A calibre of its own
The Deloitte Swiss Watch Industry Study 2023
The Swiss watch industry celebrates its past while shaping its future. The industry continues to evolve, gradually transforming while preserving the foundations that have made it thrive for generations. Around the world Swiss watches are symbols of craftsmanship, precision and quality. This solid reputation, coupled with the industry’s strong contribution to the Swiss economy, have made the industry a source of national pride. And it’s because of this that the Swiss watch industry remains in a calibre of its own.
This tenth edition of the Deloitte Swiss Watch Industry Study is based on an online survey of 75 senior executives in the industry, interviews with industry experts and an online survey of 6,045 consumers in the domestic Swiss market and top export markets for Swiss watches: China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States. This year we also surveyed consumers in India and have included a specific section on this growing market.
By 2028, we predict that export sales of Swiss watches in India will reach over CHF 400 million, with the country moving into the top 10 Swiss export markets within a decade.
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Experience over convenience
Brands are enhancing the in-person experience – at retail outlets, watch fairs and auctions – to interact closely and sell directly to customers. While new customers will initially engage with brands online, these spaces will evolve into storytelling hubs and information sources. The personal connection, relationship building and face-to-face brand experience will outclass the convenience of the digital space, especially for mid-market and luxury timepieces.
Greening priorities from the inside out
External pressures have given way to internal priorities. This year brands and retailers are investing more in sustainability because it’s part of their corporate strategy and identity, rather than doing so because of consumer pressure or concerns about brand image.
Augmenting their reality
The traditional industry continues to embrace innovation. Over half (52%) of executives surveyed plan to use Generative AI to create content for written publications and reports in the coming year, with approximately one quarter only considering it for brand campaigns/marketing purposes and to support the creative process.
India, incredible India
This was the first year India was mentioned so frequently as the next big growth market for the Swiss watch industry. By 2028, we predict that export sales of Swiss watches in India will reach over CHF 400 million. We think that India will be in the top 10 of Swiss export markets within a decade.
Price conscious yet curious
Of those consumers willing to buy a pre-owned watch, 22% would be willing to spend between CHF 1,500 – CHF 15,000. While not grail watch territory, it’s a healthy range to sustain further growth in the secondary market, which more consumers are now interested in.
From scrolling to selling
Social selling will become a key sub-channel for the industry due to its ability to offer personalised recommendations and instant purchasing through connected apps and mobile payment options, particularly for younger consumers. Already well established in Asia, social commerce offers a unique blend of buying, community and trust, turning screen time into an instantly gratifying, shoppable experience.
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Previous editionsThe Deloitte Swiss Watch Industry Study 2022, Recalibrating for the future The Deloitte Swiss Watch Industry Study 2021, Adapting to a changing landscape The Deloitte Swiss Watch Industry Study 2020, An accelerated transformation The Deloitte Swiss Watch Industry Study 2017, It's all about digital The Deloitte Swiss Watch Industry Study 2016, Navigating through stormy waters The Deloitte Swiss Watch Industry Study 2015, Uncertain times The Deloitte Swiss Watch Industry Study 2014, Changing times The Deloitte Swiss Watch Industry Study 2013, Time for the future