WatchBox Merges with Independent Jewelers Under New Brand
The 1916 Company is a combination of Hyde Park Jewelers, Govberg Jewelers, Radcliffe Jewelers, and WatchBox.
Watch platform WatchBox and independent jewelers Govberg Jewelers (the parent company of WatchBox), Hyde Park Jewelers, and Radcliffe Jewelers have merged to form The 1916 Company.
Prior to the merger announcement, WatchBox founders Justin Reis, Tay Liam Wee, and Danny Govberg, third-generation owner of Govberg Jewelers, had acquired Hyde Park Jewelers and Radcliffe Jewelers.
By combining several prominent watch retailers, the new company aims to be a leading global platform and community for watch collectors.
It takes its name from the year Albert Govberg founded Govberg Jewelers, 1916.
Danny, Albert’s grandson, described the new company as a “107-year-old start-up.”
“The principles of our business are rooted in enduring relationships, while our commitment to innovation and transformative change drives us to anticipate the ever-evolving needs of discerning watch collectors today and tomorrow."
The rebrand will take place via a phased rollout, with all companies eventually being renamed The 1916 Company, a spokesperson confirmed.
WatchBox co-founder Reis will serve as global CEO, while John Shmerler of Hyde Park Jewelers and Damon Gross of Radcliffe Jewelers will lead the company’s authorized retail network. Govberg will serve as executive chairman.
The merger brings together “the strengths and legacies of the largest pre-owned platform with three independent jewelers. Hospitality, warmth, generations of experience, and long-standing partnerships with the most respected luxury watch brands, including Rolex and Patek Philippe, set the tone for this next chapter,” said the company.
The 1916 Company is also part of the official network authorized to sell Rolex-certified pre-owned watches.
Govberg Jewelers, Radcliffe Jewelers, and Hyde Park Jewelers were all authorized Rolex dealers prior to the merger.
While the rebranding is underway, these pre-owned Rolex watches will be available online via Govberg and Radcliffe’s websites and within official Rolex jeweler locations. Pre-owned Rolex watches will no longer be available on the WatchBox website.
The newly formed company has 13 locations, including eight multi-brand salons and five mono-brand boutiques in Philadelphia and Ardmore, Pennsylvania; Baltimore and Towson, Maryland; Newark, Delaware; Denver, Colorado; Newport Beach, California; and Scottsdale, Arizona.
It also operates lounges in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and Boca Raton, Florida, as well as in Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, and Dubai.
"We want collectors and enthusiasts to enjoy visiting us around the world [and] to feel part of our extended family and ‘Collector's Circle’ as they discover The 1916 Company's uniquely personalized approach to collecting and our extraordinary watch and jewelry collections," said Shmerler.
Its collection of watches, both in-store and online, are valued at $200 million, said the company, with a focus on “ultra-rare, collectible timepieces” and “artisanal, independent” watches.
WatchBox was founded by Govberg, Reis, and Wee to elevate the experience of collecting, selling, and trading watches while connecting watch enthusiasts.
This new company will continue that work, said Reis, by offering collectors a place for new and pre-owned watches and fine jewelry, as well as a network of lounges and boutiques and a media platform.
“Watches have the power to bring people together,” said Reis.
“Over the years, we’ve observed our collectors’ desire not only for digital connectivity, but the rich experiences of physical interaction – they value the bonds formed with our dedicated client advisors and the friendships they’ve made across our community.”
The new company is “a natural progression for us,” he said, informed by its clients.
“With The 1916 Company, we’re reinforcing the sense of community, rooted in our existing relationships, while eagerly embracing the opportunity to forge new ones. Our vision starts and ends with our customer.”
New and existing clients of WatchBox, Govberg, Radcliffe, and Hyde Park Jewelers will be introduced to The 1916 Company over the next six months, the company said.
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