The value of sales of all watches in Great Britain rose by 6.4% in March, the fifth consecutive month of increases.
The news is particularly welcome given the broader state of the retail market in March. Unusually cold and snowy weather caused retail sales volumes to drop by 1.2% compared with the month before, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Watch sales in March rose by 6.4% compared to the same month in 2017, mainly due to a 19.2% rise in the average selling price.
The top end of the market continues to outperform the value segment. Sales values rose by 13.9% for watches priced at over £1000 while they fell by 12% for watches priced at under £100 and by 8.8% in the £100 to £500 price segment.
The mid-market price range of £500 to £1000 is showing signs of stabilising with the value of sales down by only 2.4% in March.
London, which is heavily weighted towards the luxury end of the market, saw sales rise by 9.2% in March compared to 6.1% for the rest of Great Britain.
The long Easter weekend starting in March this year, but April last year, may have helped boost sales.
Online watch sales are no longer compensating for falling sales on the high street. The value of sales at all price points online dipped by 0.9% in March.
Men’s watches are also performing far more strongly (+10.2%) in comparison to ladies’ (-8.9%).