Watchmaking: moving more towards online and pre-owned

A man trying a watch on his wrist.

(02.11.2022) The outlook for the watch industry in 2022 is favorable. According to a study by consulting firm Deloitte, nearly 57% of executives in the sector expect good results this year, despite ongoing conflicts and geopolitical tensions.

However, the situation remains more strained than last year. In 2021, over three quarters (77%) of those surveyed said they were optimistic about the performance of the watchmaking business, 20 points more than in 2022. In addition, nearly 80% of respondents say that the war in Ukraine and geopolitical tensions between the United States and China are clouding the outlook for the Swiss watch industry.

In the longer term, the future of the sector will inevitably involve online commerce: two out of five consumers prefer to buy on the Internet. "According to our estimates, the share of watches purchased online should double to 30% by 2030," says Karine Szegedi, co-author of the study.

In addition, the pre-owned market is gaining ground and attracts nearly one third (31%) of all consumers in the market and nearly half (48%) of millennials and Generation Z customers. Customers' reasons for choosing the pre-owned market range from "the possibility of affording a luxury item at an affordable price" (44%) to "the desire to acquire a discontinued model" (29%), to "environmental considerations" (21%).

Among manufacturers, the secondary market is also perceived positively by more than 70% of respondents, who see strong growth potential as well as a positive impact on brand perception and valuation.

On the client side, nearly a quarter of buyers (23%) consider the purchase of a watch as an investment. Among them, 36% would like to resell their timepiece at a higher price and 33% believe that watches are a good way to diversify their investment portfolio.


Last modification 02.11.2022

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