Certified pre-owned watch specialist Xupes has entered into a strategic partnership with MPN Marketplace Networks GmbH, the holding company that owns Chrono24, German pre-owned watch firm Zeitauktion and online watch magazine Fratello.
Working together will mitigate some of the challenges to the pre-owned watch market that post-Brexit legislation has thrown up, the companies suggest.
“This partnership will enable Xupes to continue to thrive in a fast-growing market without having to compromise on our class leading customer service, product knowledge, quality or reputation. We’re incredibly excited to be a part of the Chrono24 family whose culture aligns to our own,” says Joe McKenzie, CEO and co-founder of Xupes, who will continue to run the luxury watch operation of Xupes, now as a part-owner in the new venture.
Xupes’ handbags and jewellery businesses will be run independently from watches under by co-founder Frank McKenzie (father to Joe), Reece Morgan, and Debra Willis.
Xupes Services will remain independent and continue under the same ownership as it does today, run by director of servicing Megan Young. “We are focused and committed to growing Xupes Services to become the leading service centre for luxury watches in the UK,” she says.
One of the first benefits for consumers and trade is that they will be able to quickly get offers for watches via Chrono24, which will then feed into a greatly expanded stock owned, serviced, authenticated and then resold by Xupes.
“Private sellers can list their watches on Chrono24 or make use of our trade-in option where we offer an immediate pay-out. The UK is an important market for us, but Brexit created some barriers to private customers using our trade-in channel,” says Tim Stracke, co-CEO of Chrono24.
The partnership should increase the circulation of pre-owned watches within the UK, which has been virtually isolated from European Union countries due to logistical difficulties and changes in the way VAT is charged since the margin scheme was stopped as part of Britain’s post-Brexit arrangements.
“We are extremely excited to enter a joint venture with Xupes, so our UK customers can continue using Chrono24 to bring their watches back into circulation. And besides all the synergies, we really like working with Joe who has built an amazing team over the last 12 years,” Mr Stracke adds.
The partnership announcement today is accompanied by news that Xupes has been approached by Channel 4 to made additional programs about its business after a successful one-off show, Second Hand for 50 Grand, aired earlier this year.
New episodes will air next year.