The Mercari Academy

The first online academy dedicated to


They speak about Mercari Academy: 

They speak about Mercari Academy: 

How to find the right distributor? An agent? Kickstarter? Define pricing? Margins ? Stock, Exchange rates, Distribution 3.0...

Launching a brand is not only about producing watches. It is crucial to master the sales as well !  

Discover during 6 weeks a unique Masterclass that will make the difference for your business:

  • Select the right distributors according to your business model and learn how to make the most of your partnership
  • Become an expert negotiator to achieve the best prices and margins
  • Identify the top mistakes that beginners make so you avoid them
  • Master professional sales and planification tools
  • Increase your chances to reach the wrist of your potential customers
  • Distribution 3.0: explore new channels of distribution to reach out to the market  

DATES From September 28th until November 2nd, 2018. Weekly online workshop during 6 weeks  

PRICE US$650, 100% satisfied or your money back (see FAQ section)  


  • Entrepreneurs : launching their own watch brands
  • Directors : Willing to understand and master the complexity of international distribution and flow with the company's goal
  • Junior Sales Managers : who want to boost their career by acquiring the right sales techniques and tools to make the difference
  • Executives from other industries who want to understand the nuances and mechanics exclusive to the watch industry
  • Journalists & watch experts : who want a backstage pass to see what it takes to get watches from production to wrist


  • Weekly 2 hours workshop
  • Live video conference, remotely accessible to anyone in the world
  • Videos are then accessible online for those who were not able to participate live and/or willing to review
  • Private group on Facebook for the Masterclass participants, allowing them to exhange documents, information and networking
  • Outside Speakers and industry experts will offer insider information on various distribution topics

PROGRAM The Masterclass is built around 6 modules :

Module 1: Brand & products

Learn how to define your watch brand and products. Through a “sales point of view”, get a general understanding on how to position your brand, how to identify your competitors, and how to recognize the market dynamics that will affect your business. Review of current watch trends and relevant statistics.  

Module 2: Intermediaries

Learn how to correctly distinguish key intermediaries for your watch business and how to categorize their advantages, disadvantages, and expectations. Explore how to identify different market topologies and how to select the best channels for your watch business.  

Module 3: Services

Discover what services are expected with watch sales. An in-depth look at channel management best practices, the best ways to interact with other departments within your company, how to best manage stock and inventory, and key requirements for top-notch after sales service.  

Module 4: Sell & negotiate

Gain an in-depth understanding of business cockpits and essential tools to allow you to pilot watch sales worldwide. Learn best practices in watch business planning, forecasting, budgeting, sales cockpit, setting margins, drafting contracts, and adjusting prices.  

Module 5: Markets

Through my own personal experiences, gain a deeper understanding about various international markets and how their customs, traditions, and expectations impact your watch brand. Recognize the best ways to react to exchange rates, devaluations, and inflations. Get inside knowledge on corruption, criminality, economic sanctions, and other oftentimes “off-limit” subjects vital to the success of your watch brand.

Module 6: Digital distribution

Ride the next big wave of the digital revolution with distribution 3.0. As consumer behavior and purchasing habits change before our eyes, discover how to seek new opportunities for your watch brand. Uncover essential information on how to be first in line to reach untapped markets and how to create new sale prospects.  

Registration is now open and will close on September 25th a midnight.

Number of participants limited


* * BONUS * *

Participants to the Masterclass will benefit from the following :  

  • 120 min of personal coaching included 
  • Professional documents such as distribution agreement templates, margin calculation tools, benchmarking tools, and more
  • Business cockpit that will include business plans, sales statistics, budgeting, forecasting, and more  

Value for the participants: a fast track process to gain invaluable knowledge and documents that will save you thousands of dollars and priceless time  

Thomas Baillod Intl sales expert


Actually, I didn’t really need that third pair of sunglasses…  

Under the blazing Italian sun, I spent hours negotiating with the street vendors to reduce the price of pairs of sunglasses from 5000 to 4000 liras ($5 to $4). At just 10 years old, I was already sharpening my sales skills and did not back down until the sellers—either because of amusement or spite—agreed to my price. I happily accumulated a fairly large collection of sunglasses during my summer holidays in Italy!  

My passion for Watchmaking comes from La Chaux-de-Fonds, a city in the heart of the Swiss Watch Valley where I was born and raised. It was there where I developed a deep respect and great admiration for the centuries-old tradition of watchmaking. Even as a child, I often declared to anyone who would listen, “When I grow up, I will sell watches to the world.”

Here I am! Over the last 15 years, I have had the privilege to live out my passion by traveling the world selling timepieces that span a range of price points. I’ve been lucky to work with the best distributors, to have piloted subsidiaries, and to have established all kinds of sales channels a brand could use. I have a firm conviction that there is always a good reason why a brand reaches a higher level of success over others and why many fail on the “battle field.”  

