[CHRONICLE] Luxury watches: a market in continuous growth

If there’s one sector that’s impervious to economic cycles and geopolitical vagaries, it’s luxury watchmaking. Indeed, despite the economic slowdown, inflation and current tensions, the luxury watch market reached record sales of $39.53 billion in 2024. According to predictions by Mordor Intelligence, it should grow at an average rate of 5.52% per year to reach $51.70 billion by 2029.

The luxury watch market, which has been in place for some twenty years, has undergone major transformations due to technical and technological advances. At the same time, the growth of online retailing has had a considerable impact on the sector. Last but not least, the second-hand market has also expanded rapidly in recent years.


Switzerland remains the undisputed leader

Luxury watches are enjoying an unprecedented boom, and sales have increased considerably in recent years. Switzerland remains the undisputed market leader with the Big Four: Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet and Richard Mille. The country has some 60,000 dedicated employees, and Swiss watch exports set a new record in 2023 at €25.6 billion (+7.6%). Watches with an export value of more than CHF 3113 ($ 3464) – i.e. a final selling price of more than CHF 7784 ($ 8673) – accounted for more than three-quarters of the total export value.

The perception of luxury watches as a symbol of high social status and wealth has greatly contributed to market growth. For example, according to a survey conducted by pre-owned watch specialist Watchfinder in 2021, luxury watch owners in the United States own an average of 2.6 luxury watches.


Growth driven by innovation and new technologies

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Featured Photo: Rolex Submariner © Rolex

Picture of Antoine Fraysse-Soulier
Antoine Fraysse-Soulier
Antoine Fraysse-Soulier has been responsible for market analysis at eToro for the past 4 years. He holds a Master's degree in International Finance from ESLSCA Business School Paris, and has over 10 years' experience in market and technical analysis, including 3 as a portfolio manager. He is also a columnist on BFM Business.

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