Originally launched in 2008 by Portuguese entrepreneur José Neves, Farfetch was created as a way for customers to buy hard-to-find products from luxury boutiques around the globe. Since then, it has grown into a major e-commerce platform connecting not only boutiques but brands to consumers, counting Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet as a non-executive cochairman. Farfetch’s latest endeavor is to delve into the fine jewelry and watches category to offer 10 new brands to its international clientele.
“We chose the brands based on the feedback we got from our customers,” says Giorgio Belloli, chief commercial and sustainability officer at Farfetch. “We started with a small group of brands to launch—ones that we found were in line with our vision for the category.” The company will offer jewelry from De Beers, Chopard, David Yurman, Pomellato, and Tiffany & Co. for women and will be offering watches from Bell & Ross, Girard-Perregaux, Tag Heuer, Ulysse Nardin, and Zenith for its male customers. Farfetch will eventually offer women’s watches, as well, as it continues to expand the category.
“We’re still defining some of the opportunities we see with watches, but we’re obviously going to keep introducing new watches on a regular basis,” says Belloli. “The aim is to have not only the entry-level price but also to have exclusive product only available on Farfetch, so it could be anywhere from up to $30,000 or $50,000. I think we’re going to be able to move some very interesting pieces on the platform.”
Ulysse Nardin is selling two 42 mm Marine Torpilleur timepieces in stainless steel ($6,900) featuring a self-winding caliber UN-118 movement and cream-colored hands for the hours and the chronograph sub-dials. The “Bas” and “Haut,” or high and low, indicators in French on the power reserve and on the 1846 year marking on the oversized seconds sub-dial are designed in a yellow color instead of red, just like the original model. The date indicator comes on a navy-blue background instead of white so that it blends into the color of the dial.
Other exclusives are expected in the future as Farfetch builds its relationships with Swiss watch manufacturers, but the beauty of Farfetch’s dive into the watch world is that it will also be building its network in the watch industry to locate hard-to-find timepieces for its VIP clients. “We often have customers reaching out to us to help them find specific products, so we will definitely continue with that approach,” says Belloli. “We will continue to develop relationships with the brands in order to be able to satisfy our customers’ requests on top of what we offer on the platform in general.”
Farfetch’s watch platform also takes a youthful approach in marketing its watch selection, from the styling to the photography to the layout, which should appeal to traditional Swiss watch companies looking to tap into new markets.