How EsperLuxe’s founder transformed his passion into a successful business

Behind EsperLuxe is Boston-based entrepreneur Christopher Daaboul whose business is making great strides in luxury watch retail, first starting out as an online platform and now expanding with a physical presence.

In the bustling world of horology, there exists a constellation of independent watchmaking stars who have been overshadowed by the glamor of mainstream brands. Enter EsperLuxe, which stands out as a sanctuary for independent watchmakers.


It was founded in 2019 by Christopher Daaboul, who, with a pioneering spirit and social-media-first mantra, embarked on a mission to carve a niche within the watch community — a singular realm where the story behind every tick is as intricate as the mechanisms that power it.

The affable founder has been fascinated with watches since he was a young boy. After all, his father had been in the watch business for about 30 years in Lebanon where Daaboul lived with his family.


However, the war and poor economy caused the business to collapse, leading to the Daabouls’ move to the U.S. in 1997 to start anew.

Boston-based entrepreneur Christopher Daaboul
Boston-based entrepreneur Christopher Daaboul

“My background is in hospitality, specifically luxury hotels. I also grew up in my parents’ restaurant, which they started 26 years ago in the U.S..


“From day one, my goal was always to provide a level of hospitality and service comparable to the world’s best hotels. Purchasing an indie watch is supposed to be a great experience and fun, and that’s exactly what EsperLuxe aims to provide,” he explains.

How an encounter with indie watches got EsperLuxe started

The senior Daaboul eventually got back into watches by founding a small company, with Christopher joining in. However, he didn’t quite enjoy the wholesale side of the business, until a trip to Baselworld 2014 changed his trajectory.

“I was finishing up my meetings at the fair and stumbled into ‘The Palace’, a circus tent-like structure housing independent watch brands. It completely blew my mind!

De Bethune DB25 Perpetual Calendar in a salmon dial

“There were so many watchmakers and creators, who were on the cutting edge of design and mechanics. There was so much creativity within the group, and it was very personal talking to the watchmakers with their creations in hand.


“Here, I discovered MB&F, De Bethune, MCT, HYT, and across the way at the hotel were Urwerk and Akrivia and Ludovic Ballouard. That was an eye-opening moment for me, I knew then that I wanted to work with these brands and the people behind them,” Daaboul reveals.

Kudoke 2 Grüner Wald Special Edition

After that fateful Palace experience, Daaboul took about five years to sort out how to begin working with the “indies”. He explains, “While very few retailers were placing emphasis on social media back then, we built our reputation through the platform, particularly through Instagram and YouTube.


“That’s how we built up our initial presence in the industry and how we began to form relationships with collectors and enthusiasts of indies.”

The early days were an intricate dance of forging bonds with independent artisans, who recognized in EsperLuxe a kindred soul with a penchant for narratives expressed through tasteful imagery and rich, educational content.

Pioneers like De Bethune, Urwerk, Akrivia, Arnold & Son, and Angelus saw a reflection of their own dedication in Daaboul’s ethos. “I’d bring my clients to Switzerland to see the factories and watchmakers over for dinners in the U.S.

“From there, everything has been a function of consistency in building new relationships, providing high quality service to customers who trust us, and handling some of the indie market’s most exceptional timepieces. As a result, EsperLuxe became an omnipresent platform with clients all over the world,” elaborates Daaboul.


An authorized retailer of about 10 brands today, EsperLuxe is also this year’s official sponsor of the Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants (AHCI) and has taken on two up-and-coming watchmakers, Sylvain Pinaud and Felipe Pikullik, in the past year.

At the core of EsperLuxe’s curation is a stringent vetting process, ensuring that every brand endorsed embodies the pinnacle of horological craftsmanship, the overall ability to service timepieces in the future, and longevity. Daaboul explains, “Since we’re in this game for the long run, we are constantly trying to figure out what brands and watchmakers will ensure that our seal of approval lasts the test of time.


“It’s this commitment that led to banner years of consistent growth, a testament to the concept’s viability and the enduring allure of social media prowess.”

The importance in building both online and physical presence

Daaboul says of the success of EsperLuxe so far, “Considering that we’ve been in business for four years, the biggest achievement is the fact that we’ve had consecutive banner years. 2019 was a proof-of-concept year, in which we survived and found a footing through social media, while 2020, 2021 and 2022 saw solid growth in every regard.”

Another major milestone is Daaboul’s recent foray into a brick-and-mortar presence — Tempvs: An EsperLuxe Gallery — with partner Date & Time in the Boston area. It marks a full-circle moment for EsperLuxe, melding the tangible with the virtual, enhancing its ability to cultivate relationships and championing the narrative of independent watchmaking.

Tempvs: An EsperLuxe Gallery at Date and Time 5 Concord Rd, Sudbury

Reminiscent of a chic yet refined abode, the gallery’s sophisticated neutral tones contrast beautifully against the incredible watches on display. What stands out here is the natural light that bathes the intimate lounge area where clients can view the watches up-close, creating an ambience that is warm and inviting.


“Rather than starting retail and moving into digital, we went the opposite way. Both sides of that coin are supposed to strengthen each other, and our physical retail collaboration is a massive upgrade for our ability to host collectors and build new relationships and provide a quality experience,” Daaboul adds.

It’s evident that EsperLuxe is not merely an entity, but a testament to a love shared with aficionados. Daaboul explains the pull of EsperLuxe, “I’m a collector at heart, so there’s really no separation between ‘us’ and the ‘watch community.’


“We follow indies closely; we’re always excited to see new watches whether we have the opportunity to handle them or not. A lot of our editorial is driven by curiosities that we have about a given independent watchmaker or some facet of history in the discipline.


“For that reason, our reputation is that we’re insiders in this space because we have a deep passion for it, above all else.”


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