Young Wear Watches for Status, Fashion – Not Time
In the old days, one wore a watch to tell time but the young watch customer of today is more interested in fashion and status than accuracy. A new report from market intelligence agency Mintel sheds light on the habits of youthful watch buyers.
Mintel’s Watches UK 2015 report reveals that 24% of those who wear a watch hardly ever consult it to get the time. Instead 27% are wearing a timepiece as a fashion accessory. For the youngest watch wearers aged 20 – 24 that figure rises to 47%. Of course, that age group is too busy looking at their smartphones to care whether their watch runs or not as long as it looks cool.
12% of customers surveyed said they wear their watches as status symbols. For 25-34-year-olds that figure goes up to 25%, possibly because by that age they actually have jobs and people they want to impress.
Not surprisingly, Mintel discovered that wealthier consumers were more likely to own a watch. 81% of those surveyed with a yearly household income of more than £50,000 ($78,000 USD) said they owned at least one watch compared to just 65% of those with a household income of less than £15,500 ($21,000 USD). 24% of those with a higher income were likely to wear a watch as a status symbol compared to only 10% of those with a lower household income. Maybe those with a household income of $21,000 or less have more important things to buy, like food.
According to Mintel senior fashion analyst Tamara Sender, “There is a direct correlation between affluence and watch purchasing. The highest earners and those who describe their financial situation as healthy the most inclined to have purchased a watch for themselves and/or someone else in the last five years. This suggests that as confidence increases and people’s financial situation improves, this is likely to drive watch purchasing.”
The makers of luxury watches have probably figured that out already.