Many (or all) consumers complain in watch forums that watches are overpriced. Even watch enthusiasts complain that prices are higher than ever. If watch sales are down for the past 2 years, why don’t the watch companies simply lower their prices? Don’t the laws of supply and demand suggest that when sales are down, prices will fall as well? Here is why watch prices are unlikely to decrease anytime soon.
How did watch prices get so high? The number one response from watch enthusiasts seems to be “greed” – though “maximizing profits” would be the politer way to say it. Looking at the recent history of watch industry growth, I don’t see evidence for pure greed. Instead, I see companies investing in what seemed to them (at the time) like sustained and unrelenting growth between 2005 and 2015. In this article, I will walk you through the increases in watch prices and why they have gone up faster than the rate of inflation. In the next article, I will explain why all of the sudden people aren’t willing to pay those prices anymore.
This is an open letter to all (micro/major) watch producers about watch prices. Too many watches are overpriced for the value they provide. Some deserve and can command the asking price, while many other “me too” watches are overpriced. Please consider these perspectives.
The watch industry is a very complex environment. While it is fascinating in the sense that it thrives off selling obsolete mechanical watches, it continues to baffle many watch collectors. I’ve assembled a simple analogy for the industry. This analogy includes the classic brands as well as the newer prestige brands entering the fray, and also micro brands. As an owner of both traditional Swiss watches and micro brands, this analogy brings both into perspective for me. The analogy starts down a road directly to my heart — food…
“It’s Complicated”: The American Watch Industry, Federal Trade Commission, and Claiming “Made in America”
Made in America claims in the watch industry have been elusive. Claiming anything is made in America is very difficult and costly in today’s global economy. The US has an “all or virtually” all parts made in the US requirement. Recently, many American watch companies have been rebuffed by the Federal Trade Commission for misleading claims. Watch companies claim the FTC guidelines are vague and put American companies at a disadvantage. To get to the bottom of it, I interviewed the FTC’s lead attorney for enforcement as well as two of the only American watch companies currently making Made in America claims.
Watch price increases seem like they have been out of control. In this article, I resort to some basic principles of economics to look at the watch industry and analyze just how much prices have increased, specifically for Rolex. I have repeatedly said how fascinating the watch industry is — in this case, even exchange rates and inflationary adjustments across borders become interesting. I’ve broken these concepts down into digestible bits that bring these concepts from your Economics 101 class into perspective.
How the Swiss became the best watchmakers is based on a series of choices and fateful shifts. What could reshape the watch industry again? We look to the history of the watch industry to find out.
There has been much debate whether smartwatches could spell the end of the Swiss watch industry. Even Tag Heuer has started producing their own smartwatch. Is it possible that smart watches will win the day? I don’t think so.
Buying a used watch is by far the way to go — if you know what you are doing or you shop with someone who does. If you have no idea what you’re doing, there is a good chance you will either overpay or worse yet, buy a fake luxury watch. This post will ponder the best ways to buy used as well as how to get a good deal.
Vintage watches have become extremely popular among watch enthusiasts. Why is this? Why are antique watches not just antiques but sought after pieces? We explore the history of the Swiss watch industry that created “vintage” as well as why they are so popular now.