Europa Star

Watch prices: it’s the fault of…


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January 2017

Watch prices: it's the fault of…

It’s the fault of… It is true that any number of reasons of all kinds, a whole interwoven knot of reasons, have placed the watchmaking industry in a difficult situation (to say the least) at the start of 2017.


hen various reasons accumulate and you cannot put your finger on one single enemy (as it was possible to do during the quartz crisis, whether justified or not), it is a sign that we are on the brink of profound upheavals, structural transformations, social change.

And behind it all is the burning question that everyone is asking themselves to a greater or lesser extent: have people fallen out of love with watches? And if so, how can we win back their hearts?

Watch prices: it's the fault of…

It’s the fault of…

  • the state of the world economy
  • the transparency required of banks: no more under-the-counter buyers
  • disenchantment with watchmaking, especially on the part of women
  • long-term changes to world distribution channels
  • Chinese politics and tourists
  • e-commerce, digitisation, dematerialisation
  • management problems: after 35 years of plain sailing, nobody knows how to sail into the wind
  • rising prices and margins
  • overcapacit y by subcontractors
  • dwindling purchasing power in Western countries and the Middle East
  • a strong franc which has killed the Swiss domestic market
  • huge stocks in distribution
  • centralised decision-making, an obsession with control, loss of innovation, depersonalisation, emailed marketing plans, no genuine rallying of the markets, imperfect knowledge of buyers, top-down marketing instead of the other way round
  • lack of anticipation by the groups, which failed to foresee the structural changes currently taking place
  • the hegemony of groups
  • democratisation of luxury, which consequently is no longer rare
  • identical boutiques the world over


- The great upheaval
- Reshuffling the price cards
- Price constellation
- It’s the fault of…
- An objective look
- Denis Asch “I wanted to sell watches, not prices”
- Price hike between 2000 and 2010, then the slump
- All china’s fault?
- “As soon as a price goes up, they look elsewhere”
- The internet has changed the rules of distribution
- To raise or lower prices?
- A paradigm shift for distribution
- “Retailers need to turn into gallery owners”

Source: Europa Star TIME.BUSINESS/TIME.KEEPER Dec. 2016 - Jan. 2017