The Swiss watch industry comprises and supports a complex ecosystem, and its future success depends on respecting its heritage while embracing the possibilities that lie ahead. With its longevity and innovative mindset, coupled with its spirit and passion, the Swiss watch industry has all the components it needs to successfully recalibrate for the future.

This ninth edition of the Deloitte Swiss Watch Industry Study is based on an online survey of 70 senior executives, interviews with industry experts and an online survey of 5,579 consumers in the home market and top export markets for Swiss watches: China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.

63% of industry executives think offline sales will still dominate over the next five years, yet the share of e-commerce sales continues to grow.

Key findings

Hover over one of the watch segments to find out more

Nothing secondary about the secondary market

By 2030, we estimate that the pre-owned market is likely to grow to CHF 35 billion and make up more than half of the primary market. This growth should be supported by brands launching new pre-owned offerings, the expansion of existing channels and consumers looking for discounted and discontinued timepieces.

Online continues to shine

We believe the share of watches bought online will likely increase to 30% by 2030 from roughly half that now. Although 63% of industry executives think offline sales will still dominate over the next five years, e-commerce sales continue to grow, and nearly half of Millennials and Gen Z prefer online shopping to in-store.

The land of opportunity

The US is the most important market for the Swiss watch industry for the second year in a row, taking in the highest share of exported watches. Growth is being driven by strong e-commerce behaviour, a surge in retailing options, both online and in-store, and a growing affinity for value-appreciating premium timepieces.

ESG or Look at me?

Brand image or sustainability, which is most important? Consumers are split equally between those who value sustainability and those who don’t care provided they like a watch, with a smaller proportion prizing brand image. Millennials and Gen Z place more importance on a timepiece’s sustainability credentials.

Show me the money

23% of consumers purchase a watch for investment or resale. Consumers, mainly in Asia, recognise the money-making potential of watches and are motivated by higher resale prices or portfolio diversification. Speculation is seen as more important than familial succession.

Immersed in the metaverse

57% of brands are planning to launch a non-fungible token (NFT) within the next year primarily as a digital twin, for certification purposes and to accessorise in the metaverse. Although 40% of consumers are interested in NFTs, mostly for their investment potential, 31% still don’t understand this virtual asset.

Watches are a girl’s new friend

Timepieces are a matter of taste, not gender. Yet 44% of females prefer female-specific designs while 26% favour unisex options. Nearly half of brands are expanding their range of designs tailored to females and one-third are looking to offer female-friendly sizes. Brands see a bright future with female buyers.

Generation wristwatch

Owning a watch has become more important to every third Millennial and Gen Z, and it’s not just smartwatches. Younger consumers prefer to purchase online and have a penchant for pre-owned due to price sensitivity and sustainability. Good news for the industry: watches are not out of style.

Industry highlights

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Karine Szegedi


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