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EXCLUSIVE: Richemont will withdraw all its watch brands from Govberg Jewelers in 2020

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When Danny Govberg, owner and CEO of Govberg Jewelers in Philadelphia and Cleveland, first announced the launch of pre-owned watch specialist Watchbox, he told WatchPro that the new venture would soon overtake his more traditional jeweler business in size and significance.

Moreover, he added, major Swiss watch groups working with Govberg Jewelers would not be entirely supportive of his pivot into pre-owned, but that his belief in the secondary market was so strong that he was prepared to take the risk.

Those views appear prescient today with news emerging that Richemont will be withdrawing all of its watch brands from Govberg Jewelers next year, according to a source speaking anonymously to WatchPro.

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Govberg Jewelers is currently an authorized dealer for 40 luxury watch brands including Richemont-owned Cartier, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Panerai and Vacheron Constantin.

Groups like Richemont are, of course, free to work with whichever retail partners they choose, but the move to strip Govberg of its agencies is likely to be seen as a backlash against his evangelism for the pre-owned watch market and the fact that Watchbox, which Mr Govberg co-founded, is a direct competitor to Watchfinder, which Richemont bought in the summer of 2018.

While Richemont is withdrawing support for Mr Govberg, Rolex has taken a more pragmatic view of the rise of Watchbox. The company’s chief executive, Jean-Frédéric Dufour, even paid a visit to the first standalone Watchbox boutique while he was in Dubai last week.

 

Rolex CEO welcomes Watchbox partnership with world-leading authorized dealer

6 Comments

  1. Danny Govberg DOESNT need any of the Richemont brand, they THEY NEED HIM!!

    That is the display of pride and arrogance from the Richemont brands.

    Congratulations to Danny Govberg, now THAT is having balls!!

  2. Danny Govberg will still have access to all the Richemont brands and will still get them cheaper!
    I’m sure Danny is LAUGHING his head off!!

  3. Way to go Danny! Richemont is too big for their own britches. Don’t lay back now because they will be following suit when they figure out why their brands have lost a bit of luster. Keep the brands clean.

  4. This is a way for Richemont to dump all their unsold stock to Danny Govberg (to sell on Watchbox) without having to follow all the rules that Authorized Dealers need to abide by. This is actually good for both companies. Brands need a way to sell excess inventory on the grey market.

  5. Breitling already sells all their Grey market, excess stock, as well as all those watches you see at Costco etc., through Govberg. He’s been partnering with BUSA for years disposing their watches.
    Now, that Richemont pulls out just means they will still use his platform to get rid of excess stock.
    We are in a dirty business and the only Industry where the companies we support undercut us and each other.

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Tags : Govberg Jewelerspre-owned watchesRichemontWatchboxwatchfinder
Rob Corder

The author Rob Corder