How Watchfinder is evangelising second-hand luxury goods to the masses

Arjen van de Vall, CEO of Watchfinder, talks to MT about harnessing the power of YouTube and breaking into international markets to encourage watch-lovers to buy pre-loved.

by Éilis Cronin

When Arjen van de Vall’s father was 30 years old he bought a classical, golden Beaumarchais dress watch, which fascinated the young van de Vall, who compared it to a micro computer. He fell in love with not just the engineering aspect of luxury watches, but the beauty and romance surrounding them.

Despite this early passion for shiny things, van de Vall took a different path in his adult life, learning to code and ending up working for companies like Amazon, streaming service Rakuten. So it was pure destiny, when in 2021 he landed the role of CEO at Watchfinder & co., a retailer dedicated to buying and selling luxury pre-owned watches. Now he wants to raise awareness of second-hand luxury goods and evangelise the masses. How does he plan to do this? First through YouTube, then through global expansion.

Organic growth

Before he arrived a year and a half ago, Watchfinder’s nine year old YouTube channel had 632,000 subscribers - an already impressive number - but this has now grown organically to more than 800,000 subscribers. The channel was initially launched as a “fun project” with no discernable strategy or plan for long term growth.

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