To obtain the Vogue Enterprise e-newsletter, sign up here.
When Silas Watson began visiting unbiased luxurious watchmakers within the Swiss mountains a decade in the past, he was perplexed to seek out that uncommon secondhand watches together with the hand-finished Philippe Dufour simplicity mannequin have been an underappreciated area of interest. His response was to launch his personal enterprise, A Collected Man, in 2014, constructing a flourishing specialist firm with gross sales in extra of £15 million final 12 months and a following from Silicon Valley to Southeast Asia.
The secondhand watch market is rising at a quicker tempo than the brand new watch sector and startups are following intently behind. Might these startups be excellent news for the broader watch sector and can they scale? “After we see new platforms rising… I feel it’s good for everyone,” says Reginald Brack, watches and luxurious advisor, who has labored at NPD, Christie’s and StockX. “The extra competitors, the higher transparency and fairer pricing change into basically.” The problem for these startups is to construct client belief for the authentication processes and pricing.
McKinsey predicts annual growth in the pre-owned watch market of 8-10 per cent from 2019 to 2025, with gross sales reaching between $29 billion and $32 billion. By comparability, the brand new watch market will develop at an annual tempo of 1-3 per cent over the identical interval (with predicted gross sales of $52 billion to $59 billion). Many main watch manufacturers, together with Rolex, Patek Philippe, Richemont-owned Jaeger-LeCoultre and Girard Perregaux, have but to ascertain their very own resale platforms. Nevertheless, luxurious conglomerates are taking motion: Richemont, proprietor of Cartier and IWC, acquired Watchfinder in 2018; whereas Tag Heuer-owner LVMH purchased a stake in watch platform Hodinkee in 2020. On-line secondhand watch market Chrono24 additionally lured LVMH-backed Aglaé Ventures in its 2021 funding spherical which valued the corporate at over $1 billion.
Market progress is partly pushed by demand from youthful shoppers for iconic items, in line with Claudia D’Arpizio, international head of vogue and luxurious for consultancy Bain. Corporations resembling London-based A Collected Man are rising to faucet demand for slices of the market not met by the market leaders: of their case it’s uncommon watches. “Very early on, I used to be getting on planes continuously and flying out to satisfy these watchmakers within the mountains. Nobody was bothering with them,” says founder and CEO Walton. “We helped form and professionalise a market that earlier than then had been very messy and inefficient.”