Spending habits of watch-buying public revealed in Esquire survey


The Big Watch Survey 2015 also studied the spending habits, and limits, of the British watch buying public and discovered that one in three respondents would be looking to make a watch purchase in the next three months with 85% intent on buying a watch in the next two years.

According to responses from readers of Esquire, The Big Watch Book and Men’s Health, the average spending ceiling for a watch purchase was calculated to be £11,983, with participants planning to spend £4,100 on average on their next watch purchase. However one in three stated that they had spent more than they intended on their previous purchase.

The top five factors relating to watch selection were listed as:


  1. Design/Style of the watch
  2. Brand
  3. Brand Heritage
  4. Price
  5. Size

Results showed that the highest percentage of respondents bought a watch every 3-4 years.

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While some respondents (around 4%) will decide on a watch purchase immediately others can take up to two years. Most took between one week and three months.

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While Ernest Jones, Goldsmiths and Watchfinder proved among the most popular retailers with watch buyers brand stores out performed them. Chrono24 was repeatedly mentioned in the ‘Somewhere else’ category (which accounted for 34% of purchases) pointing to the growing draw of the grey market.

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Magazine and online editorial proved the most popular method of researching watch selections.

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Price and convenience and were the top two factors in making a sale. 40% stated a discount was crucial while more than 30% sought the quickest route to ownership, looking for which retailers carried stock.

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When budgeting goes out the window. 29% spent between 11-20% more than they had intended.

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Spending limits vary widely, from 6% prepared to spend no more than £399 to the 6% who’s upper limit was £50,000+. The most popular price ceiling was between £5,000 and £9,999 which accounted for 26% of respondents. The average highest spend was £11,983.

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