Two of the biggest names in global luxury watch retail have joined forces to create a world-wide e-commerce platform for the buying, selling and trading of luxury pre-owned timepieces.
Danny Govberg, CEO of America’s Govberg Jewelers and Liam Wee Tay, former owner of Singapore’s Sincere Watch are working with investor-entrepreneur Justin Reis to accelerate the growth of WatchBox.
The operation has secured over $100 million of investment from CMIA Capital Partners, a Singapore-headquartered private equity firm.
The operation has serious pedigree. Govberg Jewelers has three luxury watch showrooms in and around Philadelphia. Sincere Watch, which Mr Wee Tay owned until 2012, is one of the largest pan-Asian luxury watch institutions in Signapore and Hong Kong.
WatchBox began life as the pre-owned e-commerce site of Govberg earlier this year, but is going global thanks to the investment of CMIA.
“In WatchBox, we are backing a proven leadership team of industry veterans who offer a fresh perspective on the global luxury watch industry,” said Lee Chong Min, managing partner of CMIA Capital Partners.
“WatchBox’s fast growing annualised revenue run-rate is set in the near term to exceed US$200 million. We believe WatchBox will transform the multi-billion-dollar luxury watch industry. CMIA Capital Partners stands ready to back WatchBox in subsequent funding rounds to further capitalise on certain M&A and business opportunities.”
Justin Reis thinks the business has the potential to hit over half a billion dollars in sales. “The watch industry is going through a period of consolidation and the timing is right to build a robust and trusted global trading platform in the pre-owned category,” he says.
WatchBox is not just an online play. The operation also has two headquarter offices in Hong Kong and America that act as showrooms and “trading floors” or e-commerce centers, in the world’s two largest watch markets, the company says.
“WatchBox capitalises on the estimated $400 billion global pre-owned watch market by embracing advanced technology to offer consumers a scalable platform to buy, sell and trade pre-owned timepieces through a trusted partner,” said Mr Tay.
“We are committed to elevating the pre-owned watch perception and experience worldwide, offering collectors an efficient digital marketplace, real time pricing data on their collections, and high-touch client initiatives anywhere in the world. Our footprint and unmatched industry experience in the U.S. and Asian markets heightens our ability to drive this change.”