Based in Hatton Garden in central London, WatchesXMore believes the watch industry is yet to fully embrace new technology from a business point of view.
In catching up with WatchPro’s Alex Douglas, the business says it is poised to lead the way on introducing innovative technology:
WP: Briefly, tell me the history of the business?
WXM: WatchesXMore, pronounced Watches & More, was established in 2018 with the love and passion for luxury watches. Initially the business began with the simple and modest watch collection of the management team; an array of both modern and vintage watches from popular brands such as Rolex, Cartier and Hublot.
As time has went on however the variety of watches held have become more open ended with the introduction of specialist brands such as Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe and Richard Mille, but to name a few.
As knowledge of the industry has grown so has the product offering with Bespoke and Custom Jewellery being a vital core to our business.
At WatchesXMore (WXM) we believe an essential part of success is anticipating and aligning the business within the right lane when it comes to industry. With any evolving industry there will be those who resist change and those who embrace it. We would like to think of ourselves as the latter.
As technology continues to disrupt most industries, we believe the watch industry is no different and we would say we are poised to be the company leading the from the front due to the innovative steps we are taking.
WP: What does WatchesXMore exist to offer watch lovers?
WXM: WatchesXMore provides watch lovers with an alternative view into the watch market, we look at watches as not only a piece of jewellery or an accessory but rather an appreciating piece of art. An investment of some sort.
Just as any other appreciating asset factors such as age, condition and branding can contribute towards the acceleration of investment we believe watches and jewellery are no different and this is what we love communicating with our customers.
The first concept we ensure clients to priorities is to have a genuine love for the piece which you purchase, otherwise it reduces your watch to a simple transaction item. Rather we encourage clients to have a reason to have chosen a specific piece, the raw material type, and the complications of a watch or even down to the colouring of a dial.
The importance of loving your watch is a concept which is sometimes overlooked when most companies are out there crunching the numbers and of course the numbers are important but without the love, the numbers are meaningless.
WP: You talk online about offering a virtual experience like no other, how does this work?
WXM: At WatchesXMore we are always looking for ways to innovate and make the customer experience as memorable as possible.
At the same time we understand that as time goes on and consumer habits change. The ways in which we transact and interact has to evolve. Creating a seamless customer experience is at the forefront of our company objective. Creating an embedded cutting edge functionality such as algorithmic pricing calculators to give clients a close idea on what their watch may be worth is just an example of developments which will be rolling out in the near future to make the overall virtual experience with WXM like no other.
We also believe our partnerships are an aspect which separate us from the competition. We were recently the first company to have partnered up with an innovative start-up within the industry named Wrisycle, a company which will be changing the way we transact and conduct finance within the watch industry. We believe it’s these aspects that will revolutionise the experience for our clients.
WP: How do you source watches?
WXM: We have always had always strong industry contacts both internationally and throughout the country. We have found over the years that having strong industry contacts is essentially the backbone when dealing within the watch industry.
Our client base isn’t as generic as some would imagine. Of course we have seasoned collectors who have been collecting for years with very unique and distinctive pieces but we also have those who are just beginning their watch collecting journey.
When we are not purchasing directly from the trade, we are honouring our buy back guarantees we offer to all clients by purchasing watches previously sold by ourselves. This, in turn, ensures we have a continuing amount of rotating stock and customers which are able to trade in and out of watches which they may have outgrown or requiring to upgrade.#
WP: What is your background within the luxury watch space?
WXM: All members of the founding team at WXM have varying backgrounds. We have a combined 28 years of experience within the luxury watch space, and with more additions to the team coming soon this number is most likely to increase.
Although we are all assured watch enthusiasts we do have those who have previously worked and built other successful luxury watch companies prior to WXM, those who are accredited and qualified software developers and those who are well renowned creative geniuses.
We believe the wide variety of individuals and talents make all the better ingredients for success in an industry which is calling for innovation and varying outlooks.
WP: How important is the human first approach to you?
WXM: When dealing with high valued items such as watches and jewellery it is important to remember the most important aspect of business, and that’s the importance of the client. We understand purchasing a watch may at times be one of the biggest investment.
With that being said though, we live in a world where we have become so accustom too communicating through a variety of technological means and methods we sometimes believe there is one channel which is sometimes unmatched and that is a simple face to face communication.
With many years in the industry there are certain concerns or issues which can’t be spotted via an email, phone conversation or live chat which can be done using a face to face conversation or an interactive video chat. This is where we place the emphasis and strive to ensure we always put a human first approach in place.
WP: Where are you based and how do business operations work exactly?
WXM: We are currently based in the heart of Hatton Garden, otherwise known as the diamond district of the UK. Due to the sheer value and delicacy of the business at hand we work strictly to an appointment basis.
This ensures clients are given the peace of mind which they most likely require when making important decisions. It always ensures privacy and the protection for all our clients, aspects which we place at the forefront of our business.
WP: What are your plans in terms of expansion and growth?
WXM: Currently, and as previously mentioned, we have placed a huge emphasis on our technological development and online presence within the industry.
We are continuously looking for ways to innovate and solve archaic problems which have plagued the industry for years. Issues such as provenance, security and transparency to name a few are at the top of our priority list.
As well as this we are continuing to work with new and existing manufacturing brands which are likeminded although we are not confined to any one specific brand and will continuously look to supply our clients with the most exciting and cutting edge pieces there are to offer on the market.
Lastly, we as we look to continuously reach new heights, we are aiming to expand by hiring passionate individuals which will strengthen the WXM team, we are strong believers in people being the greatest asset of a business.
WP: Have you noticed anything interesting about the pre-owned space in recent times?
WXM: The most notable aspect of the pre-owned space is the rate at which it has grown over recent years.
It is without a shadow of a doubt an industry which is just beginning to take off. We initially remember the early years where there wasn’t much notice by larger retailers but now even the big players are beginning to understand the impact which the pre-owned space is having.
This can be evidenced by the steps which some of the biggest manufacturing brands have taken to acknowledge pre-owned pieces as part of their core business.