Ticking Trends: Gen Z's Complex Relationship With Luxury Timepieces

Ticking Trends: Gen Z's Complex Relationship With Luxury Timepieces

THM Desk
27 Jun 2024 |
clock icon3 min read
like image
comment icon image
like image
SUMMARIZEarrow down

As Generation Z (born between 1997 and 2012) enters the luxury market, their perceptions and preferences are reshaping industries, including the world of high-end watches. A recent survey of Gen Z consumers reveals intriguing insights into their relationship with luxury 50+ respondents.

Brand Recognition in Luxury Watches

When asked about top-of-mind luxury watch brands, 100% of respondents mentioned Rolex. This overwhelming recognition demonstrates Rolex's enduring brand power across generations. Other mentioned brands included:

Audemars Piguet (AP): 50% of respondents
Jacob & Co: 25% of respondents
Seiko: 10% of respondents

Key Insight: While heritage brands maintain strong recognition, there's growing awareness of niche, design-forward brands among Gen Z.

Jacob & Co. Casino Tourbillon

Aspirational Brands

Interestingly, aspirational brands didn't always align with the most recognized ones:

25% aspired to own an Audemars Piguet watch
25% mentioned Jacob & Co as their aspirational brand

50% of respondents didn't specify a particular aspirational brand, instead expressing shock at the high prices across luxury watch brands.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore

Recent Brand Discoveries

50% of respondents mentioned Jaeger-LeCoultre as a brand they recently discovered and admired for its designs. This suggests an opportunity for lesser-known luxury brands to capture Gen Z's attention through effective marketing and unique designs.

Key Attractors in Watches

Design emerged as the primary factor attracting Gen Z to luxury watches:

100% of respondents mentioned design as a key factor
50% specifically highlighted fit and color as important aspects


Desired Insights for Purchase Decisions

Gen Z shows a sophisticated approach to luxury watch purchases, desiring comprehensive information:

100% want to know about market value and demand
75% are interested in future price predictions
50% want to understand the watchmaking process
50% are curious about the logic behind the watch's creation and pricing

Interest in Watch Communities

100% of respondents expressed interest in joining larger watch communities, indicating a strong desire for shared experiences and knowledge in the luxury watch space.

Luxury Watches

Analysis and Implications:

Brand Awareness vs. Aspiration Gap: While Rolex dominates in recognition, it's not necessarily the most aspired-to brand. This suggests an opportunity for other brands to capture Gen Z's imagination and loyalty.

Design-Driven Decisions: With 100% of respondents citing design as a key factor, luxury watch brands should focus on innovative, aesthetically pleasing designs that resonate with Gen Z's style preferences.

Education and Transparency: The high interest in comprehensive information about watches indicates that brands should invest in educational content and transparent communication about their products, processes, and market position.

Community Building: The unanimous interest in watch communities suggests that brands could benefit from creating or sponsoring platforms for enthusiasts to connect and share knowledge.

Price Sensitivity: The shock expressed at luxury watch prices indicates a need for brands to clearly communicate their value proposition to this generation.

Investment Mindset: With 75% interested in future price predictions, Gen Z appears to view luxury watches not just as accessories, but as potential investments.

Gen Z's approach to luxury watches blends traditional appreciation for craftsmanship with modern concerns about value, community, and personal style. Brands that can successfully navigate this complex landscape - offering unique designs, transparent information, community engagement, and clear value propositions - are likely to win the hearts (and wrists) of this discerning generation. As the luxury watch industry ticks into a new era, understanding and adapting to Gen Z's preferences will be crucial for continued success and relevance.