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Stability and status in the watch market

Eliza Mills Dec 19, 2014
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Stability and status in the watch market

Eliza Mills Dec 19, 2014
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This week’s show is focused on indulgence. And the watch is an timeless indulgence.

The market for watches is fairly stable — like other accessories, it has times of trendiness and ever-changing styles, but it’s been a pretty consistently hot commodity for centuries. 

As smart watches hit the market, traditional, mechanical watches are adapting to keep up. In the women’s market, changes are especially pronounced, sales are up, and a larger style of watch face is becoming increasingly fashionable, meaning that women’s watches can use more complications.

Watch complications, things like dates, multiple time zones, calendars, and moon phases, have long captivated the men’s market. Luxury mens watches with extreme complications — things like a map of the stars over the GPS coordinates of your home, or a miniature moving sculpture — aren’t new. Now women’s watches are big enough to accommodate the same types of complications, and so far, they’ve been well received. 

In Asia, searches for women’s watches are booming, and worldwide, sales are up 21 percent. And it’s not just high-end watches — you can get complicated (or uncomplicated) watches for men and women for under $100. 

How and why is the watch market changing? How does an old industry compete with new technology? 

Lizzie O’Leary spoke with Accessories Council President Karen Giberson about changes to the watch industry. 

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