Watchbox expands collection of pre-owned high-end timepieces in Dubai
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Watchbox expands collection of pre-owned high-end timepieces in Dubai

Watchbox expands collection of pre-owned high-end timepieces in Dubai

The online platform also has an exclusive boutique located in DIFC for which it partnered with Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons

Gulf Business

The world of pre-owned watches can be a tricky one. It is one that is flooded with counterfeits. Provenance and authenticity are often called into question and buyers are usually left to rely on the seller’s reputation and word.

Attempting to streamline this pre-owned watch market is US-headquartered Watchbox, a platform for buying, selling and trading these pieces.

While Watchbox started as an online platform, it expanded to open its first-ever brick-and-mortar store in Dubai.

It partnered with Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons – the largest retailer of Swiss luxury watches in the UAE – to open a Watchbox boutique in the Dubai International Financial Centre a year ago.

Choosing the UAE to open Watchbox seemed a prudent decision, since data released by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry earlier this year revealed that the UAE was the eighth biggest market for Swiss watch exports, accounting for CHF307.7m worth of imports.

With a sizeable turnover of new timepieces entering the market, consequently, there is also a robust second-hand market for timepieces for those who want to upgrade or periodically change their collections.

That Watchbox purchases the inventory that it wishes to sells speaks to the confidence it has in the ability to find a vast market of consumers to buy those timepieces. All watches purchased from Watchbox also come with a 2-year international warranty.

A strong category of watches that readily finds takers on Watchbox’s platform is dive watches. These might include Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller D-Blue Watch Ref 116660 For James Cameron which was a timepiece inspired by Cameron’s record-breaking descent to 10,900 metres below the surface into the Mariana Trench.

The Panerai Luminor 1950 PCYC Regatta 3 Days Chrono Flyback Automatic Titanio PAM 652 meanwhile with its vintage-inspired aesthetic is another dive watch that is highly sought after on the secondary market.

Keeping with the theme of the intrepid adventurer, there is also the IWC Aquatimer Expedition Jacques-Yves Cousteau IW329005, a collection that dates back to 1953 with several editions released over the last few decades.

Watchbox says that on its online platform, it has over $2bn worth of watches stored in virtual watch boxes. The bulk of which comprises of Rolex ($765m), Patek Philippe ($605m), Audemars Piguet ($184m) and Omega ($80m).

Apart from the dive watches, its motorsport-inspired timepieces such as the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref 116506 will also attract a breed of watch clientele for whom the second-hand watch market is no longer one with a sore reputation.

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