Tuesday, January 30, 2018


Is in the books, and December does nothing to really establish what the new "new" is in watch sales.

Courtesy of the FH

Now on the one hand, the numbers are still trending upwards, but leveling off a wee bit.  But what remains baffling is the continual slipping of the numbers in the second largest market, the US.

Hong Kong


So what does this really mean?  Well, the grey market is a big part of the problem.  This is complicated because many of the brands directly supply them.  So it's a little bit like the father lamenting his son's overdose while he (the father) is selling heroin out of his home office ; )

The second problem is the retailer.  The honest ones have been burned too many times.  When you walk into one of the largest, most well-known retail locations in the area and they say things like:

"Thank God for the second-hand market", it makes it very clear that the perception of the majority of people out there potentially buying a watch feel that they are being screwed if they pay full price, so they will either go "gently used", or grey market.  

Then there are the retailers out there who have decided that they are better served by putting on black hats and becoming conduits for the grey market.  In fairness, you can't really blame them.  Because the single greatest irony in all of this is that Americans ARE buying watches, just not in the traditional ways.

So no offense, but you can't know about a market from thousands of miles away, and if your only answer is to send Swiss management to manage an area that they are unfamiliar with, turn over staff, and frustrate retail partners, and when that doesn't work, you then flood the grey market with your surplus product via parallel markets (trans shipping through Hong Kong and other ports)?  You shouldn't still wonder why a handful of brands continue to dominate the market space and you keep not getting any traction here. 

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