Work by the major watchmaking groups to match supply to demand around the world is having a notable effect on the grey market and forcing secondary market players to focus more on genuinely pre-owned watches.
America’s leading players including Watchbox and Crown & Caliber have always focused on acquiring the best pre-owned watch stock, and now one of their contemporaries in Europe, Chronext, is going the same route.
The Germany-based business has launched a trade-in tool that helps jewellers and other watch retailers buy second hand watches at the right price.
Having provided a price, Chronext is also offering to buy the watches so that they feed into its inventory.
The retailer benefits from effectively putting cash in the pocked of a customer who might then be persuaded to buy a new timepiece.
“When buying a new watch, many end-consumers want to give their old one in payment,” says Philipp Man, founder and CEO of Chronext. “Since the retailer usually lacks sales opportunities for this pre-owned product, we are now offering them a new source of revenue and buying the certified pre-owned watch at a determined price.”
Valuing watches is a highly complicated business that most retailers do not have time to master.
Chronext says its pricing service is a benefits all parties because it will acquire more pre-owned stock while providing cash to retail partners.
More than 80 partners have already signed up to the service, Chronext adds.
“Our aim is to work even more closely with the stationary retail trade and to cooperate with the jewellers,” Mr Man suggests. “The tool offers a win-win situation: retailers can expand their customer base, tap into new target groups and create a new sales channel.”