The Jewelry Consumer Opinion Council (JCOC) recently examined the buying habits of and expectations toward watches of 7,182 JCOC consumer panelists, focusing on 18-24 year-olds, and found that because of escalating technology and the emergence of new and competing devices which tell time, 18-24 year olds are less likely to own a watch as their primary way to tell time.
Of the 16% of the 18-24 year-olds who do not own a watch, 78% tell time with digital devices and 42% cite the ownership of cell phones or iPods as negating the need for a watch.
In fact, of the JCOC panelists who do not own a watch, only one-third of the 18-24 years-olds and less than half of the general group believe they will wear a watch in the future. For those who do own a watch, buying a watch as an investment or to add to a collection are issues especially prevalent among the general JCOC participating panelists, who are largely comprised of 24-59 year-olds. On the other hand, 18-24 year-olds are twice as likely to buy a watch as a fashion accessory, although a higher share of the general group sees the watch as being more important as an accessory than the 18-24 year-olds. Viewing a watch as a professional necessity ranked highly with both the 18-24 year-olds and the general group, with 71% of the 18-24 year-olds and 70% of the general group believing that wearing a watch is more professional than using a cell phone or iPod to tell time. When asked which watch brands they owned, the 18-24 year-olds and the general group both preferred the same two brands as their top choices, but their tastes then diverged into different brands, although along the same price categories.