WatchBox opens its European headquarters
As I anticipated in the article "Five reasons why buying watches online is a good option", the interaction between consumer and shopping experience is changing radically and quickly, albeit in different ways from one continent to another. E-commerce in watchmaking was born in the United States, and this was the country that led to the birth of a business model different from that of retail that still resists in Europe, especially in Italy, where the relationship between buyer and point of sale continues to be better-established than elsewhere, and where brands are still struggling to disengage from the "retail-based" business model, abandoning traditional communication models without being able to seize all the opportunities offered by new technologies.
Personally, I started buying watches online more than ten years ago, and I experienced the growth of virtual stores in a detached way, and from a collector's point of view, to subsequently delve into the evolution with the passing of the years; through the growth of the magazine, I steered myself towards a change of perspective, moving from the role of a buyer in search of its favourite watch at the best market conditions, to that of someone who is involved in the first person, and who has started to study those models. The growth of online platforms, in particular of those that offer the purchase and sale of used equipment, has undergone a turning point, following the constant increase in prices (which I consider one of the triggering factors, together with the growth of senseless sales volumes, of the recent crisis in Swiss watchmaking) that has fueled the phenomenon of the “second wrist” or "pre-owned".
If you cannot afford to pay for a luxury watch that has had an average mark-up of at least 40% in the last 5 or 6 years, why not buy it used, but in conditions that are the same as the new and certified? You can save money on the purchase of the new, and you can even trade-in a watch that you've never worn or that you have grown tired of, further reducing the amount of cash to be paid out. This is the concept behind the development of modern e-commerce platforms, that have essentially collected and structured a phenomenon that still animates online markets and forums, which however does not provide many certainties. The business model successfully created by WatchBox, the world's leader of the "pre-owned" segment, currently represents the best shopping experience of this kind, that any client could want.
If you wish to trade-in, that is, to get rid of a watch to buy another in conditions equal to new, WatchBox offers an experience not comparable on the market, in terms of offer and purchase experience. It is no coincidence that the business model of this platform will be the subject of a dedicated article, because we are primarily enthusiastics and collectors, and our interest is to share our experiences with you, and to help you make the best choices. WatchBox's growth (many of you will remember it as Watchuwant) has been so great, as to push this pre-owned global giant to land in Europe: the company has officially opened its headquarters in Neuchâtel, offering a showroom with the best watches' brands, which you can buy retail exactly as you can buy them online.
The goal of WatchBox is to become the point of reference for European enthusiasts, through the offer of a complete Customer Service effortless experience, a product's offering that can count on the availability of a worldwide stock of references and brands, which include more commercial, but also particularly rare references of, for example, brands such as Patek, Rolex and Lange, as well as a team of people led by Patrik Hoffmann, who has been CEO of Ulysse Nardin, and who knows the European market well. After Philadelphia, Hong Kong and South Africa, the opening of the headquarters in the center of Neuchâtel is a milestone in the development of the second-hand market, and a serious alternative to the opportunities provided by some brands that offer an evaluation of watches belonging to their own collections, but they certainly can not boast a multi-brand offer. A challenge certainly more difficult to win than the one won in other continents, but which is based on a rather advanced model of relationship with the client.
For further information please visit: https://www.thewatchbox.com
(Photo credit: courtesy of WatchBox, Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®