Pre-owned luxury watch retailer WristCheck in Hong Kong looks to shake up a fast-growing market

lifestyle, fashion & beauty, timepieces, retailing, hong kong, pre-owned luxury watch retailer wristcheck in hong kong looks to shake up a fast-growing market

Once dismissed by the biggest names in watchmaking and left to boutique retailers and private dealers, the pre-owned luxury watch market has exploded in recent years and is now the industry’s fastest-growing category, with sales predicted to reach up to US$32 billion by 2025, according to a June report published by McKinsey and trade publication The Business of Fashion.

Hong Kong, long a global centre of watch retail, has always had a robust market for pre-owned watches, dominated by distinctly unglamorous small watch shops located in Tsim Sha Tsui, Mong Kok and Sham Shui Po serving a local and older clientele rather than collectors.

In recent years, a new breed of pre-owned retailer has staked a claim in the city, opening boutiques in Central and concessions in larger retailers such as Lane Crawford. The likes of WatchBox, Watchfinder and The Vintage Concept are all hoping to tap into the surging interest in pre-owned watches from young, savvy, international collectors.

To that list can be added WristCheck, a start-up established at the beginning of this year which opened its first store in the Landmark Atrium mall in Central in September. The brainchild of watch influencer Austen Chu and his business partner Sean Wong, WristCheck has created an innovative multi-use space that brings the elevated experience of buying new watches to the second-hand market.

lifestyle, fashion & beauty, timepieces, retailing, hong kong, pre-owned luxury watch retailer wristcheck in hong kong looks to shake up a fast-growing market

The WristCheck store at the Landmark Atrium mall in Hong Kong.

Described as a “hang-out” space, the new boutique features a fully stocked bar, an interactive augmented reality video wall and tech-laden display cases, making WristCheck a far cry from the staid, tradition-led boutiques of the big Swiss brands.

“The future of luxury is definitely moving towards experiences,” says Chu, who is behind the popular @horoloupe account on Instagram and has worked as an ambassador of sorts for Audemars Piguet in the past, even collaborating on a watch with the brand.

“You look at LVMH, they are buying hotels and not brands any more, because it’s all about experiences. People who are paying [such high prices] for a product should have an experience that is unforgettable and is at least on a par with what the boutiques provide.”

The 24-year-old says he poured a lot of his own worst experiences of watch buying into building WristCheck, hoping that young collectors can avoid the pitfalls and dismissive attitudes often found elsewhere.

“If you’re a young person and walk into a watch boutique, and you don’t have any prior connections or any relationship with them, then chances are you’re going to be treated like dog s***,” he says.

“When I walk into watch stores, and I’m actually wearing a nice watch, and I dress the way that I do, like a young person, and I get treated like s***, it’s super intimidating. And yeah, I actually got told ‘deliveries are at the back’ a few times.”

lifestyle, fashion & beauty, timepieces, retailing, hong kong, pre-owned luxury watch retailer wristcheck in hong kong looks to shake up a fast-growing market

Richard Mille RM035 Ultimate Edition available at WristCheck.

lifestyle, fashion & beauty, timepieces, retailing, hong kong, pre-owned luxury watch retailer wristcheck in hong kong looks to shake up a fast-growing market

Cartier Crash Skeleton in pink gold available at WristCheck.

The emergence of pre-owned luxury watch retail from the shadows has been driven partly by a greater acceptance of the category by the big watch brands, who were once fearful of grey-market and second-hand watches cannibalising revenue from new watches.

Brands such as Rolex, Patek Philippe and Omega now look to the pre-owned market for cues on everything from prices, demand, and trends on materials and complications. The brands have also embraced the greater ability to track rare pieces through established retailers and are more cognisant of the fact that collectors sometimes use the pre-owned market to raise capital to buy new pieces.

The industry’s embrace of pre-owned was made official in 2018, when Richemont, the luxury group that owns Cartier, Breguet, Omega and many other brands, bought UK-based pre-owned watch retailer Watchfinder.

lifestyle, fashion & beauty, timepieces, retailing, hong kong, pre-owned luxury watch retailer wristcheck in hong kong looks to shake up a fast-growing market

A lounge in the WristCheck store.

lifestyle, fashion & beauty, timepieces, retailing, hong kong, pre-owned luxury watch retailer wristcheck in hong kong looks to shake up a fast-growing market

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar in black ceramic available at WristCheck.

