Industry / Technology / Watches

Hodinkee Buys Pre-Owned Watch E-tailer Crown & Caliber


Hodinkee, the online watch publication, has purchased pre-owned watch e-tailer Crown & Caliber.

Financial details were not disclosed.

Since its founding in 2008, Hodinkee, which started as a watch blog, has branched out into selling insurance, limited-edition timepieces, and now secondhand timepieces.

“We’re rolling out a small pre-owned selection on our site, and will grow it exponentially over time,” said founder and executive chairman Benjamin Clymer in a post. “And soon, you will be able to use your Crown & Caliber trade-in credit to make purchases in the Hodinkee shop.”

Crown & Caliber founder and CEO Hamilton Powell told Atlanta Inno that while the two sites plan to remain distinct for now, he “isn’t sure” if they will morph into one site down the road.

He said the company will remain at its Atlanta headquarters, and all its 77 employees, including him, intend to stay through the acquisition.

Crown & Caliber was founded in 2013 by Powell, the former head of a private equity firm, after a friend tried to sell his Patek Philippe.

“He spent a Saturday afternoon driving around and getting lowball offers from retailers,” Powell told JCK in 2016. “He eventually caved and got $5,200 for his Patek Philippe Gondolo, which was then put on sale for $12,500 in the same store. I started researching and found that there is $7 billion in luxury watches sold every year in the U.S. I thought, there has to be a better way to sell your pre-owned watch.”

The site is not the only player in the pre-owned watch space, though many of its competitors are also getting snatched up. In 2018, Richemont purchased Watchfinder, a pre-owned watch e-tailer based in the United Kingdom. And last September, Watches of Switzerland acquired vintage and pre-owned watch seller Analog Shift.

The news follows Hodinkee’s announcement in December that Tony Bateman, the former managing director of luxury men’s e-commerce site Mr. Porter, would take over as the site’s new CEO, replacing Clymer. At the same time, the company raised $40 million from the Chernin Group and LVMH Luxury Ventures in a Series B funding round.

Crown & Caliber itself received a $17 million credit facility last April from Second Avenue Capital Partners.

Top: A pre-owned Cartier (photo courtesy of Hodinkee)


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By: Rob Bates

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