London’s platform for the trading of pre-loved luxury watches, Subdial has raised £4 million in new funds via Active Partners alongside existing angel investors, including Revolut seed investor John Ayton, Philip Morris UK and Ireland managing director Christian Woolfenden, and Matt Barker. The new funding will turn the clocks forward on international expansion plans, as well as further refine the platform’s user experience.
While the global pandemic catapulted a number of industries, with fortunes being made over the course of just a few months, others didn’t pan out so well. With forced closures of physical retail locations, weaknesses and a reluctance to digitise in the luxury watch business became readily apparent: a 25 to 30 percent drop in revenues.
However, a tangential industry that has benefited from the pandemic is the online marketplace for pre-owned luxury timepieces. So much so, that in July of this year, McKinsey issued a report citing that pre-owned was the fastest-growing segment in the fine jewelry and watches sector, with sales predicted to reach a staggering $29 to $32 billion by 2025.
Now we can’t talk about pre-owned watches without mentioning Chronext, Watchfinder, and/or the first and only unicorn in the space, Chrono24. However, Subdial is aiming to differentiate itself from the competition through the combination of impeccable customer service, concerted community cultivation efforts, and the implementation of live market pricing and analytics, helping collectors pinpoint the most accurate price for their sought after chronometer. When combined, a powerful argument indeed.
As a testament to Subdial’s offer, since its founding in 2018, the company has doubled its top-line revenue every six months, has a nearly perfect 5 out of 5 rating on Trustpilot, and appraised over 22,000 timepieces. At present, Subdial reports the addition of approximately 30 watches to the platform on a weekly basis, a number it plans to more than triple over the coming year.
“Subdial was founded out of a genuine passion for watches, and the desire to create a trustworthy, transparent, and data-led platform for watch enthusiasts looking to trade and build their collections,” commented CEO and co-founder Ross Crane. “We want to build a company at the intersection of technology and good old-fashioned customer service. It’s been such an exciting journey so far, and we’re really proud of the amazing community of collectors that have become part of Subdial.”