And the winner of the biggest selling luxury watch brand is …

PUBLISHED ON May 31, 2019

And who is the biggest selling watch brand this year…

Watch companies are notoriously secretive about their sales figures, meaning rankings haven’t always been crystal clear.

Visual observation has long suggested Rolex as the default must-have for the wrist, with Omega and Tag Heuer often cited as the podium place-holders. Waiting lists for certain models also suggest Rolex, along with Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet, are favorites.

The results reveal the membership of watchland’s billion-dollar turnover club and more, with the most telling figure underscoring the prominence of Rolex. The famed brand now accounts for more than one-fifth of worldwide watch sales. Its 22.2 per cent share reflects an average price of just over $US12,000 ($16,800) per watch, an estimated $US11.6 billion in retail sales.

Australian local retailer James Kennedy says: “Aside from Rolex, the real surprise is Longines and Tissot. I would argue that Patek is the second-strongest brand in the world, and revenue is not the only criteria. Brands like Patek and Audemars Piguet choose only to make so many watches and that’s it – they’re quality driven, not volume driven like a Longines or Tissot.”

Kennedy’s conclusion? “From an order perspective the list is not inaccurate, but when you’re talking about watches there are other metrics you’d want to consider. You can probably get a more accurate reading on the groups behind the brands as they’re public companies and report as such.”

Morgan Stanley’s report takes a look at that very thing, estimating that 75 per cent of the value of global watch sales comes from the Swiss behemoths. That’s Swatch Group – Breguet, Blancpain, Omega et al (28 per cent); Rolex with Tudor (23.5 per cent); Richemont – Cartier, Vacheron Constantin, Jaeger-LeCoultre, IWC; and LVMH – Hublot, Bulgari, Tag.

Kering, home to Gucci, Girard Perregaux and Ulysse Nardin, is the minnow with 1.6 per cent share. Hardly a concern – in the watch world such a figure could be viewed as an affirmation of exclusivity.

Source: Financial Review