A new store specializing in upscale Swiss watches is the newest tenant in Ballston Common Mall.
Watchstyle opened in November because, as owner Eric Kim said, he was “desperate to get open for the holiday season.” He found, however, that the Ballston Mall didn’t experience quite the holiday rush that he expected. Business was steady, and remained steady after Christmas passed.
Kim offers Swiss-made watches that aren’t the most recognizable brands, but, as a former Liljenquist & Beckstead watch buyer, he says the products he offers are the “equal or better” quality and more affordable.
“The watch market has changed so much,” he told ARLnow.com last week, “Swiss watch prices have gone up a ludicrous amount with no real increase in quality.”
Watchstyle’s watches start at around $200 with Mondaine styles and go up from there. Kim said he’s the only Mondaine dealer in Virginia. He also offers watches from brands like Ball and Maurice Lacroix. Despite the Ballston Mall’s negative perception and imminent redevelopment, Kim thinks he found the right place to start his business.
“It was definitely risky, but this mall is surrounded by the right demographic for luxury watches,” Kim said. “The mall may not be ready, but the market is.”