Technological sophistication, superior quality, enhanced designs, and craftsmanship. The global watch industry – led by many top-notch watch companies and watch brands – has always been focused on innovations and evolution that inspire consumers to spend more on luxurious watches. The demand for Swiss-made luxury watches remains high owing to rapidly growing economies and rising disposable income, especially in developing countries. Combine this with the emergence of innovative technologies and newer watch categories like smartwatches, the competition in the global watch market is fierce, with top watch brands competing on the basis of technology, design, and specifications. However, COVID-19 is having a notable impact on consumer spending, and like countless other industries around the world, the watch market will be feeling its impact this year.
Global Watch Market Analysis
The growing fashion-consciousness of consumers, increasing brand awareness, and the need for exclusivity are driving the growth of the global watch market. According to expert analysts at Technavio, the global watch market will grow at a CAGR of just 1% over the next five years, due largely to the impact of the coronavirus, which is responsible for a predicted drop in growth of over 12% during 2020. However, this CAGR will still translate to an increase of over $3 billion in market value by 2024.
In terms of geography, APAC held the largest share of the global watch market last year and is expected to dominate the industry for the next few years. This upward trend in the region is attributed to increased consumer propensity toward luxury products and the expanding middle-class population.
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Top 10 Watch Brands in the World by Market Share in 2020
Casio Computer, a Japanese electronics giant, has been a leading figure in the global watchmaking industry for decades. Casio has been an evolutionary brand in the watch industry with continual innovation and constant introduction of new product lines. The company owns some of the most prominent brands in the watch industry including G-Shock, Lineage, Oceanus, Edifice, Wave Ceptor, Databank, Youth Series, Pro-Trek, Casio sheen, and Casio Classic. Casio’s business strategy involves frequently updating its product lines and the introduction of offshoots of its well-known watch brands and other electronic products to spur sales.
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Founded in 1918, CITIZEN is a global watch brand with operations in over 100 countries around the world. The company produces watches that feature a range of technologies, including its Super Titanium material, radio-controlled timekeeping for a high degree of accuracy, Satellite Wave GPS to show the correct time no matter where the user is in the world, and Eco-Drive watches powered by light. CITIZEN is also partnered with Disney to produce watches themed on Marvel, Star Wars, and other Disney properties.
Fossil Group has a unique position in the global watch market thanks to its diverse portfolio of well-recognized and bestselling watch brands such as Relic, Fossil, Skagen Denmark, Zodiac, WSI, Misfit, Abacus, and Michele Watch, and licensed brands such as Burberry, Emporio Armani, Michael Kors, Tory Burch, Marc Jacobs, Chaps, and Armani Exchange. The company recently formed a global licensing agreement with BMW for designing and manufacturing BMW-branded smartwatches through 2023. Fossil Group is also developing a smartwatch portfolio that will offer more than 250 smartwatch styles, powered by Wear OS by Google.
LVMH, the luxury goods conglomerate which owns iconic brands like Bulgari, Celine, Chaumet, Dior, Fred, Hublot, Louis Vuitton, Tag Heuer, and Zenith, is dominating the global watch market with innovative designs and advanced technologies. LVMH recently launched a thinnest automatic tourbillon premium watch named Octo Finissimo Automatic Tourbillon that is limited to 50 pieces. The company also introduced the Big Bang Sapphire Tourbillon under its Hublot brand and Defy under the Zenith brand. In addition, LVMH celebrated the 55th anniversary of its Carrera line with a number of new watches.
Based in Switzerland and with operations around the world, Movado has been producing watches for well over 100 years. The company designs and manufacturers watches for brands such as Coach, Hugo Boss, Lacoste, Tommy Hilfiger, and Scuderia Ferrari along with its owned brands Concord, Ebel, MVMT, and Olivia Burton. Movado boasts over 100 patents and 200 international awards.
Ralph Lauren designs, manufactures, and distributes premium lifestyle products such as apparel, accessories, and home furnishings. Founded in 1967, the American company targets multiple price brackets and demographics and has significant influence over fashion trends. Ralph Lauren’s watch lines span a similar range of market segments, and includes fine jewelry watches, watches with western and automotive themes, sporting watches, and more.
Founded in 1988, Richemont is the most popular name in the luxury goods industry, with a strong position in the jewelry, writing instruments, and watch markets. The company has been dominating the premium watch industry with high-end brands such as Cartier, A. Lange & Sohne, Piaget, Montblanc, Roger Dubuis, IWC Schaffhausen, Baume & Mercier, and Jaeger-LeCoultre. Adding to its broad portfolio of brands, Richemont recently launched an eco-friendly watch brand, Baume, offering trendy timepieces for millennials at affordable prices. This is very rare from the company’s side to start an entry-level brand rather than acquiring from outside.
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Rolex, one of the biggest manufacturers of luxury watches, jewelry, and clocks, produces more than 2000 watches per day, sold in Switzerland and across the world. The company has been in business for more than a century and has a strong history of successful and innovative watch designs. Rolex was one of the first watch brands that introduced waterproof and watches that automatically change dates. Today, Rolex offers a wide range of Rolex watch models for different applications, such as the Rolex Submariner for swimmers, Rolex Daytona for Racers, Rolex Oysters, Rolex Cellini collection, and many more popular models.
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Global Watch Market Report 2020-2024
Seiko Watch Corporation began in 1881 in Japan selling and repairing watches and clocks. The company moved into manufacturing a decade later and in 1913 produced Japan’s first wristwatch. Since then, Seiko has been the official timer for multiple Olympic Games, manufactured the first e-ink watch, and created a timepiece specifically designed for spacewalks. Seiko’s brands include Astron, Prospex, Presage, Seiko, Seiko Premier, Coutura, and the company’s premium brand Grand Seiko.
The Swatch Group
The Swatch Group is the largest watchmaker in Switzerland, founded in a merger between three of the world’s biggest watch companies (Tissot, Omega, and ASUAG). The company has been in a strong position in the global watch industry since its inception through constant innovations in design and technology. The Swatch Group owns prestigious brands such as Rado, Omega, Tissot, Balmain, Certina, Hamilton, Swatch, Jaquet Droz, Glashütte Original, Blancpain, Harry Winston, and Breguet. The Swatch Group is a key manufacturer and seller of electronic systems that are widely used in watchmaking and other industry verticals.
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Global Watch Market Trends: Future of the Top Watch Brands
The customization of luxury watches is trending in the global watch market. Many third-party retailers across the world are offering the customization services to customers that involve modifying the bezels, dials, and bands. Perpetual Time, a company that provides watch customization services, offers diamond customization for top luxury watch brands in the world.
In addition, the increased penetration of the Internet and its access through personal computers, smartphones, and tablets has led to the popularity of online platforms for buying products across categories and watches are no exception to this. Vendors such as Swatch and Fossil have strong sales through Internet retailing, and this trend is expected to drive global watch market growth during the forecast period.
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