Trading in Passion, Inc. Sale Signals That Online Auction Drives the Luxury Watch Market

Trading in Passion, Inc. Sale Signals That Online Auction Drives the Luxury Watch Market

By Stuart Wiengarten

Trading in Passion, Inc. a California corporation dba Klockchain (, is an online watch auction house that sold last week to TF Klockchain, Inc. for an undisclosed amount The transaction culminated in Florida and marks “the watch industry’s return to normalcy,” observes, Edvin Ovasapyan, director at Trading in Passion, Inc.
According to Bain & Company’s 2022 Luxury Goods Worldwide Market Study, the global secondhand market for luxury goods grew to $30 billion in recent years, with watches and jewelry accounting for over 75% of all purchases.

The recently published Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie’s Watchmaking Trend Report predicts that pre-owned watch sales will equal or exceed the market for new watches in the near future. This is especially impressive given that the market for secondhand luxury watches is relatively new and showed exponential growth due mostly to e-commerce and growing acceptance that horological instruments are collectible, portable, and are a worthy allocation in an investment portfolio that accounts for alternative assets.
The auction house model developed by Trading in Passion, Inc. makes secondary market watch trading efficient and safer than other conventional and internet models familiar to watch aficionados. Here is are some examples:

Resale exchange companies like Bob’s Watches and Crown & Caliber buy watches directly from people looking to sell unwanted watches and then list them for sale on their websites for potential buyers to browse. They do offer authenticity protections with in-house watch inspections. However, these businesses require large operational teams, substantial inventory to pay for, and hefty advertising budgets. As a result, their margins have to be substantial to pay for high overhead so they can only pass on limited savings to the end consumer.  They are also incentivized to always steer customer to their own inventory regardless of where the best deals exist.  Gray Market players like JomaShop account for as much as 20% of luxury watch sales. They support Authorized Dealers by filling their inventory with slow-moving watch models purchased under the table at bulk discounts (without consent from brands) which they can then sell at marginally lower prices to end consumers. However, the result of Authorized Dealers breaking the manufactures Minimum Authorized Price agreement is that factory warranties are lost.

The success of the gray market has prompted brands to further restrict stock to maintain brand reputation and employ technology to try and track offenders.  Omega famously bought out gray market reseller Watchfinder in an attempt to avoid their products reaching the gray market.  Some brands are responding by offering in house re-sale services or opening rebuying gray market inventory.  Yet others like Rolex and AP are vastly reducing their network of AD’s or bringing all sales in house with self-branded boutiques.
Some watches are sold via classified ads, whether on general websites like Facebook and Craigslist or watch forums like Rolex Forums or WatchUSeek. Although occasionally there are deals to be had if you are well-versed in watches, the lack of protection for buyers and sellers poses high risk for novice buyers to get caught up in scams. Even more dangerous is the possibility of physical harm if meeting with strangers while conducting high-priced transactions. The growing popularity of luxury watches has increased cases of violent attacks worldwide to the point that cities like London are posting public signs cautioning people to the presence of watch thieves in certain areas. Many people in Los Angeles and New York have stopped wearing luxury watches to avoid becoming targets. While formerly niche brands such as Patek Philippe are now flagged in rap videos.

Michael Torino, a board member at TF Klockchain, observed that the transaction was complicated due to changing market conditions, taking nearly 10 months to close. Torino and Ovasapyan are experienced in the luxury goods and collectibles industries. Both believe that more acquisitions in the watch space are coming, and the watch market will benefit from AI and blockchain technological advancement. Technology will enable buyers and sellers to authenticate watches and mitigate fraudulent transactions, as the industry continues to move into the online space, soon to supplant scroll menus of eBay and chrono24 by metaverse and multidimensional buying experiences points out, Ovasapyan. Parting ways with Klockchain was both sentimental and gratifying. Our journey to create a sanctuary for watch collectors has reached new heights with Tom Ford at the helm. We believe that this venture will leave an indelible mark on the watch world, just as he did in the fashion and beauty industry,” Louis Guillot, a principle at Klockchain.
The sale of Klockchain shows that traditional investors recognize the value of buying and trading horological instruments as an alternative asset class. We feel an immense sense of pride passing the torch and knowing that Klockchain’s positive impact will reach far beyond its creation,” points out Shery Zarnegin, one of the principals on the seller side. Bringing You Closer to the World's Top Stories and People is the latest addition to's suite of innovative products and services. This digital newspaper is dedicated to bringing you the latest news and events from around the world, as well as in-depth interviews with some of the most interesting and influential people in a variety of fields.

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