The ever present trend watch is as widespread as ever but it surely’s essential for jewellers to remain in tune with market shifts to make sure this dependable merchandise stays profitable. ANGELA TUFVESSON reviews.
In jewelry circles, the style watch is considerably of an anomaly – it isn’t timeless; it’s not proof against passing fads; it’s not handed down by way of generations. As an alternative, the style watch is unashamedly an indication of the occasions, a pattern automobile that makes use of way of life cues to venture id and it appears shoppers can’t get sufficient of those reasonably priced timepieces.
Over the previous few years, there was an upward shift in shopper demand for trend watches characterised by understated types.
The brash, blingy watches of the previous have been changed by glossy, easy designs that mirror genuine existence. This pattern exhibits no indicators of abating so it’s important that jewellers sustain with refined market adjustments which can be altering the way in which shoppers buy trend watches.
Right here’s a style of what’s in retailer for trend watches.
Smooth, utilitarian designs from the likes of Daniel Wellington are as widespread as ever, based on John Rose, basic supervisor of West Finish Assortment, which distributes the model together with others together with Christian Paul and Olivia Burton.
“There isn’t a doubt that the ‘bling’, which was so widespread just a few years again, is not on pattern,” Rose says. “Easy, traditional styling is the place the market is experiencing its biggest success in the mean time. Daniel Wellington embodies classical minimalism completely.”
Certainly, Rose notes that Daniel Wellington achieved a 56 per cent enhance in gross sales in Australia and New Zealand in 2016.
The flexibility inherent in easy designs is a serious promoting level of trend watches, states Simon Garber, director of Cluse distributor Coronary heart & Grace. “Basic minimalist types appear to be extra widespread than ever,” Garber says. “The flexibility of easy design is vital and, with colour-coordinated interchangeable straps in leather-based or stainless-steel mesh, there’s the enchantment of having the ability to match with any outfit and magnificence.”
David Faraday, managing director of Oozoo Timepieces and Dukudu distributer Hipp, agrees.
“As a result of they’re traditional and versatile, [fashion watches are] capable of be worn with a higher number of outfits. They make a powerful assertion concerning the wearer’s good style whereas nonetheless being understated,” he says.
After all, the market isn’t stagnant and there are noticeable adjustments in some areas.
“There’s been a shift in the direction of extra variations in color, textures and supplies similar to mom of pearl and colored leather-based straps,” Faraday provides.
Jeanette Sceats, managing director of Pierre Cardin provider Instyle Watches, says though understated, easy types stay robust, the model’s newest iterations have been injected with trendy accents.
“The minimalist, chic-yet-simple watch has continued to take the lead available in the market,” Sceats states, including, “Pierre Cardin watches have developed these explicit types with mirrored dials and crystal accents.”
Rose says probably the most important new pattern that has occurred prior to now 12 months is the emergence of patterned dials, which could be seen in manufacturers similar to Olivia Burton and Ted Baker.
“This new female tackle watch design is influenced by floral patterns that prime designers are displaying on catwalks in New York, Paris and London,” he explains. “It provides the watch a private contact and exemplifies the idea watch is a trend accent and an expression of your individual private type.”
On the different finish of the spectrum, Sceats says gender-neutral types are additionally widespread.
“Jewellers are specializing in extra of a unisex type – types which have that potential to cross over from male to feminine are placing in minimalistic design with some extent of element. This additionally opens the type to a broader viewers.”
Massive isn’t all the time higher and, together with stocking glossy and easy designs, Garber says jewellers ought to pay explicit consideration to altering measurement preferences, particularly amongst girls’s watches.
“Over the previous yr, we’ve seen the start of a transfer from the favored, outsized girls’s watch to smaller types,” he explains. “The shift started with fashion-forward designers primarily in Europe, and now we see them gaining popularity within the wider market right here in Australia and New Zealand.
“As there’s growing demand for smaller faces in trend watches, it’s essential jewellers supply the most well-liked color mixtures within the smaller face sizes in addition to the confirmed outsized types.” Garber says Cluse affords two smaller variations to the favored 38 mm diameter case: 33 mm and 24 mm.
