Kevin Rose launches Watchville app, targeting the luxury watch market

Serial entrepreneur and founder of the original Digg, Kevin Rose, has just launched a new iOS app that is quite a departure from previous social-targeted platforms, including his latest, Tiiny. Watchville, available for free, acts a news aggregator and atomic clock tool for the extreme luxury wristwatch market. Not just for those who like Rolexes, but collectors who know names like Hublot and Panerai.

Made by Rose's app development shop North, Watchville, as a new aggregator, works like you'd expect. It pulls in news and reviews from all the top watch blogs, allowing users to read in a clutter-free view, or through a built-in browser. What's really unique is the atomic clock, a tool that lets collectors synchronize their watches to the most exact time possible. It will also show what the current moon phase is, for those with timepieces that have the function.

Rose is the first to admit that Watchville is quite a departure from his tech background. Speaking to TechCrunch, he says he went his entire life until recently with zero interest in watches. That changed when his father passed away, leaving him a well cared-for Rolex, and prompting him to learn more about timepieces. Watchville is different in that the app is specifically made for a small, dedicated audience, and one that hasn't had an app built to suit their needs. It isn't trying to be the next mass-appealing social platform, such as photo/video sharing Tiiny.

North's strategy is to simply produce apps every few months, and quickly moving on from those that fail to take off, while focusing on those that show promise. At this point, Watchville has no ads and no plans to create its own content, but Rose says if they can earn a loyal audience, there are ideas to monetize, possibly including a marketplace to the tune of eBay, but with a reputation system better suited for luxury items.

Also important is that if Watchville is successful, it could serve as a template for North to build the same apps for other luxury markets, like "handbag collectors, vintage Air Jordans, or comic books." Rose sums it up nicely when he says "It's a market that no one's really touching," adding "the luxury good space is massive."

VIA TechCrunch

SOURCE Watchville [iOS App Store]