November 28th, 2014

Watchville: Kevin Rose Plots A Luxury E-commerce Empire With New App

Category:Hara Partners | Posted By Mai Erne at 10:00 AM


Heard About Watchville?

“I did not like watches my entire life,” Digg co-founder Kevin Rose tells me. That’s an odd admission for a man who just launched Watchville, an app that aggregates news from top wristwatch blogs, and offers an atomic clock tool to help you set your timepiece and its moon phases.

But Rose explains, “My father passed away and left me with one really nice watch. It was pretty much all he could afford so he spent a lot of time and care on it, a Rolex.” That inspired him to learn more about wristwatches. Yet when the seasoned technologist looked for a way to keep up with his new hobby, “I realized in the luxury space, when you look for apps, there’s nothing.”

So Rose pushed his experimental mobile app development shop North to build something luxury wristwatch enthusiasts would appreciate. It’s a far cry from North’s first app, Tiiny, a much more traditional Silicon Valley invention that lets you share miniature photos and videos.

Tiiny is “interesting enough for us to build out the next few versions” Rose says with a bit of a sigh before acquiescing that it launched a little early. “I would say on scale of 1 to 10, I’d give it a 7.” That’s fine according to the North game plan, which aims to launch new apps every few months, give them time to sink or swim, and then abandon the failures to concentrate on ones with massive potential.

Compared to typical startup fare, Watchville’s market might sound bland, but that’s why there’s such an opportunity. Other app developers never gave it the time of day.

For the last year, Rose has travelled to watch events, met bloggers, and established relationships with the top brands. With their guiding hands, he built Watchville, which launched today. If your only experience with Audemars and Hublots are from Jay-Z lyrics, Rose’s app will school you.

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