How One Watch Seller Made it Big Time

Nicole Grant Kriege, eBay News Team

eBay has enabled watch dealer Rich Reichbach to live out his passion and relaunch the heritage watch brand Welsbro.


Rich Reichbach grew up surrounded by the ticking, whirring, and chiming of clocks and watches in his father’s Westchester shop, just outside of New York City. Now a second-generation watch dealer, he’s following in his father’s footsteps and selling unique timepieces to watch lovers around the world on eBay. 

A self-proclaimed watch evangelist, Rich has sold over 10,000 mechanical marvels — from vintage and modern to pre-owned and collectibles. His eBay shop has enabled him to monetize his passion and revitalize the beloved watch brand Welsbro, now run by him and his wife.

Get to know Rich in his own words, and visit his shop, TimeTitans:

Growing up in his father’s watch shop

I remember being five or six years old and hanging around my dad's watchmaking bench in his shop. He had drawers full of pocket watches that he would pull out and all kinds of parts. The smell of the watch oils is something I’ll always remember, it’s incredibly nostalgic.

Later, as a teenager in my dad's store, I’d sit around and read magazines. I loved the watches, loved the design, and loved the function. I also liked chronographs and just being surrounded by clocks like in the Pink Floyd song “Time,” from wall clocks to grandfather clocks and cuckoos.

I didn’t realize how special the experience was until I was older.

Seller spotlight Rich Reichbach

From lawyering to reselling on eBay

My first selling experience on eBay was in college. I started listing some of the cast-off watches my dad was buying in his shop and selling them to the world.

Then in law school, I learned to research and realized I wanted to apply my research skills to watches. Similar to law, there’s an ocean of knowledge to be attained about watches. And the difference between small details can be big dollars.

I began selling full-time on eBay in 2004. Still in law school, I was also working in the watch shop with my father; I was eager to learn the ins and outs of the watch business, and I saw eBay as the future. I started my dad’s eBay store as Mark's Time and launched my own store, TimeTitans, when I left his shop in late 2009.

My dad’s watch shop closed when he passed away suddenly and far too young at age 63. I had to close it up as I wasn’t living in the New York area at the time. I miss him and think of him every day.

"We brought the brand Welsbro back to life – it's a way for us to make watches we want to wear." – Rich Reichbach, Seller

Riding the wave of watch trends

Watches are an amazing engineering feat, and they're also design items. They cycle much like fashion and go in and out of style. Fashion has trends, and watches have trends. One style or feature becomes popular and then it’s copied by other brands. Being a watch dealer is like being an archaeologist, I can tell what decade a watch is from.

People ask me, what watch should I buy? And my response is always the same. You have to like what you buy. I can't tell you what to like — it's so individual. That's like trying to tell you what painting you should like. You should always buy what moves you.

Seller spotlight Rich Reichbach

Spending time with the watch community

There’s always been a watch community, but when I was a kid, it was small. My dad's mentor was actually number two in the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors. 

When I was a teenager going to watch shows with my dad, it was only the “greatest generation” guys who attended looking for American Railroad watches. These days, the watch community is huge. It attracts more “normal people” and has niches for everyone, whether you’re into Independence, Omega, or Rolex. It's an incredible hobby, and almost a black hole. There’s so much to know, where do you even begin?

There's been a real push by brands and by the industry itself to be more inclusive to women, which is a great development for the watch community. It’s still a ways off from where it should be, but getting better. We’re seeing more women in our Welsbro Instagram following – maybe 25% women to 75% men.

"My strategy on eBay Live is to offer good deals." – eBay Seller

Launching his own micro watch brand

I revitalized a watch brand with my wife that's now led by her. Welsbro was a watch producer from the ‘20s through the early ‘70s that went out of business with the quartz crisis. We brought the brand back to life as a pet project, and it’s a way for us to make the watches we want to wear, which is really cool. The watches are hand-assembled in Japan and have Swiss vintage parts.

It’s a micro brand, so we do very small, limited-edition releases, 12 or 30 watches at a time. Our next watch will be a chronograph – we're gonna make 40 pieces in two colorways and hopefully release them in September. After that we’re looking to release a diver. We've been lucky enough to have good publicity in various watch media outlets so we’re thankful for that.


Winding up his offerings on eBay Live

eBay Live is a great medium. It's kind of like Twitch, so it's a streaming platform, but you can sell your items live while streaming, making it incredibly interactive. It’s remarkable to be able to accept real time offers. I did maybe $30,000 of business during this last one, which was heavily promoted by eBay.

My strategy on eBay Live is to offer good deals so people want to attend live and snag them. Even if I offer the items at their wholesale price, it works out well for me. If I can sell inventory that's been sitting around and not moving, then great! I want to pass along good deals and sell as many watches as possible.

Seller spotlight Rich Reichbach

A heart that ticks for watches

I don’t think of myself as a salesman, I think of myself as an evangelist. I love watches. I'm genuinely excited about watches after a lifetime of being around them. They still fascinate me. I still collect them. And I find that when I radiate that genuine love it helps me to sell them. It's not forced or fake or phony. I can always talk about them and it doesn't feel like work.

If you want to connect, the best place to find me is through my eBay shop, TimeTitans. That's where I sell. I'm in Los Angeles, and I'm super easy to get a hold of and communicate with. I'm always happy to show stuff and find a way to meet people where they’re at. 

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