WristCheck, Chu and Wong say, is open to anyone with a passion for watches, but the brand skews young in its look and feel and its growing customer base. The founders admit that they are keen to tap into “hype” culture, the community associated with rare and collectible sneakers, toys and art popularised by sites like Hypebeast and High Snobiety.

Wong, 36, who formerly worked at Hypebeast’s digital retail arm HBX, says WristCheck is looking to help people interested in “hype collecting” graduate to watch collecting as they move from their 20s and into their 30s.

lifestyle, fashion & beauty, timepieces, retailing, hong kong, pre-owned luxury watch retailer wristcheck in hong kong looks to shake up a fast-growing market

Chu says he wishes something like WristCheck existed when he started collecting.

lifestyle, fashion & beauty, timepieces, retailing, hong kong, pre-owned luxury watch retailer wristcheck in hong kong looks to shake up a fast-growing market

Rolex Submariner with a lapis lazuli dial available at WristCheck.

Underpinning the company’s drive to boost collecting is its fee and commission structure and its commitment to transparency, which again comes from the founders’ own travails buying pre-owned watches online.

Aping the transparent-fee structure of sneaker retailers such as Goat and StockX, WristCheck, somewhat uniquely in this space, details the fees it charges both the buyer and seller.

Chu says WristCheck’s fixed 8 per cent commission from the selling price of the watch, in an industry where fees can hit 30 per cent, should help young collectors cycle through watches before finding the right pieces, particularly with the market for pre-owned watches so buoyant right now.

“We have clients that bought something from us four or five months ago that went up 25 per cent in value. They sold it and took an 8 per cent hit and bought something else. But if they were taking a 30 per cent hit, how long would they have to wait to buy something else?” says Chu, before adding: “I wish that something like this existed when I started collecting.”

News Related

OTHER NEWS

Five things we learnt from getting a look inside Adele’s house

Not more than a week after returning to the spotlight with the release of “Easy on Me” – her first single in five years – Adele has taken part in ... Read more »

An interview with a 'Ted Lasso' subreddit moderator

Welcome to Small Talk, a series where we catch up with the internet’s favorite Extremely Online individuals offline. So you binged Ted Lasso and now you can’t stop talking about ... Read more »

Ask an expert: Is there any way of telling if my baby might be born premature?

My first baby was born extremely premature, and although I’d like to have another baby I’m scared of giving birth early again. Is there any way of telling if that’s ... Read more »

Bitcoin price news – live: Crypto market smashes record all-time high after BTC, Ethereum and Solana surge

Bitcoin surged to a record all-time high on Wednesday, following a weeks-long price rally The cryptocurrency is now up more than 50 per cent since the start of October, overtaking ... Read more »

Bill buster: 10 ways to keep on top of your household costs this winter

Spiralling energy costs and other bills are set to put pressure on household budgets this winter. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of adults across the UK are concerned by inflation or the ... Read more »

How do you know if you’re ready to have children?

Even if you know you want children and have found the right person to have them with, the decision of when to have them can feel extremely complex. Between the ... Read more »

What’s the best serum for your skin type?

A host of exciting new launches is putting serums in the spotlight, but what if you’ve yet to add this under-rated essential to your beauty routine? We asked skincare experts ... Read more »

My Name review: Han So Hee ratchets up heart-racing tension as undercover police agent

Director: Kim Ba DaCast: Han So Hee, Yoon Kyung Ho, Park Hee Soon, Kim Sang Ho, Ahn Bo Hyun,Language: Korean with various subtitles Streaming on Netflix from 15 October 2021 ... Read more »

Dior Café temporarily takes over Clifford Pier

This month, Dior is bringing the Cruise 2022 collection to Clifford Pier at The Fullerton Bay Hotel, located in Singapore’s vibrant heritage district. To mark the occasion, the luxury brand ... Read more »

