How Bezel is Changing the Secondary Market for Watches

We chatted with CEO and co-founder Quaid Walker to learn more

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Over the past decade, the secondary market for sneakers and streetwear has been booming. And while there's always been an immense secondary market for the world of watches, the industry hasn't kept up technologically with sneaker culture. A lot of this trading has historically occurred through word of mouth and smaller retailers.

Bezel—the place where you can grab the latest and greatest for authenticated and second-hand watches—makes the whole process more accessible. Backed by powerhouse names such as Steve Aoki, NBA champion Kyle Kuzma, and former NFL star Emmanuel Acho, Bezel is a resource meant for young buyers, as the company individually helps you with watch authentication and the general buying process. The ultimate goal of Bezel is to have their consumers looking fly and fresh, and with watches becoming a growing fashion trend again amongst the youth, the timing couldn’t be more perfect (slight pun intended).

We sat down with Bezel CEO and co-founder Quaid Walker to learn more about all things Bezel.

RELATED: The 13 Best Men's Watches Under $200 to Shop Right Now

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ONE37pm: Thanks for taking the time! First of all, what is Bezel, and what do you guys do?

Walker: Bezel is a marketplace for authenticated watches. Luxury watches are more in demand than ever, but the industry can still feel intimidating for new collectors and counterfeits are a rapidly growing issue. Every watch sold on our platform is sent to our HQ first for our rigorous authentication process by experts from Sotheby’s and Christie’s. Combined with a seamless shopping experience and high-touch customer service, we set out to build the best possible product for a new generation of collectors.

We’re also backed by $8M in funding from Kevin Hart, John Legend, Steve Aoki, Michael Rubin, Michael Ovitz, Kyle Kuzma, former Christie’s international head of watches John Reardon, BoxGroup, Courtside Ventures, Abstract Ventures, Shrug, and more.

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ONE37pm: Nice! So, you guys said we’re experiencing a resurgence in watches as an accessory right?

Walker: Second-hand watches are a $35B market thanks to Gen Z and Millennials and luxury shopping is not slowing, despite inflation. Watches have really seen a revitalization in the past 10 years, but especially in the last 3 as a result of COVID which forced many to seek other outlets for their disposable income when travel was shut down, causing alternative assets and collectibles to skyrocket in popularity. But the watch industry overall can feel dated and stodgy, which doesn’t resonate with this generation.

By focusing on transparency, a seamless shopping experience, and high-touch customer service, we’ve built the best possible product for this rising group of younger, first-time watch buyers.

ONE37pm: It used to be that watches were used not just as an accessory, but a way to genuinely tell the time as we didn’t always have phones or devices on us that could. With so many of those options available now, why are people still turning to watches?

Walker: Watches are much more than their timekeeping function, and these days, that practical function may even take a backseat to other desirable characteristics. Watches are truly wearable pieces of art that are difficult to produce and come in many different forms, shapes, and sizes that allow owners to express themselves and signal to other enthusiasts their common passion. They are handcrafted mechanical marvels produced in scarce quantities which draws the attention of observers. Watches also are great alternative investments during inflationary periods.

Watch preferences continue to evolve and watch tastes are more unisex than they ever have been.

- Quaid Walker

ONE37pm: What are some watch trends to be on the lookout for in 2023?

Walker: Watch preferences continue to evolve and watch tastes are more unisex than they ever have been. We are seeing women wearing larger, bulkier watches that were historically designed for men. And men turning to more watches that are on the smaller side. The largest, most well-known brands continue to dominate but a newer crop of younger, independent brands continue to make a name for themselves and attract extremely passionate groups of collectors yearning for something a little more unique and niche.

We saw watches evaluated as alternative investments and buyers thinking about the longterm value of their collections the last 2 years. I imagine that we’ll see more interest in further understanding/tracking collection values and buyers approaching watches with more of an investor’s mindset.

By providing the highest level of protection and service to our buyers, we think we can open up the watch market

- Quaid Walker

ONE37pm: Anything else about Bezel you would like people to know?

Walker: We set out with the goal of building the most trusted, easiest-to-use, technologically advanced company in the secondary watch market. As watch enthusiasts, we wanted to build the platform that we would have liked to have when we first started our collecting journeys. This meant providing best-in-class authentication, robust inventory, and a concierge team available to facilitate the entire process for every buyer.

By providing the highest level of protection and service to our buyers, we think we can open up the watch market to so many new participants while also creating a far superior buying experience for those who are already in the market. 

You can keep up with Bezel via the Bezel website, app, or Instagram

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