Interview with Beverly Loan’s watch specialist, Conner Cole

Interview with Beverly Loan’s watch specialist, Conner Cole

Conner Cole, GIA Graduate Gemologist and Fine Watch Specialist at Beverly Loan Company, the premier collateral lender in Beverly Hills.

The following article is an interview with one of our watch specialists from our sister company, Beverly Loan. Operating from the heart of Beverly Hills, Beverly Loan applies the same dedication to secure loan provision, as well as the commitment to customer service and financial flexibility that you’ve come to expect from Borro for our West Coast clients.

Provide a brief introduction about yourself

I was born and raised in Pensacola, Florida, and I currently reside in Los Angeles.  I fell in love with the jewelry and watch business while working part-time at Bere’ Jewelers throughout high school and college.  After graduating from Florida State University in 2017, I moved to California to attend GIA Education for Gemology and Jewelry Manufacturing.  I joined Beverly Loan Company in early 2019 and have remained with it since its acquisition by Luxury Asset Capital in 2021. I have about four years of experience in the collateral lending space.

Why would a watch collector consider a watch loan over a traditional bank loan?

Speed, convenience, confidentiality, and peace of mind.  Leveraging your past purchases (such as a watch collection) with a non-recourse equity loan is a clever way to raise capital quickly without jeopardizing your credit.

What would the lending process look like?

You can ship your watches and other luxury assets to our Denver headquarters from all 50 states.  Once your assets are received by our team, we send you an electronic contract via DocuSign, and you can typically receive funding within one business day.  I work at Beverly Loan (our Beverly Hills office), which is tailored toward clients seeking immediate funding in person.  Here, the lending process can take as little as 15 minutes for appointments with pre-evaluated collateral.  I encourage clients to provide details about their collection ahead of their appointment for the fastest service possible.

You mentioned that watches are typically one of the most popular luxury assets used as collateral – why do you think that is?

Luxury watches are highly collectible, portable, and fashionable objects that happen to be an excellent store of value.  Market values are fairly consistent, so it is usually quicker and easier to appraise a watch collection versus, for example, a suite of vintage estate jewelry.  With a watch, I can quickly provide an estimate over the phone with basic information such as the make and model. 

Are certain watch brands better suited for a collateral loan than others?

Absolutely.  I hate to use this term, but “hype” watches that are hard to get, particularly those trading over MSRP, are the best store of value.  In some cases, we can lend significantly more than MSRP against watches that are considered “unobtanium” from authorized dealers.  Richard Mille, Rolex, Audemars Piguet, and Patek Phillipe are all brands that tend to be best suited for collateral loans.  The astronomical demand for these watches makes them liquid in the unlikely event of default, so we can provide a higher LTV (loan-to-value) compared to watches from less coveted manufacturers.

Can you share a few examples of how watch collectors have used your service?

Here in Beverly Hills, I work with people from all walks of life, but most tend to be businesspeople in need of quick capital to close a deal – think real estate developers, entertainment managers, music producers, and even jewelers looking to leverage their inventory.  I work with several watch collectors who have spent years developing relationships with authorized dealers to secure allocations for highly coveted watches at MSRP.  These clients are required to keep buying watches in order to maintain their relationship, so they will bring me pieces from their existing collection to help finance their next purchase.

What is your favorite luxury timepiece, and why?

I love a good GMT complication and Rolex owns this market.  For me, a vintage Rolex Pepsi ref. 1675 with a nice, even patina is the perfect watch – it’s somehow sporty, dressy, casual, and timeless with a nice pop of color.


Explore more about luxury