Detroit’s own StockX, a company launched as a stock market for buying and selling sneakers in 2016, recently expanded its offering to include watches and handbags. Setting itself apart from other commerce sites, StockX leans into its credibility, making the process for selling and buying as easy as possible. “If you look at the eBay model, which is twenty-two years old now, you have a severe lack of authenticity. And there is also no transparency,” says Josh Luber, who co-founded StockX along with Dan Gilbert, the man at the forefront of Detroit’s redevelopment. “I can take whatever I want and ask $10 million for it but that doesn’t mean it’s worth that.”
On StockX, all of the data from previous sales is available to the company’s anonymous users, so the prices will always reflect reality. In the sometimes-convoluted marketplace of pre-owned timepieces, it’s providing a safety net for online buyers and sellers alike. And when a watch is sold, the process is as turnkey as possible. It’s shipped to the authentication office and typically only in the hands of the company for a mere 24 to 48 hours before it’s on its way to a new home.
Scrolling through the platform, the first thing you’ll notice is that every image is a stock photo. There’s no need to look closely for blemishes or scratches, or read between the lines on a lengthy description. Every watch sold is inspected and authenticated by the company, and only those meeting its standards make the cut. “Every watch goes through a rigorous testing process — water pressure, amplitude, timing tests — so by the time that StockX buyer gets their watch, they know it’s in excellent condition,” says Reg Brack, GM of watches at StockX, who was formerly overseeing private watch sales at Christie’s. At StockX, there are no guessing games either, from the buyer or the seller; there won’t be any patina, if that’s your thing, but every single item is visually and mechanically of the highest quality.