Formula 1 Driver Charles Leclerc Invests in Watch Platform Chrono24

PARIS – Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc is taking a stake in Chrono24, the luxury watch resale platform said Tuesday.

“The watch world has long captivated me as one of my many passions,” Leclerc said in a statement. “There’s a real unification between watch lovers around the world, and my brother and I are excited to be an even deeper part of that community through our investment involvement with Chrono24.”

Chrono24 founder and chairman of the board Tim Stracke described Leclerc’s arrival among investors as thrilling. “He has achieved an incredible legacy already very early in his life, and his prowess as a young investor is a great example of his passion for performance,” Stracke said.

The 26-year-old Monegasque currently competes as part of the Scuderia Ferrari team in Formula 1 and is ranked second in the 2024 championship. He won the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix on May 26, his first victory on his home turf.

Leclerc is an ambassador for brands including jeweler Apm Monaco and Swiss watchmaker Richard Mille, which has supported him since his early days as a kart driver. A prototype of the ultralight RM 67-02 watch created for Leclerc, weighing only 32 grams, fetched over $2 million at the 2021 Only Watch charity auction.

The driver also launched a range of calorie-reduced ice creams called Lec in April, and cofounded the All Time family office dedicated to athletes with his brother Lorenzo Leclerc in 2022.

Chrono24, headquartered in Karlsruhe, Germany, did not disclose the size of the investment made by the Leclerc siblings.

“These brothers are highly esteemed and share our passion for watches as well as our company’s drive for excellence. Their savvy is formidable, and together, we are poised to reach new heights,” said Chrono24 chief executive officer Carsten Keller.

While the secondary luxury watch market has cooled, with prices stabilizing after a post-pandemic bubble, it is expected to grow 75 percent to 35 billion Swiss francs in 2030, which would represent more than half of the primary market, according to Deloitte.

In a report on the first quarter of 2024, Chrono24 said it saw increased demand for luxury watches and rising prices for four of the 14 brands it analyzed during the period.

Along with a new record for transactions in the quarter, Chrono 24 head of brand engagement Balazs Ferenczi said it could be “a sign that watch enthusiasts are speculating that prices will rise again, and thus are getting their dream watch at a potentially lower price.”

In April, the platform launched its certified authenticity program, applicable to watches priced 1,000 euros and above. It is open to professional and private sellers in Europe and is expected to roll out in the U.S. in the second quarter.  

Chrono24 also counts Cristiano Ronaldo among its investors.

A 2021 Series C round raised more than 100 million euros, scoring a $1 billion valuation for the platform. Led by private equity firm General Atlantic, the fundraising saw the arrival of investors including Aglaé Ventures, the family investment vehicle of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton mogul Bernard Arnault, Insight Partners and Sprints Capital.

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