November 1, 2023
WatchBox, a luxury watch retailer, is undergoing a name change and expanding its presence in the US. The company, which has previously received backing from prominent figures such as Bill Ackman and Michael Jordan, is acquiring two watch and jewellery companies in the US and will be renamed The 1916 Company.
The acquisition of these two companies adds five Rolex authorized dealerships to WatchBox's existing Rolex store in Philadelphia. This move positions The 1916 Company as one of the largest sellers of new and used Rolex watches in the market. The total business currently generates annual sales of over $500 million.
As part of the restructuring, The 1916 Company's retail stores will become official Rolex Certified Pre-owned dealers. This means that they will exclusively sell used watches that have been authenticated by Rolex. By consolidating new and used watch sales under a single brand name, The 1916 Company aims to strengthen its position in the industry.
The luxury Swiss watch market is estimated to have reached approximately $48 billion in 2022, with the used timepiece market accounting for about $24 billion. The latter is expected to grow by 9 percent annually, reaching $35 billion by 2026. The 1916 Company's strategic move aligns with this market trend and positions it for future growth.
WatchBox's acquisition of Radcliffe Jewelers and Hyde Park Jewelers includes their respective Rolex dealerships in Baltimore, Newark, Delaware, Denver, Newport Beach, California, and Scottsdale, Arizona. The financial details of these all-cash transactions have not been disclosed.
In addition to its US expansion, WatchBox already has outlets in Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, and Dubai, as well as several locations in the US. These outlets allow customers to inspect and purchase pre-owned luxury watches, although certified used Rolex watches will not be available at these locations. The average transaction purchase price through WatchBox is approximately $30,000.
Rolex, a major player in the luxury watch industry, recently made a significant move into retail by acquiring Bucherer AG and its 100 stores. This strategic shift by Rolex, combined with The 1916 Company's focus on certified pre-owned Rolex watches, positions The 1916 Company as a key player in the market.
The rebranding of WatchBox as The 1916 Company, along with its expansion in the US and focus on certified pre-owned Rolex watches, demonstrates the company's commitment to growth and its ability to adapt to market trends. With its extensive network of dealerships and global presence, The 1916 Company is well-positioned to become one of the largest certified pre-owned Rolex jewelers in the world.
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