After giving a lecture during the Master Luxe program at the Haute Ecole de Gestion de Genève recently, I realized a very important fact. There are countless courses on marketing, management, finance, and HR, but surprisingly, there are none focused on international sales! A sort of book of undisclosed recipes ("carnet de lait" in French) if you will, the secrets of how to take advantage of international sales and the ways to avoid dramatic consequences of uncontrolled distribution are jealously guarded by companies.  

It was at that moment that I decided to put my international sales experience, as well as my knowledge of many specific markets, in the hands of watch brands looking to “cross the bridge and conquer the markets”.  


What does "Mercari" mean ?  

In Latin, “Mercari” means “to trade” . The merchant (coming from mercari) is binding offer and demand. He is the vector allowing trade to happen.  

I've decided to sell online exclusively. What can I learn from this Masterclass? 

To quote a famous Swiss watch brand, "To break the rules, you must first master them.” While online sales channels may release you from traditional distributors and retailers, you will still have to deal with market rules and dynamics. Additionally, throughout this Masterclass, we will explore new and disruptive sales channel opportunities.  

I sell at a national level, not international. What can this Masterclass offer me?

Management of direct markets is a topic that we will discuss thoroughly, including channel management and dedicated sales files. Also, the structure of national distribution has plenty of similarities to the structure of international sales—for example, wholesalers are swapped out for distributors. Finally, understanding global mechanics can certainly help to understand local dynamics.  

I work in the luxury industry, but not in watches. How will this Masterclass help me?

Every industry has its own dynamics and specificities, however, watch business systems can be applied to most other luxury products. This industry has conquered the world and over centuries has developed a unique know-how on market penetration. Moreover, many topics that will be discussed in this Masterclass will be applicable to almost any other industry.  

Satisfied or your money back ?

If after the first session you realize that this Masterclass is not for you, you will be granted a total refund. However, bonuses will not be included in cases of refunds.  

Will I have the right to use the documents received during this Masterclass for my own project/company ?  

Yes, the documents will be free for your personal use only—not for resale. These documents and tools are a compilation of 15 years of field experience. They will save you a lot of time, money, and will save you from many bad experiences.

I am a CFO or Marketing Director. How will I benefit from this Masterclass?

As Aristotle once said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Since every department is connected to each other, creating true synergy can only be achieved when there’s a better understanding of what other teams within the company are trying to achieve. Better understanding of sales by non-sales departments will not only facilitate flow and collaboration, but will turn everyone’s attention to the company’s main objective—the turnover.

I’m a journalist or writer specialized in the watch business. Can I really learn something here?

No doubt you will have a deep understanding of the brands by way of their histories and watch collections. You know how to read between the lines of the FH statistics and how to extrapolate future trends. But how about a realistic view of markets and how brands face the dilemmas of world economic trends? We will run through a wealth of knowledge painting a true picture of the current status of the watch business, not available anywhere else.


As someone who has been working with the watch industry for some time, but always on the smartwatch side, I was very keen to better understand the intricacies of traditional watch distribution. I found out about this course on a watch blog and signed up without knowing too much what to expect. I was delighted with the outcome.

The content is of extremely high value - something you could only get from someone who has been working deep in the industry for an extensive period of time, and is willing to structure and share it in a pedagogical way. Thomas is extremely knowledgeable, a great presenter, and has put together very compelling and actionable material. I would really recommend this course to anyone passionate about watchmaking and/or working in the industry.  

Alex Grouet - Head of Wear OS Partnerships, EMEA - Google  

Thomas manages to break down both the essentials and specifics of watch- and luxury distribution on a global scale. The Mercari masterclass provided valuable insights, a deeper understanding, and network within the industry to both newcomers and experienced professionals. For that reason, I have no hesitation in providing my strongest recommendation to anyone considering this class.

Jonathan Kamstrup, co-founder of REC Watches  

I met Thomas during his course at the Executive MBA of the High School of Management (HEG) of Geneva. He presented the main part of the module "Luxury, International Strategies and Emerging Markets". We spent two exciting days on the theme of international watch distribution. Very well prepared and with solid experience of the field, Thomas has animated this program in an interactive and dynamic way.  

Being myself a professional watchmaker for more than 10 years, I currently support an industrial perimeter for a leading brand. Being unfamiliar with the field of sales, this program has brought me a lot. I now understand better the challenges, the tools for the development of the turnover and the qualities requested to succeed in this profession. During the course, there was a lot of discussion and debate about the evolution of the distribution and Thomas shared with us some valuable documents that help to better understand the work to be done (ex: business plan template).  

I recommend this program to anyone motivated to progress by acquiring a background centered on the international watch distribution. 

Yoann Démolis  


They speak about Mercari Academy:  

Questions? Let's discuss:

" What's the purpose of producing a watch if it remains in your stock? What's the purpose of elaborating marketing strategies if it's not ultimately to sell ? "

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© 2018 Thomas Baillod - Mercari Academy