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Consumers Choosing Higher-Priced Watches

Jan 30, 2020 9:27 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Higher-priced luxury timepieces have gained popularity among consumers in the past five years, according to a report by Watches of Switzerland.

Timepieces valued above GBP 10,000 ($13,073) represented 37% of the group’s sales in the men’s market in 2019, compared with 34% in 2014, the jeweler reported Thursday in its 2019 Luxury Timepiece Market Trends Report. Those priced between GBP 5,000 ($6,542) and GBP 10,000 have risen to a 36% share versus 33% five years ago, while the same price category has jumped even further for women’s watches, growing to 40% from 33% in 2014. Purchases of timepieces under GBP 5,000 have decreased.

When it comes to the material used to make the watch, steel dominates for both genders. Of the timepieces the company sold in 2019, 42% of men’s and 40% of women’s watches were made of steel. A combination of steel and gold was the second most popular, rising to 20% in 2019 in the men’s category from 13% in 2014, and to 39% from 35% for women’s watches. Timepieces made from solid gold or leather became less dominant over the five-year period.

The face color most preferred by men is black, followed by dark blue. Those two choices accounted for 61% of sales in 2019. Women, on the other hand, are moving away from classic colors, including black, white and silver, with their share of purchases dropping to 66% from 74% over the period. Fresh color choices gaining in popularity include pink, champagne, blue and brown, rising to 31% in 2019 versus 23% five years ago.

Women still prefer diamond-set dial markings with 40% choosing that style, while Roman, Arabic and baton remained less popular.

Size does matter to women, with a “pronounced” increase in females purchasing large case sizes, while smaller ones are in rapid decline, Watches of Switzerland noted.

“The trend of women buying men’s watches continues to increase,” the company said. “Gender classifications of watches is increasingly less relevant today.”

The timepiece maker, which entered the US market with its acquisition of Mayor’s jewelry stores in 2014, has plans for a major expansion. It will open seven new stores in the country this year, it added.

Image: Watches with champagne and pink faces. (Watches of Switzerland)
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Tags: Luxury Timepiece Market Trends Report, Rapaport News, Watches of Switzerland
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