For 42% of young adults iPods and cell phones replace watches

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.