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Which way is the watch industry heading in 2024?

The timepiece trends that will shape 2024.

When it comes to Big Data, few organisations have more information at their digital fingertips than eBay, the OG and world’s largest online marketplace.

Drawing on analysis of listings, searches and sales data for more than half a million watches featuring on its platform, eBay UK has compiled predictions on the top trends that it predicts will dominate the watch world in 2024.

Keith Metcalfe, director of luxury at eBay Europe, says the report throws up some fascinating, and often overlooked, insights.

“It’s clear that 2024 is shaping up to be an exciting year for watches. We have witnessed a noticeable search increase for unisex pieces, a renewed passion for Tag’s Carrera line, and a greater interest in exotic stones and colourful faces – all of which will continue to be a major draw,” he predicts.

Keith metcalfe ebay
Keith Metcalfe, eBay UK’s director of luxury.

“Heritage and innovation will meet through special collaboration pieces this year, with luxury brands across jewellery and fashion turning greater attention to watches.  We saw Travis Scott move from streetwear into the watch world, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we saw similar shifts from other creative talents,” Mr Metcalfe continues.

Top watch trends for 2024

Olympic Gold for Omega

Omega seamaster paris olympics 2024
Omega has already unveiled a Seamaster special edition for the Paris Olympics 2024.

The Olympic Games never fail to inspire us with the amazing achievements of the athletes who participate. This year, the games will be held in Paris, one of the world’s top luxury capitals, and with LVMH being a premium partner of the games we can expect to see a greater influence of luxury on them than ever before.

As the official timekeeper of the Olympics, Omega is sure to unveil celebratory new products. The excitement around the brand can already be seen as searches for the iconic ‘Omega Speedmaster’ increased over 10% on eBay in the final six months of 2023.

Exotic stone and coloured dials

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Rolex Datejust with tiger eye stone dial (picture courtesy of Phillips).

Exotic stones and coloured dials are attracting rightful attention in the watch industry, creating timepieces that are as much art as they are functional. 

Rolex’s Day-Date 36 collection is a recent example of this trend. As the maison showcased three new exotic stone dials, searches for ‘Rolex 36’ increased by over 45% from September to December, with collectors looking for the style that elevated the classic Day-Date in colourful carnelian, turquoise and green aventurine.

Best of British

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Christopher Ward’s C1 Bel Canto put British-owned watch businesses on the map when it won a GPHG award in 2022.

UK horology houses are expected to undergo a renaissance in 2024. Bremont plans to stay true to its roots but expand its global reach, strengthening its position as a noteworthy player in the industry.

Christopher Ward, with its British design and Swiss craftsmanship, won the prestigious Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG), becoming the first British watchmaker to do so.

Meanwhile, Elliot Brown has been making impressive moves to increase its market presence. These three brands are a testament to the modern British watchmaking expertise and the ability of independent brands to produce high-quality timepieces.

Secondary market to become the first choice

Ebay pre owned watches
Picture courtesy of eBay.

The high-end pre-owned watch market will continue to grow in 2024 due to a shift towards sustainable and economic choices, as enthusiasts recognise the value in responsible investments.

The secondary market also offers rare and exclusive models that are often inaccessible through primary channels, further boosting its appeal.

Technological advancements in secondary market CPO programmes, particularly eBay’s Authenticity Guarantee programme, have also instilled greater confidence in online transactions.

Verifying each watch has significantly raised buyer and seller trust, redefining online luxury shopping. We can see the impact this confidence has had on customers on eBay as people are willing to spend more on items as a result.  

Fun in the Collaboration

Oris kermit

Last year featured unique, unexpected collaborations.  Audemars Piguet led the way with its Marvel series and collaboration with Travis Scott, showing how the worlds of music, streetwear and watches can merge and create something great.

Oris provided a more playful twist celebrating Kermit last year’s Watches and Wonders. We have seen just how popular this watch is, with searches increasing by over 540%.

Swatch and Blancpain have continued the year with collaborations too, extending their Fifty Fathom with the ‘Oceans of Storms’ edition. All eyes will be on Swatch again in anticipation of another collaboration. 

The positive reception to these means we will likely see more partnerships combining nostalgia with contemporary luxury in 2024.

TAG Heuer resurgence

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In 2023, the TAG Heuer Carrera collection witnessed a significant resurgence. This was evident from the increase of over 25% in searches for the collection on eBay as the year came to a close. Furthermore, the recently launched Carrera Chronograph Glassbox was also a major success.

This year, TAG Heuer is recommitting to excellence by introducing its Lunar New Year Limited Edition Carrera timepieces. This iconic brand is not only revisiting its roots but also actively redefining them, with enthusiasts eagerly waiting for the next chapter in the Carrera legacy.

Watches keep getting smaller

Tyler the creator cartier
Tyler The Creator shows off his Cartier collection.

In 2023, the industry introduced versatile offerings suitable for any wrist, in response to the trend for smaller vintage-inspired designs, paving the way for more gender-neutral watches in 2024. 

Style icons like Jacob Elordi and Tyler the Creator helped popularise this trend for men with search increases for their favoured Cartier Tank rising by over 20% on eBay in the last three months of 2023.

With its classic rectangular case and minimalist style, the Cartier Tank as well as the likes of Jaeger Le Coultre will continue to appeal to all wearers. 

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