The global watch market size was valued at USD 97.22 billion in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 148.50 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 4.82% during the forecast period (2023–2031). The surge in product innovation owing to increasing demand from health-conscious consumers has been driving the sales of smartwatches over the forecast period. Due to increasing brand awareness, the market is expected to show a strong prevalence of luxury watches.
A watch is a mobile timepiece designed to be carried or worn by an individual. It is designed to maintain a consistent movement regardless of the person's activities. A wristwatch is intended to be worn on the wrist and is attached by a watch strap or other type of bracelet, such as metal bands, leather straps, or any other type.
A pocket watch is typically worn on a chain and designed to be carried in the pocket. It can also be fashioned from precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum and adorned with rubies and diamonds. With their wide variety, watches are regarded as the most popular accessories worldwide. The variety of watches varies according to their characteristics, functions, applications, and fashions. As a result, consumers have access to a variety of options.
|Market Size||USD 148.50 billion by 2031|
|Fastest Growing Market||Europe|
|Largest Market||Asia Pacific|
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
The increase in health awareness among consumers across the globe has resulted in increased consumer spending on health monitoring gadgets. This has further led to surged sales of smartwatches owing to their wide range of monitoring functionalities, including the ability to control music, notifications, walking tracks, and heartbeat rates. For instance, Samsung released its Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 in the United States and the United Kingdom in August 2021. The product claimed to offer various health and fitness features, including an optical heart rate sensor, GPS for tracking runs, and ECG support.
Furthermore, the leading companies in the market have been gaining a competitive edge with innovations such as inventing eco-friendly strap materials. For instance, in 2019, Breitling launched a watch with a strap made from recycled materials. Each timepiece features a NATO strap made from ECONYL yarn, a regenerated nylon waste from landfills and oceans worldwide. Such product innovations are expected to boost market growth.
The preference for luxury watches among consumers across the globe has witnessed an upgrowth owing to the influence of the Swiss watch industry. Although the luxury market for watches is quite mature or settled, the predicted growth of any brand across the global market can witness a sudden change at any given moment due to a shift in consumer purchase behavior and patterns.
As per Retail Dive, USD 5 million alone was spent on Rolex watches at Heathrow Airport in August 2017, and luxury watches and jewelry category sales were up a staggering 74%. Further, the increase in brand awareness, the influence of Western trends, and the inherent desire for exclusivity have contributed to the increased demand for luxury watches over the review period. These factors are projected to influence the demand for luxury watches over the forecast period, thereby propelling the growth of the global watch market.
Smartphones have become essential to a human's social security and physiological well-being. An increase in the use of mobile smartphone applications has led to a surge in the adoption of various fitness and yoga apps for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, the use of these standalone fitness and tracker apps is expected to hamper the growth of the smartwatch market as the middle-class income group tends to spend less on smartwatches when compared to smartphones, through which they can utilize the same apps offered by smartwatches. Similarly, issues related to the limited functionality, screen size, and battery life of smartwatches compared to smartphones are predicted to hamper the growth of the smartwatch market globally.
Enhanced vendor engagement via social media and other entertainment channels is expected to create opportunities for market growth. Companies utilize social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Twitter, and YouTube to promote their products. For instance, Titan utilizes Simplify 360, a social media analytics tool, to evaluate the performance of its flagship brands as well as its audience reach and competitive standing across various social media channels.
Several manufacturers are forming partnerships with entertainment media for product promotion. For example, an upcoming James Bond film series will feature the Seamaster 300M 007 Edition watch by Swatch brand Omega. Consequently, promoting watches via social media and other digital platforms is anticipated to create growth opportunities for the global watch market over the forecast period.
Asia-Pacific Dominates the Global Market
Based on region, the global watch market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, the Middle East, and Africa.
Asia-Pacific is the most significant global watch market shareholder and is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 6.22% during the forecast period. The expansion of the watch market in Asia-Pacific is primarily attributable to the introduction of global brands and products and the increasing demand for luxury timepieces. The soaring disposable income and shifting consumer preferences will increase the demand for watches in Asia-Pacific over the forecast period. China, Hong Kong, Japan, and India are the primary contributors to the region. Compared to other regions, Asia-Pacific has a high volume of sales penetration for timepieces. Urbanization and enhanced distribution channels have further encouraged international companies to expand their operations in Asia-Pacific. In addition, the presence of international competitors in the watch market in Asia-Pacific is growing rapidly, as are their promotional activities and advertising campaigns. Rolex, Omega, Patek Philippe, Cartier, Channel, Blancpain Longines, Tissot, Rado, and Piaget are among the most prominent luxury watchmakers with a regional presence. These factors are anticipated to contribute to the expansion of the regional market.