Munah Bagharib Thrills In New Virtual Halloween Escape Experience

You’re in for a frightfully good time. | PHOTO: sight lines entertainment A supernatural mystery set in Singapore’s most haunted hospital. A 25 year-old unsolved murder and missing persons’ case ... Read more »

Performance art by Tino Sehgal at Tai Kwun in Hong Kong a challenge to your senses – these are events to be experienced, not just seen

Artist Tino Sehgal’s two works, This Variation and These Associations, are coming to Hong Kong’s Tai Kwun for six weeks. Photo: Nora Tam If you have already been to the ... Read more »

MAFS star Martha Kalifatidis’ ‘boob tape’ video ignites $15k frenzy for Australian business

If you’ve ever questioned the power of the influencer, here is the evidence of their impact. An Australian brand has been inundated with new customers just a day after former ... Read more »

Hong Kong actor Benz Hui’s daughter is engaged to a Singaporean

Hong Kong veteran actor Benz Hui’s daughter, Charmaine Hui, 24, took to her Instagram to announce her engagement to her Singaporean boyfriend on Monday (18 October). In an interview with ... Read more »

Fashion designer Priscilla Shunmugam on supporting the next gen of talent

One of Singapore’s most successful fashion designers, Priscilla Shunmugam of the equally successful brand Ong Shunmugam, has just signed a deal with the country’s top fashion school Lasalle College of ... Read more »

Facebook struggling to count duplicate user accounts, report says

Facebook is struggling to count how many of its users are actually duplicate accounts and may be estimating the number too low, a new report suggests. According to the Wall ... Read more »

Twitter finds its own algorithms amplify ‘political right’ but it doesn’t yet know why

Twitter’s algorithm amplifies right-wing news outlets more than others – but the social network is not exactly sure why – according to internal research posted on its website on Thursday. ... Read more »

Gladiator star Russell Crowe’s Thailand tour tweets reveal silver lining in tourism-dependent economy’s Covid struggle

Even as Thailand struggles to revive its decimated tourism-dependent economy, Gladiator actor Russell Crowe’s social media posts have revealed a silver lining to the pandemic. While tourists have been giving ... Read more »

Blake Lively calls out Instagram account for posting ‘disturbing’ photo of her children: ‘Please. Delete. Please’

Blake Lively has accused an Instagram account of “exploiting” her and Ryan Reynolds’ daughters by posting paparazzi photos of the children. The A Simple Favor actor, who shares daughters James, ... Read more »

Parents think children should get first phone aged 11, study finds

Parents believe their kids should be allowed to have a phone at the age of 11 – but should not access the internet without guidance or blockers until 13. A ... Read more »

Woman urges others to listen to their bodies after clogged milk duct causes sepsis

A woman is encouraging other mothers to listen to their bodies after she developed sepsis because of a clogged milk duct. Tyler-Marie Oates, 28, who goes by the username @tylermarieoates ... Read more »

How to see Orionid meteor shower 2021 in the UK tonight: ‘Shooting star’ spectacle to peak today

The annual Orionid meteor shower is set to peak this week, giving sky gazers in the UK an opportunity to watch the celestial spectacle throughout the week. The event will ... Read more »

Where does bitcoin go from here?

Bitcoin is up more than 50 per cent since the start of October, building on price gains of more than 500 per cent since last October, and 5,000 per cent ... Read more »

Pop-up Minion-themed cafe selling food & merchandise at Clarke Quay from Oct. 28, 2021 - Jan. 2, 2022

© Provided by Mothership It has been four years since a pop-up Minions-themed cafe first appeared in Singapore. Located at Clarke Quay, this new cafe will operate from Oct. 28, ... Read more »

All YouTube videos from Thirsty Sisters channel gone, Sylvia Chan unfollows Nina Tan on Instagram

© Provided by Mothership Since a recent slew of allegations have surfaced against Night Owl Cinematics’ (NOC) co-founder Sylvia Chan, content has subsequently disappeared from the Thirsty Sisters’ social media ... Read more »

Cake shaped as Good Morning Towel on sale for S$13.50 in Hong Kong

© Provided by Mothership The Good Morning Towel has gone from functional — designer brand looks — to iconic — photography — and now an aesthetic. The culinary scene has ... Read more »

