The luxury watch industry just underwent a major shift in the early 2020s that is still constantly evolving in its own ways. It’s 2022 already and we are still witnessing a shift in many of the aspects of the industry that were earlier thought to have been impossible, or at least a few decades away. The game has changed ever since Covid-19 hit the markets and it is not going back to the old ways anytime soon.
Here at Kapoor Watch Co., we like to keep up with ongoing trends and be aware of the events going on in the industry. We put together a few predictions for the luxury watch industry from experts themselves. Hope this adds some sort of clarity to the whole situation. Watch enthusiast or not, being aware never hurt a soul.
William Massena, Founder of Massena Labs
We’ll see brands separating from the four big groups: LVMH, Kering, Richemont and Swatch. There will be pressure from the shareholders to reduce costs and to maximize returns and a lot of those brands will be much better off as independents. It will take years, if not a decade, for this to happen, but in 2022, we will see the beginning of the de-consolidation.
Gary Getz, Collector and Contributor for Quill & Pad
If Covid forces Watches and Wonders Geneva to be a virtual show again in 2022 (but perhaps regardless), this will be the final year for all-encompassing industry shows. As brands increase company-owned retail at the expense of multi-brand distribution, spread product introductions across the calendar year and participate in targeted gatherings such as Dubai Watch Week, they will realize that the expense and effort of participating in annual extravaganzas aren’t justified by their impact.
Keith Davis, Head of watches for Christie’s Americas
In looking ahead at 2022, I expect, unsurprisingly, more growth, but most importantly, a broadening of the market. Five years ago, it felt as if everyone in the auction room or collector space were all after the same watches. Collectors all talked about the same watches and everyone understood very clearly what was important and what was not. 2021 has demonstrated that this is no longer the case, and that’s a great thing! As the market is broadening, more spaces are opening up for collectors to live.
For example, in looking at our New York online sale, we saw the consistent understood results for watches like Patek Philippe 5102G celestial and what we would expect for vintage references such as Rolex Ref. 8171 in yellow gold. However, we had a new segment of bidders bring extraordinary results for timepieces such as MING and Kurono Bunkyo. In looking at our Geneva live and online sales, early important pocket watches brought tremendous results that haven’t been seen in years.
Asher Rapkin, co-founder of Collective Horology
There will be a renaissance in the watch industry, both from a creative and business standpoint. This year has the opportunity to greatly increase the diversity of collectors—and watches—in circulation, growing the community and encouraging innovation across the board.
Laetitia Hirschy, founder of Kaaviar PR, and co-founder of Watch Femme
My boldest prediction is that watches will become the new “must have” accessory. Appreciation of fine watchmaking will start to move further away from a niche luxury interest and transition into the mainstream. Fueled by growing demand from a more diverse population, the industry will increasingly adopt inclusive messaging across demographics such as gender, age and culture.