When clients would contact Farrer for money, further complaints allege he would attempt to send watches to clients in place of the desired payment.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office, Central District of California explains: “The complaint alleges that Farrer defrauded victims beginning in late 2022 until the summer of 2023, when he promised customers he would sell their luxury watches on consignment. Rather than remitting funds back to the customers less the commission, he kept the proceeds for himself. Farrer lived in a luxury rental property and was known to drive a Lamborghini and Ducati motorcycles. He traveled frequently to, and engaged in gambling in, Las Vegas, according to the complaint. Farrer induced victims into wiring funds for the purchase of luxury watches and, instead of purchasing the agreed-upon watch, he would send them a different watch, the complaint alleges. In one case, a victim received a Rolex watch from Farrer in lieu of money Farrer owed, but the Rolex belonged to another victim who had provided the watch to Farrer to sell on consignment and did not authorize Farrer to use the watch as payment for his debts to other victims.”

Anthony Farrer Youtube
Image: YouTube

Farrer, who had grown a following on YouTube that remains at around 88,000 even months into the scandal, was often depicted living lavishly in his videos and engaging in transactions. Across two years, 551 videos, and a total 30.5M views, he garnered a large fanbase that would aid in promoting his business. Although, perhaps ironically, one of his videos from 9 months ago, which to date has 283K views, is titled ‘BUSTED a ROLEX Dealer For Lying!!!’. This content, positioning him as a vendor who is concerned with ensuring genuine transactions, among other videos, offered a sense of ethos to his aura and reputation as a successful and trusted watch vendor. The filed complaint also notes, akin to a Ponzi scheme, that victims were given a false sense of security through successful smaller transactions prior to the larger transactions that would eventually, and allegedly, go awry.

Law enforcement investigating the case estimates that victim losses total approximately US$3M. The FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation, and the Beverly Hills Police Department are investigating this matter and Assistant United States Attorney Joshua O. Mausner of the Violent and Organized Crime Section is prosecuting this case.

 

@encoun2er #anthonyfarrer #scam #rolex #watches #confession ♬ original sound – Encoun2er

It is important to remember that a criminal complaint contains allegations. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. But, considering Anthony Farrer shared a video on August 2 on his own channel, in which he confesses he misused funds, the future does not look bright for the ‘The Timepiece Gentleman’.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Zach

Watch meme of the week: the vintage trinity

 

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To find a vintage watch that is cheap, in good condition, and desirable… Well… that would be the holy trinity of watch purchases. Pick two.

Wrist shot of the week: a horological bucket list item ticked

Zach Ibe san

This week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kikuo Ibe, ‘The Father of G-Shock’, ahead of the 40th anniversary of G-Shock celebrations. I can’t wait to bring the full conversation to the site soon, but, as a spoiler alert, my last question was: “Ibe-san, would I be able to grab a photo with you?” Who better to pose and flex your G-Shock watch with than the founding man behind it all?

Time+Tide Shop pick of the week: Studio Underd0g Field

studio underd0g pink lem0nade dial close up

Following the highly anticipated launch of the brand’s new design, the Studio Underd0g Field collection is finally available for pre-orders. These field watches might look classic, but turn off the lights and you’ll see they’re incredibly luminous – not very useful on the battlefield, but great as a statement piece.

Pre-order now in the Time+Tide Melbourne Discovery StudioPrice: A$1,750

Our favourite Time+Tide coverage of the week

Welcome to In The Metal – a distinctly Marcus take on all things watches

In a new series, Marcus gets on the other side of the camera to take a non-WIS (watch idiot savant) look at the watches he’s been shooting. Check out the pilot episode above, which includes Marcus’ thoughts on Studio Underd0g, Tudor, and more.

5 of the best asymmetrical watches

Berneron Mirage

While asymmetry hit its stride in the 1950s, there’s still a niche appreciation for them today – especially in the wake of all the Cartier Crash hype. Fergus has five of the best asymmetrical watches for you right here.

VIDEO: This sporty Breguet Marine Chronographe 5527 is unburdened by dive watch aesthetics

Dive watches have a largely homogenous look. The good news is you do not need to turn to just field, pilot’s, or diver’s watches for a luxury daily wear experience. Some watches exude robust elegance, offering all the daily-wearer specs without the all-too-familiar look. This Breguet Marine Chronographe 5527 is a great example.

Oh, and one more thing…

T+T Zenith Teaser

All will be revealed soon…