How Samsung’s Galaxy Books are taking small businesses by storm

According to a study conducted by Mental Health UK, four out five business owners have reported feeling overwhelmed regularly in the last year. Unsurprisingly, the pressure of running a successful ... Read more »

Rob Beckett reveals how therapy helped him dodge a breakdown

On screen, he’s like on over-enthusiastic puppy wanting to play – yet there is a much deeper side to comedian Rob Beckett the loud, beaming Jack the Lad who joshes ... Read more »

FOOD REVIEW: Bedrock Origin — It's where dry-aged seafood takes centerstage

SINGAPORE — It’s 12.30 pm and, although fashionably late for my 12-noon lunch at Bedrock Origin’s newest outfit at Oasia Resort Sentosa, I couldn’t resist stopping for a while to ... Read more »

Singaporean TikToker accused of doxxing guys in Telegram group

© Provided by Yahoo Lifestyle Disclaimer: Microsoft News is currently reviewing the accuracy of this story with the publisher due to social media source. Updates will be published here if ... Read more »

Tiong Bahru Bakery giving 1 year's supply of croissants if you find the 'golden croissant'

© Provided by Mothership The next time you pick up a croissant from Tiong Bahru Bakery (TBB), don’t be so quick to gobble it all in two mouthfuls. You might ... Read more »

Dear Fiona: Nothing I do is ever good enough for my father – should I give up trying?

The problem… “I’m 55 – and nothing I have done has ever been right or good enough for my father, who is 75. Over time, I’ve learned what to do ... Read more »

Outrage as TikToker reveals secret Walmart stockpile of in-demand PlayStation 5s

A viral TikTok video has allegedly revealed a huge stockpile of Playstation5 in a Walmart warehouse, sparking outrage among gamers amid a global shortage of the in-demand console. The clip ... Read more »

Emily Ratajkowski says her parents obsessed over her looks growing up: ‘Beauty was a way for me to be special’

Emily Ratajkowski has reflected on her childhood and her parents’ fixation with beauty, and how it contributed to the expectations she placed on herself. The model discussed the topic at ... Read more »

Insomnia, exhaustion, feeling trapped – Zoom fatigue from too much videoconferencing is real, so what can you do about it?

Zoom fatigue takes a toll, physically and mentally, a Stanford study says, but there are ways to reduce the stress and fatigue of videoconferencing. Photo: Shutterstock When Stephanie Ko found ... Read more »

India’s ‘Everest Twins’ have conquered it all – and they’re still only 30 years old

Indian mountaineers Tashi and Nungshi Malik are only 30 years old, yet they have already been on more adventures than most people will in their entire lives. The “Everest Twins”, ... Read more »

For Indonesian-Chinese in Yogyakarta, a Dutch colonial law is the reason for why they can’t own land

For doctoral candidate Kezia Dewi, studying the history of Indonesia’s Chinese settlements is more than just of personal interest, being one of the country’s roughly 3 million ethnic Chinese. Such ... Read more »

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – what Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi and Ang Lee said about Chow Yun-fat, the martial arts scenes and wire work

Zhang Ziyi (left) and Michelle Yeoh in a scene from director Ang Lee’s film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Photo: AP/Sony Pictures Classics The martial arts scenes in Crouching Tiger, Hidden ... Read more »

Queen Elizabeth II once reportedly sent a note to kitchen staff after finding dead slug in her salad

Queen Elizabeth II is known for having a sense of humour, with the monarch often finding the time to inject comedy into otherwise serious occasions. The same is true even ... Read more »

Sharon Stone criticised after commenting on Jonah Hill’s appearance despite his request not to

Sharon Stone is facing backlash after commenting on Jonah Hill’s appearance despite the actor’s request that people no longer comment on his body, “good or bad”. On Thursday, the Wolf ... Read more »

Customer’s shock over £37,000 bill at Salt Bae’s new restaurant has people divided

A £37,000 ($50,000) bill from Salt Bae’s new London steakhouse has sparked a debate on social media, with some suggesting that the pricey receipt must be a “PR stunt”. The ... Read more »