This Luxury Watch Marketplace Is On Pace To Do $5M/Year

Founder, Chronoexpert
from Bilbao
started November 2017
alexa rank
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Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.

Hi again Starter Story, I am Pablo Martin founder of Chronoexpert, the leading luxury watches marketplace for southern Europe. We launched in 2016 and are still growing over 50% yearly despite the pandemic and a turbulent economy.

We closed our last financial year with over USD 3M revenue and are targeting USD 5M+ for 2022 while being profitable.

Regarding business, the industry has seen a spike in prices along Christmas 2022 but is currently stagnant. In terms of brands, Rolex is still king with over 55% of our sales, followed by Omega, Cartier, and Breitling.


Tell us about what you’ve been up to! Has the business been growing?

Since the last time we talked, the business revenue has grown by 55%, but the biggest improvement has been in revenue margins. We had to slightly cut back on our paid traffic budget as we were too aggressive in our early years and CAC/LV was suffering.

Therefore, this revenue growth is the result of a marketing strategy mainly focused on organic traffic. Apart from this, we have also extended the range of products we are selling and built an inventory of up to 6.000 references always in the luxury segment.

This is what is currently working for us, not innovative but it is key as we are building a long-term company.

Regarding SE, we are focusing on 3 pillars:

  1. Technical SEO where we improved metatags, implemented a CDN to improve upload speed, and are still working on Core Web Vitals which I think will be ongoing
  2. Content - improving product pages and resuming our blog for articles and internal linking
  3. Outreach - We have partnered with key professionals and luxury publications to work on co-branded content

Currently, SEO is +70% of our traffic and sales, which changes our margins and EBITDA figures.

We have also tested social media and Youtube and it has worked well in brand recognition and trust. We have interviewed key professionals in the luxury watches industry in Spain and UK, speaking about watches and their lifestyles. This is key for us as our AOV is slightly over USD 10.000 / GBP 9000.

On the other hand, it is not working for us directly in terms of traffic, sales, and lead generation. This is why the budget has been quite conservative on these channels.


What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?

The biggest lesson learned has been to only focus on your business, performance, and your financials. The startup environment has suffered a dramatic change after Covid.

Venture capital, financing, and funding rounds are these days much more difficult and if you do not have enough runway, the company will be at great risk of going into bankruptcy.

Many big tech companies are currently doing layoffs or even going bankrupt as revenue multiples are not key now to raise money and need to have a backup plan.

Furthermore, as an entrepreneur, you need to always be in contact with your peers in the industry. Opportunities arise from doing this but you have to be consistent. I have not been dedicating enough time to this and I should have started earlier!

What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?

We launched Chronoexpert as a global brand, with operations in +13 countries. This has allowed us to grow into a multi-million revenue company. Now, it is time to build the leader for southern Europe, focusing on Spain, France, Italy, and Portugal.

The industry is growing and we do not think it is time to move into a new category. Luxury watches are booming all over the world and we want to be leaders in our markets. Pre-owned and sustainable luxury excites us as a company and will develop different actions around those trends.

Apart from this, we need some stable years like before 2020 to only focus on the business and nothing else.


Have you read any good books in the last year?

Did not have a lot of time to read, but would recommend Thinking, Fast and Slow by Kahneman.

Apart from this, I usually work listening to some great podcasts like Playing with Unicorns by Fabrice Grinda (partner at FJ Labs VC).

Or focusing on Spain, the Itnig podcast is amazing showing both big and seed companies.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?

The top tip would be: to be resilient. We will face frequent down periods in our businesses and need to continue working to get back up.

Big mistakes I have made are and are common in startups:

  • Keeping ** finances in check from day one**. It does not matter if you are in your early stages, please work on your finance statements vs metrics. If you are not a finance expert hire an external CFO or similar role. It will help in the short term

  • Hiring the correct team. Take into account the stage of your company before hiring specific roles. You need doers at the early stages and not somebody who is used to managing big teams or needs other employees to build something and grow the company. It is not that that profile is better or worse, it depends on your company's needs!

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

Constantly looking for developers as the product is evolving. Our product roadmap has big challenges for 2022-23.

  • Launch of the B2B platform
  • Watch Service Corner
  • Product recommendation engine

Apart from this, think we currently have a strong team both with industry and digital knowledge and will only need to hire and strengthen our commercial team.

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!

Pablo, Founder of Chronoexpert
Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story
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