Norbert Platt, a veteran and CEO of Montblanc and Richemont Group, has been appointed to advise the board of pre-owned watch specialist CHRONEXT at a time when the industry is expected to consolidate.
Both CHRONEXT and fellow German secondary market giant Chrono24 have been strengthening their boards with experts who might take them towards listing on a stock market, facilitating a merger or lining up a sale to a larger group.
“Our primary goal is to continue to drive the growth of our company in a consolidating market. The fact that Norbert Platt is joining us shows that he — like us — believes in the future prospects of CHRONEXT. We are delighted with his support, and that he is joining us as an Advisor to the Board. His great expertise will help us to grow even faster and stronger,” says Philipp Man, CEO and co-Founder of CHRONEXT.
A report by Reuters in May said that CHRONEXT is preparing to list on the Zurich stock exchange and Chrono24 could be next.
Searching for an exit
The appointment of Mr Platt will be seen as further evidence that CHRONEXT investors are lining up options for an exit.
Mr Platt is one of the most connected executives in Europe’s luxury goods industry.
He was CEO and then chairman of Montblanc from 1987 to 2013. Montblanc’s parent company Alfred Dunhill was acquired by Richemont in 1998, and Mr Platt became a CEO of the group from 2004 to 2010.
CHRONEXT and Richemont
Mr Platt is not the only connection to Richemont at CHRONEXT.
Hamdi Chatti joined the CHRONEXT board earlier this year. He is a luxury specialist whose 25 year career has seen him working with Richemont and LVMH brands including Cartier, Piaget and Montblanc, Harry Winston and LVMH Jewellery and Watches and was chairman of Damas Jewellery, one of the Middle East’s largest jewellers, until the end of last year.
Mr Chattie was appointed to the CHRONEXT board at the same time Jacob Fonnesbech Aqraou was made chairman.
Mr Fonnesbech Aqraou has been a serial investor and advisor in European technology businesses for the past five years following 13 years at eBay, where he rose to become senior vice president for eBay marketplaces in EMEA.
Mr Platt says he sees CHRONEXT as a disruptor with enormous growth potential.
“I was attracted to this new role by CHRONEXT’s unique combination of a digital and physical offering, which I view as the business model of the future. I see enormous growth opportunities for a company with ambitions to redefine the market for luxury watches. CHRONEXT understands how to use digitalisation, watchmaking skills and a demand-driven selection to create the perfect offer for customers. I am very much looking forward to using my experience to advise the Board and help shape the company’s growth,” he states.