At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were issues with the supply chain that disrupted distribution and sales of watches. For example, multiple leading watch brands, such as Rolex, Patek Philip, and Hublot, suspended manufacturing and new product launches in 2020.
Basic watches were negatively affected by the closure of stores at shopping malls, and even in 2021, with these open, reduced traffic and budget-restrictions are hampering growth. Lower-income consumers are even less likely to spend on non-essential items like new watches, even less expensive ones, during hard times.
Rolex maintained its lead in watches in 2020, thanks to its iconic, luxury Rolex brand. The player is followed by The Swatch Group Far East Distribution in second place, which benefits from its vast and significant portfolio of high-profile brands, including Swatch, Omega, Longines, Tissot, Mido, and Tiffany & Co.
Watches is considered a category of non-essential items and will thus continue to see limited growth in the coming years, as the shrunken economy continues to affect purchasing power. Thus, as the negative impacts of the pandemic linger, the growth of watches is expected to gradually decline, although it will remain positive.
Smartwatches look set to become a trend throughout COVID-19 and beyond. Although the COVID-19 environment has dampened the growth in watches, the relatively free movement of Taiwanese consumers means that watches have remained essential items for practical purposes.
Over the forecast period, it is expected that the e-commerce will continue to develop and grow in the category, appealing to consumer with strong price promotions and advertising via social media. Partnerships between brands and celebrities or social media influencers are also likely to help drive demand and generate greater appeal.
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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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