The History of Watchfinder
Watchfinder is an independent company established in 2002 by Stuart Hennel, Lloyd Amsdon, Matt Bowling and Jonathan Adams.
The Big Bang moment followed Stuart's attempt to buy himself an Omega Moonwatch. He found the process frustrating to say the least. Watchfinder was established to find out if the convenience of online shopping would appeal to people looking to buy luxury watches. This might seem a strange question to ask now, but just 12 months after the dot.com bubble burst, the future of the internet as a marketplace was far from certain. The Directors anticipated that a well marketed, functional and secure website, great customer service and a quality product would be attractive to people comfortable using the internet for big ticket purchases.
In its first years trading the company sold 513 watches, moved to larger offices and employed three additional members of staff. Within 4 years the company turnover had exceeded £3m and Watchfinder was selling around 180 watches every month. It was at this time that the company focus shifted towards the secondary fine watch market. Having observed the market for new and pre-owned luxury cars the Directors recognised that the market for pre-owned luxury watches was potentially very large, and not particularly well serviced. The challenge and mission was to get the company to a point where clients felt as confident buying a pre-owned watch from Watchfinder as they did buying a new watch from Bond Street. The process of transforming a worn watch into something that a customer will proudly show off to his or her peers involved many stages and lots of skilled hands. Each month 380 watches were being booked in, serviced, refurbished, photographed, posted to the site, sold, packaged and dispatched to our customers.
By 2010 the company employed 28 people and annual turnover had risen to £10million.
The addition of a magazine to the website in 2011 gave the passion that runs through the company a voice. The features, written by some of the best watch journalists in the UK, give watch enthusiasts the opportunity to seek inspiration or just immerse themselves for hours in articles relating to their favourite watch. The combination of ecommerce and editorial content has become popular in the luxury market as companies battle with the problems involved in delivering a luxury retail experience online. Which brings us neatly up to date.
As we approach 2012 the company turnover is £14m per annum and between 450 and 500 pre-owned watches are sold each month.
In 2012 the company will offer its clients considerably more than the opportunity to buy and sell a luxury watch. In addition to the central ecommerce operation, the organisation will be a family of discrete units including a traditional retail outlet, a London office, a watch magazine, a servicing centre, a multi-tiered members club, and a series of customer events. From November 2011 this family of products will sit underneath a WF&Co (Watchfinder & Co) banner. The Directors have established the WF&Co group to represent the company's transition from an online retailer of fine watches to a lifestyle company which is the market place for fine watches. The WF&Co group will of course retain the values which have helped the team establish Watchfinder as a market leader.
New Face of Watchfinder
As someone who's interested in Watchfinder it's important that you understand the type of company we are, what we do, and importantly how we do it.
Firstly we're an independent company. This means we're not beholden to any particular manufacturer. The only interests we serve are those of our clients.
We provide any watch enthusiast with the opportunity to buy sell or learn about luxury watches. We can help you sell your watch, either outright or on a commission basis. We have around 1000 pre-owned watches in stock for you to browse through. Every watch is supplied in immaculate condition with a 12 month warranty and a no-nonsense money back guarantee. If you want a new watch we'll refer you directly to an authorised retailer who has it in stock. If you're looking for inspiration or want to indulge your love of watches our magazine has everything you need and articles written by the best luxury watch journalists in the UK.
The way we go about our business is very important to us. We've always understood the importance of good customer service. It's why the company came into existence back in 2002. Whenever you finish a conversation with Watchfinder you should be a step closer to your goal. You might be buying, selling, making a complaint, or learning about particular type of watch. Whatever it is we want you to feel better for dealing with Watchfinder. I can hear you saying, "you would say that wouldn't you?". That's what I would say. If any of your friends have dealt with us ask them how it went. If none of them have dealt with us, take some time to read through our customer testimonials. They're all supplied by the client directly to independent review centres. If ever you find your experience with Watchfinder doesn't live up to this billing please let us know. We're human and sometimes things go wrong. Talk to us and we'll do whatever we can to rectify the problem. That's our commitment to you.