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Albini Prassa and CHRONEXT, the leading digital boutique for certified new and pre-owned luxury timepieces, announce the launch of their retail partnership. This first retail expansion outside of Germany and Switzerland marks a significant milestone as CHRONEXT continues to grow its physical presence.

Leveraging its robust omni-channel strategy, CHRONEXT seamlessly integrates a premier online platform with physical boutiques and pick-up lounges, ensuring an exceptional luxury experience for its customers. As part of its ambitious expansion plans, CHRONEXT is set to enter new markets, starting with Romania. This strategic move is aimed at capturing a larger share of the luxury watch market and providing unparalleled value to both sellers and buyers worldwide.

Ion Schiau, founder of Albini Prassa, stated, “This new development answers an ever-growing demand from customers and reflects the current reality of our industry. The global value of actively traded watches in the certified pre-owned market in 2023 was CHF 20 billion, with predictions of CPO trade reaching CHF 30 billion by 2025. This growth will surpass the regular trade, making our presence in this market not only a strategic opportunity but a necessary response to the constant demand from customers in Romania.”

Committed to authenticity and quality, CHRONEXT differentiates itself by offering 100% certified luxury watches, appealing to a discerning clientele that values trust and verification. This dedication to excellence is reflected in their strong market presence and growing global footprint. These advancements are designed to improve the customer experience and facilitate seamless C2B2C trading.

Founded in 2013, the company based in Zug, Switzerland, is today one of the leading retailers of CPO (Certified Pre-Owned) and vintage watches. In addition to its core business in online retail, CHRONEXT now also operates exclusive brick-and-mortar boutiques and lounges in locations around the world such as Düsseldorf, Munich, Berlin, Zurich and Hong Kong.

CHRONEXT combines the convenience of a web store with the first-class service of a boutique and supports its customers in all phases of purchasing and owning a luxury watch. Thanks to its hybrid business model, the company can offer its own watches as well as stock from manufacturers, retailers and private sellers, giving it access to a range of around 6,000 models. CHRONEXT is responsible for controlling the entire process, which is ensured by a team of around 10 in-house watchmakers. They check each watch in a 17-stage authenticity and quality control process and then issue a 24-month guarantee. To date, CHRONEXT has helped over 175,000 customers in more than 60 countries to buy and sell their watches.

Ion Schiau added, “As the first retailer in Romania to propose such a partnership, we are underlining the importance of certified and guaranteed watches, which differs significantly from the traditional second-hand market in Romania. Our partnership will provide higher comfort, transparency, and security to our customers. Aligned with our credo of being first, unique, and different, we opened Maison Albini Prassa in 2018, setting a new standard for retail experience and brand journey. It was a first in Bucharest then and still is today. Now, we are excited to launch our entry into the certified pre-owned market with the European leader, CHRONEXT.”

For the launch of the new partnership and the pre-owned segment, Albini Prassa revamped the space at Belgrad 12, collaborating with the most innovative creator of horological furniture in the industry, Xavier Dietlin (dietlin.ch). In addition to adapting a new series of animated showcases for Bucharest, he also launched a table in a world premiere, designed in collaboration with the Swiss company Sunae (sunae.ch). Xavier Dietlin, whose innovations are requested by the largest watch brands for either the Watches & Wonders salon or their own stores, stated: “We have been collaborating with Albini Prassa from the beginning, but we only came last year for our participation in Romanian Design Week, and I fell in love with this space and the city. For us and Sunae, it made a lot of sense to have this partnership. In many aspects, we are pioneers, just like Albini Prassa with their innovative approach in retail. I feel that Romania is very open to new concepts and ideas, and we really like this dynamic.”

The « petit prince » of the Romanel Valley, Xavier Dietlin couldn’t be more natural. From his origins in the Swiss Jura, he has retained a straightforward character, a warm spontaneity and a rebellious streak. Born into a family that had long specialized in the metal construction industry, this former footballer with unrivaled energy who adores challenges and innovation, worked with his brother and sister. For Xavier, who seems favored by the gods, the dream became reality. In just a decade, he developed a cutting-edge segment of the metal construction industry: showcases.

The company made its key breakthrough in 2005 on behalf of Hublot, with the Raptor display case with no glass that is nevertheless secure: through the use of sensors, the object on show is retracted into the base of the case in only a few tenths of a second as soon as a foreign body comes near.

While the major watch brands quickly acknowledged his talent, globally renowned designers and architects, such as Peter Marino, also began calling on his expertise on a regular basis. Major multinationals such as Mercedes Benz, Philip Morris, Huawei and such famous museums as the MoMa in New York followed suit, tasking him with creating increasingly avant-garde solutions.

Loathing hierarchies, he creates direct and personal relationships with his customers. For this creator of surprises, every means is good for attracting attention: intriguing, challenging, amusing… even annoying. As long as the potential buyer stops and is drawn to the object lying there in its case. Today, the company, with a staff of ten, is renowned worldwide for inventing and producing the most innovative, cutting-edge display cases.

Xavier Dietlin has a gift for transforming the conventional into the exceptional. Every day, he is amazed by the unsuspected possibilities offered by technology. At the end of the day, the main thing is to retain his inner child, for whom play is the watchword of life.

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