The place to go to buy or sell your watch, regardless of budget, brand, age or requirements… That was the goal that was put in place all those years ago when starting KibbleWatches. The aim was to create something that hadn’t yet existed, something that would benefit both the consumer and the seller, that would be replicable in any industry. KibbleWatches has developed into what I had dreamt it would, having watches for sale from a few hundred pounds up to tens of thousands of pounds, from entry level Japanese brands up to the highest levels from the Swiss and German. This is only the beginning and this “My Story” page will change regularly with each new milestone and the many lessons I will learn. I would like to start with a “Thank you” for coming to my website, whether you are a regular customer, a first time buyer or seller with myself or just a browser, thank you for being a part of this journey.
KibbleWatches is a small company consisting of 1 person, me, James Kibble! I curate the watches you see on the website, photograph them, do the write ups (With help from my father, Nigel Kibble) and reply to any emails or messages sent! KibbleWatches has been in business for around 3 years and in that time I have sold, sourced and consigned many watches from all brands, budgets and ages. Being based online and operating within London, UK, I have the ability to sell all over the world and offer tailored service to those within travel distance of London.
This all began many years ago for me. Originally growing up in Leicester and starting out there, my interest for watches didn’t begin until I was 17 with a 1970s Citizen Eagle 7 that I purchased from Ebay for £13, I still own that watch today! At that time I was flipping burgers for the infamous Five Guys, and yes, even after working there for all that time I still love eating a burger from there! But with a working wage like that I certainly wasn’t buying too many watches, but the ones I did buy I cherished, to the point where I made a video on pretty much every single one of them on YouTube, you can still find those embarrassingly bad videos on YouTube with my crazy blue hair (Don’t ask!), I keep them there as a reminder of how this all began and how far I have come, I mean now I have normal hair, it’s a LONG way I have come! ;)
I realised pretty quickly that working with Watches is something I wanted to do, in what way I had no idea! I had always started "businesses" since I was young, whether it be when I was 13 painting Warhammer models for other people and having a little stand in the Games Workshop store in Leicester advertising “You provide the models and the paint, I paint them for free!” with a little tip box to the side… Being 13 everyone tipped, quite generously too! Or when I was 14 and started selling sweets at school, like most kids I got called in by the head teacher and told I could no longer Sell sweets, keyword there was "Sell" and this is when Yu-Gi-Oh & Pokemon cards were hot… So I started "trading" my sweets for the valuable cards and then selling those cards on my Dad's ebay and using his PayPal (Sorry Dad!) Thank you head teacher, it was FAR more profitable this way! I have always been keen to be my own boss, I always struggled with working for someone else knowing I couldn’t change certain things that I thought could be done better… Always preferred the idea of everything being on me, the great wins, my doing, the terrible failures and lessons learnt, my fault.
So at 19 after working in many forms of retail, fast food, warehouse, door-to-door (Yes I even did that! Windows for you, solar panels for you!) I decided it was time to put the spatula down and let someone take my legendary status as “Burger Master” and try and get into Watches! At this point my YouTube channel was getting about 10,000 views a month, I had managed to buy an Oris from a very generous viewer (Now longest time client and friend), so I thought with an Oris on wrist, YouTube community and knowledge growing by the day I would be a great fit for most retail stores… Every single place turned me down for “Lack of industry experience”, I was devastated. So I had to sit down and reconsider that maybe getting into working with Omega, Rolex and Patek to begin probably wouldn't happen… Next day I walked into House of Fraser in Leicester (It was an outlet and no longer exists) and went to the Watch Station concession, 3 counters long and all rammed full with watches ranging from Fossil, Skagen, Michael Kors to Citizen and Bulova as their top ranges… I asked to speak to a manager, suit on, blue hair at the ready, also stitches hanging out of my head and ear (Yes, another long story…) and asked “I would like a job” and went on to explain who I am, what knowledge I have, my YouTube channel and everything in great detail… Turned out I didn’t need to as they were desperate for anyone, hired me that day and so began my journey in watches!
This was the start of it all, the outlet soon closed down and went out of business so I packed up and moved from Leicester to High Wycombe with 2 weeks notice at 18 years old so that I could continue to work within the industry. Soon after moving I managed to get my way into a more reputable and higher end retailer of Watches and Jewellery stocking brands like Tudor and TAG Heuer, it was my first true step into the industry after nearly 2 years of hard work. From there I worked my way up that retailer and jumped at the opportunity to move again, this time to Bracknell for a new store opening. From there to Stratford Westfield in London, all this was done in the space of less than 2 years!
I had achieved a lot working at retail and was consistently a top performer in the stores I was in but also for the company itself, I had worked in small towns and one of their busiest stores, I had achieved most of what I could as a sales person and had no intention of working my way up the ranks as I knew that "KibbleWatches" was what I truly wanted to do, it was time to look at changing things up, taking a big jump! That led me to move to Guildford and work for one of the largest watch and jewellery auctions in Surrey and the UK. My time there was great and I learnt a lot, handling anywhere from 200 to 400 watches every single month, learning the ins and outs of the auction world and every aspect of auctioneering from the collection of stock, to the display of stock in a catalogue to actually auctioneering itself. However this move out of London didn’t work too well with my own business, most of my clients and business was being done in London and therefore the decision was made to go back to retail in Stratford Westfield and continue growing the business.
That leads us to Mid October 2019, my first Watch Show is upcoming in Brighton (Brighton Watch Show hosted by Paul Thorpe), this would be my first time having a table at a watch show and actually selling stock. Business was going well and I had been doing this on the side of a full-time position for years at this point, the decision was made just before Brighton that I would go full-time into KibbleWatches. What a scary move that was, it was very sudden too. But so far it has been the turn of events that has pushed me harder than I knew possible and made me take leaps I thought were not possible! The Brighton Watch Show was fantastic, sold many watches and met many great people!
Soon after I got my office in Clerkenwell, London and the business has been steadily growing since. COVID-19 definitely had an impact on the business but I have been incredibly fortunate to survive through this difficult period that could not have been done without my incredible customer base and close friends within the industry. Now we are starting to see things slowly open back up and a new "Normal" develop my focus has been on growing the stock available and reaching an even wider audience. The office is nearly complete and soon I will be shooting videos from here and providing regular content. I have also started very basic watchmaking, stripping, cleaning and putting together watches, now don't worry, all my stock is serviced by a professional and not myself! But I do want to continue to learn more and see how far I can take it.
Thank you for reading “My Story”, there is a lot more to my story than these few words, maybe one day I will share a more indepth version! I look forward to the next milestone and the next update of this. Let the journey begin.