Here we are… the end of 2021 and looking forward to a glorious year. A lot has changed- several challenges faced, new norms followed, and many lessons learned. Across every facet of life, we’ve seen some drastic changes- personal or professional. 2020 paved the way for a new normal. For the watch fraternity, which relies on the touch and feel experience, at watch shows, it was quite a challenge for they were pushed to the digital space.
Despite everything, several watch companies recorded stunning growth in revenue. Titan saw a 122% revenue growth in Q1 of 2021-2022. The Jewellery division saw major traction and matched up to pre-pandemic levels standing at an income of Rs. 2467 crores for the quarter. The watches and wearable business stood at Rs. 292 crores for the quarter. However, the second wave did create some serious disruptions in their commercial momentum; recording a 14% decline in revenues. But all in all, it’s been a good year for Titan.
Swatch Group saw net sales of CHF 3392 million- a 54.4% rise as compared to the previous year. The watches and jewelry segment stood out with a strong operating margin of 17%. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, In the first nine months of 2021, the world’s biggest luxury goods company, generated revenue of 44.2 billion euros, up 46 percent from the same period in 2020. In comparison to 2020, organic sales growth was 40% throughout the period. HKTDC Export Index Survey shows Hong Kong exports increased 26.7 percent year on year in the first ten months of 2021, albeit from a low base. The astounding rise outperformed the global average, illustrating the city’s export sector’s resiliency.
In comparison to the previous year, Richemont revenues increased by double digits across all business sectors, platforms, and Maisons. Sales were also much higher than they were prior to the outbreak. Half-year sales increased by 63 percent at actual currency rates to € 8,907 million.
Whether it’s the quartz crisis of the 1980s or the recent economic slump, the “watch” industry has always found a way to condense its offers and come back stronger, according to history. No matter what, the clocks always ticking!
Here’s a round-up of 2021 for the watch industry!
Starting with Watches and Wonders 2021, they launched their digital experience, which was well received and highly successful. The virtual age can never replace the priceless experiences and memories that a real salon can provide. Despite that, we saw some beautiful watches such as the Jaeger Le-Coultre Hybris Mechania, Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer II, IWC Pilot Chronograph 41 to name a few.
Moving on, we saw another ‘phygital’ show- Geneva Watch Days 2021. Physical events were still a major safety concern in many nations, the ever-innovative watch industry included a “phygital” component to their offerings. The heart of exquisite manufacturing had yet another outstanding week with Geneva Watch Days 2021, reiterating the success of this unique model, which was unanimously agreed by the 25 participating Maison.
When we talk about the coming together of the watch fraternity, it’s no surprise that Dubai Watch Week shines bright. This year, the entire watch community experienced a physical show, excitement levels blowing through the roofs, and a massive celebration of fine watchmaking. With several unique collaborations like the MB&F x Bulgari Flying T Allegra to Girard Perregaux’s new watches, this show was nothing less than spectacular.
As the world still grapples with the uncertainty of the pandemic, we know it’s slowly moving towards better times and renewed hope. 2022- what do you have in store for the watch community? For starters, LVMH Watch Week 2022 is set to go digital. We’re looking forward to discovering the magic of fine watchmaking. Throughout the year, LVMH and its Maisons launch initiatives that demonstrate their constant dedication to people, the environment, and the arts and culture. We can’t wait to see what’s next!
Another hybrid show that’s got us pumped up has got to be Watches and Wonders 2022; it will mark the return of an in-person salon, bringing together all watch industry leaders, global media, merchants, and guests of the 39 participating Maisons.
Brands have really upped their game- offering watches with meaning, rich heritage, quality watchmaking, and utility to the community. The radar has shifted yet again towards owning the next best watch.
2022 sure looks like a promising year for the watch industry. But until then, immerse yourself in the festive spirit, brace yourselves for a year filled with new opportunities and hope. And, before we wish you all a very Happy New Year, here are the watches we loved from 2021.
2021 Signing off…
Happy New Year!