The past three years has been a barren spell for sales of ladies’ watches in the United States, but retail analyst The NPD Group says that a concerted effort by leading watchmakers has helped the value of sales rise in the segment by 2% to almost 7 million units in the first five months of 2018.
The increase has been achieved thanks to rising average transaction values as customers have chosen more expensive models.
Strong Valentine’s Day and Mothers’ Day holiday watch sales were primary contributors to the increase, with especially strong performance in January and April during the run-up to those holidays.
New models introduced in 2018 comprised about 7% of total women’s watch sales, with Rolex and Michael Kors leading improvements at the premium and volume ends of the market.
The first signs that women were buying more watches came from a strengthening in demand for smaller men’s watches being worn by both genders, but now more feminine models are also selling well.
“While we have been tracking the growing trend of women buying men’s sized watches for some time, sales of smaller watches for women also skyrocketed this year,” said Reginald Brack, luxury and watch industry analyst for NPD.
“Some brands with a traditionally male focus are now hiring female celebrities to be brand ambassadors in their advertising, with TAG Heuer going so far as to dub 2018 it’s ‘year of the woman.’ These and other efforts by watch makers are working to focus women’s attention on some traditionally male-centered brands.”