Ken Abbott, managing director of Timesupply, which distributes Danish Design and Jacob Jensen, agrees.
“Watch diameters have stabilised at a extra user-friendly measurement and we’re seeing elevated gross sales with Danish Design in smaller-sized instances, significantly for ladies’s watches,” he says.
To maintain up with this pattern, Abbott suggests jewellers carry 40 mm case sizes for women and men in quite a lot of types and hues, together with a group of smaller instances with metallic or mesh bracelets for ladies.
No dialogue about trend watches is full with out mentioning the business’s most important branding device: Instagram. It’s onerous to recollect how suppliers and retailers marketed to the lots earlier than the arrival of the photo-sharing behemoth.
“For the youthful technology, Instagram is the brand new Westfield – shoppers look to Instagram to be impressed, knowledgeable and to buy,” says Phil Edwards, managing director of Duraflex Group Australia, which distributes manufacturers together with Jag, Police and Thomas Sabo. Together with a need for personalisation and standing, Edwards says Duraflex has recognized expertise as one of many greatest traits influencing the alternatives shoppers make about trend watches.
Larry Porter, CEO of Ice Australasia, which distributes Ice-Watch and Henry London, says social media platforms like Instagram are highly effective as a result of they create model consciousness in addition to enhance gross sales.
Simply as shopper preferences and watch types change, so too does the way in which shoppers use Instagram. Claire Beale, program supervisor of the Bachelor of Arts (Textile Design) at RMIT College, says endorsements by common individuals – or minor celebrities who purport to be vaguely common – more and more carry extra weight now than paid superstar endorsements.
“Social media is changing a complete lot of different conventional advertising and marketing channels,” Beale says. “Persons are residing the life and self-reporting what they like, and it’s one thing that buyers are more likely to place belief in and consider.
“A platform like Instagram that focuses on high quality photos and quick textual content appears extra dependable as one thing you’ll be able to interpret your self. For those who’re following somebody on Instagram that you simply actually like they usually say they acquired a implausible new watch final week, you’re already picturing your self as being a part of that individual’s way of life.”
Certainly, when mannequin Kendall Jenner posted a picture of herself sporting a Daniel Wellington watch to her 75 million Instagram followers, the picture obtained 2.7 million likes and 113,700 feedback.
The consequence? West Finish Assortment bought out of the timepiece inside 24 hours.
Nearer to residence, Rose says Australian manufacturers similar to Christian Paul, which has a ‘big’ native social media following, are additionally capable of affect shopper behaviour instantly by way of Instagram.
“Christian Paul reaches over a million of their goal market by way of their social community for a product launch, which results in instant gross sales at retailer degree,” he says.
As for different widespread types of social media, Faraday says Fb remains to be related and Snapchat is large with the youthful demographic however Instagram ought to be the highest precedence for retailers.
“Social media and particularly Instagram is vital in reinforcing traits,” he states.
Wanting additional forward, Beale says exterior elements are more likely to have a big impression on how shoppers make buying selections about trend watches.
Crucially, she says a world shift in the direction of conservatism is driving a way of nostalgia for the previous. That is leading to much less urge for food for edgy designs or watches that step outdoors the established order.
“For those who have a look at what’s happening on this planet economically and politically, we’re fairly destabilised,” she says.
“It’s a sample we noticed within the final recession and after the autumn of communism, cycles in historical past the place long-established methods collapsed and we develop into unsure concerning the future. When this occurs, shoppers develop into distrustful of the weird, which suggests designers are much less more likely to take dangers.”
Shoppers are more likely to favour robust design, simplicity and affordability, which Faraday says is sweet information for jewellers promoting trend watches.
“Cash is usually tighter nowadays and shoppers are acutely aware of their spending, which propels them in the direction of trend watches that may ship the look of the day and assist shoppers accessorise and refresh their outfit with comparatively little expense,” he says. “You get quite a lot of trend bang to your buck with a well-chosen trend watch.”