The Olympic Games are said to have driven sales in sport-style watches, according to data compiled by analyst GfK.
Chronographs are said to have registered a 14% rise in terms of sales volume t in the last 12 months with retailers capitalising on the trend for the style, which has also filtered down into fashion watches and a large number of women’s models.
The sales rise is said to have continued during the Olympics with London generating 40% of the market for watches priced at more than £1,000, up 36% from 12 months ago.
GfK’s take on the overall UK market shows that, in terms of value, sales have grown by 6.7% in the last 12 months. In comparison, the sales of watches online have grown 44% over the same period.
Gold watches priced at over £1,000 have seen sales volumes rise by 4% in the last 12 months, despite an average increase in price of 16%.
The lower-end of the market, however, had hit a decline with watches under £100 declining in sales value by 10.3%.
Jonathan Hedges, GfK’s global products manager said: “Whilst the high street is still performing well, in value terms, the internet remains as the dominate channel of growth for watches in the UK market currently.
“With the sales of watches priced at over £500 taking share online, this very much mirrors the trend in the high street where the market becomes ever more polarized, with watches selling at under £100 continuing to lose share and the watches over £2,500 gaining share.”
Hedges added that it would be interesting to keep an eye on the market to see what effect, if any, the Olympics had. “London already dominates the sale of luxury watches, and the growth in chronographs indicates that there is a trend in consumers purchasing sporting style watches. Will this continue and will London benefit from the Olympics? Find out at the International Jewellery London.”