There is an emerging market that Swiss luxury watch makers are starting to take notice of, the secondhand watch business. As luxury watch sales are dropping each year thanks to the growing popularity of smart watches, Swiss watch companies are looking for ways to get control of the market again. Audemars Piguet, a leading luxury Swiss watchmaking company, is planning to open a store selling their own secondhand watches at a fraction of their original price. Although the secondhand watch market has been prevalent in auction houses and online marketplaces for years, Swiss companies are just starting to realize the lucrative business they are missing out on.
Many luxury brands tend to become myopic when evaluating what their market is. Swiss watchmakers focus so much time on marketing brand new watches. In fact, because of this, they forget that their products have a purpose after they’ve been bought. By realizing that they can sell the watches they have created at a different point in the product’s lifespan, they have opened themselves up to a huge consumer base. They can double or triple their target market by offering more affordable watches, which in turn would give them a much larger market to do business in.
In order to stay relevant in the growing age of smart watches and interactive wearable technology, Swiss watchmakers will need to make serious changes. The traditional Swiss watchmakers will continue to lose profits if they don’t find a way to make new innovations. The secondhand watch market is a step in the right direction in terms of short-term profits, but companies need to be doing more to keep up with the fast-evolving watch market.
Swiss watchmakers may need to take another look at the SWOT analysis of their industry and recognize what the real threats are to the success of their products. There are many opportunities to diversify their products but many are too committed to a singular image of their brand. Becoming more creative with their watches by combining smartwatch functions on a traditional mechanical timepiece is one example of an opportunity that hasn’t been capitalized on yet.
Although Swiss watchmakers are taking a step to broaden their market, there is a lot more they could be doing to better keep up with their competitors. Massive drops in profits will be seen in the coming years if these watchmakers don’t come up with new and innovative ideas for their products.