As the co-founder of Digg, Kevin Rose could be expected to love all things technical but there was one gadget that failed to arouse his interest. As he told TechCrunch, “I did not like watches my entire life.”
Then he inherited the timepiece that changed all that. “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.” Rose did a bit of studying about watches and discovered that there were smartphone apps for practically everything except fine timepieces. “I realized in the luxury space, when you look for apps, there’s nothing.”
Since Rose conveniently has his own experimental mobile development shop called North, he set out to create an app especially for fanciers of luxury watches and the result is Watchville. While developing the app, Rose did extensive research into the top brands in fine timepieces, meeting with watchmakers, bloggers and other fans. All this work has made Watchville a one-stop shop for anyone who is fascinated by timepieces and can’t get enough of them.
What will the fan of watches find on the app? Watchville aggregates information from watch blogs including buyer’s guides, features, reviews, news about new watches and more. The app also includes an Atomic Clock that allows owners of collectible timepieces to synchronize their entire collections, right down to the phases of the moon.
Watchville is a free app available for both iOS and Android and has two basis sections marked “news” and “time.” The news department is a very large and timely collection of posts from watch blogs pretty much like this one while the time is averaged from 70 servers.
Obviously, there’s a lot more that could be done with this app and Rose is aware that the current version is just the beginning. Rose admitted to TechCrunch that the app appeals to a rather small audience, which could make monetizing it more difficult. At the present, he does not plan to offer original content or sell ads. He did point out that online marketplaces like eBay don’t really possess the savvy to market luxury items and could use a bit of help.
He also hinted that if the Watchville template works, his development shop North could expand into more apps for collectable luxury items. There are definitely possibilities like matching luxury items for sale with buyers who are seeking them.
Maybe the next step would be for someone at North to use Apple’s WatchKit development tools to create Watchville for the Apple Watch. There would seem to be a built-in audience since anyone who spends $350 and up for an Apple Watch must have an interest in expensive timepieces.