High watches is set to experience a faster recovery than other categories within watches due to the resilient nature of the category, (which is historically known to bounce back after economical disturbances). In addition, the global value of exports for higher priced watches (more than 3,000 Swiss Francs) registered the lowest overall decline for all price groups in 2020.
Whilst the recovery trajectory for high watches remains optimistic, the same is not true for basic watches. The global value of exports for the lowest priced watches (less than 200 Swiss Francs) registered the highest overall decline in 2020.
The pandemic has accelerated the digitalisation of watch players as brands strive to remain relevant whilst store closures and social restrictions affect the in-store buying experience. As such, brands and retailers have begun to tap into online channels to continue engaging their consumers.
In the coming years, it is expected that industry players will seek to combine both physical and digital experiences to create seamless omnichannel consumer journeys. These will serve as long-term strategies for businesses and give them the flexibility to adapt to shifting sales landscapes.
In recent years, rising competition from smartwatches have threatened the growth of the traditional watch industry, especially for basic watches, mid quartz watches, and digital watches. The growing focus on holistic health and wellness among consumers has particularly boosted demand for smartwatches that contain health and fitness monitoring functions.
Whilst industry players have traditionally disassociated themselves from the pre-owned market, growing consumer interest in pre-owned watches has triggered a gradual shift in behaviour among brands and retailers with global players aiming to better consolidate control and distribution of their watch brands, as well as protect their brands’ equity. High consumer interest is driven by the increased affordability of pre-owned watches compared with new watches, as well as the availability of rare models from legacy brands such as Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet.
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Watches are timekeeping instruments usually worn on the wrist or carried as an accessory in a pocket. Includes wristwatches, pocket watches, and watch jewellery (gemstone-studded watches).See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Traditional Watches research and analysis database.
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