American pre-owned luxury watch platform WatchBox announced the appointment of Andy Zhang as the CEO of WatchBox China. As the former director of Phillips Watches in China and Business Development & Client Director at Lange & Söhne, Zhang will be responsible for the company’s entry into the Chinese market and driving growth in the new market.
One of Shanghai’s most bustling landmarks, the Bund, will be home to the company’s office. The brand’s first offline space, Shanghai Collector’s Lounge, will open its doors in December 2022, offering services such as collecting, selling, and trading watches.
“The lounge room will be an all-in-one stop, providing a space for in-person experiential exhibitions and meetups in addition to its retailing functions. It will be like a club with a modern retro interior style,” Zhang told Chinese media outlet Jiemian.
A number of global sports icons, including Michael Jordan and Giannis Antetokounmpo, invested in the startup in 2017. The company’s new business initiative, offline lounge rooms, will also be introduced this year in Switzerland, Saudi Arabia and the United States.
Despite China’s anti-COVID policies, the country continues to show a strong interest in luxury watches, resulting in a 19.3 percent jump in Swiss watch exports in the first half of 2022 over pre-pandemic levels. According to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, China is now second in world distribution for these products after the U.S.
In addition to the growth in primary markets, the second-hand luxury market boom in China has contributed to increased consumer interest in luxury watches. Between 2018 and 2021, China’s pre-owned luxury timepiece market grew by an average of 20 percent annually.