41. time-business


Europa Star

Towards a single watch market

CERTIFIED PRE-OWNED

Español
September 2019


Towards a single watch market

The secondary watch market gets a boost in legitimacy with the launch of a certified pre-owned activity by world’s leading retailer Bucherer. As we’ve stressed in many articles, the fusion between the primary and the secondary market is well under way.

A

first strong signal happened when luxury giant Richemont bought the British secondary platform Watchfinder.

Another one when Bucherer bought American retailer and specialist of certified pre-owned Tourneau.

A third one when pre-owned company WatchBox (also coming from the USA, which dominates the pre-owned game) set up an office in Switzerland.

And countless others when brands such as F.P. Journe or MB&F announced the launch of their certified pre-owned service or when influential retailers such as London Jewelers made alliances with second-hand specialists such as Crown & Caliber.

Essentially you are now able to buy certified pre-owned timepieces or brand new watches to the same people, and you can choose to do it browsing from your home or going to the boutique.

As much as the online merges with the offline, the secondary market also merges with the primary market for new watches. Essentially you are now able to buy certified pre-owned timepieces or brand new watches to the same people, and you can choose to do it browsing from your home or going to the boutique. At the end, it all should lead to a watch market with minimum friction and maximal offer, around a smaller number of increasingly powerful actors, such as Bucherer. “Pre-owned is the new China,” told us Tirath Kamdar, owner of secondary platform True Facet, which partners with retailer Stephen Silver in the USA.

It was time to put some order in the digital anarchy that is the online pre-owned market! But it doesn’t happen in a day: you still find countless offers online for watches from dubious provenance or quality. But the paradigm shift is that brands and their best retailers are now ready to enter this new realm of the watch world. They used to be afraid that this parallel market might damage their reputation, for instance through crash discounts. They now have come to realise that they better join it in order to control it.

It was time to put some order in the digital anarchy that is the online pre-owned market!

Expect more and more “structuration” to happen in order to organise the secondary market. Earlier this year, the cooperation between Swiss retailer Les Ambassadeurs and WatchBox was already a sign. The launch of a certified pre-owned service at Bucherer confirms the trend. Even Amazon has introduced a certified pre-owned section on its platform…

Bucherer already operates a certified pre-owned business in the USA through Tourneau. It now introduces this service at the Bucherer boutique of Geneva, before expanding it gradually to Zurich, Hamburg, Paris, London, Düsseldorf and Munich.

As the Chinese consumers represent an increasing clientele for new watches (the secondary market is not yet as developed there), the launch of certified pre-owned caters to a rising consumption habit in the West. It’s not just about watches: the car industry has embraced the pre-owned segment for a long time now.

Explore the Europa Star archives - Join us as a Club member
Including over 350 fully searchable back issues, up to the latest 2019 publications. A treasure trove for all knowledgeable professionals and aficionados.