Patek Philippe

Watches vs Jewellery in India: What Do People Prefer Investing In and Why?

THM Desk
8 May 2023 |
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The love of fine timepieces and jewelry is deeply ingrained in Indian culture. Jewelry and watches have both been used as status symbols for centuries. However, as the years have progressed and fashions have shifted, more and more people have begun to favor luxury watches.


Why Indians Have A Penchant For High-End Timepieces

Over the past decade, demand for high-end watches in India has steadily increased. Euromonitor International predicts that between 2020 and 2025, the market for luxury watches in India will expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13%. According to the report, India can potentially become one of the world's quickest-growing markets for high-end wristwatches.


A study found that 85% of people had purchased a luxury watch online in the past, indicating that Indian consumers are becoming more comfortable with making high-value purchases online. Furthermore, 83% were likely to purchase a luxury watch online in the future, indicating a strong interest in luxury watches among Indian consumers.

Also, brand perception is a key factor in the decision-making process of Indian consumers when it comes to purchasing luxury watches online. Respondents were more likely to purchase luxury watches from brands that were perceived to be prestigious, high-quality, and with a long history of watchmaking.

Buying Luxury Watches in India as an Investment

Besides being a desirable accessory, high-end timepieces can also be used as a form of investment. Watches are a good investment because, unlike jewelry, their value does not depreciate quickly. The demand for high-end timepieces in India has been on the rise, prompting many citizens to consider watches as a viable investment option.


The Indian government has facilitated private citizens' ability to invest in luxury goods, which may explain the rising popularity of watches as a financial asset in the country. Gold, silver, and platinum jewelry are subject to a Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India at a rate of 3 percent as of 2017. Because of this, the price of jewelry rose, prompting many people to seek out less volatile investments. As a result of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) exemption, luxury watches have become a desirable asset class.

The scarcity of some of the most sought-after models is contributing to their rising value as an investment. Luxury watch collectors and enthusiasts compete for rare limited edition models from brands like Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet. These limited-edition watches are highly sought after because of their scarcity and rarity. Since their worth rises with time, investing in them is a good idea.

Incidence of luxury brand purchase of wristwatches in India: Source (Research Gate)
Incidence of luxury brand purchase of wristwatches in India: Source (Research Gate)

The Indian Preference for Jewelry

The tradition of wearing jewelry is ancient in India and has become ingrained in the national psyche. The Indian consumer places a high value on jewelry because of the significance it holds in representing their heritage and culture. The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) predicts that the Indian jewelry market will expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5% from 2020 to 2025.

Jewellery Watches

In India, people prefer jewelry made from precious metals other than gold, including silver and platinum. The bride and groom often exchange heirloom pieces of jewelry at Indian weddings. Jewelry has both monetary and sentimental value in the eyes of the average Indian buyer.

Purchasing Indian Jewelry For Investment

Gold jewelry, in particular, has long been seen as a viable investment opportunity in India. Gold has long been considered a reliable hedge against inflation and economic uncertainty, making it a popular investment choice in India. The World Gold Council reports that at 25% of total demand, India is the world's second-largest consumer of gold, behind only China.

India's government has also implemented several schemes designed to entice private citizens to invest in gold. Indian buyers put their money into other precious metals besides gold, including silver and platinum. In the same way that gold is used as a hedge against inflation, silver is seen as a safe-haven asset. Platinum, on the other hand, is a precious metal used in the manufacture of expensive accessories like jewelry and timepieces. It's also a great way to diversify your portfolio's holdings.

Intentional Luxury Watch Purchasing in India

The Indian consumer is maturing into a sophisticated buyer who is willing to spend more on high-end goods if they are of sufficient quality and value. The luxury watch market in India is booming because high-end timepieces offer the ideal blend of form and function for the discerning Indian consumer.

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With more knowledge on these collectibles, and a value for your money, what would you choose? A safe-haven asset or a luxury collectible which holds an emotional value? And with Mother’s Day around the corner, it’s going to be a tough choice to make: watches or jewelry.