Our world is focused on smart watches.  While I love how the technology of smart watches provides us information that in “olden times” (the late 90’s!) was so difficult to research and attain, I believe luxury watches, which have a special place in my heart and on my wrist, are worthy of a wear!  There are times where I want to just be ME and not connected to technology monitoring my every move from exercise to sleep.  In those times, I turn to luxury watches which I adore for many reasons, including their timeless design and beauty.

I am happy to see the interest in Swiss luxury watches increasing, both as beautiful pieces of jewelry and as a “smart” and timeless investment. It’s also encouraging to me that luxury watch collecting is becoming a passion for younger generations. This recent CNN piece: “Gen Z buyers jump into luxury watch market” talks about how younger generations are getting more involved in the luxury watch market.  As demand for luxury timepieces has transcended generations, this will mean that precious timepieces will continue to increase in value, and be lucrative investments for years to come. Sotheby’s notes that 40 percent of Sotheby’s Watch Clientele are 40 years old or younger, providing further evidence of younger consumers’ interest in the luxury watch market.

And like time, this interest is not standing still; the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry reports steady growth in watch exports seen since the start of the year strengthened further in March 2023, increasing by 13.8%, for a total of 2.4 billion francs.

Why is there a resurgence in interest in luxury Swiss watches? There are so many reasons, but I wanted to share a few of them here:

  1. Unlike smart watches that are often disposable (think about how many times you may have replaced your smart watch—maybe even more times than you have replaced your computer!), luxury watches are expertly made by well-trained horologists and last a very long time, often lifetimes. Many luxury brands produce limited edition watches, adding to their value as well.
  2. Banking crises, recession worries and stock market turmoil have all led investors to consider other opportunities and Haute Time notes that like wine and art in past years, luxury watches have become a go-to opportunity for alternative asset investments. New and younger collectors, perhaps driven by their seeing icons in the sports and entertainment industries wearing luxury watches on social media, have developed a penchant for them.
  3. Luxury Swiss watches represent more than just the time they tell. According to TrueFacet, luxury watches are “repositories of the wearer’s heritage, memories, experiences and history, which are symbols that will outlast their owners to tell stories for future generations.”  The luxury watches that are created at my company, Bajer, tell the stories of my Kurdish heritage, and is a tribute to all Kurdish women who have fought for their rights and wouldn’t be silenced.  The motifs of Bajer watches decode the secret language of Kurdish women, and the watches mix with Swiss-made quality to represent a combination of resistance against oppression and the joy of growth at our watch company.
  4. According to a recent 2022 Deloitte study of the Swiss watch industry, 23 percent of consumers purchase a watch for investment or resale. As the study points out, “speculation is more important than familial succession.” This is another example of how some watch collectors are not buying watches to be handed down to their progeny, but rather, they are buying watches to bolster their wealth.
  5. Deloitte also reported that in addition to e-commerce business doubling by the end of this decade, pre-owned watches are in high demand with 31 percent of consumers expecting to buy one in the next year.  They also found that the under-40 group is even a greater force!  Nearly half, 48 percent of them is considering second-hand watch (no pun intended), and the pre-owned market is likely to grow from CHF 20 billion to CHF 35 billion by the end of this decade—about half of the primary market!
  6. Swiss watchmaking had an excellent year in 2022, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry. Following the return to pre-Covid levels seen in 2021, the sector has seen solid growth with record performance. Swiss watch exports rose to 24.8 billion francs in 2022, an 11.4% improvement over 2021. An increase in global wealth and renewed strong demand for luxury products heled to drive this growth. Even ‘Swiss made’ entry-level watches ended the year on a positive result.

Watches- Like Stars, Can Shine Light on an Important Story

In a recent interview when asked why celebrities are not paid to wear Hermes watches, Guillaume de Seynes, Chairman of Hermes Hologer, replied “the star is the product.”  I will take that one step further and say that at Bajer, we showcase the traditions and culture of Kurdish women I grew up with.  Our collection names and colors are based upon the natural elements of the Kurdish heritage and region.  We also provide assistance to the women and children in the region, as we support the NGOs (non-governmental organizations) that provide them educational and financial independence, while also helping their overall well-being.  So at Bajer,  the star is not only the product, but the heritage and culture of the Kurdish women whose stories we are sharing.

 

 

 

© 2023 by Silver Disobedience Inc.

 

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