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13 – 17 November 2024

The Shape of Jewellery and Watch Industry

According to a recent analysis from Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Co., six industry trends will affect value pools through 2025 due to the expected changes in consumer preferences on both fine jewellery and watch market. These six seismic shifts are fine jewellery’s Online Magic, Buying into Brands, and Sustainability Surge, as well as the ultra-luxury watches industries’ The DTC Shakeup, A New Era for Pre-owned, and The Midmarket Squeezed

The uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 caused shutdown of physical shops for lengthy periods and it exposed flaws in the jewellery industry's digital shift. As a result, the fine jewellery and watch sectors had sales declines of 10 to 15% and 25 to 30%, respectively. It was expected that between now and 2025, the jewellery and watch sectors are likely to recover from the COVID-19 outbreak since sales in Asia are estimated to expand faster, with fine jewellery’s annual increase of 10 to 14% and watch sales’ 4% per year.

By 2025, worldwide online fine jewellery sales are predicted to increase from 13% to 18% to 21% of the overall global market as the worldwide fine market will be more branded, digitised, and focused on sustainability. When compared to branded jewellery, the premium to ultra-luxury watch market grows at a slower pace of 1 to 3% each year (8 to 12% per year). Swiss watchmakers fear a $2.5 billion revenue loss by 2025 as demand shifts from lower-value products and services to higher-value goods and services. If incumbent brands wish to prevent revenue erosion, they must revitalize both their products and brand narratives.

Online Magic will occur when brands and retailers mimic the personalised services, surroundings, and expertise of fine jewellery sales that will connect humans with the digital world. Buying into Brands will arise once branded jewellery becomes more popular despite being the minority of the market. Sustainability Surge will happen on the rapid expansion of the industry as this will demonstrate sustainability concern on fine jewellery purchases. 

The DTC Shakeup will become apparent once watchmakers started expanding DTC channels for the benefit of customer experience as customers seek more direct interactions with brands and better online buying options. A New Era for Pre-owned will begin once second-hand watch sales start to become the industry’s faster-growing segment by 2025. Lastly, The Midmarket Squeezed will occur when the traditional watch midmarket is under pressure as many clients in this area are “trading up” to the luxury market.

With this in mind, key industry players should still anticipate the next five years and grab its opportunities to rewrite the rule book for products, distribution models, and engagement strategies to carve out the industry’s recovery period.


Becker, S., Berg, A., Harris, T., and Thiel, A. (2021, June 14). State of Fashion: Watches and Jewellery. McKinsey & Company. https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/retail/our-insights/state-of-fashion-watches-and-jewellery