By Ashley Davis
According to The NPD Group, women’s watch sales increased in the first half of 2018 across almost all price categories. The firm noted that Piaget was one of the brands to bolster sales at the high end of the market. Pictured are Piaget’s Possession timepieces released this year.
Port Washington, N.Y.—Market analysis firm The NPD Group reported that women’s watch sales are up in the United States after three years of decline.

Between January and May 2018 sales increased 2 percent year-over-year, representing approximately 7 million units sold in the period.

NPD attributed the uptick to watchmakers’ increased focus on their respective women’s divisions, including both new product and more marketing.

Reginald Brack, NPD luxury and watch industry analyst, said: “While we have been tracking the growing trend of women buying men’s-sized watches for some time, sales of smaller watches for women also skyrocketed this year.

“Some brands with a traditionally male focus are now hiring female celebrities to be brand ambassadors in their advertising, with TAG Heuer going so far as to dub 2018 its ‘Year of the Woman.’ These and other efforts by watchmakers are working to focus women’s attention on some traditionally male-centered brands."

Overall, models new to the market accounted for about 7 percent of total sales in the January to May period, with Rolex and Michael Kors the top two earners for new product.
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Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day garnered particularly strong sales, with large increases in January and April in preparation for those holidays.

Sales were up across nearly every price point.
However, the under $300 category, typically dominated by Michael Kors, saw a 6 percent decrease as the brand is now pricing its growing assortment of smartwatches at $350 and above.

Smartwatches led the 2 percent growth in the $300 to $1,499 segment, but sales of regular watches in that price range were down 4 percent.

High-end watch sales also experienced a major boost in the first half of the year. 

Watches priced between $10,000 and $25,000 experienced 17 percent growth, while sales of watches above $25,000 increased 16 percent.

“Rolex and Patek Philippe drove most of the sales increase within the highest price segments,”  Brack said.  “However, Audemars Piguet and Piaget also contributed to the women’s watch resurgence at the high end of the market.”

The NPD Group collects and analyzes market information across multiple retail channels for more than 20 industries to measure performance and predict trends.

Its latest women’s watch sales report was gathered through NPD’s Retail Tracking Service, which gathers point-of-sale information in the U.S. watch industry and analyzes it according to brand, price category and other attributes. The report includes analysis of multiple retail outlets, from department stores and chains to independents.

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