What watches are millionaires wearing?

Forbes celebrates him for his company idea | This is how the luxury watch millionaire ticks

A massage chair, table football, bunk beds, the rooms bear the names of people who made it - from Google founder Sergej Brin (logistics) to the “Bill Gates” toilet. The sales center of the luxury watch portal Chronext in Cologne, the empire of founder Philipp Man (25). "Forbes" ranks him among the 30 most innovative under 30. "We are the youngest in one of the oldest industries in the world," says the son of Russian immigrants.

Its online portal offers 18,000 watches for sale today - Rolex, Cartier, Panerai. The most expensive was a Patek Philippe for 540,000 euros. Man: “We sold our first watch to a Texan - for 14,000 euros.” At that time, the Cologne native was studying economics in London with Ludwig Wurlitzer (24) from Nuremberg. “We sat in our shared kitchen in our pajamas,” says Man. Each has two aliases. The college friends answer the phone with a disguised voice. Your company should look bigger.

Today they have 130 “real” employees. Your managers are on average 15 years older than the founders. There are also eleven watchmakers who check and repair all timepieces before they are sold with a certificate and guarantee. That distinguishes them from competitors like Ebay or Chrono24. Every fourth watch is vintage - more than 20 years old. The average price is 5375 euros - five to 20 percent below the normal price.

The road to success had moments of shock. “Our first employee cheated on us,” says Man. “He was supposed to set up our website and asked for a deposit of 1500 euros. We never saw money or graphic artists again. "

Goal: 100 million euros in sales

Perseverance is required. “Before I had the first million in capital for our company, I received 148 rejections,” the founder recalls. No problem today - the last capital increase in May brought in 11 million euros. "Next year we want to be the largest luxury watch seller in Germany," says Man. "And crack the 100 million euros in annual sales."

They also want to open a store in America. “In the first four days after our store opened in London, we did 30 percent more online,” says Man. "People just trust you more when they can look you in the eye."dd

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