There are a number of services that let you sell your used watches or simply purchase new watches but few have the funding war chest of Chronext. This online services lets you buy and sell fancy watches for a fraction of the price and, as evidenced by their performance and the performance of competitor Crown and Caliber, it looks like that market is heating up.
Created by Philipp Man and Ludwig Wurlitzer that startup has seen $60 million in transaction volume in 2017 and expects to see $130 million in 2018. They’ve raised a second $34 million round from Endeit Capital and Tengelmann Ventures and have already taken $16 million to start the business.
Man, the CEO, has a background at the Boston Consulting Group spent time at GlencoreXstrata before getting into watches full time. He wrote his dissertations on the luxury watch market. Wurlitzer, the CPO, has a background in the fine art and IT sectors. He developed the platform.
“CHRONEXT allows over 1,800 retailers, brands and consumers to do business globally. The company takes care of pre- and after-sale service, payment, authentication and also logistics,” said Man. “Despite being a marketplace, the customer always buys directly from CHRONEXT and thus has all the security of buying with a dedicated retailer while at the same time being able to tap into a global supply network. Every watch is authenticated by our own watchmakers.”
The founders created the company after experiencing the used book market. The used watch market is interesting in that imperfect information has been driven out of the system. Any seller with an Internet connection can easily confirm whether their Rolex or Omega is worth a few hundred or a few thousand but bad actors still abound. Fakes still pop up and some watches are too far gone to use. Services like Chronext ensure that the piece you’re buying works and is legitimate.
“Being heavily into watches and fascinated by free market dynamics in the trade of consumer products, we saw huge potential for creating a marketplace that allowed the secure and simple global trading of high quality timepieces,” said Man. “We created the first truly transactional luxury watch marketplace for both new and pre-owned watches as well as bringing together retailers, brands and consumers on one platform.”