the Luxury Watch market has a strong track record
The luxury watch industry is well protected with high barriers to entry and a track record of consistent long term growth, underpinned by sustained investment and elevated innovation.
The Group estimates global retail sales of luxury watches were approximately £37.3 billion in 2021 (£28.3 billion), including the Swiss market, repairs and the contribution from non-Swiss luxury watch brands.
Luxury watches have continued to be supported by long term increases in prices, with the average selling price of Swiss watch exports (wholesale) generating a 21-year CAGR of +4.0% (2021 vs 2000).
Watches at the luxury end of the market have outperformed lower priced segments and represent 93% of the value of global Swiss watch exports in 2021.
disciplined distribution management through Selective DISTRIBUTION agreements
Distribution of luxury watches takes place under Selective Distribution Agreements, strict legally binding contracts entered into with brands. These are ordinarily limited by geography and ensure retailers maintain strict presentation standards. Selective distribution agreements enable brands to manage the number of points of sale and qualitative criteria on retailer approval. Product presentation and customer experience are closely monitored by the brand owners.
Globally, the retail market for luxury watches is predominantly comprised of a large volume of small retailers.
global BRANDS HAVE SUPPLY DRIVEN GROWTH
For the total luxury watch industry, demand has increased at a faster rate than production, in part reflecting the labour-intensive nature of watchmaking and its dependence on highly skilled watchmakers in Switzerland. Long term growth has been underpinned by increased average selling price (ASP), positive mix effects and limited volume increases.
Luxury watch brand owners are made up of major independents, large groups and smaller independents as can be seen below. Our Group provides the largest selection of luxury watches covering a wide range of prices and consumer preferences, including the largest and best known brands alongside smaller independent brands.
We stock confidently which provides our clients with a greater width and depth of availability, the table opposite shows the breakdown of the Group's brand partners.
loyal, Diverse, multi-generational cLIENT base
Luxury watches attract a set of shoppers who can become repeat clients, spanning age, income groups and genders.
Showroom design, location, marketing and client service of the Group appeal to a broad demographic audience.
continuous PRODUCT INNOVATION and advancement
Luxury watches are characterised by a focus on product innovation and advancement which are normally introduced at prestigious watch fairs in Switzerland. In the UK and the US, there is a strong preference for sports models with the key brands consistently investing to ensure the highest degree of technical (diver, aviation and chronograph) specifications.
This year saw the return of physical watch fairs, with Watches and Wonders Geneva, where exciting new products were launched, accompanied by relevant marketing support.
During the pandemic, the luxury watch industry has been resilient and agile, recovering from the closure of production facilities during lockdown in 2020.