Content of the study:
The luxury watch market - France

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1.1 Market definition

Luxury watchmaking is a category that groups together watches from top-quality manufactures, whose manufacture has required precise watchmaking work not only on mechanical movements, but also on the elaboration and finishing of watch cases, as well as on elements such as dials and hands.

The high-end watchmaking segment exploded in France with the rise of luxury brands in the 1990s, driven in particular by the development of mass tourism in Asia since the 2000s. The 2008 crisis put an end to this boom, but the industry has been recovering since 2010.

The French luxury watch market will be worth nearly 1.8 billion euros by 2022.

Traditionally dominated by large historical companies, the market has seen the arrival of new competitors, first in the 1990s, then more recently . Initially, the big fashion brands, but also small artisanal players, are making their mark on this market. Secondly, the development of connected watches has altered the balance in the luxury watch market: Apple, for example, has managed to sell more Apple Watches than all Swiss watch brands combined since 2019!

E-commerce and the trend towards second-hand watches are key elements in understanding the luxury watch market.

However, even though there are many brands in the luxury watch segment in France, four major groups compete in this market. Among these players, the convergence between luxury and watchmaking is undeniable:

  • Swatch Group: brands Breguet, Omega, Blancpain, Longines, Tissot, Tiffany & co, Balmain, Calvin Klein
  • LVMH Group: TAG Heuer, Christian Dior, Zenith, de Beers, Hublot, Fred brands
  • Richemont Group: MontBlanc, CBI, Vacheron Constantin, Piaget, Panerai, Van Cleef & Arpels brands
  • Rolex: Rolex and Tudor brands

1.2 A robust global market

The luxury watch market was valued at $** billion in ****, registering a CAGR (***) of *. **% over the ****-**** forecast period.

The global luxury watch market France, ****, in billions of euros Source: ****

globally, consumers' growing preference for high-end, high-quality watches, which are perceived as status symbols, is the main driver of the luxury watch ...

1.3 The French market recomposes itself after the crisis

The market is growing, rising from *.*** billion euros in **** to *.*** billion euros in ****. The French watch market has therefore still not recovered its **** level of *.*** billion euros. By ****, it is estimated that the jewelry and watch sector will have increased its sales by **% [***]! We can therefore estimate that in ****, watch sales ...

1.4 Foreign trade in Swiss watches

In ****, Swiss watch exports rebounded by **.*% following a **. *% contraction in ****. They have thus exceeded not only their pre-pandemic level, but also their all-time high of ****. And in January and February, they rose by a further **.*%, according to statistics from the watchmaking federation. [***]

While Europe bore the full brunt of the strict ...


2.1 Determinants of global demand for luxury watches

The major watch brands are struggling to keep up with demand after the spectacular recovery in luxury goods, to the point of having to delay the launch of some collections in the face of production capacity pressures. [***] La Montre Hermès, which came to present its new collections at the Haute ...

2.2 Foreign tourist arrivals in France boost demand

The current health crisis, particularly in Asian countries and the United States, has led to a decline in visa applications for France since the start of ****.

In fact, the number of visas issued fell by **% year-on-year in the first three months of the year before being virtually nil during the *ᵉʳ containment. ...

2.3 Booming demand for luxury watches online and in e-commerce

On average, most respondents(***) prefer to buy watches in-store. Nearly half of Chinese consumers prefer to shop online, while almost half prefer to shop in traditional stores. France, Japan, Switzerland and Italy have a clear preference for in-store shopping.

When buying a new watch, where are you most likely to make ...

2.4 The rise of second-hand luxury watches

The second-hand watch market, which is booming thanks to millennials and Generation Z, could be worth ** billion Swiss francs (***) by ****, according to a study by Deloitte. [***]

How likely are you to buy a second-hand luxury wristwatch in the next ** months? World, ****, % Source: ****

Luxury goods are seen as good investments in times ...


3.1 Simplified diagram of market structure

3.2 Watch production in France

The number of companies specializing in watch manufacturing fell by almost **% between **** and ****, as several manufacturers struggled to remain competitive with foreign competitors. In addition, the shutdown of various factories and sales outlets, considered non-essential during periods of confinement, contributed to the decline in French luxury watch production. By ****, this number ...

3.3 Distribution channels for luxury watches

French watchmakers mainly manufacture watch components and accessories, such as dials, cases, hands, bracelets, etc. Finished products such as watches account for less than a third of their total production by value.In luxury watch distribution, there is a concentration of distribution channels, since the network is currently almost entirely represented ...


4.1 Offer typology

There is a wide variety of luxury watch models, but we can draw up the following non-exhaustive list:

Classic watches such as the Montblanc Tradition Automatic Date; Products with horological complications, such as the Piaget Emperador Coussin; Antique watches such as the Patek "Asprey "; Military watches like theHamilton Khaki Field Auto ...

4.2 Pricing strategies at the heart of luxury watch offerings

In ****, the average price of a watch will be €***, compared with €*** in ****. Watch sales account for **. *% of the watch and jewelry sector.

In recent years, a strategy of lowering prices has been implemented throughout the luxury watch market. luxury watch market, in particular to stimulate sales volumes (***). The major companies have ...

4.3 The arrival of connected watches disrupts the luxury watch landscape

The connected watch segment is becoming increasingly important, attracting a wide range of players. Indeed, in addition to the big tech players - Apple, Samsung, Google among others - the traditional players in the watch sector areoffering connected watches.having long ignored the competition from these connected watches, it now appears ...


5.1 Counterfeiting at the heart of regulations governing luxury watches

Luxury watches are particularly affected by counterfeiting and smuggling. The Direction Générale de la Concurrence, de la Consommation et de la Répression des Fraudes (***) is the authority in charge of fighting these frauds, as specified in the Code de la Propriété Intellectuelle and article L. ***-**. * of ...

5.2 Legislation governing the jewelry and metal trade

Jewelry sales in France are strictly regulated and reserved for professionals. The main points to bear in mind regarding these regulations are as follows:

Declaration of Existence: Before starting a business involving precious metals, jewelry professionals must file a declaration of existence with the relevant guarantee office. This declaration is subject ...


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Reviews (1)

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The luxury watch market - Italy

Publicado en 15/07/2022 by Gio Durante

Very useful, but not exactly what I was looking for

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