The 1916 Company: WatchBox Expands with Rolex, Backed by Ackman and Michael Jordan

In a significant move towards expansion, luxury watch retailer WatchBox is undergoing a transformation, rebranding itself as The 1916 Company. This strategic shift positions it to become one of the largest retailers of new and pre-owned Rolex watches in the United States.

This rebranding comes as WatchBox, supported by prominent figures like Bill Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management LP and basketball icon Michael Jordan, makes substantial acquisitions in the U.S. market.

The expansion includes the incorporation of five Rolex authorized dealerships into its existing Rolex store in Philadelphia, resulting in an annual sales volume exceeding $500 million.

As part of this restructuring, The 1916 Company’s retail outlets will become official Rolex Certified Pre-owned dealers, exclusively offering authenticated, pre-owned Rolex timepieces.

This consolidation of new and pre-owned watch sales under a single brand strengthens The 1916 Company’s position in an industry experiencing rapid consolidation. In 2022, global luxury Swiss watch retail sales reached approximately $53 billion, with the pre-owned timepiece market exceeding $24 billion. This market is projected to grow at a rate of 9% annually, reaching $35 billion by 2026, driven by rising prices and a growing community of watch collectors.

While financial details of the transactions remain undisclosed, WatchBox has acquired Radcliffe Jewelers, along with its Rolex dealerships in Baltimore and Newark, Delaware, and Hyde Park Jewelers, featuring official Rolex stores in Denver, Newport Beach, California, and Scottsdale, Arizona.

WatchBox, with an inventory worth about $200 million, has a global presence, including key locations in Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, and Dubai, as well as various cities in the United States. However, it’s important to note that certified used Rolex watches will not be available at these locations. The average transaction purchase price through WatchBox is approximately $30,000.

This expansion by The 1916 Company follows Rolex’s notable foray into the retail sector, marked by the acquisition of Swiss company Bucherer AG and its 100 stores in August.

Rolex, known for producing over a million timepieces annually with sales reaching 9.3 billion Swiss francs, entered the pre-owned watch market last year, certifying its pre-owned timepieces through select retailers like Bucherer, Watches of Switzerland, and now The 1916 Company.

With these strategic moves, Danny Govberg, co-founder of WatchBox and executive chairman of The 1916 Company, anticipates becoming one of the largest certified pre-owned Rolex jewelers globally.

The name «The 1916 Company» pays homage to the year when Govberg’s grandfather founded the family’s eponymous jewelry store in Philadelphia.

Established in 2017, WatchBox’s valuation has neared $1 billion, as reported by Bloomberg News. Justin Reis, another co-founder of WatchBox and the incoming CEO of The 1916 Company, affirms that there are no immediate plans for capital raising or a public share listing.

It’s worth noting that The 1916 Company also retains ownership of the independent Swiss watch brand De Bethune, which will continue to operate independently.

Salir de la versión móvil