e recently interviewed a broad selection of managers, active in a variety of segments, to help us identify the major trends within the watch industry.
Our Q&A with Nicolas Hildenbrand – Watchdreamer.
Europa Star: What are your strategic priorities for 2023?
Nicolas Hildenbrand: We will continue to strengthen and expand our position as the leading online retailer in our core market, Switzerland. We still see enormous potential there. We have doubled our sales in this market since the beginning of the year and this is only the beginning. We are also establishing new partnerships with strong brands in the industry. Finally, we will be diversifying our marketing materials, both digital and physical, and will soon be coming up with a totally new marketing campaign.
- Nicolas Hildenbrand
Which brands or types of brands do you think have the highest potential for growth this year?
In terms of volume brands, I think Breitling and Tudor are two brands that are on the rise and are doing a remarkable job of differentiating themselves from other brands in the same segment. More generally, in a somewhat shaky and uncertain economy, I think that mid-range products (between 4-6k) will take a significant place in annual sales volume. At the high end, independent brands will continue to rise.
The emergence of the secondary market represents a major new development. Are you taking any steps to build a presence in preowned?
The only brand we distribute on the second-hand market is Rolex, as they prohibit the sale of new watches online. After the bursting of this speculative bubble, which mainly concerns the big three (Rolex, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet), I think that buyers will not only become rarer in this market but also more cautious. In recent years, online and offline second-hand watch shops have sprung up like mushrooms. Some have gained, but many lost when the market lost 30% of its value last summer. We personally favour the sale of new watches on our platform, and always at the official retail price.