It remains largely pointless comparing one month’s watch sales to the same month a year ago because market volatility was so extreme in 2020.
That said, sales in June, the most recent figures provided by GfK to WATCHPRO, were up 110% over the same month in 2020.
As a reminder, non-essential stores were closed until June 15 last year and sales were down by 18% that month compared to June 2019 (a big improvement from the 80% year on year drops in April and May).
Perhaps more meaningful is to look at a full year’s data from July 2020 to June 2021, and here GfK reports sales rising by 35.8% over the same period a year earlier.
All signs are that the watch business has bounced back to a new normal, and that the lack of tourist spending, on which central London is so dependent, has been compensated with domestic sales.
As a guide, London, which is the most reliant on tourist spending is seeing sales for the year to the end of June up by 30.6%, almost identical to the rest of great Britain, which is up 30.7%.
With stores reopen across Great Britain, online sales have dipped for a second consecutive month, down by 7% YoY in June.
The trend continues for sales of the most expensive watches outperforming all others.
Sales of watches priced at over £10,000 were up 146% in June and 76% for the 12 months to June.
This compares to 41% for the full year to June in the £5,000 to £10,000 price category; 23% for £3,000 to £5000 and 32% for £1,000 to £3,000.