“They’re not vintage,” said the company’s CEO Edouard Meylan, on a recent visit to New York. “They’re five, six, seven years old.” They’re watches that might have been returned from a collector or a retailer, and some aren’t even pre-owned, they’re watches from previous collections or series that are finished. Regardless, each one is carefully inspected and cared for.
“We make a proper service of each watch,” Meylan said. “We certify it and we guarantee it for two years.”
Speaking amid jewelry and watch vitrines in the Cellini store on Park Avenue, where Moser watches are sold, Meylan explained why his company started the site. Sales of pre-owned watches can be a shady business, and he felt the need to safeguard his company’s reputation for excellence in the face of sites that might sell an H. Moser watch “that could be defective or even stolen,” he said. H. Moser joins the ranks of F.P. Journe and MB&F in taking similar precautions to protect their brands; the buzz is that Audemars Piguet will be launching a pre-owned watch site soon.
Moser & Cie.’s site has been open since earlier this month, so Meylan already has a sense of who’s buying what. “Most of the requests came from the Swiss and the U.S.,” he said. Watches on the site range from a Pioneer Centre Seconds for 10,800 CHF (excluding VAT, approximately $11,180 at current exchange) to an Endeavor Perpetual Calendar Concept in steel—one of only 10 ever made—for 55,700 CHF (excluding VAT, $57,644).
The launch pages feature only eight watches, and they just added their VantaBlack pieces, but in the future might display as many as 20. But no more. “I don’t want to have 500 watches,” Meylan said. “This isn’t a supermarket.” Just a good way to keep unsold goods off the grey market, provide collectors with a guaranteed product and protect the integrity of the H. Moser & Cie brand.