[Singapore] FutureGrail, an investment advisory specialising in high-end watches will open in Singapore on 21 April with a three days of events, exhibits, talks and tours. It will also hold the world’s first online Fractionalised Auction of investment-grade fine timepieces, and unveil a watch museum displaying over 200 ultra-rare vintage Patek Philippe and other high-end timepieces from the 19th and 20th century to the public. FutureGrail was started by renowned watch collector and investor Ali Nael and business partner Mohsin Rizvi. The company offers expert advice and guidance to watch collectors and investors interested in this new and increasingly-popular new asset class to help them make informed decisions when buying and selling. They will pioneer the world’s first all-online auction of high-end timepieces with both traditional and fractionalised systems. Also, for the first-time, either off-chain fiat money or on-chain options such as crypto currency can be used as payment. (See Appendix 1 for more details on fractionalised auctions.
The company has also set-up a Watch Museum in its facility, where some 200 rare and historically-significant timepieces are on permanent display. The Museum has one of the world’s rarest collections of watches and artifacts dating as far back as 1800. The exhibit is open to the public by appointment, and offers an immersive and luxurious setting to enhance the visitor’s curiosity and learning experience in the art of horology. The Museum and gallery will host thematic exhibitions as well as regular events for watch collectors, connoisseurs, and businesses. FutureGrail’s HQ includes a licensed tax-free storage facility, set to host and store the world’s rarest collections in its bonded facility. The vaults value-added services provide collectors and investors with array of solutions from the day they start their collecting journey until their exit. Security is provided by both FutureGrail as well as global security experts Malca-Amit and the facility is fully covered and insured. The three-day launch event from 21-23 April will start with a VIP and Media Day with a tour of the facility and watch museum, talks on the investment landscape for high-end watches, a cocktail reception, and an after-party. On the subsequent two days, the facility and museum will be open to the public through online registration and there will be tours and talks throughout the day and a cocktail reception each evening.
In a fractionalised auction, individuals can bid on owning a fraction of an item instead of buying the item completely. This practice is already popular in auction of artworks but this is the first time that it’s being offered for timepieces. High value items on the FutureGrail Fractionalized Auction will be digitally recorded on a block-chain ledger and with NFTs provided to provide digital proof of ownership and transparent tracking of ownership and provenance.This method has several key advantages for both the buyers and sellers of items. Bids on a fraction of an item will have portions of a whole item, and as such the price barrier to entry is lowered and more people will be able to bid on the rarest items. Those owning a fraction of an item will also be able to exit the investment more easily, thereby attracting more value to the supply chain. The FutureGrail Fractionalized Auction will accept both on-chain and off-chain payments. In addition to traditional off-chain fiat money, on-chain options such as crypto currency can be used as payment. Another significant difference with the FutureGrail Auctions is that the company only charges 5% for first time sellers, and a 5% buyer premium. Seller’s premium will be waived if the same watch is sold again at the FutureGrail platform and private sales.
ALI NAEL BIO
Ali Nael, a native of Beirut, is the founder and CEO of FutureGrail. Before moving to Singapore in 2006, he had launched numerous successful export businesses that spanned the globe, from Macau and Guangzhou in China, to West Africa and the Middle East. After being introduced to the world of fine and luxury watches in 2009, Mr Nael began his own personal collection, which includes the most-renowned horological brands, independent watchmakers, and special pieces from global brands such as Rolex. Mr Nael is most renowned as a specialist collector of iconic and vintage Patek Philippe timepieces and his passion for the maison led him to write a book on the brand entitled, My Dream Collection in 2019. Mr Nael admires the innovation of the brand and the standards embedded in its culture, which are reflected in every timepiece. His substantial collection of over 200 historical pieces, dating back to 1800 is the basis of the new FutureGrail Watch Museum in Singapore, which will open to the public in April.
For Mr Nael, collecting and appreciating vintage timepieces is about more than just about consumerist ownership or investments, it is about understanding and appreciating the history and development of watchmaking. Mr Nael feels that it is important to honour the great brands and watchmakers that have made possible for the continuation of the engineering marvels we wear on our wrists. As a collector and connoisseur of high-end watches, Mr Nael seeks to share his passion and knowledge of how to curate and build a valuable collection with others, which is one reason he set up FutureGrail. The investment advisory company is designed to help new and experienced collectors with every aspect of their collecting journey.