A new experience tailored to collectors and watch enthusiasts is coming to Switzerland. Global pre-owned retailer WatchBox, has just announced the opening of its new Swiss headquarters in Neuchâtel at Rue de la Promenade-Noire 5. Located in a 2,300-square-foot historic space the new location will not only be home to the retailer’s corporate offices, but will also feature a trading floor for clients to buy and sell watches, a lounge, and a content studio. Just a one minute walk from the 5-star Beau-Rivage hotel and situated along the scenic Lake Neuchâtel, the new headquarters is meant to serve not only as a hub for the brand, but also give unprecedented access to collectors.
“What we’re going to do is set up WatchBox tours, so when we start to bring collectors from all over the world to Switzerland, instead of Geneva we can have them start in Neuchâtel right at the base of the industry so that we can have dinners, manufacture visits, and they can meet the artisans,” says WatchBox co-founder and CEO, Danny Govberg. “We can start to deliver experiences to collectors on a monthly or even weekly basis. At the same time, we can do videos with them so at the same time we can complete the entire circuit.”
A one-stop shop in the heart of watchmaking country, the content studio will be set up to produce not only video with collectors, CEOs, and watchmakers, but also artisans and enamelers that typically don’t get recognition or to meet with the collectors. “It’s not just about going to see one brand’s manufacture,” says WatchBox executive vice president, Patrik Hoffmann. “The brands normally keep these people in the background, because they don’t always work exclusively for one brand. We’re able to put some of these artisans into the limelight, which the brands don’t give them.”
Many of the independent watchmakers are also within 15 minutes of WatchBox’s new headquarters, so that collectors can meet face-to-face with some of watchmaking’s most creative minds. “What we’re going to be able to do is give unprecedented access, because all the independents like Laurent Ferrier, Greubel Forsey, and Voutilanien want to meet the collectors and they also want to do their own shows,” says Govberg. “A lot these guys are just 15 minutes away from our office.” As brands increasingly go direct-to-consumer, whether it’s with their new releases or their pre-owned watches, WatchBox’s new hub is a smart move for a multi-brand retailer. Collectors can now have direct insider access to several brands in an unprecedented formal tour.
“You know how people go to Napa and go to the vineyards and then you want wine more than ever?” says Govberg. “I want to make it where watch enthusiasts can come to us in Neuchatel the way they go to Napa for wine—instead of going to wine country, they’re going to watch country.”
The Neuchâtel Lounge is open to the public on weekdays from 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Private appointments can be made outside of these hours. In addition, monthly events and collector gatherings will be held in the space the first Thursday of each month, starting this Thursday October 4th. Stay tuned for a unique collection of pre-owned Patek Philippe timepieces that have been curated for the launch, which will go on sale in the space on October 10th.