Watchbox acquires watch authentication service Chronofy, plans to partner with retailers
Watch e-commerce platform WatchBox has announced its acquisition of Chronofy, a subscription-based luxury watch authentication and resale service. WatchBox plans to use the new company to partner with retailers, offering their suite of programs to authenticate and price secondhand timepieces.
As part of the acquisition, WatchBox will now own Chronofy's mobile application, desktop platform, and printed Watch Guide, which have allowed subscribers to identify, value, authenticate, and sell pre-owned timepieces since the company's launch in 2013. According to Watchbox, these services will permit partnering retailers "to accept trade-ins and offer purchasing services to their clients," allowing them to capitalize on the growing secondhand luxury market.
Chronofy's subscription prices range from $375 per year to $675 per year, with increasing access to mobile and web apps and pricing guides. Participating retail partners will have access to the company's pricing database, authentication team, and a security service that verifies timepiece models and ensures the watches are not stolen.
According to resale company ThredUp's 2018 report, the resale market is set to be worth $41 billion by 2022 as shoppers continue to show interest in online shopping and sustainable fashion practices. As the marketplace for secondhand retailers like Goat, The RealReal and Poshmark grows, WatchBox intends to use this acquisition to push its one-stop-shop model to the foreground of the secondhand luxury watch category.
"Today's customer wants to be able to buy, sell and trade their watches in one fell swoop, and Chronofy's purchase guarantee allows jewelers to confidently accept trades without assuming the inventory risk," said WatchBox President and Chief Operating Officer Amanda Ellison in a release. "Combined with WatchBox's ability to buy pre-owned watches, we now empower retailers to meet the needs of clients that are currently being driven to other channels."
This expansion follows Watchbox's $200,000 investment in an augmented reality program allowing users to virtually try on watch models at home, which debuted in May.
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