It’s time to re-evaluate the watch gender divide, industry report claims

Watchmakers are being urged to reconsider the typical gender divide within the industry as the non-gender specific trend heats up, an industry report reveals.

NPD, an industry research body, has revealed that consumers are ditching the typical labels of ‘men’s’ and ‘women’s’ and presenting retailers with a merchandising opportunity.

“Women have been gravitating towards “men’s” watches, both in size and style. In the second half of 2017 the men’s segment was up 7 percent compared to the prior year, and the women’s segment was down 4 percent,” wrote Reginald Brack, executive director and industry analyst at NPD.

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“Rolex has been one player in the growth category for men’s, but a decliner in the women’s category. Women have not stopped buying Rolex, they are now buying the brand’s 36mm and larger pieces, including sport models, generally labeled Men’s for Rolex and other brands.”

While the trend is still gaining momentum, brands, such as Gucci, Chanel, Tudor, Montblanc and Zenith, have already embraced the budding movement.

“With the Calibre 3, we have fully embraced gender fluidity,” said Nicolas Beau, Chanel’s global head of watches and fine jewelry business development.

Tom Ford added: “There are two sizes. I don’t necessarily believe in a woman’s watch and a man’s watch. A Cartier Tank is a Cartier Tank, and you buy it in different sizes. An Hermès Arceau is an Hermès Arceau, and you buy it in different sizes. Maybe it’s a different strap.”

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