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Expertise At Its Finest

An Interview with Sam Lazim at Estate House

When Sam Lazim moved to Knoxville in 2004, he’d been kicked out of his country where he was a missionary and ended up in the care of a local church. The kindness he experienced here sparked the desire to set up a new life here with a family and build a business in the way his father had taught him. Sam is a sixth-generation jewelry buyer, seller, and maker, and for nearly 15 years, he’s been serving the Knoxville community with his expertise. 

“Jewelry is personal,” he says. “When someone gives you jewelry as a gift, they have to think about you as a person, what you like, when you were born. It should match the personality of the person. I believe every piece of jewelry should have a story and be different from other pieces of jewelry. That’s why I’m not in the business of brand new items, where there are 20,000 of the same piece.” 

Initially, Sam started Estate House under a different name – Treasures of the Tigris – in an attempt to capture the regality and esteem of Iraq, but it didn’t translate as well as he’d hoped. In the end, Estate House better represents what he and his team do. In addition to being a place where customers can buy a piece of jewelry for a special someone, it’s also a place that manages entire estates, from coins and cars to furniture and artwork. They’ve even purchased entire houses if need be. 

The world of estate sales and auctions is a sweeping one, and Sam has learned how to maneuver in that world seamlessly. 

“Experience tells me what something is worth,” he says. “I go to auctions, both online and in person. I also participate in the biggest shows for jewelry and estates. We’re going to Vegas in June for the Antique and Jewelry Show, which is the largest show. Vendors come from all over the world, so our business is not just in Knoxville. Today I have a watch I received from someone in Hong Kong.” 

Luxury watches are a particular interest of Sam’s. He follows the market with a keen eye, and in the last three years, the demand has been increasing.

“In the last three years, the value of luxury watches has gone up, maybe as much as 300 percent. It can be hard to find luxury watches, but you find them here at Estate House,” says Sam. “And we guarantee the purchase. If you buy a Rolex from me, I’ll always want to buy it back from you. We have people who buy watches and lock them up in a safe. Then, three or four months later, I know they have them, and I may have a customer looking for one, and then that person makes money on it. Luxury watches are better than gold and silver right now.” 

Additionally, if you own a luxury watch and it needs some measure of repair, Estate House is the place to go. Wolfgang Christian, whose father was a watchmaker, is retired from Rolex but keeps his skills fresh at Estate House. This is notable since not everyone is comfortable sending their watches out to be fixed. 

“It’s a dying trade,” says Wolfgang, who can work on all makes and models of luxury watches right there in the store. “There are people who will try, but it’s hard to find a good watchmaker. They tinker and call themselves watchmakers, but they aren’t.”

Estate House is currently in the process of moving locations, which marks a pivotal moment in the business. The new location in Bearden (5002 Kingston Pike) is currently being renovated to meet their needs, but the goal is to move there this summer. 

“We’ve built a good reputation, and it’s amazing because in this business, it’s all about who you are,” says Sam. “I go back to the idea of service. I love this community. Knoxville made me who I am. I came here homeless, with nothing. People here were so kind and generous to lift me up. We have good people we do business with, and we’ve proved that we’re trustworthy.

"Give us a chance to serve you the way you deserve to be served," Sam continues. "I want people to try us and see what we have. They'll stick with us for sure."

Visit Estate House at 8373 Kingston Pike, Suite 900, or online at

  • Patek Philippe 18K White Gold Annual Calendar
  • Rolex 18K Gold + Stainless Steel Meteorited Diamond Dial Watch
  • Rolex 1970s Stainless Steel Submariner (Vintage)
  • Audemars Piquet Stainless Steel Royal Oak Offshore
  • Photo by Margaret Loveday
  • Photo by Margaret Loveday