Watchfinder, the Richemont-owned seller of pre-owned watches, is starting a marketplace division to sell watches offered by third-party dealers along the lines of the way Chrono24 or eBay operate.
The marketplace will allow Watchfinder to offer a wider selection of inventory while offering sellers access to its extensive customer base. Watchfinder currently sells pre-owned inventory online as well as via a network of showrooms and boutiques across the UK, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Switzerland, the US and Canada. Since it started 20 years ago, its model has been to buy and own every watch it has sold, with each piece brought into its workshop to be checked, serviced and refurbished, if necessary, before being photographed and put on sale. Now it will operate as a hybrid, offering both marketplace inventory along with its own.
Watchfinder says it will only post watches from carefully selected CPO (certified pre-owned) resellers that have a good reputation and experience. No word on whether the marketplace section will expand the price range offered, but Watchfinder told Robb Report it does expect to “offer a wider and deeper inventory, which will include more brands and references. When a third-party or marketplace seller watch is sold on the marketplace, the seller will first ship the watch to Watchfinder, where it will be authenticated, inspected and tested by its experts. Once the watch meets the quality standards, it will be shipped to the buyer by Watchfinder.” It currently offers more than 70 different luxury brands.
Marketplace customers will have access to Watchfinder’s in-house watch experts, after-sales team, portfolio of financial solutions and bespoke exchange services, meaning they will be able to trade in one or more of their existing watches and put its value towards a marketplace purchase. Sellers will be able to access Watchfinder’s accredited service centers for watch certification.
The marketplace section will be up and running starting in early 2023 in partnership with stores in the UK, where Watchfinder is based. It will then expand to include the US, France, Germany and Switzerland.