As we live in a society that becomes ever more dependent on technology, have we lost the art of buying and wearing watches not just as magnificent timepieces, but as beautiful pieces of investment jewellery too?
What (if anything) do luxury watchmakers need to do to continue to stay relevant and fresh in a world that is becoming more dominated by smartphones and other mobile devices?
What precipitated the need for watches in the first place?
The wristwatch came into being during the First World War. They were originally worn by soldiers in order that they had an easy and convenient way to tell the time.
At the end of the war, the style became adopted increasingly by the man on the street and over the decades that followed turned into a practical, everyday object into a luxury fashion item, which wasn’t just admired for being able to tell the time, but for it’s often expensive design too.
When we think of quality watches we often think of two different countries, China and Switzerland. However, during the noughties the global watch industry, including the luxury end saw a massive dip in sales and popularity.
The last year or so has seen a resurgence, so what has the luxury watch market done to entice people back to buying quality, lasting timepieces?
Is demand finally on the increase?
Last year saw the first global increase in watch sales after a decline in the period up to 2017. The blame for the decline was placed on slow global economic growth combined with major terror attacks occurring in both France and Germany.
These factors married with the increase in the number of people investing in smartphones and smartwatches meant that the desire for traditional luxury timepieces slumped somewhat.
As of 2019, there looks to have been something of a turnaround and now, sales are slowly increasing again with more wise buyers and watch enthusiasts looking at investing in quality brands like MontBlanc Watches, to make investment purchases that will last a lifetime.
Younger generations aren’t interested in watches
However, one small fly in the ointment seems to be that younger people are eschewing traditional watches in favour of smartphones and smartwatch devices. This does pose something of a problem, but isn’t seen as something that is insurmountable. In fact, some brands have tried to capitalise on this by introducing retro digital watches at affordable prices which are seen as a fashion accessory youngsters want to wear.
Watch brands are now having to adapt to keep up with all the advancements in technology that have occurred over the last few years. Many experts rightly saw smartwatches as gamechangers, and indeed they are, but it has come somewhat at the expense of traditional, luxury watches. Some manufacturers and jewellery retailers have a more negative view of how they have altered the watch market globally.
In response to this, watchmakers are now building new functions into analogue watches to give their wearer the best of both worlds.
In short, luxury watch brands are now really trying to up their game (and succeeding) in a world that has moved on immeasurably over the last century. Time really is of the essence for them, now more than ever.