Europe is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 3.56% over the forecast period. Many companies are entering the European market to offer budget-friendly watches that can support individuals' styles and aesthetic needs, thereby boosting regional market growth. For example, BRUNO SÖHNLE offers mid-range watches called Materna, priced at approximately EUR 395. The company offers watches with leather straps, stainless-steel cases, and sub-dials in bright colors for a better aesthetic appearance, as these watches mainly attract male customers. In addition, the UK remained the largest watch-selling market in the region, owing to the country's robust consumer base and affluent tourism flow. Local players, such as Mr. Jones Watches, are offering different varieties, such as vintage models that are original in design, and they are available at a price range of GBP 150 to GBP 350. The company offers limited edition watches within a price range of GBP 175 to GBP 345 for consumers who require exclusive products at affordable costs. This is driving sales in the country.
In North America, the growing interest of people in smartwatches, fluctuating currency exchange rates, and increasing use of social media have led to the popularity of mid-priced watches. Moreover, with the changing perceptions of people in the region, where owning a traditional watch is considered redundant, the demand for digital watches with additional functionalities is growing rapidly. The large presence of mono-brand stores, like Fossil, multi-brand stores offering a wide selection of quartz watches, like Hour Passion, and the increased popularity of online channels for digital watches have empowered consumers by making their buying experience transparent and convenient.
In addition, the US watch industry offers its consumers a wide range of choices, including cheaper watches from Hong Kong priced below USD 500. Depending on the number of apps and features available, entry-level smartwatches are priced at USD 120–200, while middle-range watches are priced at USD 300–500. Imports from China also mostly comprise the lower-market segment. All these factors are expected to drive North American regional market growth.
The Middle East and Africa watch market is driven by high consumer spending and a strong preference for exotic luxury watches from popular brands such as Rolex and Patek Philippe. International brands continue to dominate the market in the United Arab Emirates, owing to the limited presence of domestic and regional players due to limited infrastructure or structural support for local manufacturing. In 2018, the UAE ranked first among Arab countries and 10th globally on a list of countries importing luxury Swiss watches. As per the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, UAE imports amounted to CHF 910.4 million, or AED 3.36 billion, with an annual growth rate of 1.7% compared to 2017. The presence of online channels facilitated the growth of the watch market in the region.
The global watch market is segmented by product, price range, distribution channel, and end-user.
Based on product, the global watch market is segmented into quartz watches and digital watches.
The quartz watches segment owns the highest market share and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 3.65% during the forecast period. The advancements in traditional quartz watches, with new innovative designs and different strap colors and functionality, are the major factors strongly driving the sales of quartz watches among all age groups. Quartz watches are available in different price ranges, which makes them suitable for price-sensitive consumers among all economic groups. This is also one of the key factors driving the sales of these watches.
In recent years, there has been a slight decline in the sales of quartz watches due to the increase in consumer preference for digital watches. However, the recent upsurge in consumer appetite for vintage-inspired design watches is driving the sales of quartz watches. Moreover, affluent millennials remain highly attracted to luxury mechanical watches and seek simplicity, personalization, and transparency while choosing their luxury timepiece. Hence, manufacturers are creating timepieces that can appeal to affluent millennials.
Based on price range, the global watch market is bifurcated into low-range, mid-range, and luxury.
The low-range segment dominates the global market and is projected to exhibit a CAGR of 4.88% over the forecast period. The lower economic growth leads consumers to seek out more essential goods or utilities that suffice their needs, wherein the required spending on watches is shifted to procuring products. This way, the need for watches still exists, but the demand for lower-priced watches is ramped up, and customers categorize them as budget-friendly watches. The segment is more vulnerable to new designs, wherein start-ups working on timepieces would consider manufacturing products that more demographics in developing regions can easily consume. In addition, countries such as India, Vietnam, and Indonesia are some of the major growth markets. The watch segment under USD 500 seeks consumers in urban clusters who need more pronounced products, giving them societal status and urban appeal while spending a minimum.
Based on distribution channels, the global watch market is divided into offline retail stores and online retail stores.
The offline retail stores segment is the largest revenue contributor and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 3.80% over the forecast period. The physical stores will likely offer key advantages, especially for fast-moving consumer goods. In addition to the advantages offered within physical retail locations, eliminating shipping charges and integrating sensory experiences are anticipated to enhance consumer involvement and product engagement. Consumers are more likely to be more observant and selective while investing in consumer goods like watches, as the products placed on the shelves can be tested and tried in terms of samples. Specialty stores also offer greater visibility and a wide assortment of watches. Prominent players operating in the watch market sell their products through these stores, as it is a convenient retail channel for end users and vendors.
Based on the end-user, the global watch market is divided into women, men, and unisex.
The unisex segment is the most significant contributor to the market and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 5.20% over the forecast period. The companies in the market have started launching products that function primarily as fitness devices and are also providing basic products with the functionalities of a smartwatch to create a holistic user experience for both men and women. One of the most widely used tactics to compete is for manufacturers to introduce new technological features powered by WearOS by Google, along with appealing designs and avant-garde styles.
For instance, in November 2021, Conekt Gadgets launched SW1 PRO, a new unisex smartwatch. The new smartwatch has attractive features such as blood pressure, 24x7 heart rate monitoring, ECG reports, and SpO2 (blood oxygen monitor). Some major players offering unisex watches in the smartwatch market include Samsung, Fitbit, and Apple.