PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y., June 18, 2019 –Traditional watches once again captured nearly two-thirds of industry dollars in Q1 2019. While smartwatch sales surpassed that of traditional watches during the 2018 holiday quarter, traditional watches have otherwise represented the majority of the market’s annual sales, according to the March 2019 Watch Total Market Report from The NPD Group.
“Traditional, stand-alone watches are asserting their relevance in a changing market,” said Reginald Brack, watches and luxury industry analyst, The NPD Group. “While smartwatches deliver seemingly endless capabilities, and continue to be an important source of growth for the overall watch market, they aren’t replacing the value many consumers still place on traditional timepieces.”
Consumers spent more than $9 billion on watches in the 12 months ending March 2019, nearly $5 billion of which was on traditional, standalone watches. While traditional watches are facing some growth challenges, there are segments delivering significant dollar gains to the industry. Sales of mechanical and 40mm watches both grew double-digits over the past year. Watches incorporating precious metals also grew double-digits in the last 12 months, due in part to challenges with sourcing many popular stainless steel models.
“Consumers are focused on more manageable sized, precious metal watches, and the human-powered mechanical options are outperforming their battery-powered brethren,” said Brack. “The consumer is becoming better educated about the work, craftsmanship and detail involved in creating and manufacturing a living, breathing mechanical movement, resulting in an exciting opportunity for manufacturers.”
The Watch Total Market Report provides a holistic market view of wholesale watch sales, category market sizing, and organic category brand growth over time. This report combines the best of NPD’s data assets, including NPD’s Retail Tracking Service point-of-sale (POS) information from the Luxury, Sports, and Tech practices, Checkout E-commerce, point of sales for Watch and sales estimates for Non-participating Brands. Note: Does NOT include Fitness Tracker volume.