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Watch Retailer Secures $34 Million Investment

Houston-based Newwatch Co., which calls itself the largest online watch retailer, said it has received a $34 million investment from three leading technology investment firms, Benchmark Capital, Sequoia Capital and Bowman Capital Management.

The company also announced a site name change to Ashford.com.

The new capital will be used to fund an expansive marketing campaign as the company broadens its focus to include vintage watches and other fashion accessories. The company said the campaign will articulate themes that Ashford.com will stand for--"selection, trust and an outstanding customer experience."

Newwatch founder and CEO James Whitcomb said the name change reflects a new direction for the company.

"We'll be adding additional products and services over the next few months--the name change supports this expansion," he said.

The company chose Ashford.com because "Ashford" evokes trust, stability, comfort and an old British feel. Newwatch carries more than 6,000 watches from 60 manufacturers.

"We thought the idea of selling watches and fashion accessories on the Web was a huge opportunity," said Benchmark partner Kevin Harvey. "The company will continue to broaden the product line and provide customers the same quality experience as they've had with watches. Newwatch has a management team with the capabilities to secure market leadership."



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