KICK OFF YOUR WATCH COLLECTION WITH CHRONO24
We’ll point out the obvious – watches aren’t just a fashion statement. Sure, something classic, racing inspired, and with a chronograph casts a striking profile, but beyond appearances, luxury watches are an investment. The value of steel has remained steady over multiple decades, and similar to activity in streetwear, a limited-edition collaboration or timepiece seems to appreciate with time. Yet, especially if you’ve ventured into the secondary marketplace, you’ll find yourself obsessively price comparing, wondering if your initial investment will pay off, and crossing your fingers that you don’t get a fake mailed to you. Chrono24 strives to streamline this process for both buyers and sellers while fostering a sense of community among watch enthusiasts. Starting in Germany in 2003, the company has steadily grown from a startup into a multi-national unicorn worth over $1 billion. The site – best described as a marketplace with authentication services and features for monitoring values and sharing your collection – attracts 20 million visitors across the globe. Multiple investors, including General Atlantic, Insight Partners, Sprints Capital, and Aglaé Ventures, are helping the company reach the next stage of its growth.
Chrono24 understands the desire of finding a luxury timepiece you connect with and the difficulties of the current watch marketplace. In turn, through a growth-centered mindset, the company places trust, security, and transparency front and center through its business model. Today, over 25,000 professional dealers and private sellers from more than 120 countries use Chrono24 – making the site the largest platform for commercial watch sales. For buyers, this picture results in an array of over 500,000 watches crossing modern to vintage construction. Beyond the site, an app for iOS and Android means that Chrono24’s platform and offerings can be access at any time, from anywhere. For sellers, Chrono24 increasingly has an edge over other watch marketplaces due to three factors: a 6.5-percent commission fee, free escrow service, and a reliable sales rate – about 90 percent, according to the platform – through a direct-to-consumer model. This combination cuts out intermediaries, meaning sellers keep more of the cost, and offers access to roughly 9 million monthly buyers. As well, support is available in at least 16 different languages.
What’s in it for Buyers?
To put it succinctly, luxury watch buying becomes like playing the stock market. You hope you net a deal and see a degree of appreciation – now and into the future. Watch enthusiasts routinely check values for classic timepieces and likely have a list of what they want to own, and approach new collections like IPOs, examining factors that could net a positive return. Yet, an investment can flatline or decrease with time, or you could be putting your hard-earned cash toward something useless. Chrono24, in essence, aims to make this process more straightforward and eliminate much of the guesswork. For starters, users have access to a cavalcade of luxury brands – among them, Rolex, Breitling, TAG Heuer, Omega, Cartier, and Patek Philippe – and can explore by type and features – including pilot, diving, racing, and sailing watches and all timepieces with a chronograph. As age and movement matter, users can head straight toward a selection of mechanical and automatic watches, as well as a dedicated vintage section. To ultimate ensure buyers aren’t ending up with a fake, Chrono24 supports listings and purchases with:
- Appraisals from watch experts: Whether you’re thinking about selling or looking to purchase from the platform, this no-fee service involves submitting the model and condition to Chrono24’s team to analyze, based on market conditions, how much it’s currently valued. Your watch will be compared with roughly 500,000 listings from across the globe.
- Watch scanner: Especially with vintage timepieces, a model isn’t always discernible. Chrono24’s Watch Scanner feature lets you upload an image of the timepiece to determine its model and current market value. This feature later comes in handy for tracking your watch collection.
- Escrow Service: Once you make a payment, Chrono24 holds the amount in an escrow account for up to 14 days. This period lets your watch arrive and gives you time to inspect it. Should everything look good, the amount gets released to the seller.
- Authenticity Guarantee: Chrono24 only lists authentic watches – no reproductions or models with significant alterations, regardless of whether something’s new or used. Dealers are required to authenticate their selection, and should you receive something not as described or clearly fabricated, you have the opportunity to request your money back from Chrono24’s Escrow Service before the payment goes through. Buyers then receive the full amount for their purchase.
- Dealer authentication: Not just anyone can put up a listing on Chrono24. Dealers need to verify their business first and then follow the platform’s guidelines for operation, including fully insuring purchases during shipment, in case something doesn’t arrive.
- Security: The watch marketplace, in general, tends to feel like the Wild West. Chrono24’s 40-person security team continuously goes through the site to identify questionable listings and other issues that could cause you to invest in something not worth your cash or time.
For Investing in Luxury Watches
Let’s face it – you’re never satisfied with your watch collection. You’re on the search for new investments, seek inspiration, and want an accurate picture of your current collection’s value. That’s not to say you can’t do this on your own. In fact, you might already be, perhaps with some help over a watch forum from other collectors. Chrono24 aims to streamline this sometimes research-intensive process. The site’s Watch Explorer, as a starting spot, offers a font of inspiration for building your collection in a number of directions. Chrono24’s Watch Collection features and community facilitate this further, whether that’s getting a virtual visual presentation of what you own, including all current values, or tracking each timepiece, including past and future valuations. The appraisal feature further aids your endeavour, giving you an estimate of current and future performance of something you’ve had your eye on but aren’t yet ready to make a commitment toward. Then, you have the option of sharing your collection with other watch enthusiasts for additional insights to adjust any future investments.