- Luxury brands group Richemont, just bought Watchfinder.co.uk, a chain with seven stores and a strong online presence.
- Watchfinder focusses on the second-hand trade of high-end watches that Richemont sells.
- Some of its used watches come with prices that will buy a pretty nice house.
On Monday morning Richemont formally told shareholders it had bought 100% of Watchfinder.co.uk. It did not disclose the purchase price.
Watchfinder raised £6.2 million, or around R100 million, in venture capital funding in 2014. It showed nearly that much in operating profit in its last financial year, to the end of March 2017, when it reported turnover of £86.7 million, the equivalent of nearly R1.5 billion.
It has seven boutique stores, employs around 200 people, and pulls in tens of thousands of views on videos like this one:
The business of second-hand watches is still a "relatively unstructured segment of the industry", Richemont chairperson Johann Rupert said in a statement.
Richemond makes watches under the brand names A. Lange and Söhne, Baume and Mercier, IWC Schaffhausen, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Officine Panerai, Piaget, Roger Dubuis, and Vacheron Constantin.
On Monday morning Watchfinder had more than 500 of Richemont's watches listed for sale on its website.
These were the most expensive watches found on Watchfinder on Monday – excluding price-on-application items:
Patek Philippe Grand Complications 5101P: £175,000 (R2.9 million)
Patek Philippe World Time 5575g-001: £77,500 (R1.3 million)
Richard Mille Le Mans Classic RM 010: £69,950 (R1.2 million)
IWC Portuguese Tourbillon IW504601: £69,950 (R1.2 million)
Patek Philippe World Time 7175R-001: £69,950 (R1.2 million)
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