Looks like WatchBox will have plenty to celebrate this New Year’s.
The longstanding secondary-market retailer predicts its sales will increase to more than $400 million and its revenue will rise by roughly 33 percent in 2022. The business has a combination of lucrative trends to thank for the influx: With the growing number of yearlong waitlists and production slowdowns resulting in limited quantities among top luxury watch brands, more and more collectors are favoring pre-owned. And, while certain highly coveted companies such as Rolex, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet continue to reign supreme, there’s also a notable growth in the interest around independent manufactures, of which the retailer is a key supporter, such as F. P Journe.
Since its founding in 2017, WatchBox has raised more than $250 million in funding. A whopping $165 million of that capital came just last year thanks to investments from basketball legend Michael Jordan along with a slew of other pro athletes. The flow of funds lifted the company’s valuation to an estimated $1 billion, making it poised for a potential IPO in the future.
With its new investors and funding, WatchBox has been making some strategic moves toward growth in in the last year. In June, the online retailer unveiled renderings for a 5,000-square-foot Collectors Lounge on the fourth floor of the landmark Fuller Building in Midtown Manhattan. After opening the New York City flagship, the brand laid out further plans to expand its footprint in top US markets, such as Miami, Los Angeles and Boca Raton, as well as increase its presence in China. Later in the summer, WatchBox made two key hires, naming Diane James director of strategic brands and Jack Forster global editorial director.
In November, WatchBox doubled down on its investment in independents with a traveling exhibition dedicated to F. P. Journe and De Bethune. The company is also one of the largest dealers and avid promoters of these watchmakers, along with MB&F; the independent manufactures account for roughly 33 percent of WatchBox’s sales compared to Rolex, Patek and Audemars, which make up roughly 50 percent.