After the double-digits drop experienced in 2020, luxury timepieces will start to recover in 2021. The category suffered during the national lockdowns (the first from March 2020 to May 2020, the second from October 2020 to the spring 2021) as this necessitated the closure of all non-essential retail outlets in France, preventing in-store sales during these times.
Sales of luxury timepieces are strongly corelated with the flow of tourists from far-off countries, especially Chinese tourists. Even though most category products are Swiss brands, foreign tourists still prefer to buy them in France as they enjoy the experience and status of having bought a luxury product in Paris.
Results are extremely disparate in the luxury timepieces competitive landscape with some brands seeing a decline of up to half of their value sales in 2020, whilst others see only a single-digit decline. The biggest losers are brands such as Longines (one of the best-selling luxury timepieces brands in France and Europe) and Piguet which target nearly half their sales towards holidaying Chinese tourists.
Even though luxury timepieces is not expected to recover to pre-COVID-19 sales until the second half of the forecast period, the trend for self-indulgence is a positive sign for the category going into the forecast period. The self-indulgence trend is expected to target millennial consumers especially, who are more likely to look at luxury timepieces as treats for themselves than other consumers.
Two indirect competitors that could pose a significant obstacle for luxury timepieces are non-luxury timepieces and connected sports watches. Since 2019, Apple Watch has totally surpassed the production of Switch watches with a growing demand seen from affluent consumers for these technologically advanced wearables.
Sales of second-hand luxury timepieces have boomed in recent years and are only set to continue growing over the forecast period. For those eager to own a beautiful watch, the wider availability of second-hand products has created a good way to purchase.
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This is the aggregation of luxury men's and women's luxury timepieces.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Luxury Timepieces research and analysis database.
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