Like jewellery, watches is also set to experience a resurgence among high income earners in 2021 who continue to be unable to spend money on international travel and on consumer foodservice, among other activities. However, some of largest watch exports from Swiss companies experienced a decline in 2020 due to a drop in disposable incomes, with this set to continue into 2021.
Ongoing travel restrictions in place since 2020 boosted interest among consumers in investing in luxury items such as watches in 2021. Many consumers who saved money during the pandemic due their inability to book holidays or dine out in high end restaurants have begun to look for alternative ways to treat themselves, with many buying luxury timepieces.
With the bulk of watch sales taking place through jewellery and watch specialist retailers and department stores prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the closure of these retail channels under government-mandated lockdowns had a major effect on sales of watches in 2020, with this continuing into the first half of 2021 due to the ongoing presence of the virus. This stimulated a dramatic rise in the share of e-commerce.
With a fairly fragmented competitive landscape, led by Rolex, due to its association with luxury and social status, producers of watches will continue to seek out different consumer segments to widen their target audience over the forecast period, including expanding into different age groups. For instance, the launch of basic and mid watches brand Citizen’s Captain Marvel in the latter part of the review period capitalised on the film opening in the Philippines and related merchandise, while Casio G-Shock proclaimed the first-ever Filipino-designed limited edition watch strap after running a national competition.
More established brands are set to enter smartwatches as more consumers are expected to appreciate the functionality of these products. Added to this will be the increasing number of health-conscious millennials, who are one of the main target audiences of smartwatches.
Industry players are set to increasingly adopt changes in their marketing strategies. Given that the watches category is heavily dependent on travel and tourism, the category is expected to adapt and strategize more on marketing its products to local consumers, at least until the pandemic recedes at the global level.
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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 Watches research and analysis database.
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