In a very short period of time WatchBox has not only expanded globally but also made quite some waves in the world of watchmaking, not only with collectors but also with the brands themselves. “We are at a turning point, times are changing” said Danny Govberg, CEO of Govberg Jewelers, when we met him and the other founders of WatchBox recently in Geneva. While many brands struggle to produce decent sales figures, the second-hand market is underutilized. This made Danny Govberg join forces with Investor-entrepreneur Justin Reis, and Tay Liam Wee, previously CEO of Sincere Watch. “Very soon the pre-owned market will dwarf that of the new watches” Govberg adds.
WatchBox’s approach is very transparent, not only selling used watches but also buying them from owners and collectors, through their e-commerce platform. “We make owners aware of the value of their collection and create liquidity,” Justin Reis tells. Watches that aren’t used can safely and conveniently be converted into cash or traded in for a watch that does get some wrist time. “The market for new watches will also be empowered by the secondary market” according to Samuel Lee, previously CEO and Founder of Elegant Watches and a partner in WatchBox Hong Kong. “Brands with a strong position in the vintage market tend to sell more new watches, as this is a sign of strength in the eyes of the consumer.”
WatchBox’s aim is clearly at creating synergy within the market. “It also gives collectors more options, as they are now not only limited to the current collection of a brand but also can choose one of its vintage pieces.” says Danny Govberg. WatchBox also offers ways to manage your collection through its platform. With the WatchBox mobile app, you can create a virtual watch box, with all the watches in your collection and keep track of their value. Through their own WatchBox Studios video network, as well as their different social media channels, they also try to educate collectors in an entertaining yet knowledgeable way.
WatchBox has recently also expanded into the heart of the watch industry, by opening an office in Neuchatel, Switzerland. From their regional headquarters in the US, Asia and now Europe, they are already organising collector events. According to Tay Liam Wee, this is only the beginning “We want to bring the world together, to educate and to entertain.” In the near future, you can take this very literally, as WatchBox is aiming to bring together watch collectors and connoisseurs, not only on a local level, but also on a global one, through their online platform, but also by organising themed watch tours. So as they already said, times are changing in the watch industry, and all for the better!